With spring practice well underway, first-year head football coach Billy Napier is learning more about the team he inherited each day.
According to Napier, the team has had no issue buying in to the new staff and the changes they have made.
Although the team has bought-in, Napier said there is still room breaking small habits and improving self-discipline. However, the team’s effort has impressed him through the first two weeks of practice.
Arguably the most-talked about position group for Florida is the quarterback room and the competition for the starting spot. Overall, Napier says he sees improvement early as they continue installing the offense.
Following 2021 starter Emory Jones’ announcement of his intention to transfer, the competition has slimmed, and many eyes now turn to Jack Miller III battling Anthony Richardson for the starting spot.
A recent transfer from Ohio State, the redshirt sophomore has only completed seven passes in his career for 101 yards. However, Napier said Miller III’s lack of in-game experience doesn’t affect him, and he carries himself like a veteran.
Additionally, Napier is extremely impressed with how fast the ball comes out of Miller III’s hand as well as the accuracy in his throws.
— Cam Parker (@camparker25) March 17, 2022
Return from injuries
The Gators return multiple key pieces on both sides of the ball from season-ending injuries in 2021.
On the defensive side, linebacker Ventrell Miller returns for a rare sixth season in Gainesville after a shoulder injury. Napier said Miller is fully cleared, but cannot practice every day due to a class schedule conflict. Despite missing time, Napier said Miller makes a difference when he’s on the field.
Additionally, running back Nay’Quan Wright returns after suffering a knee injury against Florida State. Overall, Wright’s attitude and leadership impresses Napier the most.
Wright will be battling Lorenzo Lingard, Demarkcus Bowman and Lousiana-transfer Montrell Johnson for the starting spot. Running backs coach Jabbar Juluke recently talked about the competition and how the room needs to continually grow and support each other.
— Florida Gators Football (@GatorsFB) March 22, 2022
Billy Napier and the Chalk Talk
A new addition of the Florida football program is the Chalk Talk coaching seminars, which multiple current and former NFL coaches will speak.
Napier explained that the Chalk Talk is not only an opportunity for high school coaches to learn, but for his own staff to learn.
Napier’s Chalk Talk will run from Thursday, March 24 until Saturday, March 26. The Gators will continue spring practice for just under three weeks before concluding spring with the Orange and Blue Game on April 14.
Thursday Night Lights in The Swamp!
— Florida Gators Football (@GatorsFB) March 17, 2022