Breaking down Florida’s first official depth chart of the season

Breaking down Florida’s first official depth chart of the season
Breaking down Florida’s first official depth chart of the season

Excitement soared through the roof for Florida Gators fans on Wednesday night as the first official depth chart of the season was released.

The depth chart comes before the Gators take on Utah’s No. 7 Utes in the swamp on Saturday night.

Gentry provided you with the depth chart and its analysis this morning. I wanted to break down each group of positions and also give you my opinion.

Quarterbacks

No surprise here. Jack Miller is missing from the depth chart due to injury; it will slide safely into the 2nd rope on the return. The staff is aiming for a Week 3 comeback for Miller, but I think it’s likely they won’t push him back against USF. I’m looking for him to go to Tennessee in the fourth week.

Not surprised to see the GOLD between Jalen Kitna and Kyle Engel, as they’ve been fighting for that 2nd spot since Miller injured his hand. I believe this location could depend on the situation the Gators are in.

Come back

Probably the biggest surprise for Gator fans was that Lorenzo Lingard was dropped from the depth chart. It doesn’t mean Lingard won’t play in the first week, it just means Etienne looks better so far. Etienne turned heads during fall camp, looking anything but a true freshman. Napier has previously said the Gators have four running backs they trust, four running backs who can play winning football. Lingard is part of this group.

Nay’Quan Wright is listed as RB1, Montrell Johnson and Etienne round out the depth chart at RB2.

wide receiver

Ricky Pearsall, Justin Shorter and Xzaiver Henderson are the Gators starting WRs, as expected. Ja’Quavion Fraziars is the only other WR with no GOLD to his name. Caleb Douglas and Thai ChiaoKhiao-Bowman were two receivers left off the depth chart I could see receiving playing time this season. The Gators will need players in this room to step up this season.

offensive line

No surprise here either. Ethan White will play against LG and O’Cyrus Torrence will play against RG to start the season. Josh Bruan is RG’s backup but will be the first guard to play off the bench. Austin Barber is listed as a backup RT but will be the first tackle to play off the bench.

tight end

Dante Zanders is listed as TE1, which took me by surprise. He has really impressed the staff since moving to TE. Keon Zipperer is the only other TE on the depth chart. I expect Nick Elksnis and Arlis Boardingham (in good health) to have a significant impact this year.

Cornerback

Avery Helm is listed as the 2nd starting CB, with Jalen Kimber behind him. Devin Moore is listed as Jason Marshall’s replacement. I think the Gators are really well positioned here. When Jaydon Hill returns, the room will get even messier. It’s a good problem to have. I think Jordan Young is the other name to note here. He impressed me a lot in the spring game, and I think he will have his chance to shine this season.

Security

Really good to see Corey Collier’s name on the depth chart, even though it’s 3rd team. It’s also refreshing to see Donovan McMillon and Kamari Wilson on the 2nd team, that’s the future of the Gators safe room. I’m really high on Wilson and McMillon and think they could make an impact sooner rather than later. Miguel Mitchell also lands in the 2nd team with the OR next to McMillon.

defensive end

The reason you’re seeing two DEs and only one tackle is because of the Gators’ new 3-3-5 formation. For example, Dexter is listed as an ending, but it will most often be in the middle this year. This group is as expected. Chris McClellan is on the third team as a defensive end. The Gators will need big years from Justus Boone and Tyreak Sapp.

nose attack

Jalen Lee will start at NT, as predicted by Gator Country. Desmond Watson currently sits in the 2nd team. Watson is listed at 439 pounds. At this weight, I can’t imagine he’ll be getting a significant amount of snaps on Saturday night. If he stays where he is, he’s going to get passed by the guys behind him. Jaelin Humphries and Jamari Lyons are two guys to look out for there. I expect Chris Thomas to get some playing time this year as well.

JACK

One question many were asking this season was who was going to support Brenton Cox. The answer seems to be Antwuan Powell-Ryland, at least for the first week. I think Lloyd Summerall and David Reese will also be in the rotation. Chief Borders is another that could impact JACK’s position this year. I’m pretty comfortable with the Gators’ position with the rushers this season.

linebacker

Shemar James had an amazing camp and was placed in the 2nd team. He’s a guy who could end up starting games for the Gators this season. Scooby Williams defeats Derek Wingo for a second place finish in the team is big news. I still think you’re going to see Wingo and Diwun Black receive significant playing time this season. LBs rotate a lot depending on the situation.

STAR

Tre’Vez Johnson beats Jadarrius Pekins for the STAR position and I’m not surprised. I think Kamar Wilcoxson is a guy who could move up the ranks as the season progresses.

Special teams

No kicker has been selected for the 1st team, I think it’s possible we’ll see both in action, one on kick off and one on XP/FG. Looks like we’ll see Ja’Markis Weston and Trevor Etienne/Nay’Quan Wright return at kickoff. Xzaiver Henderson is listed as the punt returner. I think he disappointed a lot last year, but I think at the start of the season these staff just want someone who’s not going to give them a headache, at least for the start of the season. It will be interesting to see if anyone emerges or has really improved.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I think I got more info from the depth chart than I thought, but you still can’t examine it too much. Billy Napier told us that there were often position battles, even after Wednesday. I think you’re going to see a ton of different Gators play in big play scenarios this season. I’m interested to see who emerges as the season progresses.

. Break down first table depth official Florida season

. Breaking Floridas official depth chart season

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