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A Skinny Six-Pack: Florida’s Fall Camp Primer

The Gators open training camp on Friday with coach Will Muschamp’s (now annual) split-squad schedule -- freshmen and various other underclassmen are separated from the rest of the team for the first couple of days.

UF will practice in full pads for the first time on Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Later this afternoon, the team will host Media Day to kick-start the season. But before we meet with players and coaches, here’s a quick preview of UF’s training camp.

FIVE STORYLINES TO FOLLOW

 1. Will this be the year a productive wideout finally emerges? Probably not. Maybe. We’ll see. Muschamp worked tirelessly to infuse Florida’s black hole position with new talent (five freshmen) and an improved coach (former UK head coach Joker Phillips). Demarcus Robinson is the anticipated savior, but so was Andre Debose four years ago. 

2. Is the looming rivalry game versus Miami (Sep. 7) already on Florida’s mind? Last season, the Gators swore they approached every opponent/game the same way. Malarkey. Rewind the Louisiana-Lafayette tape. The Gators kickoff the season against a respectable Toledo team, but where will their heads truly be?

3. What will Loucheiz Purifoy’s offensive role truly look like? Muschamp says the versatile junior will play both ways. How much?  

4. Is Ronald Powell primed to be a (once-promised) breakout star? The linebacker returns to action following two ACL injuries, a year away from football and a position change (now a strongside linebacker).

5. How long is Antonio Morrison’s suspension, and who (potentially) temporarily replaces him? The likely answer to the latter is redshirt junior (and career-backup) Michael Taylor. As for Morrison, the charges against him have been dropped so does Muschamp reduce the punishment with his own “as of right now” escape clause?

FIVE POSITION BATTLES TO WATCH

1. Safety – It’s not just one spot to fill, but two. Matt Elam and Josh Evans are off to the league, while De’Ante ‘Pop’ Saunders was (not-so) kindly asked to transfer. With ridiculous depth at cornerback, senior Jaylen Watkins is an obvious candidate (size, experience) to fill one void. The other? Redshirt freshman Marcus Maybe is probably the frontrunner following a nice spring, but Muschamp is super high on promising freshmen Marcell Harris and Keanu Neal.

2. Right tackle – It’s a Chaz Green vs. Nebraska-transfer Tyler Moore showdown. Plagued by injuries and inconsistencies, Green, a redshirt-junior, would likely be the backup if the season started today. But it doesn’t and the kid does possess some talent. Moore struggled early in spring practice before ultimately working his way back into football shape, while Green missed the entire camp recovering from ankle surgery.

3. Tight end – There’s not exactly a who’s who collection of studs here. Quarterback Jeff Driskel will certainly miss his safety valve and favorite target, Jordan Reed, and Florida will be hard-pressed to duplicate Reed’s production (team-leading 45 receptions in 2012) even spread amongst a group that includes Clay Burton, Colin Thompson and Kent Taylor. Burton and Thompson are blocking-oriented tight ends, while Taylor has potential as an athletic flex-option but the staff has openly questioned his toughness.

4. Backup quarterback – Florida’s uninspiring group of quarterbacks face a unique opportunity with Driskel sidelined for the first couple weeks of camp. Tyler Murphy (RSJR) seems content in his role as a career backup, but it’s not a given he will beat out freshmen Skyler Morhinweg and/or Max Staver. Also entering the group is former Ole Miss signee and San Diego Padres pro prospect, Chris Wilkes. With heralded recruit Will Grier entering the fray in 2014, it’s not exactly a loser leaves town battle, but it’s pretty close.

5. Kicker – Caleb Sturgis was the best kicker in UF history, a lifesaver for UF’s offense in 2012 and an All-American. Austin Hardin, a redshirt freshman, and Brad Phillips, a walk-on senior, won’t win any awards in 2013.

