Gators spring practice news and notes – 04/05

By Adam Silverstein
April 5, 2010

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 the team’s practice from Mon., April 5.

Absences/Injuries:
» There was no sign of redshirt senior running back Emmanuel Moody at practice. Moody, who was injured for the second time this spring after hurting his right quad on Saturday, had just returned after tweaking his ankle a few days earlier.

» Wide receivers freshman Solomon Patton and redshirt freshman Stephen Alli continued working away from the team. Patton had a boot placed on his left leg to protect his ankle last week but it was no longer there Monday. Expect both to be rested for precautionary reasons.

» Freshman WR Robert Clark, who was fitted for a boot on Friday after injuring his foot, returned to action and caught a particularly nice pass from freshman quarterback Trey Burton. Clark had one of the best days of Florida’s receivers.

» In addition to most of the starting offensive line sitting out, sophomore cornerback Josh Evans (still in a cast and on crutches) and redshirt freshman defensive end Kedric Johnson (with a boot on his right foot) were notable absences.

Scrimmage happenings:
» The big news of Monday’s practice was redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose competing in actual drills. He began the day working mostly in non-contact drills but took some bumps during seven-on-seven competition (wide receivers vs. defensive backs). Up until this point, the most Debose had done while recovering from a torn hamstring last year was jog. He caught a few passes, showed little limitation or trepidation with his legs and even fought with freshman safety Jordan Haden for a pass that was broken up. This is by no means an indication that he is 100 percent, but Debose has certainly come a long way with his healing – good news for Gators fans.

» Joining Clark and Debose with solid performances were pass catchers redshirt junior Deonte Thompson, redshirt senior Carl Moore and sophomore Omarius Hines. Each has continued to show improvement.

» Junior S Will Hill and sophomore linebacker Jon Bostic both came close to grabbing interceptions at points during the day’s drills.

Other notes:
» Five-star 2010 DE commitment Ronald Powell (Moreno Valley, CA) was in attendance at practice hanging out with head coach Urban Meyer.

» Former Heisman Trophy winner and ESPN analyst Desmond Howard was on the sidelines watching practice. He was not with a crew.

Interesting quotes:
» Redshirt junior QB John Brantley on Debose: “He’s a heck of a player. He’s fast as can be. I’m just happy to see him back out there running around. […] He looked good. It can only get better from here. He’s only going to get faster so that’s a plus. He’s been telling me all spring that he wanted to get back out there. He was very happy today. […] I’m hoping for big things from him.”

» Redshirt freshman LB Jelani Jenkins on trying to win a starting job: “Right now, we’re all just playing to get a linebacker spot. I don’t even know how they’re going to do the positions, but we’re all rotating. I’ll play [weak side] and sometimes I’ll play [middle]. I think we’re all playing a few different positions and [coaches are] just planning on putting the three best linebackers out there.”

» Freshman offensive lineman Ian Silberman on enrolling early: “It is going to help tremendously, because I have an advantage from knowing the system. I’m getting the repetitions. It’s helping big time. [Compared to] someone who is coming in over the summer, I’ll have that experience and the weight training edge.”

» Co-defensive coordinator and safety coach Chuck Heater on Dee Finley‘s transition to LB: “It’s a bit uncomfortable to him probably, but it’s the best spot for him physically. He recognizes it’s his best opportunity. […] Hopefully he’ll keep getting better. […] He’ll be a special teams player for us and eventually graduate from there.”

Special thanks to The Gainesville Sun for some of the above quotes.

4 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Adam, any speculation as to why D. Howard would have stopped by?

  2. Due diligence…is my guess.

  3. dlatGATOR says:

    glad to see that andre debose is getting healthy! cant wait to get to gainesville friday!!!!

  4. Daniel M. says:

    Howard drinks UF Haterade every saturday in the fall on ESPN. He always picks against UF in big games. It’s that BigTen inferiority complex he has

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