Photo: Patrick Toney and the Gators' safeties; Credit: Zach Goodall
Remember what we said about the heat on day eleven? Because that was nothing compared to what easily felt like the hottest practice of fall for the Florida Gators on Wednesday, day twelve.
You can find AllGators' observations from the media viewing portion of practice below, as well as our notebooks for each day of camp so far this year. We have covered positions individually to maximize the viewing window since day three, and on day twelve, we dedicated our time to the safety unit.
- Day one - offense
- Day two - defense
- Day three - wide receivers
- Day four - linebackers
- Day five - running backs
- Day six - defensive line
- Day seven - offensive line
- Day eight - cornerbacks
- Day nine - quarterbacks
- Day ten - edge rushers
- Day eleven - tight ends
Focusing on the safeties
AllGators was able to observe the safety unit conduct three drills: A block-shedding and ball-stripping drill, undercutting comeback routes and zone coverage identification which ended with high-pointing downfield throws.
Redshirt freshman Kamar Wilcoxson had the first rep AllGators was able to watch on the shed-and-punch drill and certainly packed a strong punch after quickly closing in on the ball-carrier, knocking the ball loose with ease. Fellow redshirt freshman Corey Collier Jr. also impressed in the drill, showing good pad level while engaging his block, pushing the bag high into the air and making an impactful strip on the ball to conclude his rep.
Defensive coordinator and safeties coach Patrick Toney expected violent hands when his defensive backs punched the receiver's chest while defending the comeback route, and Rashad Torrence II, Kamari Wilson, Donovan McMillon, Tre'Vez Johnson, Jadarrius Perkins, Wilcoxson and Trey Dean III's reps all stood out for meeting the requirement. Torrence and Wilcoxson dropped the ball at the end of their reps, however, and Wilcoxson responded by doing push-ups.
Coverage ID required quick thinking to diagnose zone responsibilities while players were in their backfield, before immediately breaking on where Toney elected to throw the ball. Each rep included a different coverage call, simulating a combination of one and two-high safety looks.
Each safety was expected to high-point their interception rather than simply allowing the ball to come to them.
Wilson showed quick instincts and fluid footwork throughout this entire rep, one for the better ones of the group in which Wilson traveled outside before cutting back into midfield in Cover 3 and cleanly snatching the ball out of the air, which you can watch in our clip of the day section at the end of this story.
Torrence, Johnson, Dean and Wilson posted the best reps of the group from a coverage perspective, each understanding their assignment in a timely fashion and getting into a position to make a play on the ball. McMillon was given a second try and made the most of it after misdiagnosing his coverage on his first rep, quickly breaking outside in Cover 4 before high-pointing the ball near the sideline on his do-over.
Below are the players that were seen wearing no-contact jerseys throughout the media viewing portion of practice. An asterisk indicates that the player worked off to the side or watched practice instead of being on the field. This list does not include the quarterbacks as they are required to wear no-contact jerseys at all times.
- WR Ricky Pearsall*
- WR Ja'Markis Weston
- TE Arlis Boardingham*
- EDGE Antwaun Powell-Ryland Jr.*
- LB Ventrell Miller
- CB Jason Marshall*
Additionally, AllGators did not see offensive lineman Ethan White during the media viewing period. He was not with the offensive line group or working with a trainer during the session. The same could be said for quarterback Jack Miller III, who was absent for the second practice in a row.
Also, wide receiver Marcus Burke was seen training in the indoor practice facility despite wearing a standard white jersey.
Quarterback Jalen Kitna was at practice and participating for the first time since day four on Wednesday, sidelined for a stretch of time following a minor procedure on his knee according to head coach Billy Napier.
Clip of the day
Our clip of the day features a great rep from Wilson in coverage identification drills, ending with a high-pointed interception. Wilson dropped into Cover 3 with a clean 45-degree break from his backpedal to track the ball in.
Wilson is one of several true freshmen to keep an eye on as the season approaches, as he is expected to field a role in some capacity after enrolling early and training with the Gators this entire offseason.
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