Florida Gators 2013 opening week depth chart

Game Week – Monday: LB Antonio Morrison’s Suspension Reduced | RT Chaz Green Out for Season, RB Matt Jones Set for Miami | New Mr. Two Bits, Muschamp on Tight Ends, Season Opener

Though things could still change over the next five days, the Florida Gators on Monday morning released the team’s first official depth chart for the 2013 season.

Florida omitted players that are not participating in the season opener due to injury or suspension; therefore, the depth chart below is an “active” version rather than a “best-case scenario” version. Notations marked with (») can be found below certain positions.

OnlyGators.com will update this post shortly with additional details and thoughts from head coach Will Muschamp‘s Monday press conference.

OFFENSE

QB: 6 Jeff Driskel, 3 Tyler Murphy
RB: 33 Mack Brown, 37 Mark Herndon, 10 Valdez Showers
» 24 Matt Jones is not playing on Saturday.
FB: 43 Hunter Joyer, 25 Gideon Ajagbe
WR (X): 1 Quinton Dunbar, 11 Demarcus Robinson
WR (Z): 83 Solomon Patton, 5 Ahmad Fulwood, 85 Chris Thompson
» 13 Latroy Pittman and 4 Andre Debose (out for season) knocked out of Z.
F Position: 8 Trey Burton, 13 Latroy Pittman, 30 Mike McNeely
TE: 88 Clay Burton, 87 Tevin Westbrook, 84 Colin Thompson
» 18 Kent Taylor not on the three-deep.

LT: 70 D.J. Humphries, 76 Max Garcia
» 74 Trenton Brown no longer the back-up to Humphries.
LG: 76 Max Garcia, 63 Trip Thurman
» 77 Ian Silberman no longer the back-up to Garcia.
C: 72 Jonotthan Harrison, 64 Kyle Koehne
RG: 64 Kyle Koehne, 77 Ian Silberman
» 67 Jon Halapio is not playing Saturday; Thurman moved to left guard.
RT: 73 Tyler Moore, 74 Trenton Brown
» 75 Chaz Green is out for the season; Brown moved to right tackle.

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Florida Gators 2013 post-spring depth chart

Below is the 2013 post-spring practice version of the Florida Gators depth chart. Though some fans will be excited to see where the team stacks up below, head coach Will Muschamp cautions each year that feeling that way is not worth the energy.

Muschamp makes it quite clear that he does not put a lot of stock into depth charts, even those that are published after spring practice is over. In fact, back in 2011 and again on Wednesday, he stated it is “not worth the paper it is printed on.” In other words, the depth chart seen here is just a starting-off point for 2013 and plenty can change between now and the start of the season.

Nevertheless, below is the depth chart as it was presented on April 24. Notations marked with (») denote changes from the pre-spring depth chart released March 12. Players marked with (*) were out for all or most of spring practice.

OGGOA will update this post with more from Muschamp shortly.

OFFENSE

QB: 6 Jeff Driskel, 10 Tyler Murphy
» Murphy inches ahead of 17 Skyler Mornhinweg for the No. 2 job.
RB: 24 Matt Jones, 33 Mack Brown
» Brown understandably inches ahead of freshman 21 Kelvin Taylor.~
FB: 43 Hunter Joyer, 25 Gideon Ajagbe
» Ajagbe wins the second-string job over 29 Rhaheim Ledbetter.
WR (X): 1 Quinton Dunbar, 11 Demarcus Robinson
WR (Z): 13 Latroy Pittman, 4 Andre Debose, 83 Solomon Patton
» Debose switches from second X to second Z receiver though the players switch in those positions. Pittman takes over the top spot at Z from 15 Loucheiz Purifoy.
F Position: 8 Trey Burton, 13 Latroy Pittman
TE: 88 Clay Burton, 87 Tevin Westbrook OR 18 Kent Taylor OR 84 Colin Thompson

~ Muschamp on Brown edging past Taylor: “You’re not going to get through the SEC with one back. That’s not going to happen. Certainly Mack has distanced himself as a second-team back at this time, a guy that we’ve got a lot of confidence in, that we expect big things form in the fall to continue to progress. I think he’s done a nice job of running the football, and protections, catching the ball, finishing plays. Kelvin certainly has done some nice things and he needs to continue to progress – more than anything- mentally with the offense. Physically, he’s got some ability.”

