Defense shines in first spring scrimmage; Meyer somewhat disappointed
The Gators participated in their first scrimmage of the spring on Saturday morning, and the defense was a showcase for old veterans and budding stars.
But overall, Florida coach Urban Meyer wasn't thrilled with what he saw. He wasn't necessarily surprised, either.
"No, I wasn't pleased, but I kind of expected what happened,'' Meyer said. "There are a couple of positions where we're going to have to put an APB out. And the fullback position is one right now.''
Meyer said the staff thrives on putting players in the most competitive situations possible. Spring ball is for solidifying positions and for rising stars to prove their worth, in Meyer's eyes.
The problem on Saturday? It was the players who are expected to play well who actually did.
"It's amazing, you know who made the plays today were David Nelson, Aaron Hernandez, Will Hill - the same guys who made plays for us in the SEC championship game and the national championship game. What we're trying to do is I.D. the guys that maybe haven't made those plays. So I was disappointed today in some spots.''
Currently at fullback, Meyer said T.J. Pridemore, Rick Burgess and Steven Wilks are the ones vying for the position, with the potential of using Hernandez at times.
Desmond Parks may also be relied on to play a role at tight end.
"He's going to have to play because we just don't have another one,'' Meyer said. "Tate Casey had a purpose here last year and really helped us.''
Sophomore Jeff Demps did not participate in the scrimmage because he is also running track and was at a meet.
Meyer said he likes what he's seeing from this team as far as its attitude, including a 7:30 a.m. meeting Saturday.
"It's good,'' he said. "Guys showed up ready to go.''
But there are some concerns.
"The receivers position, fullback and offensive line right now are the weak points in our offense,'' Meyer said. "And our offensive line is weak. (Matt) Patchan's got to get back and James Wilson has got to be a player. It's year three coming up for him. . . The tackle position, that's not the strength right now.''
The team will take Sunday off and resume practice on Monday.
Will Hill sat out the last few minutes of practice with a cut on the left side of his face. Players were not available for interviews on Saturday, but asked as he left the field if he was alright, Hill said, "Yeah, I just got hit.''
Former receiver Louis Murphy briefly attended practice before heading over to Florida Field for a workout with the Miami Dolphins. Percy Harvin was also scheduled to participate in that workout.
The defense came up big in the scrimmage, including several interceptions. Hill and Major Wright were among them.