Notebook: Pads come on for Gators third spring practice
The first couple days of spring practcie are more football adjacent than actual football. But when the pads come on and the players starting hitting, now we're cooking with oil.
The Florida Gators were in full pads for the first time in spring camp on Monday, changing the whole mood of practice.
Practice starts with hitting
The first practice in pads started with what Florida calls a 1-on-1 blocking drill. Urban Meyer called it the "circle of life" drill when he was at Florida and Mohamoud Diabate says he grew up calling it board drills.
Whatever you call it, it's a great way to start a practice.
"The tone, you know, crashing heads head-to-head, so hey, starting the day off strong. You know, wake up," Mohamoud Diabate said. Wake up, shake your head off, get ready to go. I love doing one-on-one blocking, great drill to begin the day with.”
Gators Territory added a lot of videos from practice on our message board HERE.
A big statement from Trey Dean
Kyle Trask went from career backup to a Heisman finalist in 2020. Trask set multiple passing records in 2020 and had one of the best statistical seasons in Florida football history.
With Trask moving on to the NFL it's Emory Jones' turn to run the offense. The storyline this offseason is what will the offense look like with a more mobile Jones at quarterback? Trey Dean had a message for the people who think the Gators' passing attack could see a drop-off in 2020.
“If people think Emory Jones cannot throw the ball, they need to second guess it. Emory Jones can throw the ball as well as Kyle Trask," Dean said. "I think he can do everything with his legs also. I think he’ll be a great dual-threat and I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people.”
Running back room not letting competition get in the way
The Gators' running back room is crowded. Florida returns its three-leading rushers at the position while adding Demarckus Bowman and Lorenzo Lingard for his second season in Gainesville.
There are only one ball and a limited number of carries to go around but senior Dameon Pierce is taking it on his shoulders to make sure the mentality in the room stays where it needs to be.
"It doesn't matter who is in, the job is going to get done at a very high level. Coach Knox stresses that coach Knox makes sure that everybody, you know that's on the top of his list. If you can't protect the ball, can't protect the quarterback, you're not going to play. so if we're out there we must have those two things down," Pierce said. "That's what we're working with these young guys right now, it's their first year in the offense, we're trying to make sure everybody good. We're starting from square one, even me being an older guy, I'm still starting from square one. There's still room to improve and we're just trying to translate to the younger guys. Just make sure that you're ready when your number called because it will be called eventually."