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Gator Report

Antonya English

Receivers falling short in early spring drills



GAINESVILLE - After five spring practices, UF coach Urban Meye still has serious concerns about his receiving corps and how its progressing.

The Gators are trying to replac Louis Murphy, Percy Harvin, Cornelius Ingram, and for now, Riley Cooper, who is skipping spring drills to play baseball.

Meyer said it's become evident quickly how large a void exists without those players.

"We're just struggling,'' he said following Wednesday's practice. "We've just got to do a better job. . .  Offensive football, any scheme or any unit, if you take three good players out, we took really four with CI, but you took Cooper out, you took Harvin out, you took Murphy out -  really good players. Those are three guys that are going to be playing in the NFL. Cooper could. He could be a high pick. So you take those guys out, then you say let's go play.''

While senior David Nelson and junior TE Aaron Hernandez return with significant experience, others like Deonte Thompson are being asked to step from role players to impact players; while freshmen like Desmond Parks, are just struggling to learn the system. All combined, the transition hasn't necessarily been smooth. And while Meyer is dissappointed, he's not resigned.

"We'll be alright,'' he said. "We'll get them going. They are talented guys. We've jut got to get more out of them.''


- The staff is also concerned about the lack of depth at defensive line. With Gainesville native Earl Okine moving inside, four defensive ends remain, which Meyer said isn't nearly enough.

- If the season were to start today, Marcus Gilbert would be the starting right tackle, Meyer said, based on his performance so far.

- Both Mike and Maurkice Pouncey were held out of practice again.

- Quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler said the work he's doing on the mechanics of Tim Tebow and John Brantley are no different than other quarterbacks he's worked with, including Tom Brady. "Regardless of what quarterback I had . .  you're constantly trying to work on fundamentals and improve.''



[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:52pm]


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