As Florida Gators fans, we have high hopes for our offense this season. Dan Mullen has reshaped and reimagined it, and that will make a huge difference. Here’s who we expect to start at each offensive position.
This position has struggled the most in the past few years. Even with new dual-threat quarterback Emory Jones in the picture, I still see Mullen putting Feleipe Franks in to start. Franks didn’t perform badly last season, but it was obvious that he could use some coaching. With Mullen running the show, he has hopefully put effort into getting Franks the coaching that he needed. His biggest weakness was not getting rid of the ball and instead, losing yardage. However, this wasn’t entirely his fault. Gaps in the line made it easy for defenses to swarm Franks and put him on his back. If he has learned how to throw the ball away, he could be a great asset to this new and improved offense and his seniority should give him the start.
Jordan Scarlett is back this season after being suspended last year, and Florida fans could not be happier. We’re excited to see what he will bring back to the swamp after a year off. If he’s not the same guy we remember, the Gators still have Lamical Perine who ran the show last year and freshman Dameon Pierce who is a 4-star recruit.
Van Jefferson, Kadarius Toney and Tyrie Cleveland will be the leading receivers this fall. However, 4-star recruit Jacob Copeland has untouchable speed which leads us to believe that he should see playing time as well. There are high expectations for this recruit, both in the running and passing game, so he will get a chance to show his skill.
Redshirt senior C’yontai Lewis will get the start based on experience and seniority, but freshman Kyle Pitts and sophomore Kemore Gamble will also see playing time to get ready to take over at the starting position.
Senior Martez Ivey will start at left tackle because of his athleticism and his experience. Recruit Noah Banks will be powerful in this position as well and should see some play time to prepare for Ivey’s graduation.
Brett Heggie is back in action this fall. An injury held him back last season, but he should be ready to go this fall. His seniority will give him the start, and offensive line coach John Hevesy should work with him as well as the other linemen to make sure that the same gaps don’t open up in the line again this season. Freshman Chris Bleich should be one of the most flexible guys on the line this season, so if Heggie has problems with his injury, Bleich can jump in and fill out the line.
TJ McCoy is also recovering from an injury but is expected to be back and better than ever. This redshirt junior will get the start and take the line to the next level. Freshman Griffin McDowell will learn from the veteran and get ready to take his place once he graduates.
Senior Fred Johnson will start the season with the start. However, he has proven to be one of the more inconsistent guys on the line so he could be replaced with Bleich who has some experience at guard.
Jawaan Taylor will start at right tackle. For the past two seasons, he has proven to be the most consistent player up front, and it’s unlikely that would change anytime soon.