The Florida Gator football team had its first scrimmage of fall camp today, which meant the first time playing in the Swamp for a lot of the younger players.
The Gators were able to run 109 offensive and defensive plays, along with 26 on special teams, which gave coach McElwain a good first glance at the younger player in action. Overall McElwain seemed pleased with the performance on the field, but said there were still some fundamental mistakes that need to be corrected.
“There was a period in the scrimmage I thought our young guys made some mistakes, but correctable mistakes. It wasn’t from lack of effort or those types of things. It was good for them to be in that kind of environment for the first time.”
On the offensive side of the ball, Kelvin Taylor was a standout.
“I thought Kelvin Taylor played really good today. For the first time since we have been here he didn’t just try to run everything to the sideline. We’ve been working on this concept, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and I thought that he got that today. It was good to see because he struggled with that,” says McElwain.
Kelvin Taylor also caught the eye of junior linebacker Jarrad Davis.
“I really like the way Kelvin Taylor was running the ball today. He made sure everyone on defense could feel him. The offensive line really opened up things for him too,” says Davis.
Both Will Grier and Treon Harris got reps at quarterback with the first and second string offense. Even graduate transfer Josh Grady got a few opportunities. With the question of starting quarterback still up in the air, it is still too early for McElwain to make any decisions.
“I thought Treon probably moved the people with the twos a little better then Will did. I thought Will really got off to a fast start,” says McElwain.
With just about three weeks until their first game, McElwain continues to emphasize playing strong.
“We’ve got to get over the hump from the psychological standpoint that it’s okay to care, it’s okay to compete, and it’s okay to get out there and just let it all happen. That is where we have to get offensively.”
Defensively, McElwain was impressed and saw more than he expected from the first scrimmage.
“I thought defense in the situational parts took control and did a heck of a job.”
Linebacker Jarrad Davis was also pleased with how the defense played.
“The defense made some good stops on third downs. We played some really good team defense today,” says Davis.
He also thinks that the linebackers will be a strong point for the Gators this year.
“I think we will be able to do great. We have a lot of numbers, a lot of people can play at that position, and every person feels confident in the other person in the room with them. We definitely feel like we have a lot we can do with our group.”
Among the players who were held from scrimmage due to previous injuries were Travaris Dorsey, C.J. Worton, Mark Herndon, Anthony Harrell, and Duke Dawson. Matt Rolin and Raphael Andrades left the scrimmage early due to injury.
The Gators will be back at practice on Monday.
To hear audio from Coach McElwain and Jarrad Davis click below: