GAINESVILLE -- Florida held its first scrimmage of the spring Thursday, but Wednesday’s practice was more like a red carpet event.
A pair of current NFL head coaches, an Oscar-winning actor and a Gators legend all visited UF's workout, with coach Jim McElwain saying “that’s pretty special having those guys around.”
Former Heisman Trophy winner and National Champion head coach Steve Spurrier was in town, stopping by practice to lend some tips to McElwain and checkout his old stomping grounds.
“I’m glad his accountant is here, gave him a reason to be in town,” McElwain quipped.
“Had a chance to visit with him. … Sitting down, it’s awakes great to talk to him. The guy meant so much to this program, obviously, not only as a player but what he did as a coach. Let’s fact it, the guy’s a former Gator and that’s cool.”
Spurrier spent time watching Florida’s four-headed battle at quarterback, with McElwain saying Spurrier “was exited to see when had some.”
“They threw the ball well, he said. He gave me a little, good critique about throwing the corner balls when we’re down in the red zone. It’s something that we’ve definitely talked about in the staff meetings. It makes a lot of sense. Like I said, having that guy around, that’s pretty neat.”
Meanwhile, the Head Ball Coach wasn’t the only celebrity in attendance, as Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio was in town to watch his son Luke Del Rio -- the frontrunner for UF's starting quarterback job. Tagging along with Del Rio was close family friend Gene Hackmon.
McElwain, a huge hoops fan, was floored by Hackman’s presence, calling “Hoosiers” once of his favorite films.
“Automatic,” he said, laughing.
Former Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, now the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, was also at Wednesday practice, as were a number of former UF players (Keanu Neal, Antonio Morrison, Demarcus Robinson) and 2017 quarterback commit Jake Allen (St. Thomas Aquinas).
Thursday’s scrimmage was closed, but McElwian said the plan was rep between 117 to 128 plays, focusing on situational work. The Gators planned to work on red zone, third down, two-minute offense and goal-line.
Wideouts Ahmad Fulwood (leg) and ‘Dre Massey (leg) both sat out the scrimmage, while starting center Cam Dillard (broken nose) and defensive end Justus Reed (illness) were sidelined, too.
McElwain wasn’t sure if sophomore tailback Jordan Scarlett (hamstring) would participate but wideout C.J. Worton, who took a spill in practice Wednesday, was “good to go.”
THIS & THAT
Early-enrollee quarterbacks Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask were scheduled to receive reps with the first-team offense during Thursday’s scrimmage. … McElwain identified Dillard and left tackle David Sharpe as offensive leaders this spring. He also named star linebacker Jarrad Davis and senior defensive end Bryan Cox as players who have taken additional leadership roles, too.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton