GAINESVILLE -- The Gators haven't had a lot of reasons to celebrate last couple seasons, but even when they did it was often done individually.
New defensive coordinator Geoff Collins wants to change that.
“We kind of went back and watched some of last season, there would be a lot of great plays being made defensively, but then you would see at times, celebrations being kind of individualized, kind of running away from each other,” Collins explained.
Florida's new staff is emphasizing reveling with teammates, and it's working.
“The big focus for us this spring, is coming together and celebrating together," Collins said.
"Not necessarily just ‘look at me, look at me,’ but ‘look at my buddy who just made a play, let’s go get excited about that.’ You start seeing that every single day and get a little bit better, whether it’s 10 or 11 off the sideline to celebrate with each other.”
TEAM’S BEST ATH?
A year ago, J.C. Jackson was expected to compete for a starting cornerback spot as a true freshman, but a shoulder injury forced a redshirt season.
Now, the former Immokalee standout is healthy and making waves as a playmaking defensive back in camp.
“J.C. is probably one of the most athletic kids, possibly, that I’ve ever been around,” Collins said.
“He’s done a good job for us, playing corner, playing some nickel. [He's] very fast, very physical and very athletic. Technique, he gets better every day. Sometimes some of the technical things that he might not be 100-percent on he can make up for with sheer athletic ability.”
With Jackson’s explosive physical skills, many wondered if the former two-way star would play wideout on a team desperate for playmaking talent. But Collins sidestepped the question Tuesday, saying, “That’s for the head coach, and coach [Jim McElwain] does a great job.”
“We went over there and it was awfully muddy.”
-- McElwain, on checking out the indoor practice facility site during Monday’s inclement weather.
THIS & THAT
Collins singled out defensive linemen Alex McCalister and Taven Bryan as two players who have “really come on” this spring. … Ideally, McElwain wants to utilize nine wideouts in the rotation come fall. … The Gators will hold a few full contact sessions Wednesday and scrimmage some Saturday.
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