GAINESVILLE — Jim McElwain was disappointed with his team’s effort in practice last Wednesday.
While he said there were some players who worked hard, he wasn’t thrilled with the attitude the team had. It was a different story over the weekend, according to McElwain.
“We had what I felt was our best practice Saturday,” McElwain said on Monday. “Thought the guys really came from start to finish with the attitude and the energy to get a lot accomplished.”
Even though McElwain was happy with the effort Florida had during the weekend, he still sees different aspects the team needs to improve on, including tackling. Wrapping up and finishing tackles was a problem UF struggled with at the beginning of last season and McElwain doesn’t want to have those same deficiencies this spring.
On the other side of the ball, McElwain said he was happy with the way the offense came together over the weekend.
“Offensively just consistently coming off the ball with pad level at the offensive line spot. But overall felt really good about what we did,” McElwain said.
Roderick Johnson still around team: Even though his career is over, American Heritage alum Roderick Johnson is still influencing the Gators in some capacity.
Johnson’s football career ended last spring when he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the open spaces in your spine causing pressure on your spinal cord and nerves. But if you go onto the Sanders Practice Fields or anywhere around the team, there’s a good chance you’ll see Johnson.
“Rod’s out there quite a bit, and it’s great to see him,” McElwain said.
Johnson played in 12 games in 2014, including starting three games at right tackle. The Delray Beach native was supposed to be a key cog in the Gators’ offensive line last season before his injury.
It took time for him to come to grips with his situation, knowing that he’ll more than likely never play another down. He’s still around the team and using his energetic personality to help the team.
“It’s hard to see him, knowing what he’s going through as far as not being able to be out there,” McElwain said. “He’s a guy that played the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”
UF Pro Day Tuesday: Florida’s annual Pro Day is scheduled for Tuesday at 9 a.m.
Vernon Hargreaves III, Jonathan Bullard, Keanu Neal and Glades Day alum Kelvin Taylor are among the 18 players who are scheduled to participate.
Taylor will be looking to bounce back after having a subpar NFL combine.
“Tomorrow is big day for our guys, as far as Pro Day,” McElwain said. “I’m really excited for them. Seeing the guys around I think they’re in great shape and will do some really good things there.
“Excited for all the scouts and different personnel that is going to be on campus. I think it’s a great day for the Gators.”