August 26, 2009

Florida Gators Football - August 26th Campus Report

With just over a week left until the Florida Gators football team kicks off against Charleston Southern, I'm going to provide a few campus tidbits and insights that I've had over the past few days.

First off, you can never tell that football season is right around the corner quite like you can when you start to see hordes of Gator football players hanging around Turlington Plaza. As I made my way to class today, I saw quite a few.

Unfortunately, I also saw two linebackers that figure to contribute a good bit this year on crutches. The first was linebacker Brandon Hicks. This is no huge surprise, as Hicks has been out for a little while now and linebacker A.J. Jones was named the starter in his place.

However, there seems to be a new injury, as true freshman Jelani Jenkins was also in a boot and on crutches, as he hobbled around campus. This is news to me, and hopefully the injury isn't too serious, because Jenkins was competiting for serious playing time at linebacker.

Also, there's been a rumor floating around lately that linebacker Brendan Beal might seek a transfer from the program. That seems to have been largely debunked, as Beal is in the middle of a heated competition to back up Brandon Spikes.

Beal is deadlocked in a battle with Jon Bostic, and if you ask me, he's holding a slight lead at the moment. Beal has a real nose for the ball and has excellent tackling technique. The transfer rumors just don't make sense to me, as Beal has four years of eligibility left and starter Brandon Spikes will be in the NFL following this season.

As I reported yesterday, Tebow's shoulder and back have reportedly improved significantly. Tebow is feeling as good as he has in the past two years.

However, even given Tebow's health, he will likely find it easier to maintain that health this year, as QB John Brantley figures to get some serious time this year. This makes sense on many levels, as it will help keep Tebow healthy and will help prepare Brantley to take over the reigns next year.

Speaking of the quarterbacks, it seems that Joe Haden hasn't been getting very many practice reps under center. This isn't hugely surprising to me, as I thought it was mostly a ploy by Meyer to force opposing defensive coordinators to prepare for another element.

Haden has reportedly taken some snaps at quarterback "after practice," though no one has seen him doing that. Whether that's because the coaches are being secretive or because it has fallen to the back burner is anyone's guess.

However, Haden could be seeing some time as a punt returner this season. Both he and Janoris Jenkins have been getting some reps back there during the special teams portions of practice. Both Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps have gotten a look there, as well.

This is indicative of James being named one of the top four wide receivers. Meyer has announced the rotation's front four at receiver will be Riley cooper, Deonte Thompson, David Nelson and James.

Center Maurkice Pouncey returned to practice today and will be watched closely to make sure he does not reinjure his surgically repaired shoulder in practice leading up to the season opener. Having him back will be key in helping the offensive line to gel early in the season.

I also just sat behind him in a Political Science course and he looked perfectly fine to me, no signs of ice or bandaging on the shoulder.

That's all for today, but keep checking back as we get closer to the season. I'll be sure to post any campus updates as I see fit.

Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Reddit Facebook Google Bookmark Yahoo ma.gnolia live mister-wong blogmarks

No comments:

Post a Comment