GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida football team held its first scrimmage of the spring Friday.
Gators coach Jim McElwain assessed the performance of quarterbacks Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask during his Monday press conference.
“Both quarterbacks had some real explosive throws, and yet, I think our sense of urgency needs to pick up a little bit at that position,” McElwain said. “They did a great job throwing the deep balls and we missed some intermediate seam throws. I thought that was good by the defense in their disguise and what they rolled to.
“Then we came back on Saturday and it was good I think to see them get it corrected. I was disappointed we threw an interception in the red area that can’t happen, absolutely not, so we’ve got to learn from that. Good play from the defense, but obviously we can’t do that — take away points. We have to do better at that.”
McElwain said wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland match a “pretty good catch” against cornerback Chauncey Gardner, who was able to respond after giving up the big play. McElwain also singled out some other players from Friday’s scrimmage.
“There were some really, really good performances and things that stood out, both good and bad, and yet it was the first time I’ve kind of seen ’em fight through,” said McElwain, who added that no new injuries occurred. “They played hard throughout the scrimmage. I thought some guys that showed up defensively, I thought Jabari Zuniga is a guy who has really taken that next step. We all saw flashes of it a year ago, but I think he is turning into a dominant force on that defensive front.
“Kylan Johnson really got after it in his last scrimmage, really does some good things. It was good to see Chauncey is playing real well. A good catch Tyrie made on him, but he bounced right back. He got a pick. Secondary wise, the consistency of those safeties has been really good working together. Duke (Dawson) is doing a really good job and really is comfortable back at corner.”
McElwain also praised several linemen for their effort Friday, particular in the red zone. He is pleased with the progress at the position under new offensive line coach Brad Davis.
“The guys on the inside — our tackles are playing good, don’t get me wrong at all, I’m happy with that, the expectation is there and they’re playing up to it — I think we’re developing (at center and guard),” McElwain said. “Tyler Jordan, this was the first time I’ve seen him really engage and play throughout with a fire. T.J. (McCoy) was good. Brett Heggie is doing a really good job, along with (Nick) Buchanan. I thought Fred (Johnson) took some big strides, both at guard and tackle. That’s a good thing. I was happy to see that.”