GAINESVILLE -- OK, the editorial board here at Gator Clause is getting a little bored with the same-old-same-old spring practice updates.
In an effort to amuse ourselves and give the loyal readers of Gator Clause something a little different, the staff has devised a spring-football quiz. Consider it an alternative format to bring you the last news from spring practice...Enjoy! (Answers are at the bottom of the post.)
11) This little-used defensive back had one of the best practices of his career on Wednesday. He intercepted a pass during an 11-on-11 drill and also broke up four passes. Earlier in Wednesday's practices, he forced a fumble in a one-on-one tackling drill between defensive backs and receivers.
"I'm staying focused and worrying about my plays and my plays only," he said. "I can't worry about the last play -- the one I didn't make -- I've just got to keep working for the next play and worry about me and I'll be OK. Coaches tell me that I have the best feet and hips of the cornerbacks and I've got to use that to my advantage and make plays out here."
A junior at the University of Florida, this cornerback calls Coral Springs home and played high school football for Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson.
"At corner you have me, Joe Haden, Janoris [Jenkins] and [Adrian] Bushell," this mystery cornerback said. "We're all going hard and fighting for playing time."
10) A redshirt freshman offensive lineman, this Gator started at center during Wednesday's practice and is currently receiving praise from offensive line coach Steve Addazio. The Gators' coaching staff is so impressed with this Louisville, Ky., native that head coach Urban Meyer said, "He might be among the first five," next season.
9) This junior offensive lineman practiced at guard on Wednesday, which surprised some because he started at center in 2008. A native of Lakeland, this former Dreadnaught said on Wednesday that he doesn't care if he plays at guard or center next season.
8) This redshirt freshman receiver has had a great spring but received stern criticism from coach Urban Meyer during a one-on-one drill when the receiver failed to elude a tackle. "We're evaluating you," Meyer said. "Make a play." This receiver did just that later in practice when he jumped high into the air for a touchdown catch from quarterback Tim Tebow. A Hallandale native, this former South Florida track star is back-up quarterback John Brantley's go-to receiver during 11-on-11 drills. He had two touchdown catches during Wednesday's brief scrimmage.
7) This sophomore running back is no longer practicing with the football team this spring so he can focus his athletic efforts elsewhere. A star sprinter, this Okahumpka South Lake High product might have a brighter future on the track rather than on the football field.
6) This redshirt junior running back is trying to convince coaches this spring that he can be the Gators' every-down back. He's doing a pretty good job of it. On Wednesday, he was the offense's most productive running back and showed off his explosive ability with several powerful runs. Near the end of one long gain, this running back stiff armed cornerback Janoris Jenkins to the ground.
"The main thing I'm focusing on is blocking, running good routes, great fakes and just being durable," he said. "Right now I fell really comfortable with the offense and fell real comfortable with the coaches. Trust is something you build on, so I'm trying to earn the coaches' trust. I feel like I have a little bit of trust right now, so I'm just trying to finish up on this spring and be strong at that."
A former transfer from a school out west, this running back injured his ankle last season just when it seemed like he was emerging as a reliable option out of the backfield. He now says he is 100 percent healthy and is confident he will be a playmaker for the Gators next season.
"When I'm healthy, I have no doubt what I can do," this running back said. "It's just the fact of not being healthy. You're not going to play like you usually play. Right now I'm healthy, I'm feeling good and I know I'm do."
Never one to heap praise on an undeserving player, UF running backs coach Kenny Carter believes this running back will be a prominent fixture in the Gators' offense in 2009.
"So far this spring he has really stepped up his game and I've been pleased with the way he has been performing," Carter said. "If he'll continue on that line, then he'll be able to be an every-down guy. It means a lot to him and you can see it in the way he's playing."
5) This true freshman linebacker is already lining up with the second-team defense. On Wednesday, he received individual praise from coach Urban Meyer, who slapped the linebacker on the helmet after an impressive tackle during 11-on-11 drills. UF senior linebacker Brandon Spikes is this freshman's biggest fan. "The sky is the limit with that kid," Spikes said.
4) This tight end has been quarterback Tim Tebow's go-to target all spring. "On third and fourth down, you see who I'm looking for," Tebow said.
3) This offensive lineman finally dressed out with the team on Wednesday after suffering a knee injury during a scooter accident. The sophomore lineman still is not practicing.
2) This redshirt senior linebacker got in a brief shoving match with offensive guard Maurkice Pouncey on Wednesday. "I drove him 10 yards down the field," Pouncey said of the starting linebacker. "He got a little hot about that." There was another skirmish on Wednesday between offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert and defensive end Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap took a swing at Gilbert and injured defensive tackle Brandon Antwine broke up the fight before it got out of hand.
1) This coach said he had to take an Ambien just to get to sleep on Monday night after three key players appeared to be seriously injured. The restless coach later received good news. Freshman tight end Desmond Parks only dislocated his right kneecap and should be ready by two-a-days. It was feared that Parks tore a knee ligament. Coaches assumed the worst for offensive lineman James Wilson, who has been on crutches recently due to a pair of foot injuries. Wilson is day-to-day and should be ready to compete in two-a-days. Defensive end Justin Trattou sprained his AC joint on Monday and is also day-to-day.
ANSWERS: 11) Moses Jenkins; 10) Sam Robey; 9) Maurkice Pouncey; 8) Frankie Hammond Jr.; 7) Jeff Demps; 6) Emmanuel Moody; 5) Jon Bostic; 4) Aaron Hernandez; 3) Matt Patchan; 2) Ryan Stamper 1) Urban Meyer.