FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING COVERAGE
This marks the ninth off-season in which Inside the Gators has interviewed an anonymous departing player in order for him to share his thoughts on an array of topics regarding Florida Gators football.
In the past we have conducted these far reaching interviews in late summer. We may still do one or two longer ones this year, but I also wanted to make a change in that I wanted to get some information on returning players and this segment of the off-season regime here before spring practice.
Therefore, over the next couple of weeks we'll be conducting shorter interviews with a couple of anonymous player in order to give our readers a better understanding of what is currently going on and some players they should be on the lookout for this spring.
As an aside, allowing a player to comment anonymously obviously has its benefits and downside. The goal of this feature is to give our readers an honest and freely expressive look at the Florida football team, but we also acknowledge the nature of anonymous comments and the stigma that can come with them.
NOTE: This is the same player who answered the questions in Part IV
- Spring Anonymous Player Q&A Part I
- Spring Anonymous Player Q&A Part II
- Spring Anonymous Player Q&A Part III
- Spring Anonymous Player Q&A Part IV
- Spring Anonymous Player Q&A Part V
Looking at a little used player per position, I’ll give you a name and ask you what your honest assessment is of each of them?
* Quarterback Emory Jones: If everyone stays healthy I think Jones will probably be used like he was last year because why pull Kyle [Trask] off the field to have Jones throw the ball? What Jones can do that Kyle can't is run the ball and the coaches showed last year that is what they want from him.
* Running Back Iverson Clement: I'm not so sure what happens with AI to be honest. He has all the physical talent and he says he wants it, he plays that up all the time, but he isn't one of the most talented runners. Do you get what I'm saying there? Maybe if he tried another position? He played some defensive back last year.
* Wide Receiver Rick Wells: He's one of the strongest receivers pound-for-pound. He's steady, but his problem is that he's had more talented players ahead of him every year and they keep coming in. He’ll get his reps this spring, but he has some limits. I guess we'll see.
* Tight End Kemore Gamble: I don't know why he fell off last year, I don't want to throw shade, but I don't think he and [Larry] Scott were that close. I can tell Brew [new Florida tight ends coach Tim Brewster] likes him already, so he’ll get his chance to be used a lot more.
* Offensive Lineman TJ Moore: I don't think he’ll find his way into the starting rotation, but he is going to play at least on the second team. He has gotten a lot more serious about working out and getting in shape in about the last year.
* Defensive Lineman Tedarrell Slaton: He is gonna be a beast this year. He's been kind of unsteady, he’ll be up and down with his effort, but when he decides he wants to do something he can't be stopped. Two years ago he started to get serious about football, then he let up, but I see that fire from him again. If you take everything into consideration, if he goes all out, he is as good of a player as anyone on the team. He needs to stay consistent. That’s been his problem he can get distracted, especially by the opposite sex.
* Linebacker Lacedrick Brunson: He’s a good special teams member, but I don't think he’ll play a big role in the defense this year.
* Defensive Back Quincy Lenton: I think the same of Leno as I do with Lacedrick. He's going to be good for us on special teams but I don't see him up there with the starters or backups that are going to be playing much this year.
We hit on some of the others in the last update, but continuing with the younger players please share some thoughts on these redshirt freshmen:
* Kingsley Eguakun – He’s in better shape and he won't be starting but he'll play a lot more this year for sure.
* Dionte Marks – He’s got Van Jefferson type wheels. He is the best younger receiver on the team if he brings it every day. When you first get here you think you know what it takes to be a player, that you are a hard worker, but this is another level of work. He wasn’t used to it last year, but he’s getting there.
* Ja'Markis Weston – Very strong, he and [Jacob] Copeland and [Trevon] Grimes are the strongest receivers I've seen. He's taller but not as fast.
* Nay'Quan Wright – He’s got that very durable look about him because of how he's built.
* Trent Whittemore – We call him White Chocolate, he’ll be in the receiver rotation for sure but he isn’t as blown up as the other receivers. He’s wiry.
