With the 2011-12 athletic season now in the books and the 2012-13 season about to begin, the focus has shifted to the return of Florida Gators football. For the second-straight year, OGGOA will take a look at every player of substance on the roster, counting down by jersey number, in this series: The Countdown.
89 – Stephen Alli (Toronto, ON)
Redshirt junior wide receiver
6’6” 217 lbs.
Quick Bio/Career Stats: The only Canadian on the team, Alli made the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll in 2009 despite not seeing the field in his true freshman season. He played in all 13 games in 2010 but spent most of his time on special teams, hauling in a total of three receptions for 17 yards on offense.
2011 Season: Though Alli played in all but one game in 2011, he saw almost all of his action on special teams and did not record any statistics.
2012 Outlook: Singled out as a leader by head coach Will Muschamp during spring practice in 2011, Alli did not get the opportunity to follow through on offense during the season. He was listed as the second X-receiver on the depth chart for the second-straight year in March but missed a number of spring practices with a groin injury. Muschamp said on May 8 that Alli would miss approximately three months of action after having successful surgery on a stress fracture on his leg. He rejoined the team in the middle of August but has not stood out as of yet among the receivers that have been getting regular repetitions during training camp.
88 – Clay Burton (Venice, FL)
Sophomore tight end
6’4” 232 lbs.
Quick Bio/2011 Season: The younger brother of Florida junior running back Trey Burton, Clay was an early enrollee as a freshman defensive end but transitioned to tight end in the fall of 2011 due to depth issues. He dressed for six games but only saw action in one, playing sparingly against UAB.
2012 Outlook: Still in the process of making the transition to tight end, Burton was listed as a reserve on the spring depth chart and is going head-to-head with plenty of others for playing time. Though the coaching staff has complimented his progress, Burton has a ways to go until he develops into a true tight end that can contribute on a regular basis.
Check out five more players in this edition of The Countdown…after the break!
87 – Tevin Westbrook (Coconut Creek, FL)
Sophomore tight end
6’5” 268 lbs.
Quick Bio/2011 Season: A three-star recruit coming out of high school, Westbrook played in just three games during his freshman season and registered both of his tackles against Kentucky.
2012 Outlook: Westbrook originally committed to Florida knowing that he would not play much early in his career as the coaches planned to develop his talents before he saw much field time. Amid rumors that he was planning on transferring this offseason, Westbrook instead decided to transition to tight end and began that process this summer. Though Westbrook is still earning the position, offensive coordinator Brent Pease said he has been “phenomenal” in camp. “That kid is a big plus for us,” he said. “He has a great attitude, works hard. He has had probably one of the best camps of everybody.”
86 – Raphael Andrades (Tallahassee, FL)
Freshman wide receiver
6’0″ 191 lbs.
Quick Bio: One of the last players to commit to join the Gators’ 2012 recruiting class, Andrades was considered to be an underrated prospect who was only considered the 99th-best receiver in the country by Rivals. He set a school record with 13 touchdowns during his senior season at Lincoln where he was coached by former Florida wide receiver Jacquez Green. Andrades was also selected by Kansas City in the 36th round of 2012 MLB Draft and worked out for them but instead decided to pursue a football career.
2012 Outlook: Though the Gators have a number of veteran receivers on the roster, Andrades has been praised early on in training camp by both Muschamp and Pease. “I know he’s only a two-star so he’s not supposed to be a good player, but we had the guy in camp and the guy’s got great ball skills,” Muschamp said following the team’s first scrimmage. “He judges the ball well, catches the ball well, and he’s a guy that we need to get more reps to.” It is still unknown how many snaps he will see in games though it is possible that he finds a spot at the back end of the team’s rotation.
85 – Frankie Hammond, Jr. (Hollywood, FL)
Redshirt senior wide receiver
6’1” 185 lbs.
Quick Bio: A four-star wideout coming out of high school, Hammond is a dual-sport athlete who is also a jumper with the track team. After being arrested for driving under the influence in June 2010 and being disciplined, he earned his way back on scholarship and back in the coaching staff’s good graces.
Career Stats (39 games): 41 receptions for 514 yards, three touchdowns; seven punt returns for 21 yards; one kick return for 23 yards; 12 special teams tackles
2011 Season: A member of the Gators’ lackluster receiving corps a year ago, Hammond kept up his 12+ yards per reception average but only caught 15 passes for 181 yards over the course of the season and did not reach the end zone once. He showed flashes against Kentucky and Auburn and hauled in 10 total first downs in 13 games.
2012 Outlook: Hammond stepped into a starting role in 2011 and did not have much success despite seeing plenty of time on the field. This season he is expected to see most of his snaps in the slot, which is where he was listed on the spring depth chart. “Frankie Hammond has done some good things; he brings a lot to the table for us,” Pease said in March. Hammond himself also indicated that he knows this is his last opportunity to prove that he can be a productive receiver. “This is my last year and I want it to be a good one,” he said. “I’m busting my tail, coming to work every day and we’ll just move from there. [I] just keep working and pay attention to the little things.” Muschamp has called him the most consistent receiver in camp this August.
84 – Colin Thompson (Warminster, PA)
Freshman tight end
6’4” 256 lbs.
Quick Bio: Unanimously ranked as of the top players at his position nationally, Thompson has the size and strength to be a factor at tight end for Florida and is a player who can undoubtedly develop into a locker room leader as he progresses throughout his career.
2012 Outlook: Thompson has been slowed since the beginning of training camp after having foot surgery in the spring though he is doing some limited work off to the sides and trying to get a strong grasp of the playbook. With the Gators suddenly deep at the position at least in terms of bodies getting repetitions, Thompson will probably have to showcase his abilities over a number of full weeks of practice in order to get in the picture at some point this season.
83 – Solomon Patton (Mobile, AL)
Junior wide receiver
5’9” 169 lbs.
Quick Bio: A four-star prospect coming out of high school, Patton badly wanted to play for UF and chose Florida over his hometown team of Alabama during the recruiting process. He appeared in 10 games as a freshman in 2010 and was just a handful of players in his class to see the field that year.
Career Stats (23 games): seven receptions for 62 yards; rush for six yards; 17 kickoff returns for 437 yards (25.7 average; long: 48); punt return for 28 yards; three blocked punts; return touchdown; nine tackles
2011 Season: Patton reprised his role as a do-everything player, returning 10 kickoffs for 241 yards, totaling six special teams tackles and blocking two punts including one in the season opener against Florida Atlantic that Chris Rainey returned for a touchdown.
2012 Outlook: Muschamp and Pease have both expressed their optimism that Patton will be able to contribute to the team offensively though neither has yet to define the part he will play in 2012. “Solomon Patton, we need to find a role for him,” Muschamp said in March. Listed as the second-string Z-receiver during spring practice, Patton wound up missing a good amount of field time after injuring his groin. He will see some action as a returner but has also stood out recently in practice.
THE COUNTDOWN: 99-90 |