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August 21, 2014

Sarvary transitioning to center


With Cameron Dillard not performing up to standards in camp and Trip Thurman limited with a shoulder injury, the Florida coaching staff approached JUCO transfer offensive lineman Drew Sarvary last week with a proposition:

Do you want to try out center?

"I was like, 'I'll do whatever you need.' So, that's where they've got me," said Sarvary, who had never played center before in his entire life. "It's going well. I like it. It's a little different, brings new challenges. It definitely motivates me more."

For an offensive line thin on depth with a struggling second unit, how Sarvary performs this year at both the Gators' backup center and a guard off the bench could be crucial.

So far Sarvary, once a true freshman starter for Florida A&M and then a member for Tyler Junior College's football team for a season, has embraced the challenges of playing center. For him, the toughest part has been trying to find angles on his blocks.

"I played guard and tackle before," he said. "You don't really have a guy that close to you. When you're playing center, you have a guy that's probably six inches away. At guard, you're probably a foot-plus back. It's a lot different playing with someone right up in your face."

As for the process of snapping the ball, Sarvary has caught on quickly and said he's been doing well.

"It's going good," he said. "I haven't had too many mess-ups. It's not as hard as everyone thinks it is. It's almost like golf. You've got to do the same repetitions every time and it'll right back to the quarterback.

"At center, you have a little challenge because you have one hand down. You try to get that left hand free and get that locked out as fast as possible and then reset your right hand. What the defensive lineman will try to do is try to pin that right arm while you snap, so that's kind of a new thing to learn -- rest that hand as soon as possible -- but it's going well."

Sarvary has been receptive to the new role and often seeks advice from his peers - especially starting center Max Garcia, who is new to the position himself - as to how to master the position.

"I talk to Max all the time," Sarvary said. "I go over to him and I'm like, 'Hey Max, I need help on this play. What do I do? What's some advice, some technique.' He's more than willing to dish out what he knows. Coach (Mike) Summers helps me out a lot. It's just getting used to repetitions, muscle memory. That's all it is really."

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