8/12: Muschamp on Joyer’s injury, Jones missing games, standouts from Florida’s scrimmage

By Adam Silverstein
August 12, 2013

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media during his team’s second full week of fall practice ahead of the 2013 season.

INJURIES CONTINUE TO MOUNT

There appears to be no slowing down Florida’s rash of fall injuries. Though junior quarterback Jeff Driskel (appendectomy) returned to practice over the weekend and both redshirt junior left guard Max Garcia (back) and redshirt sophomore G Trip Thurman (shoulder) were cleared – as expected – on Monday, the Gators added another player their long injury list over the weekend.

Junior fullback Hunter Joyer pulled his hamstring Sunday and will miss a 7-10 days.

He joins sophomore running back Matt Jones (viral infection – out indefinitely), redshirt senior right guard Jon Halapio (torn pectoral – 7-10 days), senior defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (sprained patella – one week), senior defensive back Jaylen Watkins (sprained foot – one week) and freshman offensive lineman Roderick Johnson (meniscus surgery – 3-4 weeks) on the sidelines.

Jones began participating in cardiovascular activities last week but is not close to returning to practice. Muschamp said team doctors want to avoid a “relapse of the situation” and ensure that he makes a full recovery before returning to the field. He also indicated that Jones’s absence could stretch into the 2013 campaign.

“Beginning of the season, at some point, whether it’s the first week or the second week or as you head into the open week, he’s going to play for us this year,” he said. “It’s totally up to [the doctors] as far as the things they’re telling me right now. That’s why I said we’re a little bit in uncharted waters coming into having the type of infection he had and then you’re talking about the heat we’re in and that sort of thing. I think we just need to be really careful right now.”

Muschamp then reiterated what one of Jones’s doctors told him about his recovery. “When you’re dealing with the human body, you never know. You don’t know how he’s going to respond and how quickly. The great thing is he’s young, he’s in great shape and it knocked him down a little bit, but he’s a guy that’s going to respond very quickly.”

Halapio was reevaluated on Friday when Muschamp said he expected him to be cleared for action by Monday. Instead, he will miss at least another week of action.


SATURDAY’S SCRIMMAGE AND SUNDAY’S PRACTICE

Muschamp was quite pleased with how the Gators worked over the weekend. Florida looked good during its first scrimmage of the fall on Saturday and carried that intensity over into Sunday’s practice.

“I thought we really had a solid scrimmage. Each group, offensively and defensively, got between 40-50 snaps,” he said. “I was very pleased with the effort. It was the first time we [practiced] in the afternoon as far as the heat was concerned. Getting out in that was good for us because we’ve been practicing at night.”

He continued: “We had a very physical, physical practice coming off a scrimmage, and I was really pleased with the effort, the tempo and the urgency – the things we addressed post-scrimmage that we needed to work on.”

BULLISH ON THE WIDEOUTS

Muschamp seems to be ready to buy some stock in Florida’s wide receivers, noting Monday that he is pleased not only with the improvement he has seen from the unit but also how productive he believes the Gators’ pass catchers will be this season. He also pointed out two freshmen that he thinks will be able to give UF a big boost in 19 days.

“Right now the two young guys at the receiver position are Ahmad Fulwood and Demarcus Robinson, two guys that there’s no question are going to help our football team and improve our football team,” he explained. “I’ve been very pleased with Quinton Dunbar and Trey Burton. Those four guys and Solomon Patton. Those five right there have been productive and consistent in what they do and how they perform.”

On Fulwood in particular, Muschamp detailed why he thinks the four-star prospect will help Florida improve its recently lackluster playmaking at the position.

“He’s a bigger guy at 6’4”. He’s a guy that’s got some good upper body strength. He’s competitive, and he handles it well. We’re pretty good at the corner position, and he’s done a nice job in some situations of creating some separation,” Muschamp said. “Still, he’s in such a learning stage, learning where to line up, reading the coverage … he’s got a lot going through his mind right now. You got to project as a coach, when it all starts to slow down, we’ll have some good things. … Certainly he’s a guy that’s got really good ball skills. He and Demarcus both have really good ball skills and leaping ability down the field. They judge the ball extremely well.”

Joining the Gators’ standouts at wide receiver this week will be junior cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy. “We’re going to start working him the latter part of this week. We’re going to get him over on that side,” Muschamp said. “He will start repping there this week.” However, Purifoy will not be the only defensive back playing offense for Florida in the coming days (see below).

PLAYER EVALUATIONS

» On Driskel: “I think he’s throwing the ball really well. The command, mental quickness is there, taking the ball to the right spots. I’ve been very pleased.”

