Skip to main content

Notebook: Day 1 of Florida Gators Fall Camp 2022

AllGators' observations from day one of Florida Gators fall camp.

Photo: Ricky Pearsall; Credit: Alex Shepherd

Wednesday marked day one of head coach Billy Napier's first fall camp with the Florida Gators, and the 15-minute open window of practice offered media, and fans vicariously through the media, a glimpse of what this new-look UF roster will feature throughout the 2022 season.

You can find AllGators' biggest takeaways from the workout below.

Tight ends return

One of the biggest storylines of spring camp was when the Gators lost three tight ends due to injuries — Jonathan Odom, Nick Elksnis and Gage Wilcox — within a couple days of one another. Wilcox's injury was career-ending, while Odom and Elksnis were immediately ruled out for the rest of the spring.

However, both Odom and Elksnis were on the field and participating at the beginning of fall camp. Elksnis has fully recovered from his broken scapula and appeared to have no limitations on the field, while Odom, who underwent surgery for a torn labrum, was in a no-contact jersey but partook in the workout.

Additionally, true freshmen tight ends Hayden Hansen and Arlis Boardingham were seen working with the position group for the first time.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Ricky Pearsall's route-running

Arizona State transfer receiver Ricky Pearsall took the field with the Gators for the first time at practice on Wednesday and immediately stood out, with crisp route-running and the type of explosion out of his stance that Florida has been missing at wide receiver since Kadarius Toney left for the NFL.

At the end of the media viewing session, Pearsall pulled up at the end of a route and limped off the field favoring his left foot, and it was unclear at that time if Pearsall could continue practicing. However, AllGators learned that Pearsall was able to return to practice and resume running before the workout was over.

Participation report

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 with a trainer instead of on the field. This list does not include the quarterbacks as they're required to wear no-contact jerseys. 

  • TE Jonathan Odom
  • OT Richard Gouraige*
  • DB Dakota Mitchell*
  • K Trey Smack

Play of the day

Since we've already focused on Pearsall and used the footage of his reps above, we turn to quarterback Anthony Richardson and wide receiver Xzavier Henderson for the first play of the day of this year's fall camp.

Keep in mind that the play of the day — much like everything else — can only be recorded in the media viewing portion of the workout, so our options of highlight-worthy plays are very limited as the team primarily conducts individual drills in this timeframe.

Still, it was good to see Richardson and one of his projected top receivers in Henderson with good chemistry this early on in camp. Richardson got this ball out at the absolute top of Henderson's route with perfect timing to lead him to the sidelines with room to cut up field, and Henderson did exactly that after catching the pass in stride.

Stay tuned to AllGators for continuous coverage of Florida Gators football, basketball and recruiting. Follow along on social media at @SI_AllGators on Twitter and Florida Gators on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.