Gators prepare to begin spring football
Florida will begin spring football camp on Wednesday and the Gators will be looking to revamp their offense with a new offensive coordinator, Brent Pease) and a new offensive line coach, Tim Davis.
Here are a few key things to know:
INJURY UPDATES: CB Jeremy Brown (knee); DT Dominique Easley (ACL); Marcus Roberson (neck); Neiron Ball (ruptured blood vessel); OL Cole Gilliam (shoulder); DE Kedric Johnson (shoulder); OL Tommy Jordan (shoulder); Lerentee McCray (shoulder), OL Ian Silberman (shoulder)
Florida coach Will Muschamp said Easley is ahead of schedule, but will not participate in spring drills. He said McCray still has some lasting effects from the hit he took in the Georgig game and probably could go through spring, but there is no reason to put his senior season in jeopardy. Roberson has been cleared, but not for contact, so he will only be involved in walk‑throughs and things like that, no practice. Silberman underwent surgery on his shoulder last week, but is expected to ready to play in August. Ball has been cleared for physical activity but not for practice.
QB BATTLE IS OPEN: John Brantley is gone, and what returns are two sophomores with little experience. Jeff Driskel was viewed as the heir apparent when fall camp opened last August, but an ankle injury the week leading into what would have been his first start (due to Brantley’s injury) derailed him the rest of the season. Jacoby Brissett played in eight games and was 18-of-39 for 206 yards and four interceptions and two TD’s. Driskel played in five games, going 16-of-34 for 148 yards and two interceptions. The starting job is up for grabs.
"Obviously we have a quarterback battle going into spring,'' Muschamp said. "Jeff and Jacoby will split reps, and we'll name a starter when we're ready. Whether that's spring, summer, fall camp I, don't know. We would like to declare a starter and move forward with it, but we'll name that when it's ready. And obviously Brent does an outstanding job with the quarterbacks, and we will evaluate that, he and I, as far as what's best for our football team. We want to name a starter, but we're going to do what we need to win games. If we've got to play both guys, we'll play both guys, and we will make that determination as we work through this. But both guys have had good off‑seasons and very pleased with their progress to this point and where we are.''
POSITION CHANGES: Nick Alajajian will move from OL to defensive tackle. "We felt like on the offensive line right now, we needed more depth up front defensively, especially with Dominique not going through spring,'' Muschamp said. "We wanted to give Nick an opportunity to come over and see what he could do on the defensive side of the ball, so we'll see how that works.''
Omarius Hines will play some at TE and in the slot. He will also see limited time ar running back.
BACK, ONCE MORE: Senior LG James Wilson has been granted a sixth-year of eligibility (due to medical hardships). "He'll be back and be slotted in there at left guard,'' Muschamp said. "Really played well for us as the year rolled along, is a physical guy, a guy that's got a little more girth and can get some movement.''