Lack of depth could lead to Matt Patchan in a limited role at tight end
Without a bonafide backup for Florida TE Aaron Hernandez, the Gators may turn to Armwood grad Matt Patchan in certain packages, particularly goal line.
Patchan spent all of last season on the defensinve line, then this past spring returned to the offensive line - the position for which he was recruited.
Florida coach Urban Meyer said TE Desmond Parks has shown great potential, but most likely will redshirt, and none of the others on the roster are currently ready to play. So Patchan could see time in goal line situations similar to the way the Gators used former offensive linemen Phil Trautwein and Jason Watkins, or in a more expanded role if Hernandez became injured.
"I think we look to turn to a guy that's got more experience and is game-ready and Matt Patchan certainly fits that mold,'' offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said. "He's a 6-foot-7, fast guy. He can do it all. That's a legitimate candidate.''
Meyer said he doesn't expect the depth situation to resolve itself this season, but it's not like the TE position is utilized much in the traditional sense.
"You can count one hand how many times we play with a true tight end, other than goal line,'' Meyer said. "You saw (Justin( Trattou out there in that situation, so we have connections in that spot. . . That's been a problem here. So we need to recruit a little better and develop the ones we've got. There's not like (another) tight end walking around here that we can put in that spot.''