GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida's receivers have been bad for the last three years. They know it, and Will Muschamp knows it. But for three years, the receivers have earned mostly glowing reports in spring practice, only for it not to translate on the field whatsoever.
Sophomore receiver Latroy Pittman is shining at receiver again this spring for the Gators.
Asked why that was, Will Muschamp admitted he had no idea.
Take last year, for example. True freshman Latroy Pittman came in and stole the show in spring practice. Yet when fall came around, he caught just two passes for six yards.
"Coming off my spring everybody expected me to be that guy, and I accepted that for myself too but it just so happened we became run heavy coming out to start the season," he said. "It wasn’t a great start for us at all and it wasn’t what we expected as an offense. Every game it was hard for us to get started in the first quarter; the first half was always rough for us."
Sure, an ankle injury midway through the year limited him some. Even so, the lack of targets surprised him.
"Overall it wasn’t what I expected, but this year I’m hoping for a better outcome," Pittman said.
The reports are positive once again this spring. Pittman is fast emerging as a viable second option at receiver behind Quinton Dunbar. He has made several tough catches in spring practice, and he's been more consistent doing so.
He's also got more than a year's worth of experience under his belt now, so he knows what the expectation level is a little better now.
"It wasn’t too much pressure, but it’s a lot to take in coming in the SEC and expecting to be that guy for a team," he said. "Overall, I feel like Year 2 will be a better for me."
Like most of the receivers, Pittman's a bit irked by the fact that nobody seems to respect Florida's receivers.
Report after report, like this one, say the same thing: Florida's receivers have been bad the last three years. While that's a little frustrating for them, it's also true.
"Being here and getting those reports ‘that they can’t do it,’" Pittman said, "it motivates you. It’s not discouraging at all because you want to prove to people you can help the team out and you are a good receiver."
They can't exactly blame Florida fans for wanting to see some results on the field before they start to get excited about the receivers.
After all, fans have heard this before. They've heard Pittman is doing excellent and that the receivers as a whole look much better.
The time for talking is over. Time to prove it.
"We’ve always been seen the past three years as the weakest link on the team. Somebody has to step up," Pittman said. "Me, myself, Quinton Dunbar, Andre Debose and just the guys coming in, Ahmad (Fulwood), Alvin Bailey, those guys can contribute too."
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