Florida’s starting left tackle, Stone Forsythe, expects the offensive line’s experience to play a key role in the team’s offensive production in 2020.
The 6-7, 329-pound redshirt senior from Winter Garden, Florida, pointed to having four returners on this year’s offensive line as the biggest difference from the unit a year ago. That unit only included just one returning starter.
Forsythe started all 13 games at left tackle last season. He was a crucial component of the o-line that helped the Gators achieve a remarkable 6.5 yards per play and a top-20 ranking in pass offense in the nation.
2020 Offensive Line
Forsythe told reporters that the o-line unit has “cleaned up stuff technique-wise” to assist Florida’s run game. He hopes the improved balance in this year’s offensive attack will allow quarterback Kyle Trask to excel again this year.
Due to the COVID-19 concerns, the team cannot be in the locker room all at once. This has required some major adjustments for the players, but it has not impacted the team’s overall chemistry.
Despite being isolated throughout much of the offseason due to the pandemic, Forsythe suggested the team’s “brotherhood is still clicking.” He said although the Gators haven’t played contact football in over eight months, it “doesn’t seem like [they’ve] missed a beat at all.”
Graduate transfer from Mississippi State, Stewart Reese, was a huge addition to Florida’s offensive line. His three years of SEC experience will undoubtedly add a strong presence to the unit. Stone Forsythe praised Reese’s game, saying “he’ll help [Florida] greatly this year” as he only needed to make “little adjustments here and there.”
The Gators made another adjustment to the line during fall camp, switching sophomore guard Ethan White to center. When asked about White’s transition, Forsythe said the sophomore “picked it up well.” He credited White’s job of “getting everyone on the same page” during practice.
With key pass rushers like Jabari Zuniga and Jonathan Greenard gone, Florida has holes to fill on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
Brenton Cox Jr., a redshirt sophomore, should provide a solid boost to the pass rush. When asked about facing the edge rusher during practice, Forsythe compared Cox to former Gator edge rusher Jachai Polite.
Polite recorded 11 sacks in 2018 with Florida, so Forsythe’s praise of the new edge rusher shouldn’t be taken lightly.
When asked about staying disciplined during the pandemic, Forsythe credited the training staff with “doing a great job setting up guidelines.”
More importantly, he applauded his teammates for “buying in” to the whole process. However, as students come back to campus, he said the team will need to continue to stay focused on football.
Sound courtesy of GatorVision