Xavier Nixon may start at LT for Gators on Sat.

By Adam Silverstein
October 28, 2009

Speaking to the press Tuesday, Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer said five-star freshman offensive tackle Xavier Nixon could start (or at least see significant playing time) Saturday afternoon against the Georgia Bulldogs.

“He’s going to be a really good player,” Meyer said of Nixon. “After watching today’s practice, he went against [defensive end] Carlos Dunlap on a few plays, he had his best practice.”

The promotion of Nixon has a lot to do with the play of left guard James Wilson and current left tackle Carl Johnson, who is better suited to play inside. The coaching staff seems to believe moving Johnson back to his more natural position and ousting Wilson from the starting unit could solve some of Florida’s blocking woes that have sprouted up in recent weeks.

Sophomore Matt Patchan, who was expected to compete with Johnson for the left tackle spot and probably would have won it by now, is out for the season with a torn ACL. While playing Nixon could be a fix, does the coaching staff have that much confidence in the freshman to have the first major game of his career come against Georgia?

2 Comments

  1. ReptilesRule says:

    Adam, if you recall, the real turnaround in last years team came in the second half of the Arkansas game with Carl Johnson having been moved to left gaurd because of injury. Suddenly our running attack came alive and both Demps and Rainey had a great game. For the rest of the year, our strength was running over that left side. I was wondering when they were going to figure that out and try to find a way to move Johnson back to LG. Up until now, we just haven’t had the same chemistry on the line…

  2. This is true. At the same time, the team is also experimenting with Sam Robey at center and both Pounceys out as guards. This would not help Johnson at tackle, but it would give him assistance and strength with Pouncey next to him instead of Wilson. I just like the idea of replacing a center even less than replacing a left tackle.

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