August 6, 2009

Florida Gators football fall practice - Session 2

The Florida Gators football team got their second practice session of the day underway under hot, muggy conditions. Luckily for the Gators, and maybe not so luckily for the fans attending, the rain came midway through the practice to cool things off.

Today's second session featured primarily freshmen, both true and redshirt, as well as a handful of hand picked veterans to work with the younger guys.

Highly regarded freshman wide receiver Andre Debose practiced today despite a reported hamstring tweak. Debose looked athletic, but dropped several balls and certainly didn't look like Percy Harvin did a year ago.

Now, that's certainly not a knock against Debose. Perhaps this first day should temper the expectations from the fan base a little bit. After all, this kid is just a freshman and there's both a mental and a physical learning curve.

As we reported in our first Florida Gators practice report, Maurkice Pouncey did not work out with the team today. He is still recovering from shoulder surgery in the offseason and might not be back until just before the season opens up.

That actually might not be a bad thing for the Gators, as Pouncey is easily the Gators most polished offensive lineman. Having him miss reps gives the coaches a chance to get a better look at some of the guys competing for the two remaining starting spots, and increases the likelihood of them getting he best combination of guys on the field.

Back to the freshmen, Dee Finley continues to impress with his size and athleticism. He is a freakishly big safety and runs like a cornerback. He definitely has a bright future in the secondary.

Gary Brown looked every bit the part of the dominant defensive tackle he is touted to be. His physical size is impressive, although we won't know how well he uses it until they strap the pads on. My personal guess is that his game will translate well and he could shine as a true freshman.

The Gators could certainly use Brown to step up to help recruiting, after several other highly touted defensive tackles have not had much success here the past few years (John Brown, Torrey Davis).

Urban Meyer looks to have recruited a virtual Tebow clone in Jordan Reed, at least physically speaking. Reed is tall and has a very athletic build. He should get a great chance to learn the offense from Tebow and Brantley before eventually taking over.

Running back Mike Gillislee is cut from the same mold as Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps in terms of speed and cutting ability. He looked very quick today, but doesn't have the size that his listing on the roster would seem to indicate. He probably won't be a huge contributor this year, but hopefully will be able to add some weight and contribute in a big way next season.

The Gators have also decided to scrap the second practice session tomorrow afternoon, and will let the freshman play with the rest of the team at 6:00 AM tomorrow morning.

I'll try to have an update after that practice, hopefully I'll be able to make it out there.

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