Early Enrollee Outlook

Jan 6, 2020 | 0 comments

While the 2019 season ended exactly one week ago, it’s time to start peaking ahead at what the 2020 season might have in store for the Gators.

Monday was the first day of classes for the spring term, meaning 10 members of the 2020 signing class and a pair of transfers officially began their Gator careers. They’ll start winter workouts with Director of Strength and Conditioning Nick Savage soon, and spring camp is only about two months away.

For some of the newcomers, spring practices will provide them with a chance to prove themselves at the collegiate level and possibly earn significant playing time in the fall. For others, the spring is merely step one in their lengthy developmental processes.

Here is our preview of what to expect from each newcomer in the spring.

Joshua Braun

  • Position: Offensive Line
  • Size: 6-foot-6, 335 pounds
  • High School/Hometown: Suwannee High/Live Oak, Florida
  • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 284

What to expect from him in the spring: After Georgia offensive line coach Sam Pittman left to become the head coach at Arkansas, Braun decommitted from the Bulldogs and began practicing with the Gators two days later in their bowl practices along with two of his classmates. In his short time with the team, he’s already drawn praise from his older teammates for his massive size, agility, willingness to learn and his ability to pick up things quickly. His jump start in December should allow him to begin the spring working with the second unit at one of the tackle spots. However, with a strong spring, he could put himself in position to start at guard in the fall depending on how they choose to fill the vacant center spot. Offensive linemen usually aren’t immediate impact players, but Braun has a chance to be an exception.

Jeremy Crawshaw

  • Position: Punter
  • Size: 6-foot-3, 190 pounds
  • High School/Hometown: ProKick Australia kicking camp/Emu Plains, Australia
  • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 2,937

What to expect from him in the spring: Nobody really knows what to expect from him. ProKick Australia has sent several alumni to the college ranks, including Kentucky’s Max Duffy and Miami’s Louis Hedley. Still, he has yet to punt in a game, so he remains a big mystery. Unlike some of his countrymen, he punts using the traditional method rather than using the rugby-style of kick. With walk-on Jacob Finn the only returning punter, Crawshaw could lock up the starting job by the end of the spring. With the way Dan Mullen likes to create excitement in the spring game, don’t expect to see much from Crawshaw until the fall.

Lamar Goods

  • Position: Defensive Tackle
  • Size: 6-foot-3, 310 pounds
  • High School/Hometown: St. Thomas More/Oakdale, Conn
  • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 348

What to expect from him in the spring:  There’s almost no chance of him competing for a starting position with the return of Kyree Campbell and TJ Slaton as well as Elijah Conliffe returning from injury, but there will be rotation reps available to those freshmen tackles who are capable of contributing. He has the size, the level of competition he has faced though raises some doubts.

Richie Leonard

  • Position: Offensive Line
  • Size: 6-foot-2, 320 pounds
  • High School/Hometown: Cocoa/Cocoa, Florida
  • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 761

What to expect from him in the spring: Like Braun, he arrived on campus in December and participated in the team’s bowl practices. Unlike Braun, he’s probably destined for a redshirt season. Leonard, a guard or center, is more of a long-term project type of player, although he was named Offensive Line Most Valuable Player at The Opening Orlando last February. Brett Heggie, Ethan White, Griffin McDowell, Riley Simonds, Kingsley Eguakun and Richard Gouraige will likely all start the spring ahead of him on the depth chart.

Lorenzo Lingard

  • Position: Running Back
  • Size: 6-foot, 200 pounds
  • Previous College/Hometown: Miami/Orange City, Florida
  • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 25

What to expect from him in the spring: The former five-star recruit rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries in 2018 before sustaining a season-ending knee injury. He suffered a concussion early in the 2019 season that essentially ended his year. He played in just two games and did not register a carry. He has great speed and runs with more physicality than you might expect from a running back who’s a bit undersized. Because he redshirted in 2019, there’s a good chance that the NCAA grants him immediate eligibility. Should this happen, he has a chance to assert himself as a key component of UF’s backfield this spring. Lamical Perine is gone, leaving Dameon Pierce as the likely starter. Lingard’s primary competition for the No. 2 spot should be Malik Davis, who’s battled injuries of his own and struggled with ball security throughout his career. Gator fans should expect to see an extremely talented runner who’s still trying to find himself as he adjusts to a new school and tries to shake off his injury history.

