Gators week 1 depth chart analysis

By: Garrett Ballard

The Florida Gators play the #7 ranked Utah Utes on Saturday to open up the 2022 college football season. Summer practices are officially over and that means official depth charts arrive.

Veteran players like Ventrell Miller, Gervon Dexter, Justin Shorter and Anthony Richardson are all listed as starters, but where might the Gators see some new faces?

How are the freshmen fairing?

One major storyline that comes with this depth chart release is how Napier’s first recruiting class is fairing. Running back Trevor Etienne, linebacker Shemar James, and defensive backs Devin Moore and Kamari Wilson headlined the recruiting class and played well in the summer.

Despite none of these players being listed as the starter, are all in line to earn playing time. On Wednesday morning, Napier told reporters he expects there to be a rotation at a lot of positions.

“I think one of our philosophies is we play a lot of players,” Napier said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of rotational players.”

With these true freshmen all listed as second-team players, they will be in line to earn playing time.

How are the transfers fairing?

Another area of recruiting that played a big part in the construction of the Gators roster was the transfer portal. Players like O’Cyrus Torrence, Montrell Johnson Jr., and Ricky Pearsall headlined the class.

Torrence is listed as the starting right guard and Pearsall is listed as the co-starting slot receiver with Trent Whittemore. Johnson is a co-second-team running back with Trevor Etienne, behind veteran Nay’Quan Wright, who is finally getting his chance to start.

Transfer quarterback Jack Miller is listed with an upper-body injury and will be out for the game.

Opportunity knocks

A big component of this depth chart is that this is subject to change from week to week. Something about the previous coaching staff at Florida was that it always seemed that the players would maintain their starting spot, despite maybe not the best play.

“I think that our team, in particular this year, the number of snaps these players play each week will be based off how they did the previous week and also what we observe from a disciplinary standpoint, from an urgency standpoint and how they perform in practice, meetings, walkthroughs.”

Napier has made it clear that there is an opportunity for players to take control of their destiny and earn more starting snaps. Some positions, like offensive line and quarterback, have no competition, but others are open for change.