With the Florida Gators entrenched in their first week of fall practice, a handful of players spoke with the media on Wednesday about how things are going as the team prepares for the 2012 season. Joining them in a surprise session was head coach Will Muschamp, who discussed some of the team’s most recent injuries.
Though Muschamp said the shoulder bruise sustained by sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel was not serious, he did mention that sophomore walk-on wide reciever Michael McNeely broke his foot during practice and is expected to miss six weeks of action.
He also noted that redshirt junior defensive lineman Kedric Johnson, who dislocated his left knee in practice last week and is expected to miss a significant amount of time, had successful surgery on Wednesday.
”ONE OF THE BEST OFFENSES I’VE SEEN”
Sophomore tight end Clay Burton has not seen much field time in his Gators career (transitioning from defense to offense your freshman season is one reason for that) but is quite sure that the schemes being installed by offensive coordinator Brent Pease are going to do quite well for Florida this year.
“I can’t wait until we play somebody else because I feel like in the spring, just talking to players like Jelani [Jenkins] and the other defensive players, they’re like, ‘You guys shifting, it’s crazy, it’s confusing,’” he said of the motions and shifts in Pease’s offense.
“So I can’t wait – I don’t know how other teams are going to game plan for us. I wouldn’t want to be a defensive player and have to line up on one side and then just because one person plays we have to shift everything. I think it’s actually probably one of the best offensives I’ve seen.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
» Sophomore Chris Johnson, who was recruited as a defensive back but was shifted over to running back when he joined the Gators, said he never expected to play offense in college but is fine with the move. “I thought about it but, at the same time, my mindset when I first came in was safety and defense. Like they say, change just happens so I got used to it,” he said.
» Burton on the transition to tight end for himself and sophomore Tevin Westbrook: “It’s just a lot of footwork. As a defensive player you want to put the offensive player off you so you can see the play, and on offense you want to get and stay into the defense, so we’ve both kind of had an issue of pressing the guy instead of driving him off the ball.”
» Senior safety Josh Evans on why he changed to No. 9: “Nothing behind it, man. I just wanted to change it up. I’ve been wearing No. 24 for a long time, and I just wanted to do something different my senior year. New player, new me, just playing up to my potential.”
» Redshirt senior defensive lineman Omar Hunter on the offensive line: “They’re doing really good. I’ve been seeing holes in the defense – Mike Gillislee and Mack Brown, those running backs man are torching our defense sometimes. The offensive line is really better; they’re really stronger this year and I definitely feel it.”
» Hunter on the “old man strength” of junior transfer Damien Jacobs: “I feel like he’s more flexible now, getting his hips to the line of scrimmage turned a little bit more and he’s doing better. He got that old man strength, not that weight room, but the old man strength. It’s weird man; it’s very weird. You might bench more than him but on the football field he’s just strong, crazy strength.”