After the highest scoring spring game in Orange and Blue history, we got in touch with Graham Hall, expert on Gator Football and correspondent for the Gainesville Sun and Gatorsports.com. Hall gave us all the details on QB Feleipe Franks, Hall’s idea on who might step into the tight end position, and where we’re likely to see the most improvement. Check out our rankings page for even more info, and get more from Hall on Twitter @GrahamHall_.
Overall, how do you believe the offense will compare to the 2018 version?
The success of Florida’s offense will be contingent upon the play of UF’s offensive line. After losing four starters from the 2018 team, Dan Mullen and offensive line coach John Hevesy have their work cut out for them when it comes to getting the next men up ready for Florida’s season opener with Miami on Aug. 24. If the offensive line is able to give redshirt junior quarterback Feleipe Franks enough time to comfortably go through his progressions — an aspect of the game where Franks has made great strides in just 12 months — then the Gators will improve on the offensive end of the ball in 2019.
What do you expect from the QB position in 2019?
After a strong spring camp, Feleipe Franks should only continue improving in Mullen’s second season at the helm. Franks displayed confidence as a runner late in the 2018 campaign, and the expectation is he’ll continue to progress in 2019 when it comes to running the football. And I’m sure Mullen is eager to further open up the offense.
How do you see the workload at RB being distributed?
Lamical Perine should be Florida’s primary running back. After contemplating heading to the league, Perine opted to return to Gainesville for his senior season. Perine, in addition to Franks, should be the primary rushers for the Gators this season, with Kadarius Toney, Dameon Pierce and Malik Davis in line for action, too.
How does the offensive line compare to the 2018 group?
Certainly the biggest question mark for Florida’s offense, the offensive line will look to replace four starters from the 2018 team. Nick Buchanan returns under center as the lone starter, although Brett Heggie brings starting experience at the left guard position. Otherwise, Florida will look to replace former five-star left tackle Martez Ivey with Stone Forsythe, and Jacksonville Jaguars rookie Jawaan Taylor’s role will likely be filled by former four-star offensive lineman Jean Delance. Redshirt freshmen Chris Bleich and Richard Gouraige are also in line for playing time after making leaps in spring camp. Mullen and Hevesy are counting on the inexperienced unit to continue progressing prior to UF’s season opener.
What do you think the distribution will be to the WR/TE’s?
Florida’s receiving corps may stack up as one of the deepest in the nation. With no clear cut No. 1 wide receiver, the Gators have at least six wide receivers poised to line up against the Hurricanes. As for the tight end position, UF faces the tall task of replacing seniors C’yontai Lewis and Moral Stephens, although talent is certainly on the roster. The name to watch is Kyle Pitts; the sophomore worked with both position groups throughout the spring, and Pitts’ frame and speed could make him a menace for secondaries in 2019.
For our dynasty owners, who are some young players that stand out as future breakout performers?
Aside from Pitts, keep an eye on former five star Trevon Grimes. While Van Jefferson should line up as UF’s No. 1 receiver against the ‘Canes, it was Grimes who stood out the most in the spring. Now fully comfortable in Gainesville, thanks in part to becoming roommates with Franks, Grimes is poised for a breakout season. Jacob Copeland, if healthy, is also worth keeping an eye on for fantasy owners.