Remember 2018, when Dan Mullen spent his first spring game as Florida Gators head coach making a mockery of the format by pulling legends off the sidelines to catch touchdown passes?
That was fun, yeah, but it was also frustrating. As I wrote then:
There were things for Florida fans to be excited about for the fall and for the future in this game, yes — but you had to squint to see them, and sit through the silliness to even have that opportunity.
But, you know, on the other hand: I also wrote up Antonneous Clayton having a good day in that game. So it’s not as if the serious portions of the game meant anything, either.
The 2019 Orange and Blue Debut, happening this Saturday at 1 p.m. and streaming online via the SEC Network Alternate channel, should probably follow suit. There are not nearly as many questions about the sexy positions for this year’s Gators — Feleipe Franks is entrenched as the starting quarterback, Lamical Perine as the clear No. 1 back, etc. — and the things that can be gleaned from watching line play in a spring game are suspicions about which players aren’t treading water rather than conclusions about which are clear-cut contributors, for the most part.
If Florida, which enters this game remarkably healthy, leaves it with the same hale roster, then the game will almost certainly be a success no matter what happens on the field.
Drafted rosters for the Orange and Blue teams seem to my eye to give the Orange a significant advantage, especially on offense — Franks, Perine, Dameon Pierce, Van Jefferson, Trevon Grimes, and Kadarius Toney are all on the Orange squad, as are corners CJ Henderson and Marco Wilson. But the Blue team, with supposed spring standouts like Kyle Pitts, Kemore Gamble, and Trey Dean among its ranks, may be the more interesting watch for most fans, given its number of less-known quantities.