Florida Gators 2014 Outlook

I, for one, was pretty surprised that Will Muschamp survived 2013 and 4-8. The Florida Gators aren’t a 4-8 type of football program.

The Gators had some really bad luck last season as well and hopefully that won’t happen again in 2014. They started off at 4-1 and then lost 7 straight games.

 

If the Gators are going to be good in 2014, the season is going to ride on the broad shoulders of  Jeff Driskel (6-4, 230) Driskel was a former highly recruited QB out of Oviedo, Florida and has been sort of a disappointment so far, but a lot of that has been on the coaching staff at Florida, in my opinion. Driskel is a talented guy with a strong arm and he runs really well for a big man. Driskel threw for 1,646 yards in 2012, but broke his leg against Tennessee last season in the 3rd game and only had thrown for 477 yards at that time.

Florida has hired Kurt Roper from Duke to coach his offense and they should open it up a lot this season and they did look much better in the Spring Game.

I really love Jeff Driskel’s potential and I think he finally comes around in 2014 with a new offensive coordinator.

Skyler Mornhinweg (6-3, 210) is a sophomore from Philadelphia, Pa that started the last 3 games of 2013 and threw for 344 yards. There was talk of Skyler transferring after last season but he is still around and should be the back up this season.

Will Grier (6-3, 180) is a 4 star recruit that enrolled early and participated in Spring drills. Grier looked as good as his hype made him out to be.

Treon Harris (5-11, 180) is another incoming freshman and was an outstanding QB at Booker T Washington High School in Miami. Excellent quickness as well as a strong arm, could play QB or play any number of positions.

Kelvin Taylor (5-10, 210) ran for 508 yards last year and should be the starter at Running Back in 2014.

Adam Lane (5-7, 220) was very impressive in the Spring and should be in the mix for playing time. He has excellent quickness, balance and power. Mack Brown (5-11, 210) rushed for 543 yards a year ago and will play a lot for sure.

 

At Fullback, the Gators have Hunter Joyer (5-11, 230) and Gideon Ajagbe (6-2, 235) but they are just blockers mostly when they are on the field.

 

Quinton Dunbar (6-3, 195) is the leading returning receiver with 40 catches and he is a nice deep threat for the Gators. Ahmad Fulwood (6-4, 200) is a tall and talented WR that had 17 catches a year ago and should have a huge year in 2014.

Valdez Showers (6-0, 195) is a junior out of Detroit that had 18 catches in 2013.

Latroy Pittman (6-0, 210) only caught 2 passes a year ago but should be a bigger part of the offense in 2014.

Demarcus Robinson (6-1, 205) is primed and ready for a break out season after having 5 catches in 2013. Chris Thompson (6-0, 170) also had 2 catches a year ago.

Andre Debose (6-0,190) tore his ACL in 2013 and was granted an extra year by the NCAA.

 

Clay Burton (6-4, 250) will have to fight off Virginia transfer Jake McGee (6-6, 555) for the Tight End job. DeAndre Goolsby (6-4, 230) is a true freshman out of Kansas that looked good in the Spring Game. Goolsby can run and has good hands. Tevin Westbrook (6-5, 255) is a senior that has played very little. Besides, Goolsby, the Gators have Moral Stephens (6-3, 245) and C’yontai  Lewis (6-4, 225) coming in at Tight End. This should be a position of strength for the Gators with McGee, Burton and Goolsby.

 

Left Tackle will be D.J. Humphries (6-5, 290). Humphries started last season until he injured his knee and should be back this year with a vengeance. Kavaris Harkless (6-5, 275) is a true freshman a 4 star recruit out of Jacksonville that will need a redshirt season but he could back up Humphries. Harkless also lined up at Center in the Spring.

Tyler Moore (6-5, 325) was a starter at Right Guard and then Right Tackle last season after injuries. But, they had Moore at Left Guard in the Spring and he excelled. Tyler Moore began his college playing days at Nebraska. Nolan Kelleher (6-5, 310) backed up Moore at Left Guard in the Spring.

