Florida Gators: Omarius Hines

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel is searching for a new safety net.
With tight end Jordan Reed, the Gators’ leading receiver last season, headed for the NFL, Driskel has to find someone else upon whom he can rely for a sure completion and positive yardage.

Offensive coordinator Brent Pease wants him to start looking at the guys lined up beside and behind him.

Pease said the Gators’ running backs were not used enough in the passing game last season. Not counting Trey Burton and Omarius Hines -- who were utility players who lined up in the backfield as well as at tight end and receiver -- UF’s backs last season combined to catch just 26 passes for 186 yards and one touchdown.

(Read full post)

Signing day primer: Florida 

January, 23, 2013
1/23/13
9:00
AM ET
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- There are just a couple of short weeks remaining until national signing day, and the Florida Gators have met a majority of their recruiting needs. With graduation, transfers and players leaving for the NFL draft, there are a few areas Florida head coach Will Muschamp would still like to shore up.

Key holes to fill

The Gators lost key personnel along the offensive line, wide receiver, linebacker, running back and secondary and are hoping to replenish their talent with junior college transfers and incoming freshmen.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Tagging the Gators: RB Omarius Hines

December, 17, 2012
12/17/12
8:00
AM ET
Editor’s note: Each day between now and Florida’s Allstate Sugar Bowl date with Louisville, GatorNation will review the season for a key Gators player and attempt to project what’s next. Today we’ll look at RB Omarius Hines.

RB Omarius Hines
Redshirt senior
18 carries, 148 yards, 2 TDs; 20 catches, 208 yards; 15.8 yard average on 5 kickoff returns


[+] EnlargeOmarius Hines
Grant Halverson/Getty ImagesOmarius Hines played multiple positions and could have a future in the NFL.
Role in 2012: Hines was moved to running back to provide depth at a position that had just one proven player entering the season (Mike Gillislee). The Gators used him as a utility player.

The good: The 6-foot-2, 223-pound Hines seemed to always come up with a big play. He had a 52-yard catch against Kentucky, a 39-yard catch against Texas A&M that set up UF’s go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, and a 36-yard touchdown run against Missouri. He averaged 8.2 yards per carry (second only to Solomon Patton’s 10.2 average) and 10.4 yards per reception. He also was a solid contributor on special teams.

The bad: Hines’ production warranted that he be a bigger part of the offense but for whatever reason that never happened. Despite touching the ball only 38 times, Hines was fourth on the team in total offense. He certainly could have made a bigger impact in the passing game, especially because the Gators had so few playmakers at receiver. It would have been more beneficial if Hines had been able to stay at one position in his career. He started as a receiver and was moved to tight end and running back.

Crystal ball: Don’t be surprised if Hines ends up sticking around in the NFL for several seasons. He’ll be impressive at workouts and teams will like his size, speed and his hands. He won’t get drafted, but if he can get to a training camp he might somehow find a way to stick around. Hines could find a role on special teams at first, but depending on the team he could end up earning some playing time on offense. He could be one of those players whose professional careers end up being better than their collegiate careers.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Here’s an analysis of three key plays in Florida’s 37-26 victory over Florida State on Saturday.

Manuel to O’Leary

FSU cuts into UF's lead

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Jeff Driskel, Garrison SmithAP Photo/John RaouxJeff Driskel will start for Florida on Saturday at Florida State, but his ankle is a question mark.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- No. 4 Florida plays at No. 10 Florida State on Saturday, with a BCS bowl (and possibly a shot at the national championship) on the line. If the Gators beat the Seminoles they’re likely headed to the Sugar Bowl. If they beat the Seminoles and No. 1 Notre Dame loses to Southern California, the Gators could end up in the national title game.

