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It’s difficult for true freshmen to enter a Power Five program like Florida and make an immediate impact. Many of these players need a year to adjust to the sheer talent difference between high school and college football. After that redshirt season, many of these former recruits grab a spot in the rotation or find themselves as a starter.
However, for Florida players, it’s not uncommon for these players to still barely see significant snaps. Coach Dan Mullen and his coaching staff have a tendency to value seniority and experience more than other programs across the college football landscape.
Ethan Hughes of GatorCountry made a list of five Gators redshirt freshmen to look out for in 2021. Here’s Gators Wire’s take on each one.
Running Back Demarkcus Bowman
(Photo by: Ken Ruinard/The Greenville News)
Placing running back Demarkcus Bowman on the list is kind of cheating because he is a newcomer to the Florida program. But he only played two games with Clemson and is officially classified as a redshirt freshman. Even in a crowded running back room, Bowman should make his presence known for the Gators this season.
Punter Jeremy Crawshaw
(Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)
No offense to Nick de la Torre at GatorsTerritory because punters are people, too. But Hughes should've gone with cornerback Ethan Pouncey, defensive tackle Lamar Goods or tight end Jonathan Odom here instead who didn't make the list. Jeremy Crawshaw will most likely take over the punting duties this season because he is the only scholarship punter on the roster.
Cornerback Avery Helm
(Photo by Courtney Culbreath/UAA Communications)
As Hughes wrote, it's only a matter of when instead of if when freshman Jason Marshall commands the opposite side of the field from star cornerback Kaiir Elam. However, college football has evolved where defenses need more than two corners it can trust.
Quarterback Anthony Richardson
(Photo by Jordan McKendrick/UAA Communications)
The QB1 position still belongs to quarterback Emory Jones, but Mullen likes to include backups in his game plan. He brought Jones in as a change of pace quarterback under former starters Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask. It'll be interesting to see if Mullen keeps the trend going even though Jones and Anthony Richardson are both dual-threat quarterbacks.
Defensive back Kamar Wilcoxson
(Photo by Isabella Marley/UAA Communications)
Kamar Wilcoxson was one of the youngest true freshmen in the country last season, as he graduated high school a year early. With a year under his belt now, he could challenge the current starter at STAR Tre'Vez Johnson for the position.