LT: 70 D.J. Humphries, 74 Trenton Brown
LG: 76 Max Garcia, 77 Ian Silberman*
C: 72 Jonotthan Harrison, 64 Kyle Koehne
RG: 67 Jon Halapio, 63 Trip Thurman*
RT: 73 Tyler Moore OR 75 Chaz Green*
» Brown (an incoming JUCO transfer) replaces Thurman, who moves from back-up LT to back-up RG. Silberman replaces Koehne at back-up LG.

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Florida Gators 2013 spring practice depth chart

Readers may be excited to take a first look at the Florida Gators 2013 spring practice depth chart (see below). Don’t be. As he explained in each of his first two springs with the program, head coach Will Muschamp repeated Wednesday that he does not put a lot of stock in the spring’s first depth chart. In fact, back in 2011, he said it is “not worth the paper it is printed on.” In other words, the depth chart below is just a starting-off point for 2013 and plenty can change between now and the start of the season. Nevertheless, below is the depth chart as it was presented on March 12.

“Obviously we gave you a depth chart. I know it’s just the most critical thing that’s going to happen in the next 12 months of your year,” Muschamp said Tuesday.

RELATED: Muschamp, Pease on offense | Muschamp, Durkin on defense, team

Florida omitted players who are injured and not participating at all in spring practice. A list of those players can be found at the end of this post.

OFFENSE

QB: 6 Jeff Driskel, 10 Tyler Murphy, 17 Skyler Mornhinweg
RB: 24 Matt Jones, 33 Mack Brown, 21 Kelvin Taylor
FB: 43 Hunter Joyer, 29 Rhaheim Ledbetter* OR 25 Gideon Ajagbe*
WR (X): 1 Quinton Dunbar, 4 Andre Debose, 11 Demarcus Robinson
WR (Z): 15 Loucheiz Purifoy*, 88 Solomon Patton^, Raphael Andrades
F Position: 8 Trey Burton, 13 Latroy Pittman, 30 Mike McNeely
TE: 88 Clay Burton, 87 Tevin Westbrook, 18 Kent Taylor, 84 Colin Thompson

LT: 70 D.J. Humphries, 63 Trip Thurman
LG: 76 Max Garcia, 64 Kyle Koehne
C: 72 Jonotthan Harrison, 64 Kyle Koehne
RG: 67 Jon Halapio^, 64 Kyle Koehne
RT: 73 Tyler Moore, 98 Quinteze Williams*

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Gators 2013 Spring Football Preview: Defense

Spring practice for the Florida Gators football program begins on Wednesday, March 13 and lasts for 15 practices concluding with the 2013 Orange & Blue Debut spring game on Saturday, April 6 at 1 p.m. Below is the second half of OGGOA‘s new two-part series that takes a look at the team on a position-by-position basis.

PART ONE: Offense

DEFENSIVE TACKLES
Returning starters (0/2): None
Fresh faces: Junior Darious Cummings, redshirt freshman Quinteze Williams

The Gators have plenty of holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball and it will be up to new defensive line coach Brad Lawing and assistant defensive line coach Bryant Young to figure out how to plug up the middle. With Sharrif Floyd set to become a top-five pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and Omar Hunter finally graduating after five years at the school, Florida will be looking to replace both of its starters. Senior Damien Jacobs, a junior college transfer who played in 12 games during his first season with the Gators, likely has the edge for one of the jobs but will still go up against Cummings (a 2013 JUCO transfer from the same school as Jacobs), Williams and redshirt junior Leon Orr, all of whom will compete for the two positions.

