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August 19, 2013
After a light, special teams-based practice Sunday that lasted less than one hour, Florida was back at it Monday in a midday practice used to get players used to the Gainesville heat. The end zones were painted with "12:21" to remind players of the start time for their season opener against Toledo. Inside the Gators will have in-depth reports throughout the day, but here is some rapid reaction to get things started.
QUICK OVERVIEW: Florida had yet another light contact practice that didn't involve tackling Monday. The Gators opened in a regular one-minute drill before going into extensive special teams work that was broken up at times by a minimal amount of 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 action. Even then it was difficult to get much out of live action, as there was no "good on good" action with first-teamers regularly going up against second- and third- team players.
THUMBS UP: Will Muschamp hasn't been overly happy with what he has gotten out of tight ends Colin Thompson and Kent Taylor, but Monday was a step in the right direction. Both were assets in the passing game, making a couple snags across the middle. Redshirt freshman quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg had the best practice we have seen from him since he arrived at Florida. Mornhinweg was sharp with his decisions and more accurate than usual. The first-team defense imposed its will throughout the practice but that could have had plenty to do with the competition it was going up against.
THUMBS DOWN: It didn't help they had to consistently go against some of the best pass rushers in the Southeastern Conference, but Florida's reserve offensive linemen had a rough day. Quinteze Williams returned to the practice field from an illness and was beaten on one play after another. With no live tackling in any of the open practice, it has been difficult to get a read on the running back situation. What we learned today is that the pass protection concerns are legitimate. Every running back aside from fullback Gideon Ajagbe struggled mightily to be even competitive in pass protection drills.
FIVE WHO STOOD OUT:
1. CB Loucheiz Purifoy - He has benefitted from Marcus Roberson having to take an excessive amount of repetitions, but Purifoy has been the most impressive cornerback the past few days. He saw some walkthrough time at wide receiver early Monday.
2. DE Jonathan Bullard - It was open season on reserve offensive tackles for Bullard and the rest of Florida's defensive line today. They didn't disappoint.
3. K Austin Hardin - Aside from one missed 42-yarder, which bounced off the right upright, Hardin was the go-to kicker in Monday's practice and was accurate throughout the afternoon.
4. WR Quinton Dunbar - He has separated himself from every wide receiver not named Demarcus Robinson and was a reliable target for Jeff Driskel again Monday.
5. LB Jarrad Davis - Florida's backup at Will linebacker heading into the season opener regularly blew up running backs in pass protection drills.
THIS AND THAT: Driskel opened the practice by going 3 for 3 with completions to Dunbar (two) and Solomon Patton (one) in a one-minute drill. ? Freshman wide receivers Robinson and Ahmad Fulwood worked exclusively with the second-team offense during 11-on-11 drills. ? Senior cornerback Jaylen Watkins returned to practice Sunday and was a full part of practice Monday. ? Fullback Hunter Joyer spent the entire practice dragging a sled in "the pit."