Gators make spring game regular practice
Injuries along the offensive line are impacting more than just Florida's depth at the position. They're forcing the Gators to alter their spring game plans, too.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Injuries along the offensive line are impacting more than just Florida's depth at the position. They're forcing the Gators to alter their spring game plans, too.
UF coach Will Muschamp said Tuesday the Gators will conduct a regular practice on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Florida Field. In addition, the event is now free and the school's University Athletic Association will refund any prepurchased tickets.
"To me, it's about getting good-on-good work," Muschamp said. "It's about getting your best players going against your best players. I see some of these spring games, these guys put their first group against the rest of them. You don't get any better doing that stuff. You get better when you're going good-on-good."
UF will do the individual and position drills of a normal practice, but there also will be several 11-on-11 situational scrimmage periods. In addition, Muschamp will address the crowd before, during and after the practice to explain some of the drills and situations.
The practice is expected to last about two hours.
UF has just five healthy scholarship offensive linemen: starting left tackle D.J. Humphries, starting center Jonotthan Harrison, starting right tackle Tyler Moore, reserve guard/center Kyle Koehne and reserve tackle Quinteze Williams, who was a defensive lineman last season before moving to the offense this spring.
Starting left guard Max Garcia has been bothered lately by a sore back and missed time, but he returned to practice last week. Starting right guard Jon Halapio (shoulder) has been limited all spring as he continues to recovery from offseason shoulder surgery.
Right tackle Chaz Green, who started 10 games last season, is sitting out spring practice as he recovers from offseason ankle surgery. Reserve guard Ian Silberman (shoulder) also hasn't practiced. Guard Jessamen Dunker, who was expected to compete for a starting spot, has been suspended since Jan. 16, when he was arrested and charged with stealing a motor scooter.
"We've got 11 offensive linemen on scholarship on campus, but with [six] of those guys being out right now, it's not fair to go in a spring game situation and ask these guys to take 60, 70 snaps in a row," Muschamp said. "That's not healthy. It's not good. It's not good for our football team."
In addition, starting defensive end Jonathan Bullard will not participate on Saturday because of a hamstring injury. Muschamp said starting safety Cody Riggs (hamstring) and reserve cornerback Jeremy Brown (groin) are day to day for Saturday's practice.
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