DEFENSIVE ENDS
Returning starters (1/2): Senior Dominique Easley
Fresh faces: Redshirt freshman Bryan Cox, Jr., redshirt freshman Alex McCalister, freshman Joey Ivie

Easley started all 12 regular season games at defensive tackle in 2011 and will be used inside some in 2013 despite starting 11 games at defensive end last season. His flexibility leaves the door open for a number of other players to make an impact. Sophomore Jonathan Bullard earned a pair of starts in 2012 and got rave reviews from the coaching staff; he is next in line to start and/or see major field time as a pure defensive end. McCalister, who won three Scout Team Player of the Week awards and was named Most Valuable Defensive Scout Team Member at the team banquet in Dec. 2012, was praised by head coach Will Muschamp at the end of the season.

Florida’s defense also features a Buck, which can line up with his hand in the dirt as a defensive end or upright as a linebacker. (For the purpose of this feature, Buck has been included in this position group.) Redshirt junior Ronald Powell was praised as much as any member of the team in the 2012 offseason but wound up missing the entire campaign with consecutive ACL tears. Lerentee McCray started in his place but graduated after his redshirt senior season. Though Powell will not participate in spring practice, he will retake his role as starter in the summer assuming he is medically cleared. He will be joined by sophomore Dante Fowler, Jr. – Powell’s heir apparent – and McCalister.

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9/3: Muschamp wraps opener, looks to Texas A&M

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to review his team’s 27-14 victory over the Bowling Green Falcons in the season opener for both squads on Saturday. He also discussed the game ahead this week as Florida will travel to College Station, TX to face the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

PLAYER AWARDS

Offensive Player of the Game: senior running back Mike Gillislee
Scrap Iron: senior left tackle Xavier Nixon
Defensive Player of the Game: senior Mike linebacker Jon Bostic
Ball Hawk: sophomore cornerback Marcus Roberson
Scout Team Players of the Week: junior offensive lineman Max Garcia, freshman walk-on RB Mark Herndon, freshman walk-on defensive lineman Dakota Wilson

INJURY UPDATES

Junior long snapper Drew Ferris broke his clavicle (collarbone) and is out indefinitely. [Story]

Redshirt junior tackle Matt Patchan, who was ruled out of Saturday’s game with a strained pectoral, will miss the next game as well.

“I know he’s doing everything he can do to get back,” Muschamp said of Patchan. “I know that the rehab is going well. Everything has been very positive on that end, positive from him. He’s further ahead than we thought [he would be]. We though originally four weeks, now we’re kind of edging that back a little bit. I don’t know. We’re hoping to get him back. I know Matt’s frustrated. I’m frustrated for him because he’s worked extremely hard; he had a really good offseason. I hope it’s not that much longer. We need to get him back. He’s a good football player and he can help our team.”

PREPARING FOR TEXAS A&M

Suffice to say that Muschamp is impressed with Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin and the up-tempo offense he is bringing in his first season with the team. He noted that Sumlin likes to use quick screens to enhance the run game and hopes that the Gators do not get frustrated with that like they did against the Falcons.

“They’re going to get as many snaps as they can get,” he said. “They will give you the illusion of a lot of throwing, but they’re going on run the football.”

Florida will not have the greatest opportunity to prepare for Texas A&M this week considering their opponent’s season opener was postponed due to the threat of Hurricane Issac. Muschamp feels like the Gators are at an advantage going in with a game under their collective belt but admits that the team could be a bit unprepared for what the Aggies will do offensively.

“We are in a little bit of a guessing game from the standpoint of them not playing, but that’s always with the first game,” he explained. “You go through that as a coach, and you kind of go through into it when you go into a bowl game and you have that much time off with some different wrinkles that they may give you.”

Bostic said he thinks Florida will be fine as long as the defense concentrates on the game plan and focuses on the players on the field in front of them.

“We have to be sound on our assignments. The first quarter may be a little rough, but we have to make sure everybody is paying attention, paying attention on the sidelines when we get back so when we do make our adjustments in the first quarter everybody is together,” he said.

