GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- There's no question that enrolling in January gives a freshman a head start on becoming ready to play on Saturdays in the fall.
Florida has seven players scheduled to be on campus today when the spring semester beings – with possibly two others joining. Here's a look at the players who are hoping to take advantage of participating in February conditioning, spring practice and offseason workouts, with a summary of their strengths and weaknesses (based on the scouts' report on each player's page) and a projection of the impact they might make in 2013:
Potential impact in 2013: Florida needs help on the offensive line and the transfer from Georgia Military College will compete with sophomore D.J. Humphries at left tackle. Humphries has the inside track on the starting job considering he's been in the system for a year and was also an early enrollee, but expect Brown to get significant playing time. He's a perfect fit as an extra tight end in the Gators' jumbo package. They don't get much more jumbo than Brown.
Potential impact in 2013: The Gators need a lot of help at nose tackle after the graduation of Omar Hunter, who played the best football of his career in 2012. Cummings, an East Mississippi Community College transfer, will compete with redshirt junior Leon Orr for the starting job. If he doesn't play at nose tackle, he'll figure into the rotation at the other tackle spot with senior Damien Jacobs, redshirt freshman Quinteze Williams and several other freshmen commits.
DT Joey Ivie
Potential impact in 2013: Ivie also will have a chance to get into the rotation at tackle, especially with the departure of Sharrif Floyd to the NFL. The concern is Ivie's size against the beefy SEC offensive lines. He could see some time at end, as well, but the Gators appear to be stocked there with Jonathan Bullard and Dominique Easley (if he doesn't leave for the NFL).
OLB Daniel McMillian
Potential impact in 2013: The Gators are losing MLB Jon Bostic and need a replacement. Mike Taylor or Antonio Morrison are the top two candidates, but Taylor struggles in pass coverage and Morrison needs to add about 20-30 pounds to hold up physically at the spot for an entire season. McMillian is a little bigger than Morrison, so he could get a shot there. But he'll most certainly earn some playing time on defense because UF doesn't have a lot of depth at linebacker. He also projects to be a regular contributor on special teams.
OT Tyler Moore
Potential impact in 2013: Like Brown, Moore will be able to compete for a starting job. He'll battle Chaz Green, the incumbent starter at right tackle, but will certainly get playing time in the Gators' jumbo package. UF could stick Moore and Brown out there as extra tight ends and create a formidable short-yardage formation.
LB Matt Rolin
Potential impact in 2013: Rolin will redshirt after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL.
Potential impact in 2013: With Mike Gillislee gone, Matt Jones enters spring practice as the top back. Taylor will get plenty of work, though, and even if he doesn't beat out Jones he will get significant carries in the fall. UF would like to have a featured back but also wants to rotate guys to keep them fresh. Enrolling in January will give Taylor a head start over Adam Lane.
Potential impact: He could end up with a starting job. UF's receivers are below average. Quinton Dunbar had 31 catches this season to top all WRs, and only one other WR on the roster has more than eight career catches (Andre Debose has 26). The Gators desperately need playmakers and Robinson and any other receiver that signs -- UF has four wide receiver commits -- will be given every chance to win a starting job.