It’s never too early to look ahead to the next football season! So here’s a look at the 2013 Gators and who might be taking the field for Will Muschamp.
1) Jeff Driskel (JR.)
2) Tyler Murphy (RJR.)
3) Skyler Mornhinweg (RFR.)
Jeff Driskel is the clear cut starter heading into 2013 and he now has a year under his belt as a starter.
Jacoby Brissett, Driskel’s backup in 2012, is transferring and the #2 spot is now wide open.
There will be 3 other scholarship QB’s on the roster next fall: Skyler Mornhinweg, Tyler Murphy, and Max Staver.
Murphy will be a red shirt Junior and is an athletic player who seems to be the favorite heading into the spring. Mornhinweg also red shirted this past season but is only a freshman and could give Murphy a run for his money. A lot could happen between now and then but Murphy has the edge because of experience as of right now.
1) Matt Jones (SO.)
2) Kelvin Taylor (FR.)
3) Mack Brown (JR.)
With Mike Gillislee gone the Gators will need to find a new featured RB next season. The competition will come down to Matt Jones, who was Gillislee’s backup, and incoming freshman, Kelvin Taylor. Taylor is the son of former Gator Fred Taylor and is enrolling early to take part in spring practices and learn the offense. Many believe Taylor is in line for the starting position but Matt Jones emerged lste in 2012 and do not count him out. No matter who becomes the ‘number one guy’ both players will get touches.
1) Hunter Joyer (JR.)
The most underrated player from the Gators 2012 offense was Hunter Joyer. The 240 pound fullback fits perfectly into Will Muschamp’s Pro-style offense and played a huge part in Gillislee’s success last season. He will be a huge asset as both a blocker and short yardage back for Florida next fall.
1) Quinton Dunbar (SR.)
2) Andre Debose (SR.)
3) Demarcus Robinson (FR.)
4) Latroy Pittman (SO.)
By far the most pressing need for the Gators offense is Wide Receiver. Florida had the 114th ranked pass offense in the country in 2012 and will need more production out of their pass catchers. Dunbar is the only player on this list who had more then 5 catches last season and is the only proven receiver the Gators have. Debose has loads of potential, as seen in the clip below, but he has yet to do much on offense in 3 years in Gainesville. Demarcus Robinson is the headliner of a solid WR recruiting class and could produce early as he is now on campus. Latroy Pittman struggled to learn the offense in his freshman campaign but could become a producer for Brent Pease’s offense his second time around. The WR position is WIDE open and don’t be surprised if a player not on this list emerges as a weapon for Jeff Driskel.
1) Clay Burton (JR.)
2) Kent Taylor (SO.)
3) Tevin Westbrook (JR.)
Jordan Reed was the Gator’s most valuable weapon at TE but he will be in the NFL next season. After him, Clay Burton has some experience but almost exclusively as a blocker.
The same goes for Tevin Westbrook, who played DE before 2012 and is more of a 6th offensive lineman.
A player who the coaching staff is very high on is Kent Taylor, a 6-5 sophomore who has been compared to former Gator Aaron Hernandez. He will be the Gator’s best pass catching option at TE and if he can play well it will be a huge plus for Florida.
RT- Chaz Green (JR.)
RG- Jon Halapio (SR.)
C- Jonotthan Harrison (SR.)
LG- Tyler Moore (JR.)
LT- DJ Humphries (SO.)
Also in the mix: G Max Garcia (SR.), G Ian Silberman (JR.), G/T Kyle Koehne (SR.)
The Gators’ offensive line was a big reason for a solid season running the football for both Mike Gillislee and Jeff Driskel. The right side of that 2012 O-line is back but LT Xavier Nixon and LG James Wilson are both moving on after their senior seasons.
A possible solution at LT is DJ Humphries, a member of the 2012 all-SEC Freshman team, if he can handle a larger role next fall.
Many believe he can, which would fill up an important role on the offense. Another possible starter up front is the former Cornhusker Tyler Moore and he would fill a hole at LG. Production at spring practice and over the summer will be a huge deal for all of the 8 guys above who want to make a difference on the line.
The end goal for Florida is always an SEC championship and BCS berth and an improved offense would be a boost for those hopes. Obviously, offense is only half of this team, and my defensive depth chart for 2013 will be posted next week.