The Florida Gators are currently in Tampa, FL, preparing for the 2011 Outback Bowl against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Raymond James Stadium on Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. Below are some notes from the players after practice on Monday.
NO CHANGES FOR THE OFFENSE
Florida will once again play three quarterbacks in its offense according to a number of players who were asked Monday about the team’s plans on that side of the ball. Redshirt junior starter John Brantley reaffirmed those statements. “We’re still working Jordan Reed and Trey [Burton] in there. That’s what we’re going to stick with. Who knows what the defense will give us, but we’re going to stick with that and keep practicing and keep trying to execute.” Offensive coordinator Steve Addazio will remain the play caller for the Gators in his final game with the team before leaving to lead Temple as head coach.
BRANTLEY REMAINS UNDECIDED ABOUT FUTURE
Speaking of Brantley, the Gators starting QB has yet to decide one way or another whether or not he will stick around next season. Brantley admitted for the first time after new head coach Will Muschamp’s introductory press conference on Dec. 14 that transferring was a consideration. “I’m still going to sit down with my family after this bowl game,” he said at the time. “I think coach Muschamp is a great coach and he’s going to have a great staff come here. But I’m still going to sit down with my family and talk about things.” His tune did not change Monday. “I haven’t really discussed it with my parents yet,” he said. “I’m really concentrating on playing this bowl game and playing the best against Penn State as I can. […] I’m a Gator. That’s what I am right now. I’m just giving all my effort to the bowl game and just acting like it’s any other bowl game or any other game.”
Asked the same thing numerous other times, Brantley repeatedly said that he would “weigh the pros and cons” of returning and playing in a new offense under Muschamp. He did, however, admit that the fact UF is going pro-style is appealing. “Pro-style offense is what I was looking for,” Brantley said. “And I’m still just gonna go home and talk and weigh the pros and cons with what Coach Muschamp wants to do and everything and go from there.”
For what it’s worth, his teammates do not think he is going anywhere. “I think Brantley’s going to say,” redshirt sophomore wide receiver Omarius Hines said, according to The Gainesville Sun. “I really think so. … [Transferring] went through everybody’s mind because I know it went through mine.”
DEMPS STILL NOT SURE-FOOTED
Junior running back Jeff Demps has yet to fully recover from the stress injury in his foot and probably will not see extensive playing time on Saturday. Nevertheless, he says his foot feels “85 percent” healthy, and he will certainly try his best to give it a go.
FOUR PLAYERS, MCCARNEY WILL BE MISSED
With four players who play extensive minutes set to miss the Outback Bowl, redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Omar Hunter said the team is not overly worried about them being out. “We got some young guys who are going to step up. I got trust in them,” he said. “Some guys got to step up, myself included.” However when it comes to defensive line coach Dan McCarney no longer being with the team (he is now the head coach at North Texas), Hunter feels the void. “I miss coach McCarney. I do,” he said. “It’s just a different voice in your head. I’m not used to not hearing his voice in my head every play, every snap. ‘Omar, get going. Get going. Do this, do that.’”