Ethan Pouncey

  • Position: Cornerback
  • Size: 6-foot-1, 160 pounds
  • High School/Hometown: Winter Park High/Winter Park, Florida
  • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 128

What to expect from him in the spring: You should expect to see flashes of greatness from him but also some struggles against bigger wide receivers. He’s known as a lengthy corner who has good speed and great ball skills and anticipation. However, he probably needs to put on 40 pounds before he’s ready to play at this level. The Gators have signed a lot of big-bodied receivers under Mullen, so Pouncey’s lack of size could really hinder him this spring. Fortunately, they don’t need him to play a major role right away, so he’ll have enough time to focus on adding muscle.

Jordan Pouncey

  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • Size: 6-foot-2, 205 pounds
  • Former College/Hometown: Texas/Winter Park, Florida
  • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 735

What to expect from him in the spring: UF is applying for a waiver that would grant him immediate eligibility. With four seniors departing after the 2019 season and the possibility of Kadarius Toney declaring for the NFL Draft, Pouncey has a huge opportunity this spring. He only caught two passes in his three seasons with the Longhorns, but he’s still one of the most experienced wide outs on the team. You should expect to see a great blocker who uses his body to make tough catches every now and then.

Antwaun Powell

  • Position: Defensive End
  • Size: 6-foot-3, 234 pounds
  • High School/Hometown: Indian River High (Portsmouth, Virginia)
  • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 180

What to expect from him in the spring: Given UF’s depth at the Buck position, he probably won’t get a lot of snaps with the first or second units during the spring. Still, you should expect to see an explosive pass-rusher who already has decent size for the position.

Anthony Richardson

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Size: 6-foot-4, 224 pounds
  • High School/Hometown: Eastside High (Gainesville, Florida)
  • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 190

What to expect from him in the spring: He arrived on campus in time for bowl practices as the first quarterback from Gainesville to sign with the Gators since Doug Johnson in 1996. As such, fans have giant expectations for him, with some already comparing him to Cam Newton. He should get a chance to live up to those expectations someday. In the interim, he’ll focus on learning the playbook and refining his mechanics this spring. He’ll run the third-team offense.

Jahari Rogers

  • Position: Cornerback
  • Size: 6-foot, 170 pounds
  • High School/Hometown: Arlington High/Arlington, Texas
  • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 120

What to expect from him in the spring: You should expect to see a great athlete who is still a bit raw at playing defensive back. He played quarterback in his first three years of high school prior to switching to defense for his senior year. He has good speed and great physicality, but he’ll likely need some time to learn the nuances of the position. Still, he should have the best chance at making an instant impact among the Gators’ four cornerback signees.

Rashad Torrence II

  • Position: Safety
  • Size: 6-foot, 195 pounds
  • High School/Hometown: Marietta High (Marietta, Georgia)
  • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 334

What to expect from him in the spring: As the only safety to enroll early, he’ll have a chance to stake his claim to major playing time next season. Jeawon Taylor graduated, and the returners have been wildly inconsistent. He should begin the spring working with the second-string, which will provide him with a much-needed head start on the three (and possibly more) safeties that will arrive over the summer.

Issiah Walker Jr.

  • Position: Offensive Line
  • Size: 6-foot-4, 309 pounds
  • High School/Hometown: Norland High/Miami, Florida
  • 247Sports Composite Ranking: 140

What to expect from him in the spring: He’s known as a great athlete who will need to refine his technique to be successful in college. Like many of UF’s young linemen, he’s better at pass-protection than run-blocking right now. Given his size and UF’s needs, he could also see some snaps at guard during the spring.

Tags: Sport

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