OGGOA’s 2010 Orange & Blue Debut news, notes

By Adam Silverstein
April 11, 2010

With the Florida Gators 2010 spring practice sessions now complete, there was plenty of newsworthy information coming out from the 2010 Orange & Blue Debut on Sat., April 10. Rather than publishing it all in long form, OGGOA thought it would be best to lay it out piece-by-piece. Football returns in full-force in the summer.

Check out OGGOA’s full coverage of the 2010 Orange & Blue Debut…

Scrimmage happenings:
» OGGOA’s Live Coverage and Play-by-Play
» Orange & Blue Debut Box Score

» Redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley went 15/19 for 201 yards and two touchdowns. With the defense unable to blitz, Brantley had some extra time in the pocket and used it to pick apart the first-team secondary, which was without starting safeties senior Ahmad Black and junior Will Hill and junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins. He ran plays from both the shotgun and I-formations.

» Freshman Trey Burton and redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed also saw plenty of time behind center. Burton was exciting and dynamic, going 12/18 for 120 yards, a touchdown and one interception. Burton’s turnover came on his first play of the day and was nabbed by freshman cornerback Joshua Shaw. He also rushed 10 times for 128 yards and two touchdowns including an Orange & Blue Debut-record 76-yard run.

» Reed, taking over for Brantley, went 3/5 for 80 yards and a touchdown; he also ran the ball three times for 19 yards. He worked in the Wildcat a bit in the first half but worked mostly from the shotgun in the second half; Reed appears to be the team’s third quarterback and looked good overall, especially for someone who has been spending most of his time working to become the starting TE.

» Redshirt senior wide receiver Carl Moore was the offensive star of the day, nabbing eight balls for 130 yards and a touchdown. Moore used the game as a form of redemption after leaving practice for unforeseen issues two weeks ago and slowly making his way back into the fold. He will likely start across from redshirt junior WR Deonte Thompson if his performance Saturday was any indication of what he can do when given the ball. Moore, who sat out last season with a back injury, appeared to hurt it again late in the scrimmage after taking a helmet hit in his backside. It is unknown whether the injury is serious or not.

» Thompson used the first play of the game to make his mark, catching a beautiful 47-yard pass from Brantley. He sat out the rest of the way.

» Redshirt freshman WR Andre Debose, returning from hamstring surgery that kept him out all of 2009, saw some action early on Saturday. We expected him to sit out as a precaution, but the coaching staff was obviously not worried about aggravating the injury and let him see some action. Debose caught two passes for 30 yards and looked good when cutting and changing direction.

» With running backs junior Jeff Demps (outdoor track & field), redshirt senior Emmanuel Moody (ankle, quad injuries) sitting out the game, sophomore Mike Gillislee got plenty of time on the field. Behind a mostly second-string offensive line, he rushed 10 times for 50 yards with a long of 24.

» Though the defense is tough to judge during scrimmage because its hands are tied in the pressure it can apply, redshirt junior defensive tackle Jaye Howard fought his way inside for two sacks on Brantley.

» Junior kicker Caleb Sturgis went 5/5 on extra points and hit 3/4 field goals.
Makes: 42, 52, 37 | Miss: 52

Other notes:
» Head coach Urban Meyer and his wife Shelley Meyer were named honorary alumni by the University of Florida at halftime. Also at halftime, two 2010 National Championship teams were honored: women’s swimming & diving and men’s indoor track & field.

» Attendance: 51,500 – though it did not look like more than 30,000 were there.

» In the house: Tim Tebow (before the game), Maurkice Pouncey, Riley Cooper, Carlos Dunlap, Brandon Spikes, Major Wright, Ryan Stamper, Louis Murphy, Scott Brantley, some 2010 commitments including Ronald Powell, Sharrif Floyd and Cody Riggs and a bunch of 2011 recruits.

» Montreal Alouettes QB Chris Leak was in attendance and spent almost the entire time next to Meyer on the field. He spoke with Brantley a few times and appeared to be coaching him up, working with him on his drops and throwing motion. Leak, though still a backup in the CFL, could have a future as a QB coach, maybe even with Florida if/when Scot Loeffler takes a head coaching job.

In a comedic moment, redshirt junior WR Chris Rainey squirted a bottle of water down Meyer’s back and then ran away. Meyer squirmed and then laughed it off.

Interesting quotes:

» Meyer on Brantley: “Boy, he was good. He was good. John’s next step is just the whole leadership thing. Instead of, ‘Aw, shucks,’ to ‘Let’s get it done.’ I’ve seen tremendous growth from January 2 until now.”

» Meyer on Debose’s injury: “Eighteen or 19 years old and your dreams are shattered, that’s tough. Here’s the next coming, the No. 1 receiver in America, then boom. He doesn’t live up to expectations and everybody’s asking what about him? What about him? […] That kid’s going to be a good player.”

» Meyer on Burton: “He’s still not a great thrower. But they said that about Tebow when he came out of high school, too, and he did OK.”

» Meyer on a Tebow-less Gators: “I don’t want to say I’m over it, ‘cause I’ll never get over it. But to not have Tim in there, I’m kind of used to it now. Not saying I like it, but I’m used to it.”

» Meyer on the most improved unit: “I’d say linebackers. Coach [D.J.] Durkin is doing a tremendous job. [The linebackers] are very talented. [Redshirt freshman] Jelani Jenkins, [sophomore Jon] Bostic, [redshirt sophomore Brendan] Beal […] [that’s a] very talented group. [Senior] A.J. Jones, who didn’t practice much because he had a bad knee, is going to be a fine player for us, and [senior Brandon] Hicks. Those guys all did fantastic. Are they good enough? We don’t know, yet. But their attitudes are right, they’re mentally [good] and they’re in great shape. The correlation between them finishing spring like that and them showing up ready to play, that’s why I’m kind of excited right now.”

