Florida released its depth chart for Saturday’s opener, and there are true freshmen all over it.
Urban Meyer said last week that a bunch of the freshmen would be playing at some point against Miami (Ohio).
Here’s what our opinion of a bunch is: 16.
That’s the number of true freshmen who could see playing time, an impressive measure of just how good that 2010 recruiting class is turning out to be.
Here are the freshmen most likely to play:
* WR Robert Clark — he’s listed as the backup to Chris Rainey at slot receiver. The coaches have raved about this toughness, quickness and ability to make plays.
* QB/TE Trey Burton — this kid is too good an athlete to keep off the field. He could be the No. 2 quarterback. He’s in one of those OR situations with another true freshman, Tyler Murphy, on the depth chart. With Jordan Reed (knee) possibly out Saturday, Burton could be the No. 2 tight end behind Omarius Hines.
* RB Mack Brown — he’s had a very good camp and he’s dead even with Mike Gillislee for the No. 3 tailback role. Brown could see extensive playing time this season, given the physical grind of the SEC schedule.
* TE/FB Gerald Christian — he’s physically good to go in terms of size and strength. He’s listed as the No. 2 fullback, so he’s going to be in the playing rotation Saturday.
* WR Quinton Dunbar — He’s the true freshman receiver who has been mentioned the most by the offensive coaches. He’s listed as third on the depth chart behind Deonte Thompson and Andre Debose, who recently made the move out wide to the X position.
* QB Tyler Murphy — The coaches have been impressed by his intelligence and his arm. There’s a good chance he’ll be the No. 2 quarterback Saturday. If the Gators roll, he could end up in the game fairly early.
* DT Sharrif Floyd — With senior Terron Sanders out with a sprained knee, Floyd is the No. 2 tackle behind Jaye Howard, so he’s in the playing rotation. He’s physically mature, and already one of the strongest players on the team.
* DE Dominique Easley — Everyone has been listing him as a DT, but he’s listed as the possible backup at defensive end. Easley and Lerentee McCray are listed as co-No.2s. Either way, he’s going to play this season.
* DE Ronald Powell — He’s really started coming on strong in the last week or so and he’s listed as the co-backup with William Green at one end spot. If he continues to progress, Powell could be a major factor at a position of need.
* LB Neiron Ball — Until Monday, I had not heard his name mentioned since the spring. But Meyer said Ball is going to see playing time at outside linebacker Saturday. He’s listed as the No. 2strongside linebacker behind senior A.J. Jones.
* LB Michael Taylor — A.J. Jones had great things to say about Taylor last week. He said he’s an incredible hitter who plays with great passion and energy. With so little depth at LB, Taylor figures to get into the playing rotation at some point.
* S Jonathan Dowling — Here’s another guy whose name did not come up until Monday. Meyer said Dowling has really come on and will play in Saturday’s game. He could end up seeing playing time at both safety positions.
* CB Joshua Shaw — He and fellow true freshman Jaylen Watkins are dead even for the backup role behind junior Janoris Jenkins. Shaw came on strong at the end of the spring and has continued to make progress.
* CB Jaylen Watkins — He and Shaw likely will sharing time behind Jenkins. Watkins was an early enrollee whose confidence has soared with a good camp.
* CB Cody Riggs — The veteran players have been amazed with his quickness. He’s running behind Jeremy Brown and Moses Jenkins at the one corner spot. With Brown being the starter in the nickel, Riggs is the next in line at corner, so he’ll probably play some.
* SS Matt Elam — He’s the probable starter at nickel, which the Gators could open up in Saturday given Miami’s penchant for passing the football. There are a lot of impressive players in this freshman class, but Elam probably ranks as No. 1 true freshman. He’s going to be a major contributor, on defense and special teams.
So, there you have it. The 16 freshmen who figure to possibly make their Gator debut Saturday.