11/10: Straight from the Gators’ mouths…

By Adam Silverstein
November 10, 2010

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr., redshirt senior tackle Marcus Gilbert, redshirt freshman linebacker Jelani Jenkins and junior cornerback Janoris Jenkins answered questions for the media on Wednesday about a variety of topics concerning the Florida Gators and their upcoming game Saturday against the South Carolina Gamecocks. OGGOA has compiled some of the most important notes and quotes from the gathering.

REDEMPTION FOR ANOTHER OFFENSIVE STARTER

Redshirt junior WR Chris Rainey getting a second chance at Florida has been getting most of the publicity, but what Hammond has done with his renewed opportunity with the team is equally as impressive. As fans may have noticed over the last two games, head coach Urban Meyer has increased Hammond’s playing time so significantly that he is actually considering reducing it overall as not to wear him out.

“With us running the no-huddle, in my opinion, I think as a receiver you should be built for it. We have to keep going and keep going and with this no-huddle offense you have to be up-tempo and you have to be in shape,” Hammond said Wednesday. “We train our tails off during the offseason and during the summer in camp, and this is what we train for. If I have to play 80 plays, I’m up for it.”

He also spoke about Meyer giving him an opportunity to prove himself off scholarship. “I believe I’m pretty fortunate because it was a second chance and right now I’m just taking advantage of it and doing what I can to help the team win,” he said. “It pushes me a lot more knowing I have that on my plate, but I just look at it as a positive and just keep going.” As far as his increased playing time? “Just exciting. I worked my tail off in practice and I’m progressing every week, so to see it happening on the field is definitely a gain and definitely a positive,” Hammond admitted.

CLEANING UP THE DEFENSE

The Gators had serious problems getting off the field against Mississippi State, something that was slightly improved two weeks later against Georgia and a non-issue last week while playing a weak Vanderbilt offense. Je. Jenkins explained Wednesday that not much has been altered with Florida’s defense from scheme perspective; instead the team is simply focusing on sticking to their assignments.

“Not much has changed for the defense,” he said. We’re just cleaning up some things. Against Georgia we weren’t as good as we wanted to be. We haven’t really made adjustments to the defense, we’re just cleaning things up, trying to make it perfect. We had to do a better job getting off on third downs, so we put a lot of emphasis on third downs – getting off the field and getting our offense the ball. Just cleaning up assignments on every play and trying to make it so we can go three-and-out more.”

QUOTES (After the break…)

Hammond on his scholarship status: “I’m not sure what the status is, I’m getting prepared for South Carolina, taking it week-by-week and just getting prepared for the game.”

Hammond on if he has always been a good blocker: “I developed it. I wasn’t always such a great blocker. With me being my size, I have to use the leverage and position to my advantage because most of the time DBs are about 200-215 lbs. Me getting in the perfect spot definitely helps me get on a block when it’s trying to spring a running back or a bubble or anything that comes around my way.”

Gilbert on how the offensive line can improve: “Play together and communicate better, just stick together throughout the game. I think we’ll be fine.”

Gilbert on the offensive line adapting to the no-huddle: “That’s tough because we just started it about two games ago and we never practiced it before.”

Gilbert on learning the no-huddle: “It was tough. It was bad, man.”

Gilbert on Rainey’s improvement: “He’s very mature. He’s a very dynamic player and one of the most dynamic players I’ve ever seen…probably since Percy [Harvin]. He brings a lot to the table, one of the most talented guys in America. I think defenses have to put him in their game plan a lot to try to control him. Having him is an advantage on our side of the ball.”

Je. Jenkins on stopping South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore: “We’re putting a lot of emphasis on tackling and just assignment football. The first person [needs to] wrap him up and then everybody just rally to the ball. Really we just need all 11 guys always rallying to the ball.”

Ja. Jenkins on his technique against bigger receivers: “Get physical and just use my quickness.”

Ja. Jenkins on height of his opponents this week: “It’s just a game. All guys got height. I just go out and play. It don’t matter to me.”

Ja. Jenkins on his best performance this year: “If I had to pick one? I’d say all of them. I feel like I [shut guys down] a lot of times. No specific game. I play my heart out every time I play.”

Ja. Jenkins on how he has become more consistent: “My coaches push me every week, tell me I got to play aggressive and big because I’m not that tall. I just go out and work on my weaknesses and just keep getting better and better as the season go on.”

Ja. Jenkins on if the secondary feels pressure to perform: “As a group we got to go out and play how we know how to play. Communicate and just play football.”

Ja. Jenkins on if he looks forward to match-ups against big-name receivers: “It be exciting because during the week [the media] hype it up, so it be exciting. I just go out and have fun.”

2 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    I be so excited to watch Janoris take on Alshon Jeffery

  2. npgator says:

    It seems like something more than just injured players coming back to play that has turned this season around. The team seems like they are having fun out there and that includes Coach Meyer. I think he looks like he is having more fun this year than those in the past. He knows based on our team’s skill set where we should be and where we should end up. Winning the SEC this year would be incredible and possible.

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