8/23: Muschamp on injuries, Powell, freshmen

By Adam Silverstein
August 23, 2013

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Friday, just over one week before the team’s 2013 season opener against Toledo on Aug. 31.

STATE OF THE GATORS

“I do feel good about this team. I met with the seniors and the leaders [Thursday], talked about our camp and where we are. Some of my issues had to do with the sense of urgency with the team. We have a lot of young guys at some positions we’re counting on. I think everyone in the country would say the same thing. That’s part of it. I think we’re experienced in the places you need to be experienced. That’s the quarterback position, both lines of scrimmage have some snaps about themselves. They’re mature lines of scrimmage. We’re going to be a little green as far sat he running back position heading into your first ball game, receiver a little bit, and then some situations on defense depending at linebacker, how we’re able to rotate those guys in. But I feel comfortable – very comfortable – about the talent level at those positions. So that’s kind of where we are.”

INJURY UPDATE TRENDS POSITIVE

Though the Gators will be without two offensive starters for the season opener due to injury, Muschamp did present a relatively positive injury report otherwise.

Senior defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (knee), junior fullback Hunter Joyer (hamstring), freshman cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III (shoulder) and sophomore wide receiver Raphael Andrades (turf toe) will all return to practice on Monday.

“All those guys we feel like will be back and ready for game week,” Muschamp said.

RONALD POWELL READY TO CUT IT LOOSE

By the time he steps on the field on Aug. 31, it will have been 607 days – nearly 20 full months – since redshirt junior Sam linebacker Ronald Powell has played in a college football game. Muschamp on Friday said Powell is continuing to improve on a daily basis and looks more explosive than he has all offseason.

“You’ve seen him gain more confidence each time in contact. We’ve had two live scrimmages and different live periods throughout some other practices. A guy that’s gained a lot of confidence as he’s moved forward,” he said.

“That’s the thing you worry about – a guy really cutting it loose and playing. I’ve seen a guy that kind of early on – tentative is not the right word because he wasn’t tentative – but [he was] cautious. Now you’re seeing him cut it loose and play, and that’s what you’ve got to do. It’ll come back fast for him as far as the tempo and the speed of the game. I’m sure he’ll have some anxious moments. That’s part of it. It’s expected when you have an injury like he’s had.”


Powell will understandably be nervous until he makes that first cut on his knee or completes a tough tackle in a game, but he will not be the only one feeling relieved once that moment is in the rear view mirror and Powell is back to his old self.

“That’s one of the great feelings you have as a coach to see a guy develop and come through so much adversity, handle it as well as he handled it. That’s one of those joys you get in coaching when you see a young man like that develop,” Muschamp said.

UPDATES ON FRESHMEN AND REDSHIRTS

Muschamp listed 10 first-year players on Friday that he expects to suit for the Gators in 2013, mentioned six others that could see the field depending on injuries or winning positional battles, and noted that he hopes one other first-year player can be counted on to redshirt.

Expected to play: Freshmen wide receivers Ahmad Fulwood, Demarcus Robinson and Chris Thompson; first-year junior offensive lineman Trenton Brown; freshmen linebackers Alex Anzalone, Jarrad Davis and Daniel McMillian and freshmen defensive backs Vernon Hargreaves III, Keanu Neal and Nick Washington.

May play: Freshmen running backs Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane are in the midst of battling for the final spot at their position as are freshmen defensive tackles Jay-nard Bostwick, Caleb Brantley and Antonio Riles. If Florida needs another offensive lineman, freshman Octavius Jackson would be next in line to suit up.

Redshirt: Ideally, freshman punter Johnny Townsend will be able to redshirt in order to “create some separation” between himself and junior Kyle Christy, who is the unquestioned starter heading into the season. “He has punted extremely well in camp,” Muschamp said of Townsend. “He can really launch the ball.

Though Muschamp said “we have some guys we feel like can play for us,” he indicated that it is unlikely Robinson will be starting at wide receiver in the season opener. “Not at this time, but he’s going to play a lot.”

He also discussed how he would see a player’s college career progressing, in a perfect-world scenario.

“The natural progression is to be redshirted, play a little bit your redshirt freshman year, compete for a starting job in your third season at Florida. I think that’s a hell of a deal. Play your junior and senior seasons,” he said. “Unfortunately, we label guys. If they don’t start their first game their freshman year, we missed on them. And that’s not true. I don’t believe that.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» Muschamp said the Gators will have three days off in a five-day span, starting with a full day off on Wednesday. UF had practice cut short on Thursday due to lightning and practiced in full on Friday but will not do any work on Saturday or Sunday.

» On Toledo, Florida’s opponent for the season opener: “Toledo’s got a very explosive offensive football team. … They have a high-tempo offense. They do a good job mixing tempo, look back and fast snaps. We’ve been preparing for that. We prepare for that all the time because that’s where our league is headed. We’ve got four or five teams in our league doing that now. We need to play well. That’s a good football team that won nine games last year. Our players, after seeing some of the film [Thursday], understand that.”

3 Comments

  1. Michael Jones says:

    That bit about the “natural progression” is how you build a perennial powerhouse. Programs like that don’t rebuild. They reload.

    Love Muschamp. We’ve got ourselves a great coach.

    8 more days.

  2. GatorCooken says:

    Adam, I gotta say, I’ve always been a little confused about the redshirt process. I was under the impression that once you redshirted, you couldn’t play that year? I always hear different things though and I would love if you could clarify that for me, thanks.

    • You cannot get a redshirt until the end of the season. You have to apply for the designation with the NCAA. You can get a redshirt two ways. One time for being healthy and not playing an entire season. One time (medical redshirt) for being injured and missing an entire season or (I believe) 80% of a season.

      A player like Jeremy Brown can get a second medical redshirt by waiver if a second injury keeps them out an entire season.

      A player that is “redshirted” at the beginning of – or early into – a season is simply one that is purposely not being played by the coaching staff to preserve his eligibility. He does not get the actual redshirt designation until after the season is over.

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