As a former walk-on who had to earn his scholarship at Georgia, Will Muschamp can appreciate the contributions of kids who want to play football so badly that they are willing to pay their own way in school. That’s why he took particular joy in awarding scholarships to four walk-ons Friday.
“Yesterday was a big day for me from the standpoint of being a former walk-on and being able to give some guys scholarships,” Muschamp said Saturday morning. “We were able to give David Lerner, Timmy Clark, William Steinmann and Scott Peek, four guys who have all been in our program for a number of years and have both demonstrated themselves well on the field and academically they’ve done an outstanding job.”
Lerner is a senior from Gainesville, who Muschamp said is winning the battle for starting punter with scholarship freshman Kyle Christy. Steinmann is a 6-5, 265-pound offensive lineman from Daytona Beach who is also taking some reps at tight end. Peek is a senior linebacker from Tampa and Clark is a senior safety from Wellborn.
Muschamp said it was an emotional day for him to be able to put the four on scholarship for their senior seasons.
“I know I’ll never forget the day I was awarded a scholarship,” Muschamp said. “We did it in front of the team and it was an emotional time. I told our scholarship guys sometimes you take things for granted as far as what you have. To complain and moan about some things and to have these guys paying for it. They want to be in your shoes so it was great for our football team.
INJURY SITUATION: Fourth-year junior cornerback Jeremy Brown has missed the last week of practice with a knee injury but will return to practice in the middle of next week according to Muschamp.
“I expect him [to return to practice] probably Wednesday or Thursday of next week,” Muschamp said Saturday morning after the Gators finished a full contact situational practice in The Swamp.
Senior quarterback John Brantley was held out of the Saturday morning practice for a sore back. Muschamp said it was convenient to hold Brantley out to get some reps for backup quarterbacks Tyler Murphy, Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett.
“There’s nothing serious,” Muschamp said. “It’s just we felt like we’re going to have a scrimmage Wednesday and I would rather make sure that he’s full go into that as we start to game plan into Florida Atlantic. That was simply just camp reps. There was nothing more than that so I know we don’t need to make much more of it than that. He’s fine and we wanted to get Jeff (Driskel), Jacoby (Brissett) and Tyler (Murphy) a lot of reps as well and see if we created some separation.”
Also on the injury front, Muschamp reported that freshman tight end A.C. Leonard, who tore a meniscus a couple of weeks ago, is well into his rehab and that’s going very well.