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Spring football notebook: Harsh words for RB Chris Rainey

GAINESVILLE -- No matter what he does, the spotlight always seems to follow Florida running back Chris Rainey.

That spotlight offered a positive glow when Rainey was in high school, but it's been nothing but negative publicity for Lakeland's former star in Gainesville. That trend continued on Friday, the second day of spring football and Rainey's second day back with the team after shoulder surgery.

One would think Rainey would be excited to be back on the field. That didn't seem to be the case on Tuesday, however, when Florida running backs coach Kenny Carter twice screamed at Rainey for not hustling during drills. At one point, Carter raced at Rainey and put the sophomore running back in a headlock. Carter wasn't attempting to hurt Rainey, but it was trying to send a message.

"[Rainey] is a young kid that doesn't understand quite yet the level of intensity that is required to be productive," Carter said. "You're either all out or you're nothing at all. That's how we've got to go about our business and he's got to understand that and do that consistently."

Carter's assessment of Rainey's intensity level might be a bit off. After all, Carter wasn't at Florida last season and he, obviously, hasn't heard Florida coach Urban Meyer laud Rainey for his love of all things football. More than likely, Carter barked at Rainey on Friday to send a team-wide message: Hustle through all of your plays ... no matter how boring they seem.

Florida might be loaded with talented wide receivers this spring but receviers coach Billy Gonzales couldn't compliment any on Tuesday. He saw too many dropped balls for that.

"We feel we've got the talent but we dropped way too many balls today," Gonzales said. "I'm not too excited with any of them at all after today's practce. In order for us [replace Andre Caldwell] these guys have got to step up and push and really earn that spot."

Earlier contenders to replace Caldwell appear to be JUCO transfer Carl Moore, redshirt freshman Deonte Thompson and redshirt freshman Justin Williams. Thompson had a strong practice on Thursday but the gold star went to Williams on Tuesday, who turned heads with several nice catches. Moore dropped at least three passes.

USC running back transfer Emmanuel Moody said on Thursday that he's having trouble adjusting to the Gators' shotgun offense. Carter, the running backs coach, confirmed that assessment on Friday, saying that Moody has a lot of work to do before this fall.

"He needs to thoroughly immerse himself in the system, so he can do the things he capable of doing," Carter said. "He's got talent -- he can run and physically he has all the tools to be a productive back, you've got to know what you're doing and when you're doing it. When he gets to that point he'll be better."



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