FILE - Florida head coach Billy Napier, right, watches players warm up before an NCAA college football game against Eastern Washington, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. A person familiar with the situation says Florida quarterback recruit Jaden Rashada requested a release from his national letter of intent Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 after a $13 million name, imagine and likeness deal fell through.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

“Five Equals to One” Coach Rob Sale looks to Rebuild Offensive Line

The hallmark to any good team is an ability to control the line of scrimmage. A method in which a Napier led Gators squad will continue to make strides to entering his second year.

As players and coaches get more acclimated to the culture, it will be vital for veterans to relay that message to the new guys. Plenty of roster turnover from last years 6-7 team, the Gators will rebuild the foundation up front. More importantly, the offensive line.

Hence, making this spring season even more crucial for coach Napier.

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Additionally, Florida will have to rely on fresh blood to keep a new starting quarterback upright this season. However, replacing four out of five starters upfront will not be an easy task.

Especially, an offensive line unit that will bring in three transfers. A task offensive coordinator Rob Sale will look to find an answer for. Sale said in Tuesday’s presser the discipline and attention of detail the new guys displayed early in camp is very pleasing.

Florida Plugs in New Talent Up Front

Sale continued to mention the positive strides the fresh additions have made so far but much work is still on the horizon.

The need to adapt quickly to a new playbook will be one to keep an eye on this spring. Luckily, Napier and Sale will lean on red shirt junior Kinglsey Eguakun. Eguaken is the sole returning starting from last year and will continue to become a vocal leader this season.

The Jacksonville native mentioned on Tuesday that he contemplated on his return to the program but came to a conclusion to finish what he started.

Along with Eguaken, look for transfers Damien George Jr., Micah Mazzccua and Kiyaunta Goodwin to play major roles in the offense. George Jr., former Alabama Crimson Tide, is slated to be the frontrunner to take control on the outside at the right tackle position.

While, Mazzccua is listed to be the starting right guard spot.

Finally, to round out the projected starting five will be redshirt sophomore Austin Barber. Barber appeared in 13 games including receiving the starting node five times. The 6-foot-6 left tackle may have displayed the biggest jump heading into spring.

Sale expressed adamantly the level of improvement Barber has shown so far in camp. The Duval county native received high praises from Sale.

 

With a new addition to the big guys up front, there will definitely be some bumps and bruises as they evolve chemistry. Luckily,  the talented backfield and physical running game will relieve most of that pressure. Look for the Gators to build on their top three rushing offense in the SEC from a year ago.

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