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Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Gator Breakdown: Tevin Westbrook

By Michael DiRocco

During the summer, GatorNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Florida roster -- excluding the Gators’ 2013 recruiting class -- in our Gator Breakdown series. Starting with No. 1 Quinton Dunbar, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 97 Brad Phillips.

No. 87 Tevin Westbrook
Junior tight end

Expectations for 2013: UF’s tight ends struggled during the spring, and junior Clay Burton has a slim lead on redshirt freshman Colin Thompson, sophomore Kent Taylor and the 6-foot-5, 262-pound Westbrook. Someone needs to emerge as the top pass catcher, but there’s not a lot of experience: the group has a combined four catches for 17 yards in their careers. Westbrook signed with UF in 2011 as a defensive end and was moved to tight end last summer. He played in every game last season but did not record a catch and was used mainly as a blocker.

Best-case scenario for 2013: It’s likely that Westbrook will ever figure heavily into the passing game, but he is a solid blocker (he graded out at 80 percent or better seven times last season) who will help in two tight end formations or in the Gators’ jumbo package. It would be a surprise if he caught more than 10 passes in 2013.

Worst-case scenario for 2013: Westbrook and the 253-pound Burton were big helps as blockers last season, which allowed Jordan Reed to be used mainly in the passing game. Now that the 252-pound Thompson has healed from the two foot surgeries, his role will be mainly as a blocker, too. That may create fewer opportunities for Westbrook to get on the field. The big issue with the position is finding a way to become part of the passing game. Right now the group has been too inconsistent to be trusted.

Future impact: Like fullback, the tight end position is one that will be a major part of the offense under coach Will Muschamp. The problem right now is the position is stockpiled with blockers and only one pass-catcher (Taylor), but the coaching staff isn’t happy with his toughness. UF needs to continue to recruit pass-catchers.