Gators in 2014 class will get opportunities to play early
With the departure of several key defensive players, and an offensive line decimated due to graduation, the Gators' 2014 class will have opportunities to see early playing time.
On Wednesday, coach Will Muschamp announced that S Cody Riggs had asked for and been granted the ability to transfer, and will leave the program at the end of the semester. The Gators will also be without DL Dominique Easley; DL Damien Jacobs; DL Ronald Powell; CB Loucheiz Purifoy, CB Marcus Roberson and DB Jaylen Watkins.
That's a lot of spots to fill, especially at DB, and Muschamp said his track record proves he won't hesitate to use freshman if they prove they can handle the job.
"To me they're going to have plenty of opportunities," he said. "They need to step in and make plays. Our track record speaks for itself. You know, you look at Marcus Roberson and Pop Saunders and a lot of guys that we've played as freshmen. Aaron Williams when I was at Texas played. Gideon (Ajagbe), Earl Thomas. So those guys, we'll be ready to go. We got 29 practices in August, and our players will do a very good job this summer of managing those guys."
One of the Gators' top players this past season was freshman DB Vernon Hargreaves. Muschamp said that's an example of his willingness to put talented players on the field no matter what age.
"You know, you look at Vernon Hargreaves, one of the better leaders on our football team, and I certainly see his leadership ability in the off season program," Muschamp said. "So I think that we'll be fine. I think, again, the way I go back and look at it, I like to coach guys that are really, really talented and maybe a little green on the experience side than the other ones. So we'll coach the ones that are really good."
OL Jon Halapio, OL Jonotthan Harrison OL Kyle Koehne QB Tyler Murphy; WR Solomon Patton; K Brad Phillips,