While he coaches the tight ends alone for the Florida Gators, coach Tim Brewster still knows a thing or two about football. Being in the game for the past few decades, Brewster has an eye for talent and recently shared some of his insight with members of the Florida media at his press briefing last week.
Of course, one of the top recruits in the class from Brewster's perspective is one of his own, tight end Nick Elksnis who hails from Jacksonville (Fla), attending Episcopal High School for his prep career. The team's tight end group will be vastly different from a year before due to Kyle Pitts declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Elksnis, however, has already grown on Brewster, who says the young tight end already has a "maturity about him," a clear indication that the young tight end could already be in line for some early playing time.
"I like Nick Elksnis," Brewster said with excitement last week. "I think the kid’s 6-foot-6, he’s 235 pounds, he’s a big, strong, physical guy, caught a couple of balls for touchdowns today against the defense. He’s got a maturity about him, OK."
Now, while it is typical that the team's tight end coach would think highly of his own players, Brewster has already seen what some of the other players Florida brought in during this recruiting cycle brings to the table, including the quarterbacks Carlos Del Rio-Wilson and Jalen Kitna.
"Both really young, talented guys. I mean, really Del Rio, big, strong, physical guy. Strong arm, athletic," Brewster said.
"Kitna, obviously his father, NFL quarterback, NFL quarterback coach, he's gonna be a great player. And the exciting thing for them guys, is just to know they can sit back and relax, learn from a guy like Dan Mullen, Garrick McGee, who can teach them this offense."
Florida brought in just two young quarterbacks this year in Del Rio-Wilson and Kitna. Both players have plenty of pedigree, with Del Rio-Wilson competing in the annual Elite 11 competition, earning high marks, according to Sports Illustrated All-American, and Kitna with the lineage of an NFL quarterback, his father Jon Kitna.
Another enrollee that Brewster would opine on was wide receiver Daejon Reynolds out of Grayson HS (Loganville, Ga.), the same high school that Del Rio-Wilson attended for a time during his prep career. At 6-foot-2, 201 pounds, Reynolds boasts plenty of size to compete right away, and Brewster seems to agree that he has the physical chops for the SEC.
"Daejon Reynolds has really been impressive to me," Brewster said of the young receiver.
"Again, like I said, I think Billy [Gonzales] does a great job coaching those guys, already got Daejon out there making catches. A strong, physical guy, can run. The wide receiver position at the University of Florida, again, it's a marquee position.
"Coach Gonzales has, you know, like I said, coached a whole of great ones here, developed a bunch of players, and it's a position that kids want to come to the University of Florida to play."
While there's plenty of excitement about the team's freshmen, Brewster did make sure to mention one of the team's most exciting players entering the program for the first time this spring, transfer running back Demarkcus Bowman.
Bowman, a rising sophomore transfer from Clemson, has made an impression among fans, and coaches during this year's spring practice. It's already known that he's been working on some wheel routes with this year's squad, but it's his speed and athleticism that Brewster says makes him stand out.
"Bowman's electric," Brewster said, making sure to mention that both head coach Dan Mullen and running backs coach Greg Knox are excited about his addition to the team.
"He's a guy that's got great speed. I mean, I'm really excited to see this guy, you know, we turn it loose under the lights. I mean, he's a physical guy, he's obviously got tremendous speed, running instinct. I think he runs with great eyes, his vision is outstanding, seeing lanes, seeing cut-backs. Really, really excited."
Florida will undoubtedly look much different this season than they did in 2020. Boasting new talents from freshmen to transfers, it will be intriguing to see how the shape of the roster ends when it's time to play football in the fall. For now, it appears the future's bright, and Brewster sees it no other way.