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August 02, 2013

Readers Digest: Observations Unearthed at #UFMediaDay

Between the woodpecker joke, traditional optimistic platitudes and oodles of injury news, there was some other pertinent information gleaned during Thursday’s media session. 

In no particular order:

1. Fair warning

Florida finished the 2012 season last in the SEC with 68.8 penalty yards per game and coach Will Muschamp said it’s time to start disciplining players -- something he’s shied away from in the past -- for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, personal fouls, etc. 

"I'm more concerned with the selfish and stupid penalties we're had the last two seasons," Muschamp said. "We've recruited well the last two seasons, and we're in a situation positionally that you can be selfish on the sidelines."

2. Question marks?

Muschamp didn’t hesitate to identify his primary concerns at the start of training camp: the tight end group, linebacker depth, youth at safety and kicker.

3. All aboard

With the (official) late addition of offensive lineman Roderick Johnson (American Heritage), all of Florida’s freshmen successfully reported to camp.

4. Getting techy?

Senior wideout Andre Debose shared an interesting tidbit, saying, Florida players now have an application on their phones that allows them to re-watch any practice at home. 

5. Injury replacements

With starting guards Jon Halapio (torn pectoral) and Max Garcia (back) sidelined at the start of camp, the Gators have been forced to shuffle around their offensive line. Prospective starting right tackle (early leader at least) Tyler Moore, the Nebraska-transfer, will slide inside and play right guard. Chaz Green, UF's starter in 2012, will continue to play right tackle, while Ian Silberman will fill in at left guard.  

QUOTABLE

“The guy who’s going to be really good, but it just depends on who he hangs out with, what he decides to do outside of football, making decisions is Demarcus Robinson. He’s a really, really good player, but.”

-- UF’s senior Swiss Army Knife, Trey Burton, on freshman wide receiver Demarcus Robinson -- in a rare moment of candor.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

Man Down, Man Up

GAINESVILLE -- When Florida quaterback Jeff Driskel woke up with a stomach ache Monday morning, his head coach thought it was nothing more than a bad piece of beef.

“I hoped he ate a bad cheeseburger,” Will Muschamp said. “But it wasn’t.”

Driskel underwent surgery for acute appendicitis Tuesday afternoon at UF Health Shands Hospital, but not before suffering through persistent pain around his right abdomen for over a day until his roommate, former UF offensive linemen Tommy Jordan, warned Driskel he should get his issue checked out.

“We’re lucky we found it early and acted on it,” Florida’s junior quarterback said. “It could’ve been a lot worse.”

Driskel said he’s feeling better already -- not surprising considering he was just two days removed from surgery and speaking to the press at UF’s Media Day on Thursday -- but he won’t rush his return.

“Whenever I’m ready, I’ll be back,” Driskel said.

Muschamp expects his quarterback to miss roughly two weeks of practice, and like Driskel, complemented Florida’s medical staff for discovering and diagnosing the problem quickly.

“Our medical staff did a fantastic job indentifying that early,” Muschamp said. “If it’s a rupture, you’re talking about at least a month, probably.”

Driskel will remain around the team while he recovers from surgery, taking “mental reps” on the practice field sidelines and in the film room.

“I’ll be right there behind the huddle,” he said.

Tyler Murphy will lead Florida’s first-team offense in Driskel’s absence, as Muschamp officially named the redshirt-junior the Gators’ “clear-cut” backup.

Murphy is eagerly approaching this unique opportunity and didn’t mince words with his ultimate aspiration.

“If I can stir up a problem in the coaches office, and they’re questioning who the starting quarterback should be, I feel like I’ve reached my goal,” he said.

Florida will have no such quarterback controversy again in 2013, but Murphy is at least relishing the chance to give UF’s offense some early camp momentum.

“I want guys to believe when I’m in we won’t skip a beat,” he said. “I want to prove to the coaches I’m trustworthy.”

It starts today.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton


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