Photo: Jonathan Odom; Credit: Zach Goodall
Day eleven of Florida Gators fall camp 2022 was another blisteringly hot one. The increased number of players in no-contact jerseys who were not seen participating during the media viewing window of practice had to have enjoyed their time in the shade whenever they had that opportunity.
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 although AllGators' time was cut short due to taking attendance, we spent a few minutes checking out the tight end group on day eleven.
- 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
Focusing on the tight ends
We got to spend roughly five minutes of the 14-minute viewing period watching the tight ends after attending to other responsibilities, so our analysis is not as in-depth with this unit as it has been with other position groups. For that, we do apologize.
Still, AllGators witnessed the tight ends work along the offensive line in run-game install. As has been noted throughout the offseason, the Gators are expected to increase their usage of 12 personnel (two tight end sets) and the gap (power) rushing scheme, and that was evident on Tuesday throughout the entire five-minute stretch.
The OL and TEs were split into two groups comprised of roughly two units each, rotating every couple of reps after installing various concepts.
The first-team tight ends tended to be junior Keon Zipperer and redshirt junior Dante Zanders, as expected, although redshirt freshman Nick Elksnis was seen cracking the rotation with the projected starters as well. Elksnis also worked with sophomore Jonathan Odom as a member of the second-team.
These four players are expected to earn the most playing time of any tight ends on the roster this year, especially given the uptick in 12 personnel. Zipperer possesses the most playing experience of the group, while Zanders moved back to tight end from the defensive line in the spring and impressed while Elksnis and Odom recovered from various shoulder injuries.
Redshirt junior Griffin McDowell, another defensive lineman-turned-tight end this offseason, and redshirt sophomore and former outside linebacker Noah Keeter were seen with the third unit. True freshman Hayden Hansen worked with the final group, paired with freshman and preferred walk-on Scott Isacks III.
As we've noted in previous position focuses, where players line up in drills does not necessarily reflect their standing on the depth chart. However, these units were consistent throughout the workout and the first and second teams lined up with our depth chart projections for the upcoming season.
Every member of the tight end group aside from true freshman Arlis Boardingham was seen participating in the individual drills.
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.
- QB Jalen Kitna*
- WR Ricky Pearsall*
- WR Ja'Markis Weston
- TE Arlis Boardingham*
- EDGE Antwaun Powell-Ryland Jr.*
- LB Ventrell Miller
- CB Jason Marshall*
Additionally, quarterback Jack Miller III was not observed at the facility during the viewing period. Neither was wide receiver Xzavier Henderson, marking the first absence of the fall for both players.
QB Jalen Kitna was there, however, marking his first appearance at the facility for the practice viewing window since day four aside from the day of the scrimmage while he's recovering from a small procedure on his knee.
Pearsall, Marshall and Boardingham continue to wear no-contact jerseys and work with trainers to the side of the practice field as they recover from various injuries. Powell-Ryland joined them on the side field for the first time on Tuesday before traveling across the field to watch his position group conduct drills. So did safety Rashad Torrence II, although he was wearing a standard blue jersey for practice.
Tuesday marked the second day in a row that Ventrell Miller has participated in the viewing window despite wearing a no-contact jersey. Weston, meanwhile, returned to participation in his no-contact jersey after working off to the side on Monday.
Cornerback Jaydon Hill has yet to participate this fall due to an undisclosed offseason injury but was seen stretching with the players in no-contact jerseys.
Clip of the day
We apologize for the lack of footage to pull from, but below is the reserve offensive line and a pair of backup tight ends in Hansen and Isacks working on the gap scheme run install. Hansen paired with offensive tackle Kamryn Waites for a combo block, successfully passing his responsibility onto Waites before climbing to the second level.
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