Read the rest of what Muschamp had to say Monday about Florida’s first game including issues with discipline and adding more creativity on offense.
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Florida long snapper Ferris out indefinitely

Florida Gators junior long snapper Drew Ferris broke his collarbone during the team’s season opener on Saturday and is out of action indefinitely, head coach Will Muschamp officially announced on Monday.

Ferris, who snapped the ball to punter Kyle Christy with about two minutes remaining in the game, hustled 39 yards down the field to play coverage following Christy’s strike. The punt wound up being muffed, which gave Ferris the opportunity to retrieve the fumble and begin running with the ball before being tackled and injured. He was unable to move his left shoulder and was helped off of the field after a few minutes.

Losing Ferris, who played every down as the starting long snapper on the punt and field goal teams in 2011 (13 games), is a big blow for Florida, which will now turn to second-stringer redshirt freshman Kyle Crofoot.

Crofoot, whose brother John is a redshirt junior holder and kicker on the Gators, did not play in his first season with the team. He did serve as a long snapper in high school and has been working at the position throughout the offseason.

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9/1: Muschamp, players discuss season opener

No. 23 Florida Gators football (1-0) struggled a bit but eventually pulled away from the Bowling Green Falcons (0-1) on Saturday afternoon in the season opener for both teams at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL. After the game head coach Will Muschamp and a handful of players discussed what occurred on the field.

MUSCHAMP’s OPENING STATEMENT

“It was good to get a win. We had some situations in the first half that killed ourselves offensively with again a couple of penalties. It put us behind in the sticks a little bit. I thought we ran the ball very well against a team that was loading the box. And we weren’t run-checking. I told Brent, ‘Run it.’ We need to develop toughness in our program and what we are trying to do. Obviously on my part [I was] probably a little hard-headed at times. [...] Pleased with the win but obviously, looking at the game and studying the tape, we did some things that we need to tie up as far as creating some plays down the field offensively, which I think the run game will do for us. [...] We just need to go back and work at it. We got a long season in front of us.”

HAS A STARTING QUARTERBACK BEEN CHOSEN?

Despite seeing the field for the vast majority (10-of-13) of the drives including all eight in the second half, sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel was not officially named the starter by Muschamp after the game.

“I haven’t made that decision,” he said. “We felt like Jacoby [Brissett] did a good job. There was nothing he wasn’t doing. I felt like the rhythm of the game dictated that we were going to need some pocket movement as far as some boots and nakeds and moving the pocket. I felt like Jeff gave us that better opportunity.”

Muschamp said the coaching staff was trying to be fair to everybody which is why Driskel got the first quarter and Brissett the second. He added that Driskel seeing the field more was not indicative of any decision and that a conversation with offensive coordinator Brent Pease on Sunday will be the next step he will take in coming to a conclusion.

He also explained why both signal callers were on the field for the first play of the game with Brissett behind center and Driskel out at wide receiver.

“I thought they both deserved to start the game,” he said. “I just felt like both of them deserved to start based on their training camp being two of our better players on the offensive side of the ball; they both deserved to trot out there and start the game. And that is what we came up with.”

Read the rest of this post for notes on the running game, penalties and numerous other occurrences during the contest…after the break!
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Gillislee runs Florida past Bowling Green 27-14

The 2012 season opener was not as much of a statement game as the No. 23 Florida Gators (1-0) hoped it would be despite the fact that the home team scored the final 13 points of the contest to earn a 27-14 victory over the Bowling Green Falcons (0-1) on Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

Florida jumped on the back of senior running back Mike Gillislee, who rushed a career-high 24 times for a career-high 148 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel, who played the majority of the game under center for UF, added the other big score for the Gators on a 50-yard touchdown pass to redshirt senior wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr. in the fourth quarter. He finished 10/16 for 114 yards and a touchdown, also taking three carries for 24 yards.

Head coach Will Muschamp surprised the crowd when Driskel and sophomore QB Jacoby Brissett were both on the field for the first offensive snap of the game. Brissett took the feed from the center with Driskel out wide but hurried off the field after handing the ball off, leaving the first two series to Driskel.