* Jessiah Pierre – He’s one of the quietest players. He's going to be a silent but deadly component on the defense in a couple of years. We'll see what's up in the spring but I don't think he's ready yet.
* Riley Simonds – What I love is that he’s got a high motor, he is always balls to the wall. I hope to see him out there soon, but we're set at guard for right now.
* Michael Tarquin – I think Mike will turn up this year as he gets bigger and stronger.
Who is a player on offense and a player on defense who might not be have as big or great a season as many fans believe they will?
I'm not about all of that where I'm going to speak on a good player turning into a bad player. Maybe Jeremiah [Moon] because he has all the talent, but he's had injury issues and we have so many talented players behind him. I would say the same thing about Malik Davis for the same reason. He is really talented, but has those injury issues.
Honestly, how much did the upgraded locker room really mean to the team this past year?
Oh we spent so much time in there, we love it, and those couches if you want to catch a nap, they are so clutch. Before we got it we were in and out of there as fast as we could get showered and changed. Last year we all hung out more in there and it brings you together as a team. Everything is nice and new and the lights set everything off. You can just sit in there and relax and feel at home.
We hear a lot about the new football facility, but how much do current players talk about it?
Honestly it’s hardly brought up. Maybe the coaches do it in recruiting, but they never talk to us about it and we never talk about it as players. We're happy with what we got.
Who are two or three players on offense and two or three players on defense who you believe will have breakout type of springs.
Offense: I'll say it's going to be [Jacob] Copeland, Zo [Lorenzo Lingard] and [Kemore] Gamble. Cope and [Trevon] Grimes have the best size and speed combo on offense, maybe on the team. Like I already said about Zo, damn, he's a player that all of us other players watch when he is out there. He takes it to the limit and then goes over. Gamble, because like I said I don't know what happened with not using him last year, but you can tell Brew [Tim Brewster] likes him and will get him involved.
Defense: [Brenton] Cox, because, well, he’s a beast and I’ve never seen someone his size so athletic. Watch for [Khris] Bogle. He got really strong in the offseason and we saw what he can do at the end of last season. He's made one of the biggest leaps this offseason. I called out Tyron [Hopper] before. He’s a hard-hitting linebacker and he’s a lot stronger than you would think by looking at him.
Finally, the best player by position and why you think they are the best.
- QB: I don’t know what [Anthony] Richardson is going to look like in the offense or I would go with him. The fans love Emory [Jones], but Kyle [Trask] showed us last season all we need to know
- RB: I have to give it to Zo [Lorenzo Lingard]. He’s like Richardson, I don't know what he's going to look like in practice, but in workouts and agilities he's the most physically talented and fastest back we have.
- WR: You are going to see Trevon [Grimes] being talked about as a All American. His leadership this offseason has been huge and he’s the vet of the young wide receiver core so he’ll take command for sure.
- TE: What Kyle [Pitts] did last year isn’t going to be anything like what he is going to do this year. Brew [Tim Brewster] already treats him like it’s his son. Those two together are going to equal trouble for other teams.
- OL: It’s Brett Heggie. He leads the offensive line pack now that Nick [Buchanan] is gone.
- DT: I aready said this, but [Tedderal] Slaton’s athleticism for his size will turn lots of heads.
- DE: I could go with [Brenton] Cox, or Jeremiah [Moon]. Cox is a beast and Jeremiah has been showing how anxious he is to get back on the field. His problem is staying healthy.
- LB: Ventrell Miller has turned into a leader and he’s also got experience with Coach Rob [Christian Robinson], so he’ll be good this year.
- CB: I think Kaiir Elam’s campaign last year proved he will definitely one day be a first-rounder.
- S: Shawn Davis is a hard hitter and he’s started to get better learning the ins and outs of playing safety. At first he was just a missle out there attacking the ball, now he is starting to read plays like he wrote them.