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Florida Gators quarterback Kadarius Toney (17) runs as Florida Gators defensive lineman Jordan Smith (42) defends during the orange and blue debut at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Orange won 31-0. Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Gators Wide Receivers Making Strides During Spring Practices

When Florida hired Dan Mullen to be its next head coach, Mullen brought along several of his assistants from Mississippi State. One of the key guys he brought along was Billy Gonzalez, his wide receivers coach.

Gonzalez’s task? To help improve a Gators wide receiving core that seemingly has a lot of talent but has been part of an underwhelming pass game the past few seasons.

Gators Taking a Step Forward

Apart from getting stronger and faster through Nick Savage’s new strength and conditioning program, the wide receivers have been starting with the basics, all the way down to route running.

“I feel like Coach G is getting us prepared a lot with techniques and foot movement,” sophomore wide receiver Kadarius Toney said.

That’s big for a player who figures to feature heavily in Mullen’s spread offense this upcoming season. In fact, Toney talked about how that’s one of his favorite features of the new coaching staff’s offense.

“The run-pass option, I really like that,” Toney said. “You never know what’s going to come…it’s like unexpected.”

While option may help simplify the reads for pass plays, it’ll also help to have the infusion of talent at receiver that Florida’s had this spring. Jacob Copeland comes in as a top commit, as well of the transfers of Trevon Grimes and Van Jefferson.

For Toney, Jefferson has been an example this spring.

“He’s a great player,” Toney said. “I look up to him really. I like the way he run his routes and the way he separates.”

Overall, the unit has come together throughout the spring, and as Grimes noted, are helping each other get a grasp of the playbook.

“I love ’em,” Grimes said. “All those guys are very talented. I just came in and mixed with them and tried to learn from them because they’ve been here a while.”

About Jonathan Acosta

Native New Englander. Follow me on Twitter: @jonacosta_10

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