GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- With spring practice now in the books and coaches' exit interviews out of the way, GatorBait.net stops to take a look at how the depth chart stands heading into the offseason before the rest of the freshmen arrive this summer. We take a stab at projecting the current two-deep following spring practice.
Demarcus Robinson and Jaylen Watkins are two players who have made moves on GatorBait.net's post-spring two-deep.
Projected Post-Spring Two-Deep
QB - Jeff Driskel, Tyler Murphy
RB - Matt Jones, Mack Brown OR Kelvin Taylor
FB - Hunter Joyer, Gideon Ajagbe
WR(X) - Quinton Dunbar, Demarcus Robinson
WR(Z) - Solomon Patton, Loucheiz Purifoy
WR(F) - Latroy Pittman, Trey Burton
TE - Clay Burton, Kent Taylor
LT - D.J. Humphries, Trip Thurman
LG - Max Garcia, Ian Silberman
C - Jon Harrison, Kyle Koehne
RG - Jon Halapio, Kyle Koehne
RT - Tyler Moore, Chaz Green
DE - Jonathan Bullard, Bryan Cox Jr.
NT - Leon Orr, Darious Cummings
DT - Dominique Easley, Damien Jacobs
BK - Dante Fowler, Ronald Powell
SLB - Neiron Ball, Ronald Powell
MLB - Antonio Morrison, Darrin Kitchens
WLB - Michael Taylor, Daniel McMillian
CB - Loucheiz Purifoy, Brian Poole
S - Jaylen Watkins, Jabari Gorman
S - Marcus Maye, Cody Riggs
CB - Marcus Roberson, Jeremy Brown
NB - Brian Poole, Cody Riggs
DB - Jabari Gorman, Valdez Showers
Post-Spring Notes By Position
Quarterback -- Jeff Driskel is the clear starter, while Tyler Murphy currently leads for the backup job. However, Murphy will continue to battle for the backup job going into fall camp with Skyler Mornhinweg and Max Staver.
Running Back -- For now, Mack Brown and Kelvin Taylor are listed as co-backups. Brown may eventually be passed by Taylor, but we're not ready to peg his as the third-string guy just yet. He improved in pass protection, but the coaches are clearly giving Taylor a chance to take the job.
Wide Receiver -- Demarcus Robinson will likely eventually be a starter at receiver, but for now we're listing him as the backup to Quinton Dunbar at the X spot. Loucheiz Purifoy is also listed as a backup at the Z despite entering spring as the starter, because he won't be playing offense full-time. We've moved Latroy Pittman ahead of Trey Burton as starter at the F, but Burton will still be a huge part of the offense even if he's not technically a starter.
Tight End -- This is one of the tougher positions to peg. Clay Burton seems a clear leader at the spot, but the backup job is clear as mud. Because Kelvin Taylor was targeted so much in the passing game this spring, we're moving him ahead of Tevin Westbrook. But both Westbrook and Colin Thompson are also in contention for the job.
Offensive Line -- For now, we're including two guys who underwent shoulder surgery this offseason or spring as backups in Trip Thurman and Ian Silberman. Jessamen Dunker could move ahead of Silberman for backup left guard if he is reinstated from suspension. For now, we've got Tyler Moore as the starter at right tackle, but he'll battle with a healthy Chaz Green for that job in the fall.
Defensive End / Buck -- For now, we've got Dante Fowler as the starter at buck. With Dominique Easley moving inside to tackle, we've got Bryan Cox as the backup at defensive end. Ronald Powell could very well start at buck when he returns, but we think he's more likely to end up starting at strong-side linebacker.
Defensive Tackle -- Easley sliding inside makes him the starter at the three-technique, where he'll be backed up by Damien Jacobs. Leon Orr is still penciled in as the starter at nose tackle, but he doesn't have that job locked up by any means. Darious Cummings is also in contention there as our current backup.
Linebacker -- We have a great grasp on the starters in the middle and on the weak side. Michael Taylor will start on the weak side, with Daniel McMillian getting plenty of playing time as his backup. For now, Antonio Morrison is starting in the middle backed up by Darrin Kitchens. That could change if Alex Anzalone returns healthy and challenges for the backup job. On the strong side, we've got Neiron Ball as the current starter with Powell as the backup. If Powell returns healthy and gets most of his snaps at linebacker, he could take over the starting role on the strong side.
Cornerback -- For now, we've got Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy starting, backed up by Jeremy Brown and Brian Poole. Poole will be the third guy in the rotation, assuming Jaylen Watkins ends up starting at safety, where we have him as a current starter.
Safety -- For now, we've got Watkins and Marcus Maye as the starters. That's how they left the spring, though the competition is still wide open. Behind them we have Jabari Gorman and Cody Riggs. Riggs could be a starter if healthy, and Gorman could be a starter if Watkins ultimately ends up back at cornerback. This is one of the toughest spots to peg for now.
Kicker -- Though they were listed as co-starters entering the spring, we're moving walk-on Brad Phillips ahead of Austin Hardin for the starting job. We could easily see Phillips handle the field goal duties with Hardin taking the kickoffs if neither make major strides during the offseason. Phillips is slightly more consistent hitting field goals than Hardin right now.
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