With training camp over and Miami week upon us, here’s a look at five players who improved their standing and five who hurt their standing during fall camp.
Five Who Helped Their Standing
By all accounts, Gouraige had a solid fall camp, and he should be the first tackle off the bench. He worked primarily at left tackle, but he has the versatility to play on the right side as well. With starting right tackle Jean Delance’s status for the Miami game uncertain as he recovers from a leg injury, Gouraige very well could be in the starting lineup against the Hurricanes.
While White drew praise throughout camp, what really improved his standing was the way he attacked the off-season program. He went from nearly 400 pounds to a respectable 337 pounds. On signing day, he was probably the most likely redshirt candidate. Now, he’s put himself in position to be in the rotation. It’s been an incredible transformation so far.
Davis helped himself this camp simply by staying healthy. He doesn’t seem to have lost any of his speed and agility that made him a dynamic running back as a freshman in 2017. He ran with the second unit in all of the portions of practice open to the media. He’s earned himself a chance to become one of the offense’s biggest playmakers.
With Brad Stewart out of practice for a while as he dealt with an injury and Jeawon Taylor being limited for the first half of camp, there was an opportunity for someone to step up at safety. Davis took full advantage of it. He intercepted Franks and returned it for a touchdown in the first scrimmage and showed out again in the second scrimmage. Dan Mullen said last week that Davis has earned more playing time.
Ancrum worked as the second-string defensive tackle behind Adam Shuler after being on the third team in the spring. He’s undersized for an interior lineman at just 263 pounds, but he could have a role in a situational pass-rush package.
Five Who Hurt Their Standing
After a spring in which he continued to be erratic throwing the football, it appears Jones lost his battle with Kyle Trask to be the backup quarterback. That doesn’t mean that Trask will see the field before Jones, as Mullen likely has a ‘package’ of plays in store for Jones. However, by all accounts, including the reports we received from closed scrimmages, he still feels more comfortable taking off and running rather than standing in the pocket and throwing. It’s not time to push the panic button on Jones yet, but a lot of people expected him to win the backup job. He didn’t.
Perhaps no Gator has fallen farther in the last year than Slaton. He opened the 2018 season as a starter. He was the third-string nose tackle this fall. His teammates and coaches still said nice things about him, but the depth chart speaks louder than words.
Despite being a trendy pick to be a breakout player this season, Stewart opened fall camp with the twos before suffering an injury. It’s unknown exactly what his injury is and how long he’ll be out. Even if he’s healthy now, it appears that he’s been passed up by Taylor and Davis.
He’s a bit of a mystery; not much was said about him during fall camp. But, he’s at least fourth on the depth chart at Buck behind Jonathan Greenard, Jeremiah Moon and Mohamoud Diabate. Khris Bogle might’ve passed him as well. It’s never a good sign when a player is getting passed on the depth chart by a player who just arrived on campus. Then, of course, there’s the possibility (albeit slim) that Brenton Cox gets a waiver to play immediately. Chatfield’s chances at significant playing time this season look bleak.
Dionte Marks/Ja’Markis Weston
With the Gators’ receiving corps as deep as it is, it was going to take a small miracle for either of them to crack the rotation. That being said, as freshmen who weren’t here in the spring, they looked lost at times in the open periods of practice. During one practice, coach Billy Gonzales had to stop a drill and walk them through it. They struggled with drops on the Jugs machine more than the other receivers, including walk-ons. They need to step up their game before the mass exodus of receivers after this season. You can’t put all the blame on being freshmen, because fellow 2019 wide out signee Trent Whittmore has been a major surprise this fall.