The Florida football team is nearing the close of spring practice as the Gators are coming off of their first of three scrimmages. First-year head coach Billy Napier gave updates on how practices are going as well as his thoughts heading into the 2022 season.
Billy Napier talks Florida football spring practice
When asked whether players are performing ahead of where he hoped they should be at this point in spring ball, Napier says the team will always be a work in progress.
Instead, he is paying attention to what’s ahead and says he is placing focus on getting better and building depth at every position on the team.
He added the team will build its depth through awarding five walk-on scholarships as well as attacking the transfer portal.
As Napier addressed how there is a shortage of players and depth, he says fans can expect Florida football to be aggressive in the transfer portal.
Meanwhile, some of the position groups are getting shallow due to injuries, but Napier explained how the team is continuing to work through these challenges. In addition, he shared how players are taking advantage of having more opportunities.
Billy Napier talks tight ends room
One instance of a unit running thin is the tight ends after a handful of injuries have taken a slew of players to the sideline. Jonathan Odom and Nick Elksnis are out for the remainder of spring while Gage Wilcox suffered a career-ending injury. Now, one scholarship tight end is available in practice in senior Keon Zipperer.
In the meantime, Napier has transitioned a group including two defensive tackles and a long snapper to the position. Napier noted one player who has especially stood out in the unit is senior defensive lineman Dante Zanders.
More work to be done
As for the growth in mentality amongst the team, Napier says he is seeing improvements in each player.
He expanded on how the team is continuing to adjust and work through each issue one practice at a time. Above all, he is feeling confident about Florida football’s new-look come the fall.
Up next for Florida football
The Gators return to the field tomorrow for the team’s tenth spring practice and will scrimmage again on Saturday. Spring drills will wrap up with the Gator’s annual Orange and Blue game on Thursday, April 14. Kick-off for the spring game will take place under the lights at 7:30 p.m. at Ben Hill Griffin stadium.