There will be a lot of new faces for the Gators, but that's almost always the case, though it wasn't a year ago at this time. It's hard to get down to five guys I'm most interested in seeing in action, but you gotta draw the line somewhere. These five guys are not intriguing in what they might be able to do, but they might be the most important guys in terms of filling the gaps left by the nine departed NFL draft picks. Of course I'm not including John Brantley because that's just too easy.
Andre Debose ---- When I saw him play in the state finals and watched other video of him I became convinced that this guy could be a great receiver at the next level. A hamstring injury and subsequent surgery cost him the 2009 campaign, but I expect him to wow fans this fall. He can be a "hybrid" type of player, but I really believe he's a wide receiver and should spend most of his time doing exactly that.
Jeremy Brown ---- You would have to be one cold-hearted S.O.B. to not be rooting for this guy. Two full years on the shelf with a bad back has turned Brown from an elite CB prospect to a ginormous question mark. You have to have read by now that Brown was once considered to be ahead of Janoris Jenkins and by all reports he is completely healthy. The battle between Brown and Moses Jenkins for the starting job has been the feel good story of the fall, but Brown's is the feel-good story.
Jelani Jenkins ---- He runs about as well as you could ever hope to have a linebacker run and he's one of Florida's four starters for three starting jobs in that unit. While LB Coach D.J. Durkin kept insisting he had six first team guys it's been pretty clear when you talk with anyone else that there were four guys ahead of the others. Jenkins has nowhere near the size of last year's MLB Brandon Spikes --- or the move acting skills --- but he will be the fastest LB on the field whenever he's out there.
Trey Burton ---- There was once an old commercial that said, "Certs is a candy mint. No, Certs is a breath mint. It's two, two, two mints in one." Well Trey Burton is a tight end, wildcat, quarterback, point guard, cleanup hitter and javelin thrower. Okay, maybe I went too far, but who isn't curious about how the freshman will be used opening day and on into the future. Burton and Tyler Murphy are the sorta quarterbacks behind Johnny Brantley and we really have no ideas who will do what if/when Brantley comes off the field.
Ronald Powell ---- It's obvious the guys I am most interested in seeing out there are the guys I haven't seen out there much, if at all. Powell has a great challenge living up to expectations while making the extraordinarily difficult transition to playing defensive end in the nation's toughest conference as a true freshman. Had Powell been here in the spring we could have a much better idea of how far along he is, but in reality we don't know Jack. What we do know if that he has a higher ceiling than any other DE on campus and it's time to start seeing how close to reaching it he might be.
So those are my five guys. Who are yours?
Five Guys I Can't Wait to See Play
Fightin Gators Top Stories
Pre-Spring Analysis: Defensive LineThe Gators have terrific numbers and some proven talent at defensive end, while the defensive tackle position is lacking with depth and not nearly enough experience. This spring we…
Fightin Gators7:40 AM
Top Defender Armour-Davis has Gators in Top 6Four-star cornerback prospect Jalyn Armour-Davis has held offers from coast-to-coast for some time, but on Tuesday he made his first cut-down to a half-dozen. When may he decide…
Scout Football5:32 AM
Franz Beard's Thoughts of the Day; Feb.28A few thoughts to jump start your Tuesday morning...
Fightin GatorsYesterday at 9:28 PM
Pre-Spring Analysis: RB’s and TE’sThe Gators return a lot on offense in 2017. The quarterback position is the lone place where the experience is lacking, but at running back and tight end we have seen some terrific…
Fightin GatorsYesterday at 6:16 PM
SEC and Big Ten Make up Takacs' Top ThreeDAVIE, Fla. -- Schools representing the Big Ten and SEC are currently soaking up the full attention of 2018 Sunshine State tight end, George Takacs, who's also fresh off an invite…
Scout FootballYesterday at 12:40 PM