Early Entry Review: Baugh ‘wows’ Gator Nation in Orange & Blue Game

True freshman Jadan Baugh has made a case for early playing time

by Alyssa Britton-Harr

Please Read: Welcome to the new-look Inside the Gators

Jadan Baugh is a freshman running back from Atlanta, Georgia, who embarked on his journey as an early enrollee for the Gators during the spring season.

As a four-star prospect Baugh’s versatility on the field not only made him a highly-ranked prospect—he was the No. 24 rated running back in the country—but also allowed him to adapt quickly to the Gators team within his first few months on campus.

When adjusting to playing a sport from high school to the collegiate level, many adjustments have to be made to make the player more successful in the realm of prominent athletes. Part of this adjustment is working with the strength and conditioning staff to improve their bodies.

“His body looks incredible, and he has definitely made an adjustment between high school and college,” Columbia head football coach Greg Barnett said. “He has taken his lifts more seriously and nutrition as he is more conscious of his weight and what his body looks like.”

Baugh weighed 237 when he enrolled at UF, and has since become leaner and stronger through his time in the program. In high school, the freshman played both football and basketball, meaning he had to adjust his conditioning depending on the time of the year and what sport was in season.

“He fits the build of an SEC running back already,” Barnett said. “This has been the only time in his career where he has had a chance to focus solely on one sport and with that one position.”

In high school, Baugh was versatile on the field. He played multiple positions, which required him to acquire many different movements and tangables along the way.

“By him coming down to Florida, specifically working with running backs coach Jabbar Juluke at the running back position, I can definitely see an improvement in his game,” Barnett said. “He has definitely let that show at practice.”

“True freshman running back Jadan Baugh has what looks like an SEC ready body already. He is as thick through the hips and thighs as any back on the team not named Cam Carroll. He is also pretty fluid for his size (listed at 237-pounds).”

Inside the Gators Spring Practice Observations

Baugh played on the Orange team in the Gators’ annual Orange and Blue game. In his first performance in the Swamp, the freshman had a couple of standout plays.

“I’ve been watching and coaching him since his freshman year, so that’s nothing new for me,” Barnett said. “I know he has the talent to go out and get the job done; he’s just all about an opportunity, and when it presents itself, you go ahead and knock it out of the park.”

Jadan is a humble kid but he’s also hungry, Barnett said. His goal is to play, and his dream is to eventually make it to the NFL.

Through the strength and conditioning program, working to get his body right and be healthy, the freshman has already made a name for himself in the running back room. He talks about his teammates and the discussions they have amongst each other, Barnett said. When his name and number are called, he will be ready.

Among the freshman class, Baugh has become close with quarterback DJ Lagway and running back KD Daniels, both of whom came in with him at the start of spring.

“Even when we communicate, KD Daniels is either always close by or around him, so he does talk about his teammates a lot,” Barnett said. “I see them reposting each other a lot on social media. Jadan is a selfless guy and a good team player.”

For many freshmen coming from high school, one of the huge factors is adjusting to the pace of the game at the collegiate level. Jadan is that one percenter who can make adjustments on the fly. At 18 years old, he already has the body type of an SEC running back and is adjusting well, Barrett said.

Described as a well-rounded player with a diverse skill set, understanding the playbook and the concepts is the main focus. Coach Barnett explained that much of the work that Baugh is doing at Florida is similar to what he had already been doing at Columbia High School.

“He is doing a great job of adjusting, learning, and asking questions,” Barnett said. “Coach Juluke reaches out to me often and gives feedback on the good and bad aspects of what he needs to improve on.”

One of Coach Juluke’s remarks about Jadan is that he needs to work on pass protection, especially with big, fast, and strong defensive ends and tackles, and learn where he needs to be to stay protected.

“Jadan is a student of the game and is extremely competitive; he wants to be great,” Barnett said. “Being around him for a long time, I know he soaks up a lot of information, and he will go out and apply what he has learned.”

His strengths stem from understanding all game attributes and putting himself in the coach or players’ position to understand their next move. He would watch film with me and put himself in my brain, diving into the game plan, allowing him to play much faster, Barrett said.

Coach Napier told Jadan what his expectations were when he came to UF and had his in-home visit, and everything he said, he’s pretty much held up his end of the bargain,” Barnett said. “As long as that keeps happening, they are going to get the best player out of Jadan Baugh.”

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  1. I went with my UGA wife to the Ga Spring game and Etienne looks smaller than he did last year. Really quick but did not break a single tackle. If he didn't want to be here, good ridence. I hope Pup Howard goes "Brandon Spikes on Knoshon Mareno" on him when we play in Jax.

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