"The best way for a lineman to become a great player is to play multiple positions," Marcus Gilbert said. "I think that's a neat deal with what we do. All of our drills are similar to each position. That takes care of it."
Gilbert spent last season at right tackle where he protected the left-handed Tim Tebow's blind side. With John Brantley being right-handed, the switch to left tackle would have Gilbert protecting his blind side as well.
There are slight differences in technique at the position, but Gilbert has been in the program long enough to be comfortable at either position.
"I don't think it's that big of a deal," Gilbert said. "We just have one responsibility, that's to protect the quarterback and not allow any sacks. We've got to keep defenders off him. I've played right most of my time in football. Switching over to left, it's a pretty hard transition, but I'm getting the hang of it."
The only way Gilbert would slide to left tackle is if injuries do not improve. Left tackles Matt Patchan and Xavier Nixon both haven't returned to full contact practices. Head coach Urban Meyer expects Patchan to return shortly, but the staff is more up in the air on Nixon.
"Whatever is in our coaches' hands, I let them control the situation," Gilbert said. "I think (Patchan) will be just fine."
There are two defensive ends that stick out to Gilbert, and luckily for the Gators, they are the two projected starters. Justin Trattou and Duke Lemmens are both seniors with plenty of experience in the program. With Carlos Dunlap and Jermaine Cunningham in the NFL, the Gators are left with plenty of questions about providing a pass rush.
William Green and Ronald Powell will add a pass rush off the bench, but it's the two seniors that stood out in camp.
"They go hard and make me better," Gilbert said. "They're the two hardest working guys on the team. Going up against them makes me better."
The seniors aren't just making an impact on the football field. Multiple players have referred to them as the energetic leaders of the defense. They have spent time working with the younger players, but their biggest impact comes in keeping players excited and focused at practice.
"(They've) got a lot more energy," Gilbert said. "Practices are a lot more fun going up against guys that love football."
After Coach Meyer said Monday that the Florida freshmen class came to campus expecting to dominate as they did in high school, Gilbert isn't surprised. He has seen every freshman class that came to Gainesville in his time have that same vibe, including his own.
"The same thing happened with our class," Gilbert said. "We thought it would be the same thing. Coming to college ball, it's a lot faster. It's a lot more aggressive, hard-nosed football. Most of them realize what they got into."
Follow Cody Jones on
Gilbert Comfortable Protecting the Blind Side
Fightin Gators Top Stories
Gators working diligently on offenseWith the bye week last week, Florida head coach Jim McElwain was able to get his offense some much needed work on the little things. Penalties and red zone miscues were big for…
Fightin Gators11:11 AM
No. 4 CB Considering a Trip to Florida?JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Ohio State pledge Shaun Wade has taken one official, however, has three more in mind. Scout's No. 4 cornerback discusses which of his suitors remain.
Scout Football11:04 AM
Prognosis looking better for injured GatorsThe bye week may have come at a terrific time for the Florida Gators. Banged up in the front seven on defense, Florida head coach Jim McElwain indicated Monday that there is a…
Fightin Gators9:31 AM
Florida and Georgia Pursuing Auburn CommitTray Bishop remains committed to Auburn, but he has two other SEC schools on his mind too. Florida will have him on campus soon and Georgia has hosted him twice in October...
Scout Football7:04 AM
No. 6 OLB Sets Florida OfficialScout 100 linebacker Willie Gay has backed off his pledge to the Ole Miss Rebels. Gay committed to Ole Miss back in June, but he is now back on the market...
Scout Football5:48 AM