With only two weeks left until the Gators kick off the season against Miami, jobs are being won and roles are starting to be determined.
Using information gained through personal observations at practice and what we’ve heard from the first scrimmage, here’s our projected two-deep depth chart, as of today, with analysis:
There’s no quarterback controversy this year; this is Franks’ team. His teammates and coaches have said he’s more comfortable and confident in the offense than he was last year. The hope is that leads to a more even season from him.
He just won’t go away. With Emory Jones entering his second year in Dan Mullen’s system, a lot of people expected him to win the backup job. That hasn’t happened yet. Trask gives the Gators a veteran backup who could steady the ship for a game or two if needed.
After spending three seasons as a sidekick, Perine will lead the backfield in 2019. He’ll have a chance to post the first 1,000-yard season at Florida since Kelvin Taylor in 2015.
He’s back from a broken foot he suffered in game three last season, and he’s shown the same quickness and explosiveness that made him a rising star as a freshman in 2017. He could be the offense’s most versatile player, as he’s also a threat as a pass-catcher.
After catching just seven passes for 58 yards as a redshirt freshman last season, he’ll be expected to lead the way this year. He’s a good athlete who needs to continue improving as a blocker. He’s the Gators’ most polished and experienced tight end.
He’s an intriguing player with an enormous upside. At 6-foot-6 and 257 pounds, he’s strong and athletic, making him a potential matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. However, he’s still trying to refine his skills as he enters his second season of football after a junior college baseball career.
He’s as dependable as they come. He runs great routes and catches almost everything thrown his way. Expect him to be Franks’ go-to guy in key situations again this season.
He’s the opposite of Jefferson. He doesn’t always run the crispest routes or have the best hands, but he makes up for it with an almost unfair combination of size (6-foot-5), strength and speed. He should be UF’s best vertical threat. Don’t be surprised if he finishes second or third in receptions but first in yards.
Like Jefferson, he’s a solid but not flashy receiver who Franks can count on to be in the right place at the right time and catch almost everything thrown at him. He’s one of the hardest-working players on the team and someone the younger players look to for leadership.
He’s sure-handed and has a knack for the big play, as he demonstrated with a 65-yard touchdown catch against Tennessee and a 36-yarder against Georgia. He’ll also be in the mix to return punts again this season. He ran back a punt 85 yards for a score last season.
He was the Gators’ leading receiver in 2017, but he only caught 18 passes for 212 yards and three scores in 2018 before breaking his collarbone at Florida State. He’s fully recovered from that injury, and he looks bigger than he did last year.
One thing we know from the open portions of practice is that he’ll start plays lined up outside or in the slot; where he finishes them will be anyone’s guess. The electrifying and unpredictable Toney has apparently improved enough as a wide receiver to earn Mullen’s trust to award him the coveted No. 1 jersey. He’ll also line up at quarterback and running back from time to time. Expect a much larger role for him this season.
At 6-foot-7 and 329 pounds, he’s absolutely gigantic. The Gators need him to live up to his name and be a stonewall on Franks’ blindside. He drew praise from coach John Hevesy in camp for stepping up a leader for the younger players behind him.
He looks the most physically ready of the true freshmen and redshirt freshmen linemen. He should be the very important swing tackle that John Hevesy likes to have.
He’s made it through camp healthy so far, and the Gators need that to continue. A bruising run-blocker, he’s their best offensive linemen. He should give the Gators an All-SEC candidate. He can also play right guard and center if needed.
When he arrived on campus about seven months ago, he was in no shape to play SEC football, as he weighed nearly 400 pounds. After changing his diet and working hard in the weight room over the summer with Nick Savage, he’s down to 337 pounds now, according to Hevesy. Now he can focus on improving his technique and the mental parts of the position.
He’s the only returning starter from last season’s unit. He’s a bit undersized and he won’t wow any scouts with his measurables or athleticism, but the Gators can count on him to do his job correctly and keep the middle of the pocket clean. He’s great at communicating calls to his fellow linemen. UF needed him to step up as a leader, and it appears that he has.
Tanner Rowell, who was recently awarded a scholarship, has been in the mix at second team center, but Eguakun has gotten more of the reps that we have seen. He earned the backup job largely because he’s the only one of the freshmen with experience playing center in high school. He’s a bit undersized at 294 pounds.
Teammate Jean Delance said Bleich is very strong and doesn’t even know how good he can be. If he ever figures it out, look out. He has ideal size for the position at 6-foot-6 and 330 pounds. After redshirting last season, he looks ready to take on the grind of the SEC.
He might be the biggest mystery on the entire team. He transferred to UF from Iowa Western College prior to the 2018 season. He played in 12 games as a reserve. He suffered an epileptic episode during bowl practices and missed spring practice, and it was unknown if he would ever play again. He returned at the start of fall camp but it is unknown at this time if he is fully recovered.
He was a top-120 overall prospect when he signed with Texas out of high school. He’s in his third season at UF, and he’s hoping to finally live up to the lofty ranking. He can also play left tackle.
He was a top-300 recruit in the class of 2017, and he’s practiced at both tackle and guard for the Gators this fall. He’s played in just two games in his career, but his versatility should allow him to carve out a role as a key reserve this season.