Ryan Young/SEC Country
The Gators will divide into teams and square off in the annual Orange & Blue spring game on Saturday.

What to expect from Florida’s annual Orange & Blue spring game Saturday

Ryan Young

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Dan Mullen wants record crowd as Gators conclude spring

As Florida coach Dan Mullen reiterated his hope to see a full crowd in The Swamp on Saturday for the annual Orange & Blue game, a reporter mentioned that the largest Gators spring game attendance being 65,000.

“We want a lot more than that,” Mullen responded. “We’ll be there. We’ll be going hard. We’ll be giving relentless effort. The question is who else in the Gator Nation is going to be giving relentless effort on Saturday? That’s their challenge.”

Mullen explained again why he feels a loud, engaged crowd is so important to Florida reclaiming its stature as a national contender.

As for the action on the field Saturday, Mullen teased that Florida will announce guest coaches for the spring game later this week and draft the roster into two teams. So, it won’t necessarily be a 1s vs. 1s, 2s vs. 2s format.

However it ends up, the Florida players know this is a big showcase as they look to reinforce the renewed energy Mullen has breathed back into the program.

“It’s really important because I know we probably let down a lot of fans last year, so we want to go out here on Saturday and just show them the new Florida Gators and the new staff and the new everything that we have and just get them excited for the season coming up,” sophomore cornerback Marco Wilson said.

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In Florida football news

  • Defensive tackles T.J. Slaton and Elijah Conliffe, two of Florida’s “Bam Bam Kids” from last season, already have the physical look of veteran SEC defensive linemen. But they still need to turn their potential into consistent production, which would be a major boost for the Gators in 2018. Read more here.

Recruiting roundup

  • SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi provides a closer look at Class of 2019 Florida quarterback commit Jalon Jones and why he was a great fit for Mullen and the Gators. “That’s my coach,” Jones said. “I want to play in his system and that was a big part of my decision the first time around. He believes I can be his next big QB. He said that to me all the way back in July when I committed to him at Mississippi State. He told me I’m a perfect fit for his offense and he can’t wait for me to come play for him.” Read more here.
  • Abolverdi also caught up with highly touted 4-star guard Deyavie Hammond to discuss his visit to Florida over the weekend. Hammond, a top-50 overall recruit in the Class of 2019 from IMG Academy, said watching the Gators’ scrimmage on Saturday improved their chances of landing his commitment. “This visit definitely helps them out,” Hammond said. “The coaching staff really stands out, and the way they practice is full of energy. I couldn’t imagine playing in that stadium filled with thousands of fans.” Read more of his comments here.
  • Abolverdi also looks at the Gators’ Class of 2019 linebacker targets in the latest Question of the Day.
  • The latest Chomp Chat podcast discusses the response from recruits who have watched Florida practice this spring.

Florida baseball continues dominance over FSU

  • It’s hard to fathom with two programs perennially in the national rankings, but Florida has now won eight straight meetings with in-state rival Florida State and 13 of the last 14 overall. The No. 1-ranked Gators defeated the No. 12 Seminoles 6-3 on Tuesday night in Tallahassee, Fla., to complete a three-game season sweep. Read about it here.
  • Speaking of rising to the occasion against FSU, Florida senior JJ Schwarz now has 8 home runs and 25 RBI in his career against the Seminoles after adding another homer Tuesday night.
  • Meanwhile, third baseman Jonathan India stretched his hitting streak to 20 games.
  • Three Gators are on the midseason watch list for the prestigious Golden Spikes Award, which honors the top college baseball player in the country. India, ace right-hander Brady Singer and closer Michael Byrne made the 40-player list.

What they’re saying on Twitter

  • Mullen opened spring practice Tuesday to area first responders, continuing his priority on community engagement:

  • Florida WR Tyrie Cleveland posted a video of himself doing a complex core exercise:

  • Class of 2019 WR commit Dionte Marks unwavering in his pledge to the Gators:

  • Former Gators WR Antonio Callaway hanging with NFL star and fellow Miami native Antonio Brown:

  • Florida QB commit Jalon Jones tweeted out highlights from his junior high school season:

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