Here's five storylines for the game:

1. How effective will Jeff Driskel be? Driskel will start against Florida State and UF coach Will Muschamp said the sophomore looked fine during practices, but that could be a little gamesmanship. Driskel’s sprained right ankle might not be 100 percent and that would have a huge impact on how effective he can be against the Seminoles. His mobility is a key part of the offense, and not just because of the designed quarterback runs or the read option. The pass protection has been inconsistent and Driskel has been able to keep plays alive by scrambling, either to run or to pass. If he’s got limited mobility, that pretty much paints a target on his back for FSU’s pass rushers -- and makes it almost impossible for the Gators to win the game.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Florida 10: Week 12 rankings 

November, 19, 2012
11/19/12
8:00
AM ET
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Which Florida players are making the biggest contributions on the field?

GatorNation will tell you every week. It’s not just a list of MVP candidates, but a compilation of the players who are making the biggest difference each week.

Here’s this week’s top 10 (last week’s rankings in parentheses):

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Florida 10: Week 10 rankings 

November, 12, 2012
11/12/12
8:00
AM ET
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Which Florida players are making the biggest contributions on the field?

GatorNation will tell you every week. It’s not just a list of MVP candidates, but a compilation of the players who are making the biggest difference each week.

Here’s this week’s top 10 (last week’s rankings in parentheses):

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Louisiana Lafayette (5-3) at No. 6 Florida (8-1)
Saturday, 12:21 p.m. ET
Florida Field, Gainesville, Fla.
SEC Network

Gators to watch

Omarius Hines
Sam Greenwood/Getty ImagesFlorida senior Omarius Hines will have an expanded role, including kickoff returns, on Saturday.
RB Omarius Hines: With WR/KR Andre Debose out with a knee injury, Hines will have to take over the role as the Gators’ primary ball carrier on the jet sweeps and the kick returner. He did it last week against Missouri and had a 36-yard TD run on a jet sweep. Hines isn’t as fast as Solomon Patton, but he is a more physical runner and that allows the Gators to use him in other ways, too. He’s a player who needs to touch the ball more and will get his chance again.

FS Josh Evans: Evans is having the best season of his career, and not only because he leads the Gators with 62 tackles. He has picked off two passes, broken up three others and has two sacks as a blitzer. His improvement has allowed the Gators to walk SS Matt Elam up to the line of scrimmage without worrying about giving up the big play.

RB Chris Johnson: He has only touched the ball five times on offense, but Johnson is pretty much everywhere on special teams. He nearly had a touchdown on a fumble return against South Carolina and he leads the Gators with nine special teams tackles.

Ragin’ Cajuns to watch

QB Terrance Broadway: He has filled in capably for Blaine Gautier (broken hand) and is coming off back-to-back games in which he has accounted for at least 349 yards of total offense. He threw for 265 and rushed for 84 against Arkansas State and threw for 373 and rushed for 87 against Louisiana-Monroe. He’ll have a tougher time against UF, which is giving up only 140.1 yards passing per game.

(Read full post)


Nine games into Florida’s season and it’s pretty clear there’s a great wide receivers famine in Gainesville. And the Gators have two weeks to feed their passing game.

Florida might sport an impressive 8-1 record (7-1 SEC), but what it doesn’t sport is much of a threat to pass. There’s an abundance of speed and athleticism at receiver, but no complete packages.

When the Gators take on No. 10 Florida State on Nov. 24 in Tallahassee, something has to be different or they won’t stand much of a chance -- not with FSU owning the nation’s No. 1 defense and the fourth-best pass defense.

That leaves two weeks of cupcake ball against Louisiana-Lafayette and Jacksonville State for the Gators to fine-tune that passing game and find some weapons not named Jordan Reed.

[+] EnlargeFrankie Hammond
Kim Klement/US PresswireFrankie Hammond got off to an explosive start, but he and his fellow Florida WRs have been mostly quiet in 2012.
Outside of the junior tight end and his 33 catches, the Gators really don’t have any true receiving threats. Reed, who has been quarterback Jeff Driskel’s saving grace this season, leads Florida with 371 receiving yards and has three touchdowns. He’s the only receiving target with more than 20 receptions and more than 230 yards. He's Florida's only player with more than three catches in multiple games this season.

You can’t have your tight end be your best receiver and expect the offense to be balanced or threatening against good defenses, but that’s what the Gators are stuck with.

