Florida Gators release 2015 season-opening depth chart for Week 1 vs. New Mexico State

Though things will undoubtedly change for the Florida Gators throughout the 2015 season, especially with players coming back from injury and suspension after Week 1, the team released its depth chart ahead of its season opener against the New Mexico State Aggies on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The contest will be head coach Jim McElwain‘s first with the Gators, and it will all go down inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and air live on the SEC Network.

Here is Florida’s first official depth chart released in nearly nine months.

OFFENSE

QB: 7 Will Grier OR 3 Treon Harris
RB: 21 Kelvin Taylor, 25 Jordan Scarlett OR 32 Jordan Cronkrite
TE: 83 Jake McGee, 80 C’yontai Lewis
WR: 11 Demarcus Robinson, 18 C.J. Worton
WR: 5 Ahmad Fulwood, 81 Antonio Callaway
WR: 4 Brandon Powell 89 Alvin Bailey

LT: 75 Mason Halter, 73 Martez Ivey
LG: 63 Trip Thurman, 52 Travaris Dorsey
C: 54 Cam Dillard, 64 Tyler Jordan
RG: 71 Antonio Riles, 77 Andrew Mike
RT: 70 David Sharpe, 74 Fred Johnson

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Florida Gators 5-star freshman OT Martez Ivey set for surgery (torn meniscus), will miss opener

Five-star freshman offensive tackle Martez Ivey, a gem from the Florida Gators‘ talented 2015 recruiting class and potential starter along the offensive line, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his knee and be sidelined for team’s season opener on Saturday, Sept. 5 (and possibly longer).

Head coach Jim McElwain addressed Ivey’s injury at a post-practice media availability on Thursday. “He’ll be back,” McElwain said. “I don’t know how quickly … but it doesn’t appear to be a season-ending [injury] or anything like that.”

Orlando Sentinel recruiting writer Chris Hays spoke with Ivey’s coach at Apopka High School, James Delgado, who related that Ivey suffered a “slightly” torn meniscus in his left knee that could keep him out of action for 2-4 weeks (1-3 games seeing as the season opener is a week away).

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Florida Gators practice update: Offense using newfound tight end depth to its advantage

Gainesville, Florida, may once again become a bastion of tight end development and production – perhaps as soon as this season – if Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain is to be believed.

McElwain, who was in a suspiciously positive mood for large portions of his media availability Monday, sang the praises of Florida’s tight end corps, led by redshirt senior Jake McGee.

The overly complimentary nature of McElwain’s comments was rare not just for the coach but for anyone speaking about the Gators’ tight end situation over the last few seasons.

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Florida Gators have work to do at running back; Kelvin Taylor leads, evaluates freshmen

Updated at 7 p.m.

The departure of Adam Lane will not make a huge dent in the Florida Gators’ offense as it heads toward a potential rebirth under head coach Jim McElwain, but it does create another depth question for Florida as it enters the 2015 season with a couple positions that could use experienced, productive bodies.

While the running back situation does not rival problems at offensive line and linebacker, the Gators are far from “pretty stocked” at the position. In fact, you could say Florida’s shelf is relatively bare, with one brand-name product and a couple of new labels still hoping to earn market share.

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Florida Gators practice update: Split squad day one leaves plenty to be desired from offense

It would be unfair to expect too much from the Florida Gators on their first day of 2015 fall practice, but head coach Jim McElwain had no problem letting it be known that there are some important areas in which the team needs to improve immediately with so few days to go until the start of the season.

Primarily, McElwain was displeased with how Florida’s quarterbacks and wide receivers looked while running routes on air (without defenders).

“It wasn’t great by any stretch of the imagination,” he said of the chemistry between the two units. “Pitching and catching is the one thing we got to consistently get better at. I think it will. I know it will. But at the same time, that’s something that, especially at those positions, I’m probably a little more critical.

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Two of Florida Gators’ six ‘healthy’ scholarship offensive linemen underwent surgery

Two of the six “healthy” scholarship offensive linemen the Florida Gators will bring into summer workouts underwent surgery early this week.

According to head coach Jim McElwain, who met with the media ahead of a speaking engagement at the Titletown Gator Club in Gainesville, sophomore tackle David Sharpe and redshirt sophomore lineman Antonio Riles each had (relatively) minor surgery following spring practice.

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Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain counters Will Muschamp, calls roster ‘really insufficient’

Will Muschamp was humble when he departed the Florida Gators, but he did not leave without making one definitive statement about what he was leaving behind and how well the team would be positioned entering 2015.

“They’ve got a deep and talented roster, so don’t let that new guy tell you they don’t have any players,” Muschamp warned with a smile last November.

Well, let’s just say that now over three months into his tenure with the Gators, new head coach Jim McElwain does not necessarily agree with Muschamp’s parting statement.

“You’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt and right now, quite honestly, the hand we were dealt is really insufficient at some of the areas,” he said Friday.

McElwain was responding to a question about Florida’s offensive line, which returns just eight scholarship offensive linemen (seven healthy this spring), most of which were relatively inexperienced and had not seen much game action.

But his comments were about other parts of the roster, too, as offensive line is not the only position where depth is a major concern for the Gators. UF entered the spring with three scholarship running backs (one of whom has been moved to wide receiver) and six scholarship linebackers, neither position deep enough for McElwain to be worry-free entering the season.

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Readers’ Choice: Lack of depth at offensive line, linebacker could hurt Florida Gators in 2015

Over five days from March 5-9, OnlyGators.com has handed a guest editor role over to you, the loyal reader. This is the first in five Readers’ Choice posts covering topics you want to know more about concerning the Florida Gators athletics program.

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There is simply no hiding the fact that Florida has massive holes at two important positions on its roster entering the 2015 campaign, ones that will make it difficult for head coach Jim McElwain to turn things around in year one.

The Gators will enter spring practice with eight scholarship offensive linemen on the roster, two of which have NFL potential – sophomore offensive tackles Roderick Johnson (redshirt) and David Sharpe – and another with starting experience in redshirt senior left guard Trip Thurman. The other five have either seen limited action or never stepped on the field.

Though Florida has plenty of bodies immediately across the line of scrimmage on defense, the linebackers backing them up make for an even thinner position group. Returning for his senior season and leading the way is Antonio Morrison, and the steady improvement of junior Jarrad Davis should help mitigate some losses. The other four scholarship players have spent the vast majority of their time on special teams.

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