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Florida Gators developing backup quarterbacks

GAINESVILLE — John Brantley might be the Florida quarterback the nation is watching, but UF coaches will be spending lots of practice time this fall with two guys few have heard of.

Freshman QBs Trey Burton and Tyler Murphy.

Although Brantley will be a first-time starter, he has been in the system three years. The two players vying for the backup job? Not so much.

Burton enrolled at UF in January and has participated in 18 practices. Murphy arrived in June and has practiced three times. So the process to get one — or both — ready has been accelerated.

"We're trying to establish a great backup quarterback right now," QB coach Scot Loeffler said Monday. "It's an every-day process. We have to be prepared if Johnny blows the lace in his shoe, that we can have a guy that can go in there and compete for the SEC championship."

Loeffler said former QB turned TE Jordan Reed might be at quarterback for a few plays this season.

FINLEY'S CHANGE: Sophomore Dee Finley's switch from safety to linebacker began a little shaky, but LB coach D.J. Durkin said Finley is showing good signs at linebacker.

"It's been great," Durkin said of Finley's early fall camp. "It was a little slow going through spring ball, but once we got about halfway through, he started to pick it up and go. He's put himself in a position right now to compete for a job and help us."

FSU: Receivers progress

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said that his youthful receiving corps, which just lost standout Jarmon Fortson (dismissed), is still inconsistent but he insists that "there's plenty of talent there" to be a standout group.

That includes freshmen Christian Green (Tampa Catholic), Kenny Shaw, Greg Dent and Jarred Haggins. He added that for Green and Haggins, who played a lot of quarterback in high school, it might take a bit more time to make the transition.

"They're going to be a very good group (overall)," he said.

Andrews visits: Former defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews enjoyed a visit to practice and said he is enjoying time with his family.

LB Vince Williams said: "I thought he was going to start coaching."

JUCO bound: Signee DT Damien Jacobs, who hasn't been cleared by the NCAA, is heading to East Mississippi Community College. "I don't want to bring him now and start his clock and then have him ruled ineligible," Fisher said.

UM: Defense strong

CORAL GABLES — The defense stood out as Miami wore full pads for the first time in a two-hour practice. The line pressured the quarterbacks and limited the running game, and DT Micanor Regis was a key when the defense held the offense out of the end zone on a goal-line drill.

UCF: DE Green commits

ORLANDO — DE Deion Green, a 6-3, 215-pound senior at Edgewater High, committed to UCF. He is on track to graduate early and plans to enroll in January. Green, rated No. 1 on the Orlando Sentinel's list of Central Florida defensive end prospects, also considered offers from USF, Northwestern and Iowa State and was close to choosing Rutgers.

Times staff writer Brian Landman contributed to this report, which used information from the Orlando Sentinel.

Florida Gators developing backup quarterbacks 08/09/10 [Last modified: Monday, August 9, 2010 9:12pm]
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