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Gators appear to be considering I-formation. Do they have the personnel to pull it off?

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GAINESVILLE -- The Florida Gators' offense practiced almost exclusively out of the I-formation on Monday.

Rising redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley called plays from under center and Florida fullbacks T.J. Pridemore and Steve Wilks practiced more on Monday than I think they have in two seasons. A quick aside: Pridemore is a crazy person. Seriously, this guy is psycho on the football field. At one point during Monday's practice, he ripped off defensive end Kedric Johnson's helmet and threw it at him.

All coach Urban Meyer could do was smile.

Johnson screamed, "He is #$$&! stupid!"

Tight ends coach Brian White wasn't too concerned about Johnson's safety, but did point out to Pridemore, "Don't throw helmets! They'll kick you out of the game!"

Since this whole fullback, I-formation experiment is new for Florida, I don't really know enough about Pridemore and Wilks other than to say Pridemore definitely plays with a mean streak and Wilks appears to be a little faster than Pridemore. Of course, speed is always relative when you're talking about fullbacks.

ANYWAY, I am very intriguing by the Gators' offense this spring and you should be, too. Everyone probably likes the idea of Meyer and offensive coordinator Steve Addazio trying new things to fit the quarterbacking style of traditional passer John Brantley, but that doesn't necessarily mean the Gators have the personnel to pull it off. UF currently does not have a reliable option at tight end. That's a serious problem for any I-formation.

Redshirt freshman Jordan Reed is currently the Gators' starting tight end. Reed, who was recruited to UF as a quarterback, appears to be a superb athlete and is learning the position quickly. He made several impressive catches on Monday and even ran the Wildcat. Still, this spring is the first time he has played the position. It's a work in progress.

Reed's back-up, freshman Gerald Christian, is another young but talented player. The West Palm Beach Dwyer product is by far the strongest freshman on the team. He can bench 215 pounds 21 times, which is pretty remarkable for an early enrollee.

Another quick observation about the I-formation package before we move on. On Monday, Brantley appeared more comfortable running traditional plays from under center (passing, hand offs, play action) than the option. One of Brantley's option pitches was pretty ugly and he heard an earful from Addazio.

UF fifth-year senior Carl Moore wasn't at practice on Monday.

The receiver from California is a projected starter after returning from a back injury that sidelined him last season. On Monday, Moore's position coach didn't know why his senior wasn't at practice and a UF spokesman didn't know if Moore missed practice because of an injury or something else.

Moore walked off the practice field on Saturday visibly frustrated about something. He appeared to be complaining rather loudly to a teammate.

Former UF safety Major Wright attended practice on Monday. He was in Gainesville for the day working out for Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Wright has worked out privately for the Jets, Patriots and Browns.





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