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Top 10 things UF fans want to know; Make your suggestions now

GAINESVILLE -- Gator Clause will be in Tampa on Thursday and Friday for the Florida Sports Writers Association press conferences. Every college football team in the state will be represented and sports writers will get their first chances of the preseason to ask questions.

UF's Urban Meyer will speak with reporters on Thursday. Here's your chance, oh faithful reader of this blog, to enter the conversation. Post a question for Meyer on this blog in the comment field or email me at jgoodman@MiamiHerald.com and I'll begin a list. I'll whittle the list down to 10 questions and make sure Meyer addresses each one.

This is your chance to be a UF beat writer, so don't let me down! I'll start it off with a few obvious questions Meyer must address:

5. Depth at safety took a few hits this offseason. What's the plan for the position heading into preseason practice?

4. What are some things the defense can do to offset the losses at safety?

3. The bad news is your defense is a little thin at one position right now. The good news is your defense returns nine starters. How is the defensive outlook right now compared to last season?

2. One of your main concerns this offseason was addressing the false sense of entitlement the underclassmen displayed before the beginning of the 2007 season. How would you describe the team's collective attitude on the eve of two-a-days?

1. Brandon Spikes had a poor offseason in 2007. This offseason, Spikes has really embraced what it takes to be a success at UF and a leader. How important is it to have a player of Spikes' importance embrace the program's philosophy and become a role model?

Gator Clause realizes it's a little backwards to pose a question about Spikes' poor offseason in 2007 without first explaining the background of that question. Well, whatever. That's the way it's going to be. Here's the explanation:

As many of you know, I spoke with UF strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti last week. One of the topics that came up was Brandon Spikes' newfound enthusiasm for working out. In the 2007 offseason, Spikes didn't take workouts very seriously and it led to a slow start in two-a-days last August.

"I don't know how much effort [Spikes] put into the weight room last year," Marotti said. "Like a lot of really talented athletes, he didn't have to work much in high school to be better than everybody, so I think a little bit of that carried over to college.
"He had an adjustment period and now his whole attitude is completely changed. Now he's talking about loving workouts and he knows how important the offseason is for his personal goals and the team's overall goals."

Jeffrey Demps wasn't on campus in Gainesville but for a few days and already Marotti wanted to pit the almost Olympian sprinter up against UF speedster Chris Rainey in footrace. Marotti talked about it but passed on the urge to see the two players dual.

"I almost raced them the other day but it wouldn't be fair," Marotti said. "I imagine there will be a race once we get in pads. We'll line them up. You've got to remember that Demps is one step away from being in the Olympics. That's really fast. He had like the fastest high school time ever."

Marotti says Demps is more than just a speed demon. UF's strength and conditioning coach was surprised at Demps' strength considering he's just an incoming freshman. Demps weighs 175 pounds but Marotti said the running back has the strength of someone who weighs 225 pounds.

Marotti made it sound like Demps has the potential to get a serious look during two-a-days for playing time as a freshman.

"We're going to see what he's all about," Marotti said.



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With the Defensive tackle position not being productive last season, having to bring a player from the offensive line to fill the need. How does that position look right now, before two-a-days, and who are the most outstanding players at that position and possible starters?

Nice start, UF Peru. I'll make sure to ask about the defensive line for you. And I know you want to know about Patchan's status, so I'll get an update on him for you.


With limited pressure and quarterback sacks last year has your defensive coaches drawn up different schemes to apply more pressure and increase chances for turnovers?

During the spring it was a goal for the coaching staff to integrate a no huddle offense. Do you believe it was successful during the spring and do you plan on still using it this season?

You mentioned that you will be going under center more in this years offense. Do you have a certain percentage of plays you are determined to run under center?

Will Percy be a 100% healthy for the first game?

Will Major Wright stay at Free Safety or will he be moved to Strong safety since Ahmad black is much smaller and not suited for the strong saftey position.

What are your thoughts on the defensive line especially defensive tackle coming into this season?

Give us a hint at what you have in stor for UGA this year after they pulled that stunt last year.

Are you planning on line up Percy Harvin in the back field a considerable number of times? or finally we are gonna have a real tail back in the back field and if so who is the player standing out the most to take that spot?

Yeah can you ask about Patchan's status and if he is gonna be able to play any role on the defense this season. Thanks

Can we ever beat the U?

Percey will not recover completely until the sixth week of the season.

Patchan is too skinny, and coaches fear he will be hurt if he plays.

Major Wright will be moved to linebacker because he lacks the speed to handle the passing game as a safety.

Is UM as bad as they look on film???Have you ever seen a team with a worse attitude?

Can Da Ewe take over Florida Atlantic as the 5th best team in the state this year or will they stay at 6 or 7?

UM has had the largest injection of talent since the 80's when Florida said " no mas"," no more, we don't want to play these guys anymore. We prefer to remain in the safe confines of the SEC, so we can claim superiority"

UM will not be ready for UF this time, but as the season progresses, honest gator fans will be glad this game was played early.

To answer the question about the gator defensive tackles, according to Meyer they are undersized and have marginal athletic ability.

Charlie Strong will use a 6-2 stack to try to keep other offensive lines from blocking his tackles 8-10 yards into the secondary. He will have the tackles trying to submarine the offensive line.

This will leave only two linebackers and three defensive backs to cover the passing game.

Canesrule, you obviously have NO clue what you are talking about. Injected with talent? Yeah, you got a lot of kids out of the NW correctional facility last year. And? Don't you recall UF got 7 kids out of Lakeland which one 3 consecutive national titles a year ago? Don't worry, you'll get to see plenty of them in a couple months.

Tell me again about the defensive coverage? Isn't Miami running a 2-7-2 coverage with everyone being LBs? Yeah I head about Bailey, but I'll take Carlos Dunlap any day over Bailey. 6'5, 280lbs, 4.6 40.

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