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Florida Gators spring practice Day 4: OL Carl Johnson in 'good standing' with team

From the newspaper: I-FORMATION NOT CLICKING FOR THE GATORS. My thoughts on the 'I' at the bottom of this post.

GAINESVILLE -- Arrested for violating a temporary restraining order this winter, Florida offensive lineman Carl Johnson is in "good standing" with the football team as the Gators begin their second week of spring practice, according to Florida coach Urban Meyer.

Johnson is competing for a starting position on the offensive line this spring and is currently the Gators' first-team left tackle. Johnson seemed like a shoe-in along the offensive line after the national championship game -- he started at guard most of the season in 2008 -- but his reputation took a hit when his former girlfriend claimed that Johnson was involved in a physically and emotionally abusive Carl-johnson relationship. Johnson's former girlfriend detailed her account of their relationship in a lengthy essay, which was submitted to the Alachua County courthouse along with the request for injunction. 

[PICTURED, Carl Johnson. His former girlfriend claimed in a written statement to authorities that Johnson's No.1 goal in life was to kill someone.] 

"His whole issue is that he's got to make sure that he is straight with the university," Meyer said. "I had a long discussion about what happened with him and his family and Carl Johnson hasn't been a major problem since he has been here, I have a lot of respect for him and his family and if he has done something wrong, then he knows there will be a heck of a price to pay. But he's in good standing."

Not really much to report from Monday's practice. The team looked pretty sluggish, actually. One thing that caught my attention was the starting line-up of the kick-return team. Want proof that Florida will probably be the deepest team in the country next season. Read off these names:

Deonte Thompson, Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey were the return men. The blockers included starting cornerback Joe Haden, senior cornerback Markihe Anderson, fullback Steven Wilks, receiver T.J. Lawrence, linebacker Jon Bostic, safety Will Hill, offensive lineman Jonotthan Harrison, safety Dorian Munroe, receiver Frankie Hammond Jr. and safety Dee Finley.

As reported in the Herald's daily practice story, the I-formation isn't running as smoothly as Florida coach Urban Meyer would like. He's thinking about scrapping it. My opinion: This is a bad idea.

Meyer can't just ditch the I-formation after a few practices. As far as I'm concerned, Meyer has an obligation to Tim Tebow to run some semblance of a pro-style offense this season for the simple fact that Tebow returned to school. Meyer owes it to Tebow to help his draft status. Hiring quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler wasn't enough. The Gators are going to blow teams out of the water this season. Let Tebow practice in the 'I' during mop-up time.

Now, I understand that UF isn't going to be much of an I-formation team this year. And they shouldn't be. After all, Meyer recruited for the spread and Florida should run the spread. Who's going to play fullback in the 'I,' Aaron Hernandez? If Aaron is at fullback, then who plays tight end, Desmond Parks? Yeah ... that ain't happen'n. That said, there's plenty of personnel on this Gators team to allow Tebow to practice taking snaps under center late in the fourth quarter against UF's weaker non-conference opponents. Florida fullbacks Steven Wilks, T.J. Pridemore and Rick Burgess might not see the field against LSU but they could certainly pick up a block or two against Southern Charleston.



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