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Breakdown of Gators depth chart for spring ball

Will Muschamp said he isn't sure this depth chart "is worth the paper it's printed on," but I hear Jeremy Foley is springing for some high-grade printer paper these days. At the very least, it makes for interesting discussion, so without me blabbing too much, here's what UF released today:

Starter: John Brantley. 2nd String: Tyler Murphy/Jeff Driskel
There will be plenty of discussion about the quarterbacks later this week, and they'll be available for interviews Thursday, so I won't get too deep here. No surprise that it's Brantley. Muschamp and Charlie Weis both said Brantley is a good fit, both of them declined to say what they thought went wrong with him last year, and they also said it's open competition. Weis also praised Murphy and called Driskel "a classic drop-back quarterback." Can't wait to see what happens with this group, but we won't really know til August. Weis added that he went after Jacoby Brissett because the depth at QB wasn't as great as it sounded with that three-way battle last year. It appears both Jordan Reed and Trey Burton are moving away from quarterback full-time.

Starter: Chris Rainey. 2nd String: Mike Gillislee/Mack Brown
Again, no surprises, other than the fact that the "Rainey's a receiver" charade is over. Jeff Demps is running track and Mike Blakely is out after surgery, so spring is really about making sure Rainey knows the plays. I wouldn't be shocked if Gillislee or Brown really establish themselves either.

Starter: Frankie Hammond. 2nd String: Stephen Alli/Quinton Dunbar
Starter: Omarius Hines. 2nd String: Andre Debose
THEY GOT IT RIGHT! As far as the starters go, this is the common sense lineup. You're obviously wondering if they dumped Deonte Thompson off a bridge or something. More on that in a minute, but this could be a big year for Hammond and Hines if they head into the season like this.

Starter: Jordan Reed. 2nd String: A.C. Leonard
So Reed is full-time TE now, which is good and bad. Good because he could be a great tight end, but bad because the quarterback position could completely fall apart again and he'll be in less of a position to help.

F-21: Trey Burton.
F-12: Michael McFarland, Josh Postell
F-11: Deonte Thompson, then Solomon Patton OR Robert Clark.
Just what the F is F? Get ready to dive into the mind of Charlie Weis. I asked him to break this down since there are no F's on my Playstation, and he was really nice and helpful about it (aka not the Weis I expected to meet after all the stories about how he's a jerk). Basically, these three are the real second-stringers at their positions, though it's a little more complicated than that.
The numbers correspond to the number of backs (first digit) and tight ends (second digit) in the formation, and one of these three will always be on the field when their combination comes up. So, Burton will be the second back in the backfield, leaving one tight end and two receivers. McFarland will be the second tight end, meaning one back and two receivers, and Thompson will play when there's one back and one tight end, leaving three receivers.
Weis quizzed me at the end of his response, asking me how many receivers are on the field in a 22 formation. I correctly answered one, then asked for a job. He declined.
So, these three will play quite a bit. I'd like to see Leonard take this spot from McFarland and Debose, Patton or Clark take it from Deonte, and there's plenty of time for that. The important thing is that these coaches seem to have identified Hammond and Hines as being better than Thompson (they are), though maybe this will be the kick in the ass Deonte needs.

LT: Chaz Green, Kyle Koehne
LG: Jonotthan Harrison, Cole Gilliam
C: Sam Robey, Nick Alajajian
RG: Jon Halapio, William Steinmann
RT: Xavier Nixon, Ian Silberman
LOT of new faces, and this is going to be a real problem. Muschamp said he's concerned with the line on both sides of the ball, though offensively looks a little worse. Nixon has the most experience, and Halapio should be fine, but after that it's real questionable and this spring should decide a lot. Matt Patchan, David Young and James Wilson are all limited through spring.

Buck: Ronald Powell, then Lerentee McCray/Lynden Trail
DT: Sharrif Floyd, Earl Okine
DT: Dominique Easley, Leon Orr
DE: William Green, then Chris Martin/Clay Burton
Depth issues, but a good bunch of talent. Omar Hunter and Jaye Howard are both limited, which is a GREAT thing in my opinion. They don't need much work, but the other guys do. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn couldn't tell us why Powell's spot is called the Buck, but it's a hybrid role that he should thrive in, and it's modeled after the also-dubiously-named "Elephant" position Charles Haley played with the 49ers. I love Powell and McCray there. Green could be good at the other DE spot, but that's certainly a question mark and Martin needs to come along quickly.
Good talent at tackle, and as long as everyone keeps their heads on straight, that could be a good position. Muschamp said he told Easley, who had some problems with not being BMOC last year: "You either do it our way or you leave."

Strongside: Gerald Christian, Gideon Ajagbe
Middle: Jon Bostic, Michael Taylor
Weakside: Jelani Jenkins, then Dee Finley OR Darrin Kitchens
The obvious oddity is Christian, who's been moved from TE. Muschamp made the decision, and he likes Christian's size and speed to cover tight ends, which should work because he was one. This discussion also led to the quote of the day from Muschamp: "I trust Jack Daniels" (Christian's HS coach).
No surprises outside of that. Neiron Ball is out for spring, and Finley needs to step up and earn some playing time this spring.

CB: Moses Jenkins, De'Ante Saunders
CB: Jeremy Brown, Cody Riggs
S: Matt Elam, Josh Shaw
S: Josh Evans, Tim Clark
Nickel: Elam, then Riggs OR Saunders
Janoris Jenkins is out for spring, which I also think is a good thing. The other guys need a lot of work, and they'll get it. No big surprises here. Jaylen Watkins is limited, and we don't know anything about Saunders yet, but I wouldn't be shocked if Cody Riggs made some noise. Muschamp spoke highly of Riggs on Monday, and with the lapses Brown had at the end of last year, the door is certainly open. This is basically a four-or-five way competition for the spot oppisite Janoris, and there will probably be plenty of chances to get interceptions in practice.
At safety, Elam and Evans were the sure-fire starters, and Shaw has moved over from corner.

Special Teams
K: Caleb Sturgis, Brad Phillips
P: Kyle Christy, David Lerner
PR: Chris Rainey, Frankie Hammond
KR: Andre Debose, Solomon Patton
LS: Christopher Guido, Drew Ferris
Sturgis is limited in spring, and breaking in a new punter after Chas Henry's departure is a concern. No surprise on the return men, and I think we're all excited about the Guido-Ferris battle.


Thoughts? What position battles are you most interested in?


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