FIVE NEWCOMERS TO MONITOR

1. WR Marqui Hawkins – Robinson aside, fellow freshmen receivers Alvin Bailey and Ahmad Fulwood have received the majority of preseason hype, but Hawkins may be the most polished of the three.

2. LB Daniel McMillian – An early enrollee and potential weakside linebacker starter by midseason.    

3. RB Kelvin Taylor – The state’s all-time leading rusher and son of former Florida great Fred Taylor.

4. CB Vernon Hargreaves III UF’s most heralded recruit in the 2013 class. An instant impact performer.

5. TE Trevon Young – A late addition to UF’s most recent recruiting class. He’s a monster (6’6, 270) who can move well for his size, but he’s raw. Really raw.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

 

Comments

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CB Vernon Hargreaves III


will win 3 games as a freshman... squared by junior year

"With ridiculous depth at cornerback"

3 deep at nickle n dime

Nice , throwing a " sixpack" in the title is a sure way to get gatornecks attention.

With so many top 10 recruiting classes, how is it possible that we are so thin at so many positions? Our depth at QB and OL is awful.

5 frosh WR's is nice but if Dunbar and DeBose don't carry the load, we are dead in the water.

Posted by: Al Coholics, your name and reference to the six pack is actually funny and original. A first for a Miami Moron, congrats.
Posted by: Puzzled Gator, as if we all cannot tell you are a cane troll pretending to be a Gator.

I think the WR story is very important, right now the only proven ones are Dunbar and Solomon Patton. Between the freshmen and DeBose we need at least a couple to step up.
The backup QB situation is also weak but you have to make do with what you have.

just spewing forth in society. How does a school spit out so many miscreants? And you wonder why the value of your diploma is so poor?

jls must be a real fem. How many people other than high school freshmen girls pepper their speech with "as if."

No depth. No quality. Toledo looms.

Per Puzzled: Florida doenst have a depth problem at OL. In fact, it's likely the best group the team's had in years with the transfer additions of Moore, Garcia and juco-tackle Brown.

The WR problems have been a combination of prospects not panning out, poor coaching and inconsistent QB play. The Gators hope (like really hope) that changes in 2013 with Joker as a top-notch position coach and five marquee freshmen. You're right though, Dunbar has to carry his weight for the unit to really be productive.

UF has promoted Dunbar's potential the past two off seasons with little to show for it.

Posted by: Miami Trash
Another post full of lies and exaggerations not worth responding to except to point out the obvious that he who wrote it is a Moron.

Every Gator knows the O line is one of the strongest units in our team.
Again the problems with the WR position are nothing new, lets see what Joker Phillips can do.

I'll have more in a notebook later this evening, but FLorida debuted at No. 10 in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll.

The SEC had five teams ranked in the top 10 (No. 1 Alabama, No. 5 UGA, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 7 USC and No. 10 UF).

Florida will play four teams ranked in the initial poll's top-15 -- UGA, USC, LSU (No. 13) and FSU (No. 12).

Miami just missed the rankings, tallying the second-most "receiving votes"

Half the top 10 is SEC. We have a tough road ahead as usual let's see what we can do this year. The USC game looms as the most difficult one at this early stage.
Hope Driskel heals fast.
As always Go Gators!

Hilarious! Miami not ranked, yet their fans talk trash like they're defending champs. Nothing new for the preseason though, they're preseason champs every year till they put up ANOTHER amazing 7 win season.

Notre Dame started the season unranked in some polls last year and ended up #1 dummy! So much for gator logic gatoralum. After Miami thumps the turds, they will be in the top 10. I cant wait for your excuses, bawahhhaaa

Preseason champs as usual, right giant? Hilarious!!

After Miami thumps the turds,they will be in the top 10

Never fails to amaze me how delusional these Miami Morons are.
First the Gators will beat Miami
Second, even if Um somehow wins they will definitively not be ranked in the top 10.
GatorAlum does have logic on his side, you only have delusions and crap on yours.
Crap and delusion, a cane thang............

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