Gators in search of valuable dozen
His defensive line is stocked with more depth than he's had in his three-year tenure at UF, but Florida assistant coach Dan McCarney remains on a serious mission.
He needs to find about a dozen good players, and fit them into exactly the right places, by the time the season opens on Sept. 4.
McCarney said following Thursday's first practice that Duke Lemmens and Justin Trattou are his two best starting defensive ends, followed by William Green. After that, the competition is wide open.
"We're just working through all those other guys to see who the next ones are,'' McCarney said. "I'd love to have six guys I trust on game day at end and fox. I'd love to have inside at least six guys that I trust on gameday. So when you put it together you're talking about trying to get a dozen guys ready and I'm hoping we can do that.''
McCarney said he's closer to finding his top players at tackle than he is at defensive end, and lack of practice time is one of the culprits.
"It's just a matter of getting everybody out there practicing at the same time,'' McCarney said. "We've had some nicks and small things, no major injuries thank goodness. But when a guy doesn't practice you can't evaluate him. If he doesn't practice, he can't move up the depth chart. Hopefully most of these guys will get back to practice soon.''
Senior Lawrence Marsh has been hampered by a hamstring injury, and should return to practice in the next couple of days. Brandon Antwine and Terron Sanders are both practicing, but are coming off major injuries to the shoulder and knee respectively.