GAINESVILLE -- OK, I'll be the first one to write it: John Brantley is a better passer than Tim Tebow.
Brantley has made some incredible throws during the first few days of spring practice. He's still got a long way to go to be a better football player than Tebow, but Brantley's arm is at a different level than his predecessor. The redshirt junior-to-be had another impressive outing on Saturday, firing the ball all over the field and making pretty much every Florida receiver look like a preseason All-SEC candidate. OK, that might be an overstatement, but Brantley certainly seems to make things easy for UF's receivers.
Florida scrimmaged from 12:18 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. It was a spirited workout, chalked full of colorful commentary from senior-to-be Ahmad Black, who teamed with sophomore-to-be Jon Bostic to stuff running back Emmanuel Moody in the backfield at one point.
"We're playing football now, boy," Black screamed at UF offensive guard Carl Johnson after the play.
"Shut your butt up," Johnson screamed back.
The offense apparently won the scrimmage, but it took them about five tries to do so. According to strength coach Mickey Marotti, the winners were awarded with Gatorade after practice while the losers were refreshed by water from a "garden hose." Some might prefer reclaimed swamp water over Gatorade, but that's a topic for a different blog post.
The highlight of the scrimmage was a 12-yard touchdown pass from Brantley to receiver Deonte Thompson. Other observations from Saturday's practice:
--Sophomore-to-be Jon Bostic lined up with the first-team defense at middle linebacker. It appears Bostic and redshirt sophomore-to-be Brendan Beal are battling for the postion, which was vacated by All-American Brandon Spikes.
--Moses Jenkins continues to line up with the first-team defense at cornerback. A senior-to-be, Jenkins appears to be competing with redshirt sophomore-to-be Jeremy Brown for Joe Haden's old position.
--Freshman cornerback Josh Evans appeared to injury his knee at the beginning of practice.
--Redshirt freshman-to-be offensive lineman Kyle Koehne did not practice on Saturday. His right arm was in a sling.
--Carl Johnson (shoulder) is not participating in spring practice.
--Defensive tackles Terron Sanders and Lawrence Marsh did not practice due to injuries.
--Former quarterback Jordan Reed, a redshirt freshman-to-be, is participating with the first-team offense at tight end.
--True freshman tight end Gerald Christian (6-3, 240) is already bigger than former UF tight end Aaron Hernandez. Keep an eye on Christian, he seems to be incredibly talented.
--The best receiver on Saturday was redshirt sophomore-to-be Stephen Alli. He made several impressive receptions. It's going to be tough to keep Alli (6-5, 214 pounds) off the field.
--Running back Jeff Demps watched practice in street clothes. He's focusing on outdoor track this spring. Demps recently won the indoor track national championship in the 60-meter dash.
--Emmanuel Moody better step up his game this spring. Sophomore-to-be Mike Gillislee of Deland looked good on Saturday. He's fast and tough to bring down. He broke about five tackles on one long run during the scrimmage.
--Will Hill looked comfortable at free safety. He made several impressive plays throughout the day.
--Back-up quarterback Trey Burton, a true freshman, seems to be a pretty tough kid. Burton powered his way into the end zone on the final play of the scrimmage. Redshirt sophomore-to-be offensive tackle David Young helped, pulling Burton by the helmet for the final two yards.
--Burton made one freshman mistake during the scrimmage when he trotted into the end zone on a naked bootleg. Quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler and defensive line coach Dan McCarney got in Burton's face and screamed at him through both of his helmet's ear holes about sprinting into the end zone. Burton will not be making that mistake again.
--Burton's wind-up passing motion is about as slow as Tebow's baseball delivery. Compared to Brantley's all-world arm, Burton's arm needs some work.
--Don't be surprised when Burton runs some Wildcat next fall. He's a good runner.
--Sam Robey (knee) did not practice on Saturday. Maurice Hurt appears to be the back-up center right now.
--Dee Finley has moved to linebacker.
--Here's Saturday's starting offensive line, from left to right: Xavier Nixon, James Wilson, Mike Pouncey, Maurice Hurt, Marcus Gilbert.
--Saturday's first-team receivers: Deonte Thompson and Carl Moore.
--Saturday's first-team fullback: Steven Wilks.
--Saturday's first-team running back: Emmanuel Moody.
--Second-team offensive line, from left to right: David Young, Jon Halapio, Maurice Hurt, Jonotthan Harrison.
--Second-team receivers: Frankie Hammond Jr., Omarius Hines, Justin Williams.
--Second-team running back: Mike Gillislee.
--Second-team fullback: T.J. Pridemore.
--First-team defensive line, from left to right: Duke Lemmens, Jaye Howard, Omar Hunter, Justin Trattou.
-First-team linebackers: Brandon Hick (will), Jon Bostic (strong), A.J. Jones (sam)
--First-team cornerbacks: Moses Jenkins and Janoris Jenkins.
--First-team safeties: Will Hill and Ahmad Black.
--Second-team defensive line: William Green, Earl Okine, Kedric Johnson.
--Second-team linebackers: Jelani Jenkins (will), Brendan Beal (strong), Jonathan James (sam).
--Second-team cornerbacks: Jaylen Watkins and Jeremy Brown.
--Second-team safeties: Miguel Carodine and Jordan Haden.