Orange and Blue
Florida Gators quarterback Graham Mertz (15) looks over to the defense between drills during spring football practice at Heavener Football Complex at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. [Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun]

SEC Network’s Chris Doering Talks Florida Football and NIL

With Florida’s big Orange and Blue weekend approaching, Gator football enthusiasts look forward to the opportunity to catch a first glimpse at the 2024 team.

Getting a First Look 

ESPN and SEC Network’s Chris Doering had much to say about Florida football’s upcoming season and upcoming spring scrimmage.

For starters, he points that many have been excited to see quarterback recruit, DJ Lagway live and in action. Florida scored this five-star player and has hoped to be program’s “saving grace” since.

Doering suspects this is the best case for Lagway to be coming into. Learning from starting quarterback Graham Mertz, he will see how to navigate this new level of football.

Lagway’s father expressed in a tweet their appreciation for the senior mentor.

With the absence of former wide receiver Ricky Pearsall Doering looks to see what sophomore Tre Wilson can do. Additionally, he hopes to see some improvement in the offensive line.

Defensive Bounce Back

Reflecting on last year’s season, he pointed out that Florida’s defense, specifically their tackling was a lacking part.

He noted that now of days, college football teams tend to play “safer.” While this is important, he believes physical presence is major in the outcome of any team’s season. At the end of the day, tackling dummies in practice will not improve a team’s game if they’re unable to tackle a live human being.

The New World of NIL

When asked about Florida’s standings in NIL compared to other teams, Doering stated that not only are they behind in that realm, but also in the attitude of the players and reputation of the program.

Former Florida players Trevor Etienne and Princely Umanmielen entered the transfer portal following the 2023 season. Etienne mentioned wanting to be at a school where he could win. Umanmielen stated he felt he was not being developed.  Florida’s reputation has slowly declined.

Doering highlights the importance of finding guys who are committed to the coaches’ visions and dedicated to the program.

Looking Forward

Florida’s 2024 team will be showcasing their talents in the upcoming Orange and Blue Scrimmage at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

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