» Meyer on the team’s mentality: “You’ve got a team that’s got a chip on their shoulder in the locker room. It’s kind of cool to have that again.”

» Meyer’s overall evaluation: “I grade the spring game an ‘A’ and I haven’t had many. We stink as a team, but that’s not the intent. The intent is to have a good attitude and a good work ethic and go as hard as you can and try and identify players and playmakers. I’d give [the spring] an ‘A.’ I think today was an ‘A.’ Certainly, there were bad snaps, there was this and this, but once again this was a no winner-loser day today. We identified some players today.”

» Meyer on the crowd: “I thought post-Tebow we’d have 11,000 out there. And I told Johnny Brantley, ‘No one’s here to see you, big boy.’ Then all of a sudden a big crowd shows up. I’m very grateful.”

» Meyer on Leak: “It was great to have Chris Leak come back […] he was working. He was out there talking [and] was just around giving the insight to the team. I just love Chris Leak.”

» Brantley on the experience: “It felt a lot different, going out there, knowing that I’m the guy now. But I’m surrounded by great players who are making it a lot easier for me. […] I feel like it’s my huddle now. I definitely do. That’s what I’ve been working on — leadership, being more vocal in the huddle. […] I just want to keep [UF’s success] going. People talk about our receivers or defense not being as good as last year. I think that’s what we want to improve on. We’re not going to miss anything, we’re not going to take a step back at all.”

» Brantley on being the starter: “I feel like it’s my huddle now. I definitely do. That’s what I’ve been working on — leadership, being more vocal in the huddle.”

» Brantley on Moore: “Carl Moore did a great job. He’s coming off a back injury [and] had to sit out last season. Coming back for a fifth year., he’s working really hard and I’m happy it’s paying off for him.”

» Brantley on Leak: “He was just giving little pointers to me. [He was telling me] little things you just need to do. He’s just trying to help me out. He’s always been a mentor to me. I’ve always watched him play, through his college years while I was growing up, and I’m just happy he’s helping me out now.”

» Debose on returning from injury: “It feels good to be back. It was real stressful being away from the game. It was amazing, just being a part of something. At times, I felt like I wasn’t even part of the team – always on the shelf or in the pit…not participating. […] The low point probably was me having surgery, but as the season went on, it gradually got worse and worse and worse. It was the first time in my life I was in the background. Just not being part of the team and being kind of pushed away and being on the shelf, it kind of crushed me. […] Now I finally feel like part of the team.”

» Debose on advice his grandmother gave him: “Right when I was about to have surgery, she said that you didn’t like to be compared to Percy. You sat out a year, that kind of died down. I can kind of make my own. It’s Andre Debose.”

» Burton on doing a lot of running: “I’ll do whatever I have to do to play. I’ll long snap it if I have to.”

» Freshman safety Matt Elam on the experience: “Just looking around and seeing all of the people, my heart was pumping, I was ready to go. It was the best feeling I’ve ever had.”

» Offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio on utilizing a power QB: “It’s an aspect we don’t want to lose. We’re really fired up about what you’re seeing.”

» Addazio on Brantley: “We know he can throw the ball. Can he lead, can he win, can he motivate, can he grab the team? Johnny did those things this spring. It was really cool.”

» Addazio on all the QBs: “I thought they all played well. They’re competitive guys, they’re athletic guys. You can see they’re wired the right way. Coach [Meyer] and I were standing back there and it was really pretty cool. They all did a great job.”

» Addazio on the team’s performance: “We’ve got a group of guys who love ball. They want to do things the right way. They’re hungry. They’re coachable. They’ve bought in totally to accountability and holding each other accountable. That’s what we needed to get done this spring and that’s what we got done. That’s why we graded it an ‘A.’ ”

» Addazio on the crowd: “Heck, there were more people there than some teams that play in this state have at a home game. So that’s a pretty good judge of how a guy’s going to do in the bright lights.”

» Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on his squad: “I like what I see. I like the tenacity. I like the effort. This is going to be a great collective [defensive] unit.”

Thanks to the University of Florida, ESPN and The Gainesville Sun for the above quotes.

4 Comments

  1. Daniel M. says:

    Outstanding wrap-up young man.
    As usual, A-Sil brings the goods.

  2. liveoak87 says:

    Aside from the sun burnt legs, it was a great spring game.
    A few thought.

    1. Did you see sturgis hit that 60 yard FG at half time and barely miss a 65 yarder. it was awesome. the kid has a leg.
    2. As i said else where. I believe there was 50,00+ there. the stadium hold roughly 89,000 and the only places not filled was the very tops on the vistor side and both sunshine decks. it was a great crowded with some good orange and blue chants got going.
    3. I have no worry about any of our QB’s. I God forbid we have to get down to Reed. I have faith we’ll be ok.
    4. Even without the starting O-Line gillislee is a beast and I cant wait for him to get for carries.
    5. I was happy with the way Brantley spread the ball around to all the receivers, should make for a great year for them.
    6. ITS GREAT TO BE A FLORIDA GATOR!!!

  3. ReptilesRule says:

    A very productive spring. Lot’s of young talent mixed in with some guys with experience. This year feels like a breath of fresh air without all of the expectations.

  4. brlgator says:

    cant wait to watch the replay

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