The Florida Gators do not want a repeat of last season and they are doing whatever they can to prevent that. Now, thanks to a new offense, the Gators are expecting to see some pretty impressive improvements come fall and it all starts with better stats.
In 2013, tight ends and fullbacks were an afterthought and they were used mostly as blockers in their “pro-style offense.”
Tight End Tevin Westbrook hopes to play a big part in Florida’s offensive improvement this season. Westbrook is one of the four rising seniors who were excited to find out that 2014 seems to promise more competitive involvement. He told ESPN that they’re working hard to get better.
“It’s really exciting. It’s more of a competition. Every day when you go out you know that you’ve to play to be able to catch the ball and block, to move from off the ball to a bigger role. It’s exciting. We’re catching balls and blocking from the backfield, blocking for the quarterback.”
Offensive coordinator Kurt Roper didn’t have much to work off of in 2013 so he has had to use the first part of spring practice to evaluate the talent he’s got. He told ESPN that they need to figure out who is the best at each position.
“The thing we’re trying to figure out first and foremost is the tight end/H-back in our offense, who we call the ‘B,’ is who is that?” he said. “Who’s the guy that’s going to be the best in that situation? So it’s a fun battle to watch between all those guys that we’re repping at that position.”
The four returning players are Westbrook, tight end Clay Burton and fullbacks Hunter Joyer and Gideon Ajagbe. True freshman tight end DeAndre Goolsby has also seen as much action as any of the seniors.
Joyer has shown off his hands this spring and while talking with ESPN, he smiles when discussing the new opportunities in front of him.
“Yeah, everybody’s being used and used a lot,” he said. “Everyone has a role in it and everyone determines our own roles. So as long as you’re doing well, you’ll have one.”
Roper says he’s enjoying the process.
“It’s been fun to evaluate and we’ve had some big plays made by those guys. [Last Wednesday], we had two great catches by Gideon and Goolsby. So I think they’re starting to get a feel for what we’re asking them to do, and I think they’re going to be capable of making some of those plays.”
That’s quite a big development for an offense that got practically nothing last year. Now, it seems there’s plenty of potential for players to improve and have a sense of promise to experience more to come.
For more on this story visit: Jeff Barlis, ESPN