Through the eyes of the Gators: An inside look like never seen before of a Florida practice armed with GoPros
- We strapped GoPros to the helmets of some of the Florida Gators' key football players and let them run wild at practice.
When we watch college football through the lens of a camera placed high above the field, we don't appreciate the speed. Sure, receivers and edge rushers look fast, but that vantage point can't show exactly how quickly the action moves. That blitzing linebacker is flying. That quarterback has less time than it takes to read this sentence to cycle through his progressions, choose a receiver and make the throw before he gets splattered.
Watching through the eyes—or the chests—of the players offers a far more accurate window. Last month, SI mounted GoPro cameras on several Florida football players during two practices. Skill position players such as quarterback Luke Del Rio and cornerback Jalen Tabor wore cameras on their heads. Center Cam Dillard and linebackers Jarrad Davis and Alex Anzalone wore cameras on their helmets and on their chests. From this vantage point, we can see exactly what they saw as they prepared for the rigors of the SEC.
After watching these videos, you'll know exactly why the speed of the game can leave a freshman's head spinning. You'll also have a greater appreciation for the amount of information a quarterback must process on each play. And you'll understand the brute force of a collision between a 300-pound offensive lineman and a 300-pound defensive tackle who will each someday play in the NFL.
Thanks to GoPro, whose cameras miraculously survived some huge hits, you'll get to join the team for two practices. You may never want to watch the game any other way afterward.
Florida coach Jim McElwain has one major requirement at practice: juice. What is juice? It's all-out intensity from snap to whistle. It's constant chatter—be it communication or jubilation. It's the hit that closes this video.
Luke Del Rio, QB
The son of an NFL coach can expect to live a fairly itinerant life, but Luke Del Rio kept moving even after he left home for college. Florida is the third school for the son of Raiders coach Jack Del Rio following stops at Alabama and Oregon State. But Del Rio, who threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns in last Saturday's 45-7 win against Kentucky, seems to have found a comfort zone in Gainesville.
Jalen Tabor, CB
Tabor never stops talking on the field, but that chatter isn't always directed at the opposing receiver and his chances of getting open against the first-team All-SEC cornerback. Much of Tabor's on-field conversation is with his teammates as they try to adjust to constantly moving opponents. Once the play starts, however, Tabor isn't shy about reminding receivers of where he believes he and fellow Gator Quincy Wilson rank in the cornerback hierarchy.
Marcus Maye, S
What does it look like to be a safety covering one of the nation's best receivers? What does it look like to pick off a pass intended for one of the nation's best receivers? Watch and find out.
One play from multiple angles
Football is the ultimate team sport because all 11 players must do their jobs for a play to work. And every player on the field has his own story on each play.