Jim McElwain: Florida Gators could play CB Vernon Hargreaves III on offense, too

Junior cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III is unanimously considered the Florida Gators best player entering the 2015 season. As such, head coach Jim McElwain has not been bashful about the fact that he plans to use him on special teams, primarily in the return game. On Friday, he revealed that he may have other plans for Hargreaves as well.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, McElwain noted that the Gators have plays in which Hargreaves will suit up on offense.

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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 practice update: Special teams solidifying in ramp up to 2015 season

With so much confidence in the defense and concern about the offense, little had been learned about Florida Gators football’s special teams unit as it prepared with the rest of the team to enter the 2015 season. For head coach Jim McElwain, who places a premium on special teams and said at the onset of his tenure that he would work closely with that unit, the returns appear to be positive with a week to go until the campaign begins.

Florida’s starters at kicker and punter have been known for quite some time with redshirt junior Austin Hardin and redshirt sophomore Johnny Townsend holding those positions, respectively.

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Coaches name five Florida Gators to 2015 Preseason All-SEC team

Five Florida Gators football players were voted onto 2015 Preseason All-SEC teams on Tuesday, as chosen by the league’s 14 coaches.

Junior cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III led the way for Florida with an All-SEC First Team nod on defense. Hargreaves, a two-time end-of-season All-SEC First Team selection, was the only Gators player to be picked for the first team this time around.

Seniors defensive end Jonathan Bullard and linebacker Antonio Morrison earned spots on the Preseason All-SEC Second Team, while juniors wide receiver Demarcus Robinson and running back Kelvin Taylor were honored with selections to the third team.

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Florida Gators practice update: McElwain worried about disaster, happy with ‘darn good’ scrimmage

Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain was unable to sleep Thursday night. He was worried that Friday’s scrimmage, his first with the team this fall, would be an unmitigated disaster. Luckily, his apprehension only amounted to nerves and not actuality.

“I’ll be quite honest with you: I didn’t sleep last night thinking this could be a disaster, and it actually turned out pretty darn good,” he quipped. “I guess that’s comforting, I don’t know.”

Specifically, McElwain was concerned about how Florida’s freshmen – the Gators will be counting on plenty this season, especially on offense – would hold up in the scrimmage. He was ultimately proud of the way they competed and thought Friday’s effort was positive overall.

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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 secondary looking to prove ‘DBU’ tag is authentic, not arrogant

Plenty was written this offseason about the Florida Gators and LSU Tigers, specifically over which school should be considered “DBU” (in other more words, the best program in the nation at shutting down passing offenses and sending defensive backs to the NFL).

The Gators and Tigers certainly have their own cases about which program has been most successful historically, but Florida is hoping to prove that its secondary is not only head and shoulders above LSU but every other unit in the nation this season.

And no one is a bigger fan of the Gators’ defensive backs than their head coach.

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Antonio Morrison, Martez Ivey, facility changes impressing Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain

Evaluating a head coach before his first season is a difficult and wholly unfair ask. And yet, Jim McElwain – folksy and quiet in public but seemingly ambitious and demanding in private – has left himself open for equal parts praise and criticism, depending whose opinion you seek.

So when the Florida Gators’ new coach took center stage at the 2015 SEC Media Days last Monday, no one expected much to be revealed … and those expectations were met. However, when McElwain went through the ringer known as the ESPN car wash on Tuesday, there was hope that a bit more would be uncovered, especially considering how much news his fellow coaches made one day earlier.

Four live television interviews resulted in four unanswered questions about the Florida quarterback situation, more than four Nick Saban inquiries and plenty of banter that led to little no additional knowledge gained about the Gators. Off camera, though, McElwain cracked open just a tad to Ivan Maisel on his Championship Drive podcast, as Maisel actually asked some relevant, football-related questions with just over a month to go until the 2015 season begins.

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