A Sun Blog

Robbies Playbook

Get knee-deep in The Swamp with our UF football guru

Some spring observations

As the Gators head into an important offseason, here are some final thoughts on spring practice and the Orange & Blue Debut: Based on the spring game alone, you’d think the quarterback competition is not that close and, in fact, appears to be over. But that is not the case. Luke Del Rio certainly was the best quarterback on the field Friday night, but he had the benefit of playing with the No. 1 offense (against the No. 2 defense)… Read More »

Don’t count out Appleby

The consensus among fans, reporters, writers, bloggers and others seems to be that Oregon State transfer Luke Del Rio is a lock to become the Gators’ starting quarterback in the fall, if not sooner. But, trust me, that deal is far from done. I’ve been saying since even before the start of the spring that Purdue graduate transfer Austin Appleby is going to make a strong bid for the starting role and has a good chance to win it because… Read More »

Growth on the O-line

It has been a much more enjoyable — and a lot less physical — spring for Florida offensive line coach Mike Summers now that he’s got plenty of big, healthy linemen to work with. He had so few a year ago that the 59-year-old Summers often had to pretend he was a lineman and participate in drills so the offensive line could practice. “Feels really good because I don’t have to jump in there and be one of the guys… Read More »

Some early spring stuff

More than a year into the new system under a new coaching regime, the Gators seem much more comfortable this spring than a year ago. “More so even just the whole flow of practice, you know, and the terminology part,” UF coach Jim McElwain said. “And it felt like we were way ahead, obviously, than where we were. You could tell by the install. We were in three personnel groups. We weren’t handcuffed by formations, that type of thing, which… Read More »

Don’t be surprised if …

There are always a few spring surprises on the football field for the Gators, but here are a few things that will not be considered surprising — at least to me. So, don’t be surprised if: Austin Appleby emerges as the starting quarterback. Everyone’s been talking up Oregon State transfer Luke Del Rio since word started leaking out last summer that he was killing it in players’ only practices. But here’s something to consider: Del Rio has almost zero college… Read More »

Coach Mac a champion for kids

As we’ve seen in his short time at Florida, Jim McElwain is a high-energy guy who embraces change and has a way of putting his personal stamp on things, whether it’s upgrading facilities, creating more positions on his support staff or changing the date and the time of the spring game. Well, he’s done it again. The latest McElwain stamp has been placed on the annual Scramble for Kids golf tournament that benefits three area charities — the Boys and… Read More »

Gators by the numbers

In Jim McElwain’s first year, the Gators had so few offensive linemen that it made it difficult to practice in the spring and forced Florida to have a spring scrimmage instead of a traditional spring game. That won’t be a problem in year two. Through recruiting, early enrollment and a transfer, the Gators’ numbers on the offensive line are back where they need to be. This spring, there will be 14 scholarship linemen on the roster. The number will rise… Read More »

Gators losing Florida?

There is one disconcerting flaw about Florida’s 2016 recruiting class, and I’m not talking about the absence of a defensive tackle or tight end, or the lack of numbers at linebacker and on the offensive line. I’m talking about how few homegrown prospects are in this class. The Gators managed to sign only 13 players from Florida, and missed out on many of the state’s elite prospects coming down the stretch. Florida got beat up in its own state, which… Read More »

What a disaster (only kidding)

After spending all of 10 minutes on the recruiting message boards earlier in the week, I came to the conclusion that Florida must be having the worst recruiting year in the history of the school. Has to be, man, with all that gloom and doom everywhere you look. Of course, a few minutes later I saw where the updated Rivals recruiting rankings had been released and the Gators were standing at No. 5. Not No. 5 in the state, mind… Read More »

What could have been

Even with the three-game losing streak to end the season, it’s clear that Jim McElwain has generated momentum in his first year in Gainesville with a 10-win season, an SEC East title, and now what appears to be an outstanding recruiting class in the making. But, one can’t help but wonder how much more momentum the Gators would have right now (and how much more buzz would be surrounding this program) if Will Grier had not screwed up by taking… Read More »