Friday practice notes and observations

Friday practice notes and observations

Here are our notes and observations from Florida’s Friday afternoon practice, its third of preseason camp. Players were in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) for the first time after spending the first two sessions in helmets only as required by the NCAA in the first two practices of preseason camp. The session was held indoors at Florida’s football practice facility. Media members were allowed to watch just one period of the session, which lasted 14 minutes.

Not observed in attendance: CB Jaydon HillTE Dante ZandersOLB Brenton CoxWR Trent WhittemoreOL Richard GouraigeS Dakota Mitchell

In attendance in a non-contact jersey: YOU Jonathan OdomK Trey Smack


practice notes

— Florida held its third practice of preseason camp on Friday afternoon. The session was held inside and players were in shells for the first time after spending the first two practices in helmets only as required by the NCAA. Media was allowed to observe 14 minutes of the session, which is the expectation for the remainder of fall camp and into the season. The Gators were in skill development groups for the entirety of the observed window, which was the case during the spring as well.

— Viewed as one of the team’s deepest units, Florida’s running backs were working on foot speed and body control in a drill that required them to weave through a row of pads before ducking under a metal bar. Running backs coach Jabbar Juluke was particularly vocal during the session, praising players who did the drill well and demanding players repeat the exercise if they failed to do it to his liking. Junior running back Lorenzo Lingard was the standout performer during the session, earning praise from Juluke on multiple occasions. Sophomore Nay’Quan Wright, who is in the final stages of rehabbing an ankle injury that required offseason surgery, appeared to go through the drill somewhat slower than his fellow backs, prompting Juluke to yell “Play with speed, gentlemen! Play with speed! ” Wright was not asked to redo the drill, though. Freshman Trevor Etiennea former four-star prospect who enrolled over the summer, had to repeat the drill three times before Juluke gave him a pass.

— The Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets had a scout in attendance for the practice session. While the Bengals’ representative spent the window open to media pacing the sideline and taking notes, the Jets’ scout appeared to be locked in on Florida’s inside linebacker unit. It is unclear which player captured his attention, though.

— One Florida linebacker had a particularly vocal day: sophomore Derek Wingo. In addition to performing well, Wingo was helping some of the other players with their head positioning and technique. At one point, Wingo told junior walk-on linebacker Kenny Anyaehie to “look straight ahead” during a drill. Anyaehies’ head position seemed to drop down to the left during the drill and Wingo caught it quickly.

During a routes-on-air session in which Florida’s quarterbacks took turns throwing to receivers, junior receiver Ricky Pearsall looked particularly sharp, making a pair of nice catches on short curl roads and showing off his speed after making quick turns and darting up the field. Pearsall has drawn compliments from teammates and coaches lately. Safety Rashad Torrence, who spoke to media members on Friday morning, was the latest to praise the Arizona State transfer.

“Just the energy he brings and having a new face — most guys come in kind of shy but he cam in with the energy that he belongs here, and we’ve embraced that. So, it’s a great feeling,” Torrence said. “He’s a nice piece to have.

Justin Shorter and Ja’Quavion Fraziers also performed well during this practice segment while all four of Florida’s scholarship quarterbacks kept the ball relatively on target with just a few throws that were slightly off.

— Junior tight end Dante Zandersjunior outside linebacker Brenton Cox and sophomore receiver Trent Whittemore were not observed in attendance for Friday’s practice session. A team spokesperson told media members that the trio was graduating, which led to their absence.

— Florida’s game changer group (special teams) was working out together outside for the entirety of the observation window. freshman kicker Trey Smack was in a black non-contact jersey for the third consecutive day. It is unclear why.

— Redshirt freshman safety Dakota Mitchell was not observed in attendance during Friday’s session, though there is little cause for concern regarding the redshirt freshman safety. Mitchell has been observed in a non-contact jersey during each of Florida’s first two fall camp practices and was not working out with his unit. Instead, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound defensive back from Winter Park, Florida, was training with director of player athletic development Joe Danos in the team’s indoor practice facility. While his ailment is unknown at this time, head coach Billy Napier said Friday that he should be expected back shortly.

— Junior offensive tackle Richard Gouraige was not also not observed in attendance, though he is in the same boat as Mitchell. Gouraige is dealing with a very minor lower-bod ailment, multiple sources have told Swamp247.

—Sophomore tight end Jonathan Odom was observed in a non-contact jersey but was still working out with his unit. He underwent shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in the spring and is expected to be cleared by the time the season starts.

— Sophomore corner Jaydon Hill was not observed at practice due to an undisclosed injury. Napier said he would be out for the foreseeable future.

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