GAINESVILLE — The Florida Gators held their media day Thursday, one day before they open preseason camp in advance of their Aug. 24 opener against Miami. A few quick notes:
Offensive lineman Noah Banks is “on track” to report to camp and practice with the team after missing spring ball with health issues. He played in 12 games last year (and started against Idaho). Given the fact that UF must replace four starters on the offensive line, Banks’ availability would be a huge boost.
Coach Dan Mullen said Banks spent a lot of extra time in the offseason with strength coach Nick Savage to get into shape.
“It is great for us to have him back,” Mullen said. “I know that one of the main reasons we recruited him is looking at our roster and knowing that you're going to be in this situation he was going to be a critical part of the team and getting him healthy, being able to make sure that he's healthy to contribute is huge for us.”
Three-star receiver Dionte Marks has reported to camp, leaving only two members of the 2019 recruiting class who haven’t yet joined the program. One of them, four-star receiver Arjei Henderson, is finishing up academic work but is expected to be at UF this weekend. The final one, four-star offensive lineman Wardrick Wilson, remains sidelined as the Bahamas native goes through the legal process.
While the offensive line is UF’s biggest question mark, Mullen said he’s most interested in seeing the progress from his quarterbacks when practice begins.
“I mean, to me that’s always the biggest one is your progress at the quarterback position, especially coming back over the summer because those are the guys that I want to see have developed and put a lot of extra work in over the summer at that position,” Mullen said. “That gets to the timing of routes, say, hey, we should be able to go out there, I should be able to put a blindfold on you and tell you who the receiver is and you can go throw the 10 yard out cut, that type of deal. That’s how in tune you are with your receivers.”
We’ll have more from UF later today and in the coming days.