GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Dan Mullen era officially began Friday with the start of spring football.
The Gators opened the first two practices to the public and more than 400 fans turned out for opening day. Here are SEC Country’s observations from the first practice:
- Feleipe Franks ran with the first-team offense throughout the day and was the sharpest quarterback of the group. He made accurate throws and looked comfortable running the offense. During the skeleton passing drill, Franks threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver transfer Van Jefferson, drawing a ton of cheers from the crowd.
- Kyle Trask (No. 2), Jake Allen (No. 3) and Emory Jones (No. 4) received reps in that order. Trask had a solid turn during 11-on-11 work and received an applause from the fans as he came off the field. Allen and Jones struggled some with their accuracy. On a designed QB run, Jones put a nasty juke move on linebacker Vosean Joseph. He also had some fumble exchanges with the running backs.
- Florida running back Jordan Scarlett practiced for the first time since fall camp after missing all of last season due to suspension. He slipped a couple times in the backfield, but otherwise looked impressive in his return to the starting lineup.
- Gators running back Greg Knox made his presence known throughout practice. He is the loudest coach on the field and does not let anything slide with the players, stressing ball security and pad level on Friday. He jumped all over Adarius Lemons for fumbling and later chased down Iverson Clement and Lamical Perine during their long runs to make sure they went all the way to the end zone.
Iverson Clement just broke free again, and this time he didn’t let up on the gas.
— Zach Abolverdi (@ZachAbolverdi) March 16, 2018
- Jefferson and Kadarius Toney stood out at wide receiver. Both ran with the starters and were very involved in the offense. Jefferson caught everything that came his way, while ran a couple reverses and made several grabs across the middle.
- Florida’s starting offensive line: Martez Ivey (LT), Tyler Jordan (LG), T.J. McCoy (C), Fred Johnson (RG) and Jawaan Taylor (RT). Second-team offensive line: Jean DeLance (LT), Kavaris Harkless (LG), Nick Buchanan (C), T.J. Moore (RG) and Stone Forsythe (RT).
- Florida’s starting defensive line: Jabari Zuniga (DE), Khairi Clark (NT) and Luke Ancrum (DE) with CeCe Jefferson at outside linebacker. Second-team defensive line: Zach Carter (DE), T.J. Slaton (NT) and Elijah Conliffe (DE) with Jachai Polite at outside linebacker.
- During 11-on-11 work, Florida’s backup O-line got dominated by Carter, Conliffe, Slaton and Polite off the edge. Jones was in at quarterback on that rep and he had no chance to throw or run against that group.
- Early enrollee Amari Burney made a pair of interceptions and looked good at repping safety. Linebacker Vosean Joseph and cornerback C.J. Henderson also came down with picks, while cornerbacks Trey Dean, Brian Edwards and Marco Wilson all had pass breakups.
- Edwards played safety last season, but is now running with the corners. C.J. McWilliams has moved from cornerback to safety/nickel. Chauncey Gardner started at nickel when Florida was in that formation, with Brad Stewart and Jeawon Taylor as the safeties.
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