The Florida Gator football team completed their second practice with full pads on Wednesday at the UF Dizney Lacrosse Stadium.
Among the players trying to nail down a starting job is junior running back Kelvin Taylor. Taylor says the way he approaches camp is the same way he approaches a game.
“I feel like it’s not different. You have to go out to practice every day focused, work hard with your teammates, and approach it like it’s a game,” he said.
Taylor towers over the other running backs as far as experience is concerned, with 1,073 career yards.
“Knowing that you’re a starter requires a different mentality and it gives you a different approach about the game; like the way you carry yourself in film, how you write down notes, and thinking and acting like a pro,” explains Taylor.
When asked about early standouts on the offensive line, one person quickly came to Taylor’s mind.
“Oh my gosh, Martez Ivey. The guy’s a freak, dude. The guy’s going to be great. He wasn’t a five-star for nothing, trust me. He’s physical, he’s smart, he knows exactly what he’s doing.”
Junior defensive lineman Joey Ivie was also among the players who discussed their progress in fall camp. Just like his teammates, Ivie used the summer as a way to improve himself to help better the team.
“I’ve got my weight up, I’ve definitely picked up some speed off the ball, I’m stronger in the weight room, and my pass rush game has improved a lot.”
Despite all the progress being made in fall camp, a lot of doubt still surrounds critics of the rebuilding Gator football program. However, players such as Ivey uses the negative energy as fuel.
“I think sometimes you need to be an underdog and for people to doubt you. The worst thing you can do to somebody is doubt them because that just makes them hungrier,” says Ivey.
The Gators will resume practice on Friday.
To hear audio from the players, click below.