Despite a heavy rain falling for most of the morning, the Gators held their second practice of fall camp outdoors on Saturday.
As with Friday’s practice, the players weren’t in pads, and the media only got to see the first 45 minutes of practice. So, these observations and analyses are by no means indicative of what happened over the course of the entire practice.
Thumbs Up: Quarterback Emory Jones appeared to have a pretty good start to his day. The quarterbacks were running a drill in the indoor facility where they had to step over and around some obstacles, keep their eyes up, and hit a target stationed about 20 yards downfield while on the run. Jones was the most accurate, hitting the bull’s-eye at least twice. It’s obviously a lot different when there are receivers and defenders on the field, but it was an encouraging sign for Jones to be as accurate as he was.
Thumbs Down: It’s not very surprising, but freshmen receivers Dionte Marks and Ja’Markis Weston seem to be behind most of the other receivers, including some of the walk-ons. During one period, coach Billy Gonzales had to stop the drill and walk them through how to do it. Marks also had a drop in another drill. Marks just arrived on campus this week, and Weston was viewed as a high-upside project out of high school. They’ve both got a ways to go.
1. It might not be time to give up on Jeremiah Moon after all. The outside linebacker/defensive end has always been an athletic freak, but he’s been a bit too lanky in the past. He’s listed at 232 pounds on the roster now, and he looks noticeably bigger and stronger. He looks more like a defensive end than a linebacker now. For the second straight day, he split reps with the first-string defense with Jonathan Greenard. It looks like the Gators are counting on him to be a major contributor this season.
2. The injury situation was the same as it was Friday. Lloyd Summerall worked off to the side during warm-ups, and Jeawon Taylor was in a red non-contact jersey. Despite Taylor being in the red jersey, he wasn’t limited in anything that the media got to see, and he ran with the first-team defense at safety.
3. Late in the open portion of practice, the Gators ran a punt-blocking drill. They had several speedy guys running it, such as Malik Davis and CJ Henderson, as well as some walk-ons. Davis seemed to get off the line and block the punt the quickest, drawing praise from his position coach and special team coordinator, Greg Knox. He’s going to have a big role on this team on both offense and special teams.
4. With John Huggins out for the weekend while he deals with a family issue, C.J. McWilliams got the second-team reps at nickel behind Trey Dean. Kaiir Elam and Chester Kimbrough were the second-string outside corners.
5. With Greenard and Moon sharing reps with the ones, freshman Mohamoud Diabate ran with the second unit. He appears to have risen to the top of the group of young pass-rushers, and he could carve out a role for himself this season. At linebacker, James Houston and Lacedrick Brunson got the second-team reps. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham mentioned Brunson on Thursday as the player who made the biggest jump over the offseason. It looks like he might have passed Ventrell Miller on the depth chart.
This and That
Just like Friday, Kyle Trask was the No. 2 quarterback, while Davis was the second running back … Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Nick Savage is already in midseason form, as he yelled “Come on; let’s go!” to just about anybody and everybody who approached the practice facility prior to practice. He gave the quote of the year so far when talking to Freddie Swain: “The darkness can never extinguish the light.” … UF commits Derek Wingo and Gerald Mincey and target Marcus Dumervil were among the recruits in attendance.