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Blakely out for spring, what do you expect from Gators RBs next year?

Blakely AAA It's raining and it's a Monday, so bad news is fitting. Freshman running back Mike Blakely will miss spring practice due to shoulder surgery. That's a real bummer, as it'll just about negate the head start he hoped to get by enrolling early.

This can be said about almost every position for the Gators next season, but the running back spot is going to be really interesting to watch. Charlie Weis will have his work cut out to run a pro-style offense with a bunch of spread scatbacks, and I felt like Blakely could have a shot at early playing time with a good spring.

At 5-foot-9, 194 pounds, Blakely isn't a big bruiser or even an Emmanuel Moody (who gets big bruises), but he runs tough and could be a great every-down back if he adds a little size. If the surgery and missed spring cause him to redshirt, he should be ready to blow up in 2012, but that'll leave this as the RB depth chart for next season:

Jeff Demps (SR, 5-8, 190) Career: 269 carries, 1,901 yds (7.1 ypc), 17 TDs
Chris Rainey (RSR, 5-9, 178) Career: 174 carries, 1,237 yds (7.1 ypc), 9 TDs
Mike Gillislee (JR, 5-11, 198) Career: 89 carries, 592 yds (6.7 ypc), 8 TDs
Mack Brown (RFR, 5-10, 193) Career: 3 carries, 23 yds (7.7 ypc)

Demps is obviously "the man," and he and Rainey should both be looked to as the big play guys, but if Weis wants more of a consistent pro-style threat out of the backfield, I think Gillislee might be the better option. I'd expect to see all four play next year, and it'll be really interesting to see how they're used in an offense that isn't as shotgun-heavy and with an inexperienced offensive line.

Will Muschamp gave the ever-popular "we fit our offense to our players, not the other way around" line when he was hired, but I'll believe that when I see it from Weis. If that's truly the case, next year's offense would have to still feature the spread.

What are you expecting out of this bunch for next year? Who do you want to see leaned on as the main rushing option? Any of these guys have 1,000-yard potential if given the chance?


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With Demps running track this spring, the team has only three backs at a critical time for installing a new offense. Consequently, I'd expect Rainey to return to RB instead of WR and be a leader. Gillislee should fit very well if he stays healthy. And Mack Brown should have nothing to complain about in terms of being utilized and given the opportunity to contribute. The odds are, however, that one or more of these guys will have minor injuries at some point, so it will be interesting to see how the staff copes. Burton or Reed could fill the gap, but that would set them back in development at safety and tight end, respectively. UF could use at least one more true RB and safety in its class this year.

UF bottom dwellers of the SEC.


I see Demps having a 1000yd + season in '11 easily, if given the chance (25-30 runs/game). He can do it in the spread or the pro. the man is pure speed, a bolt of lighting! SPEED KILLS! can't touch this...

REALISTIC ASSESSMENT TIME : This year will be a transition to new offense. Weis needs one year to re-set everyone. Remember UF started the 2nd most Freshman in the nation last year. That experience will now pay dividends. Plus those top-three recruiting classes give you the depth and talent. I'm glad we are talking about 4 RBs. Gillislee will surprise this year. Finally, on odd-years, tough/rivalry games are at home (FSU, TENN etc). Also, players will now be back at thier natural positions; Burton plays in the slot so he can be versatile (slot rec., RB, option QB) and Reed plays TE, shows off his athletic ability. We will be fine. Transition year record.......10-3, or 9-4.

Can any1 say 'michigan'. spread 2 a pro-style or pro-style 2 a spread. (good luck with that) 2-3 years at 7-5 or 6-6 & a coach getting fired in 3 years if he makes that long..

We will be fine. Transition year record.......10-3, or 9-4.

Posted by: Cp | January 17, 2011 at 10:41 PM

In your best years you hope to have those records, you are a joke. HC with not HC experience+ OC who was a terrible college coach & bails after 3 years+ spread to pro style = last or second to last in SEC for the next 3 years.

Hounshell decommits.....

When he agreed to join the team on Aug. 11, Hounshell was the Gators 13th commitment. Since head coach Urban Meyer (and in this case offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Steve Addazio) left the program, he is Florida’s third decommitment. The others include four-stars cornerback Nick Waisome (Florida State) and linebacker Ryan Shazier (Ohio State). Four-star defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan (Clemson) decommitted from UF on Nov. 29

Read more: http://www.onlygators.com/01/17/2011/hounshell-switches-commitment-to-notre-dame/#ixzz1BOgVDgUz

Posted by: This is NOT good

No worries. Those players are going to schools that beat up duh U - good enough for me.

In two days, #UM has pulled in two of the best playmakers I've seen in the state in Dallas Crawford and Kevin Grooms 16 minutes ago

Read more: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/umiami/2011/01/cb-crawford-becomes-latest-um-commitment.html#ixzz1BPVe8bj7.

CBS Sports national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming thinks Golden can be a superstar recruiter at Miami. Last year, Lemming named Golden the top recruiter in the country for the work he did at Temple.

"The pressure was enormous for [Kirby Hocutt] to come up with a good guy," Lemming said. "Now, you have Jimbo Fisher at Florida State and Florida, who replaced Urban Meyer with a great choice in Muschamp. Miami needed a good recruiter and could have really suffered, but they hit a home run.

"With Al Golden, I believe he's as good as Nick Saban, Urban Meyer. Pete Carroll, Mack Brown and Jim Tressell, who I consider the top five recruiters in the country. He's as good as those five, he just never had the platform like he will at Miami.

what is the story on Mack Brown? i thought he was a "tough runner" like Blakely.

Cp -- good points, but Burton himself has said he is moving to defense. UF is likely to recruit some bigger backs to complement the speed/scat backs already on the roster. Either way, Weis has a lot to work with and should have an immediate impact.

Miami is getting alot of top commits and UF is getting lots of decommits, whats up with that gators! You guys are bringing down the SEC, get your fat arsse coaches act together and recruit what is left.

I heard that the gators are losing commits faster than they can recruit. I thought Weis was going to show off his SB rings, as a recruit, I would ask him where his NC Rings are?
The recruits know that Muschump will not get the job done, plain and simple.

Miami is getting a lot of top recruits?? That's one of the funniest things I've read in a while!

Read the national headlines on ESPN and Miami is getting some realing top players, what have the gators got since Muschump came in, oh yea trying to steal a top Miami recruit Chikilo who is playing the gators and will make all of you look rediculous. Represent the SEC right gators and make some noise besides last place in the SEC.

Tampa defensive end Anthony Chickillo (82nd). Chickillo said Tuesday he’s considering UF and will visit Tennessee but “it’s looking real good” for UM:

If we go 7-5 again this year, I am canceling my season tix.

Can we trade Brantley for a bag of balls?

So much for free speech, huh mike??

78 of Rivals top 100 committed: SEC (22) Pac12 (15) Big12 (13) ACC (11) Big10 (9) Notre Dame (6) MWC (1) BigEast (1)

No correlation with National Championships.

Hate to see him start his career with a serious injury. Hope we make a move to land another back even though it is late in the game. How about the back in GA that is yet to commit.

So much for free speech, huh mike??

Posted by: GatorAlum | January 20, 2011 at 06:36 AM

Well, when you resort to racism and personal attacks, it is gonna get deleted.

There is a new sheriff in town, Curse....

Nice job Gator fans, even in an off year we finished number 9 in the country (averaging 90,511 in attendance)to support our team!! True Fans!!

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