Florida started spring practice this week, and things are well underway around the SEC. Thirteen of 14 teams have started spring practice, with Kentucky bringing up the rear in starting next week.
RELATED: Florida spring football forecast
This is one of the most important springs for Florida in recent history. Exiting a 4-8 season and with Will Muschamp sitting on the SEC’s hottest seat, all eyes are on the talented, but question-filled, Florida roster. With another spring to develop, here are five players who are ready for big roles in 2014:
Jarrad Davis, LB (SO)
2013 stats: 24 tackles, 2 TFL
Buzz: You may not know Jarrad Davis’ name yet, but you will in 2014. Davis played in all 12 games last year, and he started to take over the middle linebacker slot towards the end of the season, mainly due to injuries. But Florida found a real playmaker with a nose for the football, and he could be the defensive leader, along with Dante Fowler, this coming season.
Marcus Maye, S (JR)
2013 stats: 16 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT
Buzz: Because Cody Riggs decided to transfer to Notre Dame, Maye becomes the next safety in line opposite Jabari Gorman. Maye will remind you a little bit of Matt Elam, a physical, ball-hawking tackler who can play near the line of scrimmage or in the secondary. He’s the type of player Will Muschamp loves on defense, and he has a tremendous amount of ability.
Demarcus Robinson, WR (SO)
2013 stats: 5 catches, 23 yards
Buzz: One of the biggest disappointments in 2013 was how little Demarcus Robinson was used. It was almost as if offensive coordinator Brent Pease couldn’t draw up a play to get him open, or it could have been that Florida had nobody to get it to him. Whatever the reason, the switch didn’t flip, but Robinson has a tremendous amount of potential and is ready for a breakout spring.
Jalen Tabor, CB (FR)
Buzz: The five-star early enrollee cornerback is stepping into a great situation. Corners Louchiez Purifoy and Marcus Roberson both headed to the NFL Draft, and it almost becomes too perfect for Tabor. The 6-1 corner is the prototypical Muschamp-type corner, who has been compared to Richard Sherman, at least physically. Tabor will likely win the corner job opposite All-American Vernon Hargreaves.
Kelvin Taylor, RB (SO)
2013 stats: 111 carries, 508 yards, 4 TDs
Buzz: It took Brent Pease and Florida six games into the season, but they finally found Kelvin Taylor. The hyped freshman didn’t get many carries to start the season, even with Matt Jones being out. Taylor may not be a homerun threat, but he’s a back who can eat up yards between the tackles and reel off 20-plus-yard runs at anytime. Taylor should emerge as the fall’s primary back, regardless of how this spring goes.
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