Bowling Green would strike first, ending a 12-play, 89-yard drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown by RB John Pettigrew. QB Matt Schilz completed seven-of-eight passes on the drive as the Falcons easily drove the ball down the field.

After the Gators committed two penalties on Driskel’s first series, he returned and led Florida on a 13-play, 85-yard drive that was concluded by a 15-yard touchdown by Gillislee. The Gators handed it off 11 times on the drive with Driskel only attempting (and completing) two passes but nevertheless tied the contest with 9:29 left in the first half.

Florida’s defense stepped up in a big way on the next two Bowling Green drives, forcing the Falcons into consecutive three-and-outs including a shanked 16-yard punt that fell out of bounds at their own 38-yard line.

The Gators took advantage of the miscue on the very next play as Gillislee scampered 38 yards down the right sideline into the end zone to give Florida a 14-7 lead with 5:03 remaining in the half. Brissett led the Gators on the final three drives of the half, including Gillislee’s touchdown, but did not register any additional points.

BGSU threatened at the end of the half, driving 41 yards down the field in 1:13 following a UF punt. However, kicker Stephen Stein missed a 31-yard field goal at the end of the half to send Florida into the locker room with a seven-point lead.

Driskel returned to start the second half but did not succeed in moving the ball much on his first series. The Falcons made the Gators pay by driving 55 yards in eight plays; the possession was capped off by a 12-yard touchdown run from RB Anthon Samuel.

A shanked punt by Bowling Green’s Brian Schmiedebusch, who executed a great fake early in the quarter, gave Florida great field position in the middle of the third, but the Gators were unable to move the ball and settled for a 34-yard field goal by redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis to jump on top 17-14 with 7:42 left in the quarter.

The Falcons once again drove on the Gators, taking the ball 57 yard in 10 plays, but were unable to capitalize as K Stephen Stein missed his second field goal of the game, this one from 29 yards out.

Escaping a dire situation, Florida gave the ball right back to Bowling Green three players later when Driskel and redshirt senior Omarius Hines fumbled a handoff.

Gators sophomore cornerback Marcus Roberson stole the ball three players later when he picked off Schilz on Florida’s 16, returning the ball 31 yards. UF took advantage two plays later when Driskel hit Hammond for the 50-yard score.

The Gators defense took over from there, forcing the Falcons off the field on their next four possessions, one of which included a muffed punt that was recovered by junior long snapper Drew Ferris, who appeared to get injured on the play.

Florida’s running game afforded them two additional field goal opportunities over the duration of the game. Sturgis nailed a 52-yarder with less than nine minutes left but shanked a 27-yarder off the left goal post with 44 seconds remaining.

Penalties were a problem all game for the Gators but especially in the first half as Florida committed 14 total for 106 yards. UF outgained BGSU 365-327 over the course of the game mostly due to rushing for 220 yards as a team thanks to the efforts of Gillislee.

Florida held Bowling Green to 4-of-17 on third downs but allowed the visitors to go 3-for-5 on fourth. The Gators were 5-for-16 and 1-for-2 in the respective situations.

Brissett went 3/5 for 31 yards in limited action. Hammond led the receivers with three receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown and was joined by four other players with at least two receptions.

Redshirt junior WR Andre Debose looked sharp in the return game, registering a 38-yard kickoff return and 32-yard punt return.

The Gators had 5.0 tackles for loss (one sack by junior defensive end Dominique Easley) and won the turnover battle 2-1 thanks to Roberson’s interception and Ferris’s fumble recovery on the muffed punt. Senior Mike linebacker Jon Bostic had a team-high eight tackles (five solo) in the contest.

Florida will look to grow from this experience before they travel to College Station, TX next Saturday to take on Texas A&M at 3:30 p.m. in their host’s first-ever Southeastern Conference game. The contest will air live on ESPN.

Photo Credit: Phil Sandlin/Associated Press

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