FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2019, file photo, Florida head coach Dan Mullen watches from the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri in Columbia, Mo. Mullen had several players miss the team’s opening training camp practice Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

Gators Keep Prepping; Some Players Absent

Florida Gators football completed their first day of camp on Monday. The team continues to prepare for the season, as they work around the new protocols.

One of the big topics, of course, during a pandemic is the health and safety of players. During his Monday presser, Gators head coach Dan Mullen praised the work of the medical staff and his players for following the rules.

The team also continues to prepare for new opponents. It is still recent that the Gators found out they are taking on Arkansas and Texas A&M this season. Mullen said he wishes he had known sooner about the opponents for preparatory purposes. However, he feels it is not a big issue.

The Gators do not play one of their new opponents until Oct. 10, when they face Texas A&M. This buys them a little more time to prepare.

A Couple Guys Absent

The full roster was not in attendance for the first practice of the season. Mullen did not say which players opted out, nor did he disclose any reasons for it. He said it is not his place to disclose this information, and it is up to the players themselves to share it.

Immediately after saying some players were absent, Mullen said he wouldn’t be surprised if some players and coaches opted out. Coaches are especially at risk due to the age factor of COVID-19 dangers. Mullen said the goal is to adapt, and the team that adapts the best is going to win the national championship.


Some names of the players that did not participate in Monday’s practice have been made public through other sources. According to Sports Illustrated–All Gators, wide receivers Kadarius Toney, Jacob Copeland and Trevon Grimes were absent, along with defensive end Zachary Carter.

Mullen made it clear he supports the decision by any player or coaches to opt-out.

Sound Courtesy of GatorVision

About Harrison Smajovits

Harrison is a sports coordinator at ESPN 98.1 FM/850 AM WRUF. He served as a beat writer for Florida Gators football for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He also contributes to WRUF's Gainesville Sports Center segments and makes appearances on the Clash on Harp on Sports. Harrison has been a content writer for WRUF since January 2019 as well.

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