We are starting to get an understanding of some of the guys that we know will contribute for Florida at tight end in 2010. If healthy, Jordan Reed and Gerald Christian are all but destined to play a prominent role in each their first year of playing college football.
Reed is a very fast, fluid, and athletic tight end that poses a deep ball threat from the position and who also as Brian White put it, is "doing a little bit of the Wildcat stuff." Christian is a guy that has earned a little bit of a reputation for being tough and hard nosed. Allowing White to play him in a very hybrid role himself.
"We are dealing some with Gerald Christian as a fullback-tight end-movement guy," White said of the true freshman who arrived on campus early in the spring. "Those are some of the primary actors. He is getting better. He's improved and tough and a physical guy. His blocking has improved in particular and his foot work."
One of his options at the flexed out position is receiver Omarius Hines. Hines has terrific size and strength at 6-2, 220, and he possesses dynamic speed to make him a big mismatch in that tight end spot. White likes how Hines has looked, but knows he as a ways to go.
"Omarius is getting better he has a ways to go," White said. "Seven more days and he has to continue to go through that growth process."
The Gators have added weapons like Hines in a limited capacity. Two more are tight end Desmond Parks, who missed all of fall camp with a wrist injury and slash-quarterback Trey Burton who has been turning some heads as a dynamic play maker with the ball in his hands all over the field.
"Parks is back practicing," White said. "He has a five day process where he can't be in full pads. He looks good in shorts.
"(Burton is) a great kid, smart, athletic, and tough. The wonderful thing about Trey is that he's a very unselfish guy that wants to help this football team in whatever role Coach Addazio and Coach Meyer devises for him. He's a fun guy to be around."
With new guys learning all or part of the position, White has his hands cut out for him. He says their ability to learn it is all up to them.
"Some guys quicker than others," he said when asked how fast they generally pick things up. "Obviously your attention to detail and capacity to learn accelerates things. One thing is very evident is we have a lot of very talented athletes that we want to create as many roles as we can."
"He's played well and a much improved football player," White said of Pridemore. "(I'm looking for) consistency, he's a tough football player, but he needs to be a consistent football player. My challenge to him is to do it again, tomorrow and the next day and the next day. If he continues to do that, he will have a big year for us."
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