With the Florida Gators 2010 spring practice now in full swing, there is plenty of newsworthy information around the program. Rather than publishing it all in long form, OGGOA thought it would be best to lay it out piece-by-piece. We continue this series with a look at spring practice from Fri., March 26.
» Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley returned to practice after missing it Wednesday with what the school said was a sore throat and the flu. He also has a bruised left knee and has been (and likely will continue) wearing a brace.
» Wide receivers redshirt freshman Andre Debose and redshirt junior Chris Rainey each saw limited action Friday. The Gators will be cautious with both players and not work them too hard until summer practice begins.
» Redshirt sophomore WR T.J. Lawrence visited Shands Hospital to undergo tests Wednesday before practice. Friday, the school explained Lawrence had an issue with low blood sugar. He also returned to action.
» Redshirt senior running back Emmanuel Moody, who left the field on crutches after injuring his ankle Wednesday, was back with the team but noticeably limping. He had minor surgery on the ankle last January and has had injury issues throughout his career.
» Sitting out for the remainder of spring practice are sophomore defensive back Josh Evans (left knee) and redshirt freshman offensive lineman Kyle Koehne (elbow). Many of the offensive linemen continue to sit nursing injuries, and junior RB Jeff Demps remains out due to his participation in the outdoor track and field season.
Check out many more practice, notes and interesting quotes…after the break!
» WRs: Redshirt junior Deonte Thompson, sophomore Omarius Hines and redshirt freshman Stephen Alli are all connecting well with Brantley and seem to be comfortable in the offense. Thompson and redshirt senior Carl Moore are penciled in as starters.
» Four-star frosh cornerback Jaylen Watkins had a nice interception and continues to impress his coaches, teammates and spectators.
» Three-star frosh Neiron Ball, who played defensive end in high school, is getting a lot of work at linebacker during the spring. Head coach Urban Meyer loves players who can and are willing to play multiple positions.
» Speaking of Meyer, he was more hands-on Friday than he has been thus far in spring practice. He spent a lot of time working with the special teams unit (his favorite) as well as with position players in drills. Previously, Meyer had been taking more of an observation role, letting his assistant coaches handle must of the drill work.
» Former Gators WR Percy Harvin and CB Joe Haden attended practice Firday.
» Players and coaches continue to be off-limits for the most part, though beat writers on-site were able to acquire a few quotes on recent happenings.
» Senior safety Ahmad Black on being a leader and teaching the younger players: “I take on more of a leadership role this year. Make sure everybody’s in line. [...] We have a heckuva lotta talent, talent everywhere across the field. I’m excited to see us play. [...] You just go out there and be ball hawks. When the ball’s in the air, we’ve got to go get it.”
» Co-defensive coordinator, safeties coach Chuck Heater on Black: “Ahmad’s a very smart guy, that’s why he plays as well as he plays. He’s a very instinctive player. He plays a little faster because he anticipates things. [...] He’s going to be biased against a little bit [by NFL scouts] because he’s not very big. But he’s such a great player. He’s gotten thicker, bigger. I think he’s gotten a little faster as well.”
» Heater on Meyer’s angry comments: “Urban’s a real passionate guy about his players. So yeah, I think it was real positive from that standpoint. Everybody sees it and everybody gets it.”
» Senior center Mike Pouncey on the same subject: “Oh yeah, of course. He got our back, and we got his.”
» Brantley chiming in: “That’s what you want to see out of your coaches.”