Gator Weekend Roundup 8/15/04

( - Just when it seemed Florida's safeties might be facing severe depth problems, two freshmen offered a promising glimpse into what could lead to immediate playing time.

In their first week of practice, Kyle Jackson and Tony Joiner impressed coaches with their quick adjustments to the college game. During Saturday morning's workout, Jackson came up with the day's most impressive play. The true freshman made a nice interception as he dove near the sideline to pick off a pass thrown by quarterback Gavin Dickey.

"He's got a knack," coach Ron Zook said. "He's made a couple of interceptions out there. Some guys have it and some guys don't."

Cory Bailey, Jarvis Herring and Terrence Holmes are the experienced safeties most likely in line for the starting jobs. But Zook said he wouldn't mind having two freshmen help keep the competition tight.

"I don't think you can really say who is going to play yet [among the freshmen class]," Zook said. "But I've got to believe that [Jackson] and [Joiner] both have a chance."


As Hurricane Charley veered south of Gainesville on Friday, the area managed to dodge the storm's wrath. Some players' families, however, didn't fare as well.

Backup quarterback Justin Midgett, from Port Charlotte, was in and out of meetings all afternoon to communicate with his parents. Though no one in his family was hurt, his parents' home was damaged.

-Extra points

As expected, Zook downplayed Florida's No. 11 ranking in The Associated Press poll.

"The polls are the polls," he said. "That's what makes the excitement of the game. Really what matters, though, is the end."

The Gators, who have been selected as high as No. 6 (Sports Illustrated), likely won't get to test their position until the third week of the season when they play at No. 14 Tennessee.

By Jeff Darlington
Aug 15, 2004
© Copyright 2004-2005

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