Gators One-Third of the Way Through Camp

The Gator football team has used up about one-third of the practices it's allowed before the season opener against Miami (Ohio) on September 4. I thought it might be a good time to update some of the key questions and/or concerns heading into camp to see if there is progress being made.

Obviously with practices closed this evaluation is based largely on what players and coaches are saying in media sessions and what others are saying in other venues.

Starting corner ---- We know Janoris Jenkins is going to start at one corner and the field appears to be thinning out at the other spot. Based on Saturday's scrimmage Florida defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Terryl Austin says Moses Jenkins and Jeremy Brown are ahead of the three freshmen in the battle for the other spot. Brown, who has missed two seasons with back trouble, would be a great story if he makes it all the way back to being an elite talent.

Playmakers at WR ---- This is a place where nothing too significant has occurred to this point. Stephen Alli apparently had a good day on Saturday as did Carl Moore. Everyone I talk to says Deonte Thompson is relishing the chance to be the "go-to" guy, but coaches aren't saying too much because the bar is set pretty high for him.

Protecting Brantley ---- Florida entered camp with plenty of depth and seeming to have strong competition for the jobs at left tackle and right guard. Now with both left tackles (Xavier Nixon, Matt Patchan) banged up they may need to experiment a little bit in the week ahead. Carl Johnson is the only one around who's played LT in games, but he is obviously better at guard. This position is not a concern yet, but it could be if things don't improve in the next 10 days.

Linebacker rotation ---- The Gators lost three linebackers off last year's defense, plus Brendan Beal decided to transfer. That turned a pretty deep unit into a rather thin one. Jelani Jenkins is going to be on the field one way or the other. Odds are Jenkins, Brandon Hicks and A.J. Jones will be the starters with Jon Bostic and Lorenzo Edwards providing the depth. Some days Darren Kitchen makes an impression and on other days it's Michael Taylor who seems to be challenging for a spot on the two-deep. This position is not a concern at all.

Reed in the Wildcat ---- Actually let's stop right here. The Gators need a name for that role, position or series when Reed takes off his tight end hat and puts on his hybrid QB hat. I have the name for Denver when Tebow runs it --- The Bucking' Bronco --- but haven't come up with something that works for Florida. You simply cannot have it carry the name of an opposing team. What about "The Crazy Lizard", "The Swamp Rat" or "The Agile Reptile"? I'm not sold on any of them so I'm open to suggestions.

Whaddya got?

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