Will Muschamp seems to be the perfect choice to replace Urban Meyer. He has the same energy and passion as Meyer, and best of all no loyalty towards HE-WHO-MUST-NOT-BE-NAMED, a certain Temple Head Football Coach.
It appears that Muschamp did a great job assembling his coaching staff with a famous coach and plenty of NFL experience. The Gator should look more like a NFL-style team on both sides of the ball. While he had some trouble with the 2011 recruiting class, the Mus is proving that he a great recruiter and the 2012 class is shaping up to a Top 5 group.
The highly anticipated Orange and Blue Debut will show how quickly the current Gators are able to pick up the Offensive and Defensive changes that are being implemented by the new coaching staff.
The Mus and Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn are bringing an aggressive NFL style defense to Gainesville. The combining of aspects from 4-3 and 3-4 defenses should be interesting to watch and will hopefully give SEC OCs nightmares. This style should do well with the skills and talents of current Gator players.
Coach Bryant Young, NFL DE HoFer, should
be able to reach and get buy in from a talented but underachieving
defensive line. Sherrif Floyd should be the next great Gator Defensive
Lineman after a successful Freshman year.
At Linebacker, the Gators are very fast and athletic. To address the LB depth issue, Gerald Christian has moved over from TE to LB where he was a stand out at the HS level. "Buck" (4-3 DE/ 3-4 LB) Ronald Powell is at the position to showcase his ability to cover a WR on one play and sack the QB on the next.
Once again the Gators have one of the best secondaries in the SEC. The Gators have plenty of depth and experience at all 4 positions. They are lead by the best returning CB in the nation Janoris Jenkins, who should shut down the opposing WR.
OffenseCharlie Weis is a huge upgrade in Offensive Coordinator position. His offenses have had success in both the Pros and in College. His uncanny ability to make turnaround bad offense, improve QB play, and adapt to personnel will be put to the test this fall.
The biggest challenge for Charlie Weis is to restore confidence in QB Johnny Brantley for both John and his teammates. The players, coaches and Johnny himself lost confidence in ability to run the spread offense last year. The pro style offense seems to fit with the senior's skill sets better than the previous offense. Under Weis tutelage, I expect Johnny B to get back to the form that made him the Gatorade National Player of the year in High School.
The strength of the Gator offense is the Running Back position. As a group the Gator RBs are a bit undersized but very fast. Injury problems have plagued the Gators during the spring, but the return of Jeff Demps in the fall should help with depth issues. Chris Rainey is a natural fit for a Pro style running attack with his combination of speed and ???escapeablity???, he should be the featured back in the upcoming season.
The weakness of last years team was the lack of a go to or a deep threat Wide Receiver. There are plenty of 5 star recruits in the depth roster that have underachieved at the college level. Hopefully Omarius Hines, Stephen Alli, Andre Debose, and/or the rest of the group will adapt to the new offense and be mentioned with the likes of Alvarez, Collingsworth, Doering, Hillard, and Harvin.
The move to Pro style offense should better utilize the talented Gator Tight Ends. The current Tight Ends appear to be stronger pass catchers than run blockers. Last year when not playing QB, Jordan Reed displayed all of the skills to be a great pass catching TE. Now that Reed is able to focus on playing Tight End, Gator fans hope he can play like former Gator TEs Hernandez and CI.
The loss of 4 starters from last year's Offensive Line leaves Gators without much experience. However, O-line coach and running game coordinator Frank Verducci will be able to focus on improving O-line play, and not be tasked with the playcalling duties of the last O-line coach. Left Tackle Xavier Nixon was a bright spot in last years under performing O-line.
Last year, 3 star freshman Trey Burton was the unlikely shining star in an offense full of Lollygaggers, just ask Kentucky. Mr. Versatile played every skilled position in the Gator offense. He became the Go to Guy in key situations whether it required running, catching, or blocking. In the new offense, the "F" position has been created to use Burton's wide array of playmaking skills.
Big plays on the "3rd side" of the ball were the hallmark of the Meyer era in Gator football. During his tenure, Meyer taught Gator fans the importance of special teams. Hopefully Muschamp and Special teams coach DJ Durkin can continue that success.
Freshman Punter Kyle Christy is the likely replacement for the best Gator punter in recent memory Chaz Henry. Christy was highly rated coming out of high school as both a punter and a kicker. He will likely backup Caleb Sturgis at kicker.
Andre Debose showed plenty of potiental as a kick returner late in the season. Chris Rainey should be very dangerous as a punt returner.