Florida was not able to hold a scrimmage like it had planned to Saturday because of injury problems; the Gators didn't have enough healthy offensive linemen to field two teams, so head coach Will Muschamp altered the format to a what was essentially an open practice.
The Gators did some situational scrimmaging and worked through the drills they do during a typical practice. The format hurt attendance, but the folks who did make it out to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium saw some impressive individual performances. One player who made an impression was true freshman running back Kelvin Taylor.
Really, really nice day for him. Started slow but really got going in the second half. RT @alligatorarmy: Kelvin Taylor off tackle for 15.— OnlyGators.com (@onlygators) April 6, 2013
Taylor was a consensus five-star prospect coming out of high school and is fighting for reps this fall. The Gators are in good shape at running back, and Taylor wasn't the only ballcarrier to have a good day -- Mark Herndon also played well. Those two got more work than Matt Jones, who is expected to be the starter when the season begins. That was by design.
Elsewhere, the Gators are searching for solid performers at wide receiver. Florida lost three of its top four receivers from a year ago, making that position a major developmental priority. Loucheiz Purifoy will get some snaps at receiver in addition to defensive back, and on Saturday made plays on both sides of the ball. Florida was without receivers Latroy Pittman and Demarcus Robinson because of injuries, and while Muschamp liked what he saw from the offense in general, he also recognized that his receiving corps needs work.
Muschamp says WR position is still not where they want it to be, but he did see improvement in spring.— (@GatorZoneScott) April 6, 2013
On the defensive side, Muschamp said the team has a lot to sort out, particularly at the safety position. Florida lost both of its starting safeties from a year ago, and seven starters total from the defense. Those losses include four of their top five tacklers in 2012.