Max Garcia (6-5, 295) played at Left Guard and Left Tackle last season but started at Center in the Spring. Trip Thurman (6-5, 305) was the back up at center in the Spring.

Right Guard is man monster Trenton Brown (6-8, 350) backed up by Drew Sarvary (6-6, 310).

Right Tackle will be Chaz Green (6-5, 300). Nick Davis (6-3, 255) backed him up in the Spring but should be overtaken by 4 star recruit David Sharpe (6-6, 290)

 

 

Defense was never a problem for Florida and shouldn’t be with Will Muschamp around.

 

Defensive End or the Buck position will be Dante Fowler (6-3, 260) who had 50 tackles in 2013 and 10.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Backing up Fowler should be Alex McCalister (6-6, 245) who played little as a freshman but has a lot of potential.

The other Defensive End is Jonathon Bullard (6-3, 270) and backed up by Brian Cox Jr (6-3, 270). But, Bullard played inside in the Spring possibly opening up the position for Cox.

True freshmen and 4 star recruits Taven Bryan (6-5, 260) and Justus Reed (6-3, 215) and redshirt freshman Jordan Sherit (6-4, 250) bring speed and talent to the defensive end positions and will provide depth. Bryan is from Wyoming of all places and a big recruiting loss for the Pac 12.

 

Leon Orr (6-5, 305) was the Nose Tackle in 2013 and is back for 2014.  Orr had 4.5 tackles for losses and 2.5 sacks in 2013.   Jay-nard Bostwick (6-3, 295) should play a lot there, also.

 

At Defensive Tackle, Darious Cummings (6-1, 305) started some games a year ago. He had a sack and 3 tackles for loss, plus an interception.

His back up should be Caleb Brantley (6-2, 295). Brantley was a highly recruited guy a year ago that redshirted his first season at Florida.

Back ups at the Tackle and Nose positions will be Joey Ivie (6-3, 270), Gerald Willis (6-3, 275), Thomas Holly (6-4, 305) and Kairi Clark (6-2, 330).

Jarrad Davis (6-2, 225) should start at the weak side LB. He played a lot last season as a freshman. Daniel McMillian (6-1, 225) was also a freshman and played very little but he looked great in the Spring.

MLB should be either Michael Taylor (6-0, 225),  or Antonio Morrison (6-1, 225)  both played last year and both fought through injuries and both are good LBers. Taylor led the team in tackles in 2013 and Morrison was 2nd.

Neiron Ball (6-3, 230) should be the starter on the Strong side with Matt Rollin (6-3, 225) as his back up. Rollin had a season ending injury in August of last season and was expected to push for playing time then.

Alex Anzalone (6-3, 235) could be a factor somewhere. Depth could be an issue at LB if they have the injury bug like they did in 2013.

 

At Cornerback, Vernon Hargreaves III (5-11, 195) is one of the best. He was among the leaders of the team in tackles, plus he had 3 interceptions.

The Gators had some guys transfer out and several were in the secondary. Look for true freshmen Jalen Tabor (6-1, 190)  a 5 star guy out of Washington DC, or J.C. Jackson (6-0, 185) or Duke Dawson (5-11, 195) both 4 star guys, to battle it out for the other corner spot. It’s a bit unsettling when you have true freshmen battling to start at one position.

 

Jabari Gorman (5-10, 185) should start at Free Safety, but Nick Washington (6-0, 190) was very impressive in the Spring and may push for playing time.

The Strong Safety should be Marcus Maye (6-0, 205) or Marcell Harris (6-1, 210)

Keanu Neal (6-1, 205) could be a factor at safety as well.

The Gators may be very much improved this season over last, but they have 6 really tough games on the schedule. They will need to pull off a couple of upsets to have a successful season.

If they don’t, I would be stunned if Will Muschamp is back again in 2015.

 

 

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