Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is not injured, Urban Meyer says
The persistent rumors aside, Florida coach Urban Meyer said Saturday morning that his star quarterback is healthy and his practice time has been limited by design.
“Tim Tebow has not missed practice at all,’’ Meyer said. “He has been held out of live situations against the defense, mostly to get (backup quarterback) Johnny Brantley reps. His lower back was a little sore and there’s no disc issue, and he’s full speed Monday. He’s fine, 100 percent.’’
Senior LB Brandon Spikes and Jermaine Cunningham have also been held out of some live drills.
“That’s what you do this time of year,’’ Meyer said. “We’re good. Everybody is 100 percent healthy. We are a pretty healthy team.’’
Meyer said holding veterans out of practice isn't unusual this time of year.
"It's been that way for 80, 90 years, something like that,'' he said. "Same as spring practice, when you get year the end of spring practice your four-and five-year starter guys you put them on the shelf. . . . I've seen
enough. I want to see those other guys play.''
In other practice news:
BRANTLEY NEARLY READY: Meyer said Brantley has made significant strides recently.
Johnny has taken a lot of snaps the last few days, and he's really made a lot of progress," Meyer said. "He's close to being a quarterback. And I like his attitude.''
SECURING THE RUNNING GAME: The Gators closed out camp believing they have made significant progress in finding a solid running back – by committee – using Emmanuel Moody, Brandon James, Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps.
“We’re not blessed with a big, 225-pound back, but we’re blessed with a 10.0, 10.1 and a 10.3 ,’’ Meyer said. If I had had to choose, I kind of like the fast. But you’d like to have a big back, too.’’
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY: If the Gators are unfortunate enough to lose Spikes, his first backup at MLB most likely would be Ryan Stamper, but again the Gators have depth and options, including Jelani Jenkins, Brendan Beal and Jon Bostic. Bostic has been hampered by a sore neck, but is in a battle for the backup job. Jenkins has been slowed by a hip flexor.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It was like nothing I've ever seen before. The Devil was out there every day. He was standing right next to Urban.'' - Safety Will Hill on the intensity of the Gators' fall camp, including the brutal daily heat.
FINAL WORD: "Our goal was to make this the most difficult camp there was, and I think we've done that,'' Meyer said."I wanted to make it hard camp and build some chemistry on the team. We've accomplished that mission, now we've got to get game-ready. We're not game-ready yet.''