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Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks will look to make a strong impression on the new coaching staff when spring practice starts later this month.

Full Florida football position-by-position breakdown heading into spring practice

Ryan Young

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Sizing up Florida’s roster, position battles and questions heading into spring practice

Florida is almost a week away from its first spring practice under coach Dan Mullen.

The Gators will kick off the spring with a pair of practices open to fans on March 16 and March 17, as the new coaching staff makes its first on-field evaluations of its team.

Leading up to the spring, SEC Country has gone in-depth breaking down the 2018 Gators position by position, wrapping up the series on Wednesday with the defensive line.

With 8 days until the first spring practice, that leaves plenty of time to get up to speed on the major storylines and players to watch at each position.

Here’s the roundup …

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In other Florida football news …

Recruiting roundup

On the court

  • The Florida men’s basketball team traveled to St. Louis on Wednesday in advance of the SEC Tournament. The No. 3-seeded Gators don’t play until Friday night against an opponent to be determined.

Florida baseball gets swept by UCF

  • The No. 1-ranked Florida baseball team has experienced its first test of adversity this season, losing back-to-back games to UCF, including a 4-2 defeat at home Wednesday night. The Gators filled the bases in the fifth and the eighth innings but only scored 1 run each time while leaving 9 on base overall in the loss.
  • Florida drops to 12-3 with the pair of losses.
  • Here’s what coach Kevin O’Sullivan said after the game: “To be honest with you, nobody likes to lose, but we learned a lot about our team the last two days. We ran a bunch of freshmen out there on the mound, started [freshman Brady Smith] behind the plate [Wednesday]. It just gives us a lot more to learn about our team moving forward, and that’s really what you’re trying to do at this point. Trying to figure out who can do what and who can handle certain situations. … Quite honestly, things have been a little bit easy for us up until this point. No one likes to lose, like I said, but to be honest with you, this is probably what this team needs. It needs a little motivation, and hopefully this will motivate us to play a little bit better this weekend.”
  • Deacon Liput returned to action Wednesday night after serving an unspecified suspension to start the season. He started at shortstop and started a couple double plays in the field while going 0 for 2 with 2 walks at the plate. Liput was Florida’s starting second baseman last season, but Blake Reese has manned that spot well to start the season. “He can play short. You’ll be surprised,” O’Sullivan said of Liput. “He’s very sure-handed. He can play short; we just need to get his bat going a little bit and get him some ABs.”

Around campus …

  • Florida sophomore Grant Holloway was named the SEC Men’s Indoor Runner of the Year, becoming the third Gators athlete in history to claim that honor since it was introduced in 2004. Holloway joined 1996 Olympic gold medalist Allen Johnson as the only men in indoor track and field history to break 7.45 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles and long jump at least 8.00 meters. Read more about the Gators standout here.

  • Meanwhile, on the women’s team, Gators standout Amanda Froeynes was named the co-freshman indoor field athlete of the year. Read more here.

  • 13 Florida men’s swimmers and divers have been invited to the NCAA championships in Minneapolis March 21-24. Read more here.
  • Florida women’s tennis player Victoria Emma was named the SEC Freshman of the Week. Read more here. 
  • Florida men’s tennis player Oliver Crawford was named the SEC Freshman of the Week. Read more here.

What they’re saying on Twitter

  • Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne and Florida AD Scott Stricklin participated in a fun Twitter back and forth Wednesday:

  • Florida posted a cool behind-the-scenes video from Mullen’s speaking tour around the state last week:

  • The Gators also posted a photo from the much-talked-about offseason strength and conditioning program:

  • Speaking of which, freshman running back Iverson Clement posted about his strength gains this offseason:

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