- This topic has 28 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Zackary Weiss.
- March 4, 2023 at 12:36 pm #32309
Following the first practice of Spring camp, Gators football head coach Billy Napier and select players will speak to the media. Follow along right here for live updates.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:02 pm #32310
Now at the mic: Billy Napier
- March 4, 2023 at 1:04 pm #32311
Napier first and foremost congratulates Tim Walton on 900 career wins, and then says that they understand year 2 expectations.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:05 pm #32312
Napier names Austin Barber, Kingsley Egakun, Montrell Johnson, Trevor Etienne and Ricky Pearsall as guys on the offensive side of the ball who have “stood out to him.”
- March 4, 2023 at 1:06 pm #32313
Napier says he’s not just gonna “flip a coin and hire guys.” Says they’re “making progress in that area” of hiring guys to replace the 3 lost coaches.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:07 pm #32314
On his QB room, Napier says he sees a group that “wants to please” and “works really hard.” Adds that Jack being in year two in this system helps him, but he’s been impressed with how fast Mertz has come along.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:09 pm #32315
On new defensive coordinator Austin Armstrong, Napier says he has the respect of people out there and it wasn’t a difficult decision to put him in the position.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:11 pm #32316
Says the new tight ends coach he hires will “carry a heavy load on offense with the tight ends” and will not have any other responsibilities — such as special teams work.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:12 pm #32317
Napier shouts out freshman Andy Jean, says he showed a lot out there today as a newcomer.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:13 pm #32318
Compares being in year two to living in a new country for the second year, now having learned the language and lived in the new place for a full year.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:14 pm #32319
Napier says the line of scrimmage (both sides) is where he might be most excited about.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:16 pm #32321
Now at the mic: Mark Hocke
- March 4, 2023 at 1:18 pm #32322
Hocke calls year 2 a “blessing,” says that guys are becoming leaders. Says he “loves the look in the guys’ eyes right now.”
- March 4, 2023 at 1:19 pm #32323
Hocke says Shemar James is the guy, if he had to pick one, that’s stood out in the weightroom for his work ethic and how he’s transformed his body.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:20 pm #32324
Hocke says he tries not to think about last season’s results. Calls it “embarrassing.”
- March 4, 2023 at 1:22 pm #32325
“Desmond is a large human, it’s no secret,” Hocke says on Watson. Adds that it’s specifically impressive, though, how “nimble” he is.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:25 pm #32327
Says the offensive line is somewhere change was needed. Says the 3 transfers they got are big canvas’ to work with. Says Goodwin has been great but has strides to make. Calls Mazuka a “bear-knuckle” guy — says will play a physical game up front. Says Dameon George hasn’t been happy with his 2 years in college so far, but is hungry and ready to go.
Adds that wanna be “dominant in the trenches.”
- March 4, 2023 at 1:27 pm #32328
Now at the mic: Jason Marshall Jr.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:28 pm #32329
Marshall says it felt “good” to be out there today and he felt “real comfortable.”
- March 4, 2023 at 1:29 pm #32330
Says without Ventrell (Miller) here, he wants to be more vocal as a vet and leader here.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:31 pm #32332
Says that not having to go through a new dc’s play-calling is “very important” and that Armstrong is a “high energy guy.” Adds that Armstrong is a bit similar to Patrick Toney, but — smiling — also says Armstrong’s energy is just always super high.
“Bouncing off the walls.”
- March 4, 2023 at 1:32 pm #32333
Says he’s “real confident” about the DB room and that he believes they can be the #1 secondary in the nation.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:35 pm #32335
Now at the mic: Austin Barber
- March 4, 2023 at 1:36 pm #32336
Barber says he’s taking first-team reps at left tackle right now, and that he thinks that’s where he’ll stay.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:38 pm #32337
Barber says the new guys on the OL are going through what he went though when he first got here, but that they’re putting in the work. Says he’s “not gonna lie” and that they “make him look small.”
- March 4, 2023 at 1:40 pm #32339
On Graham Mertz, Barber says he’s in the facility 24/7. Says when he gets to the stadium, Mertz’s car is already here. When he leaves, it still is.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:42 pm #32342
Says Mertz and him went and played golf recently. Adds that Mertz is just a genuinely good guys. “One of the boys.”
On Mertz’s golf ability: “No comment.”
- March 4, 2023 at 1:42 pm #32343
Says it “sucks” sitting on a 6-7 season. Says he’s just focused on this coming season and isn’t thinking about that anymore.
- March 4, 2023 at 1:49 pm #32345
That’s all for today’s media availability and from day 1 of Spring camp.
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