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…)
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