» On freshman running back Adam Lane and how he’s progressed: “Adam has done some nice things. He’s a guy that’s really a tough guy to tackle. There’s not a lot of soft spots on him. He’s a guy that’s a very difficult – you got to bend your lower body to tackle him. He moves the pile well and has really good vision. I’ve been pleased with this production so far.” On if Lane resembles Ray Rice or Maurice Jones Drew: “He looks like Adam Lane to me.”

» On redshirt junior linebacker Neiron Ball: “I think Neiron Ball is playing really well inside. I mean, he is very athletic. We started the scrimmage, the offense tire dot hit a reverse and Neiron saw it and ran it down. He showed his speed on Solomon Patton, a guy who can really run.”

» On freshman RB Kelvin Taylor: “Kelvin’s played well. He really has. He did some nice things in the scrimmage Saturday. We got to continue to preach ball security. He put it on the ground last night, and that’s something we can’t have happen. But again, been very pleased with his progress. He’s very quick in his lower body, gets the ball vertical, gets it north and south. He runs the way we want it to be run at Florida.”

» On redshirt freshman defensive back Marcus Maye: “I think Marcus Maye has had a good camp. He’s really come on and done some things for us. Been very pleased with his progress. We’re playing him at safety and when we go to six DBs at the dime. He’s a guy that’s been very productive and playing athletically and communication and doing a nice job.”

» On redshirt sophomore DB Valdez Showers, who is working on offense this week: “We’re repping Valdez Showers on offense at this time, kind of that Omarius Hines position. A guy that we feel like that vertically can do some really good things for us. We experimented with it in scrimmage, and I thought he did some nice things carrying the ball. He was a natural carrier when he was in Detroit coming out of high school. Vertically can do some good things in the run game. We’re going to look at that over the next 3-4 days and sort of see where that takes us.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On if he is pleased with the number of bodies on the offensive line: “Much deeper. I really feel like we got 7-8 guys across the board that we can play quality football.”

» Muschamp said Thurman will serve as the team’s third center while competing for the second-string spot at right guard. He also called freshman OL Trenton Brown a “good football player” and noted that he will see field time this season.

» On how an offensive lineman would develop in his perfect world: “No one wants to hear this for an offensive lineman. You need to come in and you need to redshirt, in a perfect world. You need to play sparingly your first year. Alright? I’m just being honest. And then your third year, you need to start competing for a job. That’s the natural progression for a normal offensive lineman. And then you got an opportunity to be at least a two or three year a starter at a place like the University of Florida. Unfortunately, you get thrust into action. D.J. Humphries was playing left tackle at 260 pounds last year. That’s not perfect-world. He did it and did it at a high level. Now, he’s up to 280. He’s anchoring better; he’s playing really good football for us. […] To me, offensive line is a developmental position. … That’s a position that, if you’re tough and you’ve got some girth and strength and enough flexibility, you can help the football team there. A lot of it goes back to toughness and being able to grit out battles inside.”

» On undergraduate assistant and former Gators LB Mike Peterson and how he’s doing so far as a coaching assistant: “It’s always valuable when you have any person that played at Florida – Terry Jackson, Chris Leak, Duke Lemmens, Mike Peterson – that have played here and understand the expatiations on and off the field. [Peterson] did it at a high level, 14 years in the National Football League. You talk to everybody that coached Mike, they all talk about he was a coach on the field. He obviously was a really good player, but he was a guy that had a cerebral approach to the game and understood why you did things. Not just how but why. He has been great for our players. You look at the young linebackers we have … he’s been really valuable for those guys. Especially with [linebackers coach] D.J. [Durkin] being a coordinator and being able to walk around a little bit more and see a little bit more of the practice, having Mike being able to be hands-on with those guys has been invaluable. He’s doing a fabulous job. He has a huge future in this profession.”

» On the depth at running back: “Obviously I’m a little concerned about the running back position with Matt Jones being out. I think Mack Brown has done some nice things but after that, from an experience standpoint, we take a huge step away from where we’ve been. And that’s a concerning issue.”

» On if he thinks Patric Young would be a good football player for Florida: “Sure. When we get in the red zone, a jump ball and that kind of stuff. Have we talked to Billy [Donovan] about that yet? Don’t know if he’d like it.”

4 Comments

  1. Michael Jones says:

    Adam Lane looks a lot like Adam Lane to Coach Muschamp. Bahahahahahaha!!! Classic ol’ school coach-speak. How can you not love Muschamp?

  2. Joe says:

    How can he be so bullish on the wideouts if we have to move our All American CB and a potential starting safety to offense? Watch out for Halapio, he’s starting to get Patchan syndrome.

    • When’s the last time you heard Muschamp speak so positively about FIVE wide receivers. Purifoy is a wrinkle at the position, not a starter.

      I agree with you RE: Halapio.

  3. Timmy T says:

    Tooting my own horn here. I smelled that Halapio injury being worse than it was reported last week.

Top