August 16, 2009

Mike Gillislee and Jonotthan Harrison first to lose stripes

The Florida Gators football has a rite of passage under head coach Urban Meyer for all of its true freshmen players.

During fall practice, players have a helmet stripe removed from their gear when they have proven to Meyer that they are ready to play at a collegiate level.

This initiation of sorts usually takes place towards the middle of fall practice, and right on cue, Meyer stated after the Gators' first fall scrimmage that two players had lost their helmet stripes.

Mike Gillislee and OT Jonotthan Harrison were the first to lose their stripes and join the rest of the veterans as official members of the Florida Gators football team.

Both have been impressive in fall camp so far, and Harrison has almost assuredly worked his way into a key backup role at a position of need for the Gators. Meyer really loves his drive and hustle and he should definitely avoid a redshirt this season.

Gillislee is a bit more of a question mark in terms of whether or not he will redshirt. He is slightly bigger than both Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey but clearly is a freshman in terms of strength.

Since he presents virtually the same skill set, he's certainly no guarantee to play this season, and it might be to his benefit to take a redshirt season. One way that Gillislee can definitely work his way onto the field is if he shows that he is a good pass catcher in the rest of fall camp.

With the shortage of wide receivers, Meyer may look to use him as a hybrid type player if he shows that ability. Either way, the freshmen are beginning to make themselves a part of the team and that is good news for the Gators.

UPDATE: QB Jordan Reed has lost his stripe, as well.

If I had to guess, the next in line to get their stripes removed, in no particular order look something like this: Jon Bostic, Jelani Jenkins, Andre Debose, Josh Evans.

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