Since the Tennessee game on Sept. 15, Driskel has averaged just 122 passing yards with six touchdowns (four in the South Carolina game). He’s taken a good amount of criticism for his decision making, and some of it has certainly been appropriate, but if fans are going to groan about him holding onto the ball for too long, they should also groan about the lack of separation taking place down the field.

“We’re going to have to be more explosive,” Driskel said.

Yes, and more reliable.

“It is what it is,” coach Will Muschamp said about his passing game.

“It’s easy to go pick at that and that’s what everybody’s decided to do at this point.”

Very easy.

(Read full post)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Here’s an analysis of three key plays in Florida’s 14-7 victory over Georgia on Saturday.


Wildcat TD run


video
The score: 7-0, Missouri leading early in the third quarter.

The situation: Second-and-6 at the Missouri 36-yard line.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Florida 10: Week 9 rankings 

November, 5, 2012
11/05/12
8:00
AM ET
Jeff DriskelKim Klement/US PresswireJeff Driskel showed his elusiveness against Missouri on Saturday.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Which Florida players are making the biggest contributions on the field? GatorNation will tell you every week. It’s not just a list of MVP candidates, but a compilation of the players who are making the biggest difference each week.

Here’s this week’s top 10 (last week’s rankings in parentheses):

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The next two weeks might not result in much excitement among Florida fans or even players, but there’s no doubt that two upcoming games against weak nonconference opponents are just what the Gators need right now.

Six starters and two key special teams players are among nine players who either missed Saturday’s victory over Missouri or suffered injuries during the game. None of the injuries appear to be particularly serious, and there’s plenty of time for those players to rest in the next two weeks so they can be completely healthy for the Nov. 24 regular-season finale at rival Florida State.

But if some can't play against the Seminoles, UF coach Will Muschamp isn’t worried. He has watched his team overcome injuries all season, and do it well enough to be 8-1 overall and 7-1 in the Southeastern Conference.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida finished its SEC schedule with a 7-1 record, a significant improvement over last season’s 3-5 mark, by beating Missouri on Saturday at Florida Field. The Gators weren’t pretty on offense but made two big plays to score both touchdowns.

Here are the good and bad from the 14-7 victory:

THREE UP

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Game preview: Florida vs. Missouri

November, 2, 2012
11/02/12
8:00
AM ET
Missouri (4-4, 1-4 SEC) at No. 7 Florida (7-1, 6-1 SEC)
Saturday, noon ET
Florida Field, Gainesville, Fla.
ESPN2

Gators to watch

QB Jeff Driskel: How does Driskel respond after committing four of the Gators’ six turnovers in their 17-9 loss to Georgia last week? He admitted he held the ball too long and didn’t make quick decisions, and those are issues that are certainly correctable in one week. Driskel probably put too much pressure on himself to make plays against Georgia. He needs to just run the offense and not force things.

[+] EnlargeRichardson
AP Photo/L.G. PattersonMissouri defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson leads the Tigers in tackles with 57.
LB Neiron Ball: Buck LB Lerentee McCray is battling an ankle injury and my not be able to play against Missouri. If he can’t go, the Gators will turn to Ball, who had his first career interception last week. Ball has played well in his return from the bleeding in his brain that cost him the entire 2011 season (nine tackles, two fumble recoveries) and he will get a chance to play a lot against the Tigers because the Gators will be in nickel defense for most of the game.

RB Omarius Hines: Somebody has to take over for the injured Solomon Patton (broken left arm) and run the jet sweep, and Hines is one of two candidates. The other is WR Andre Debose, but the coaching staff has more trust in Hines than Debose. Hines isn’t as fast as Patton, but he’s bigger, more physical and pretty good with the ball in his hands.

Tigers to watch

QB James Franklin: Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said that Franklin would start against the Gators. Franklin has been hampered by shoulder and knee injuries all season and that has kept him from being the dynamic player he was last season (3,847 all-purpose yards). But he’s still dangerous, especially if he’s healthy. He came on in the second half of last week’s game against Kentucky and looked pretty good in turning a close game into a rout.

DT Sheldon Richardson: Richardson leads the Tigers in tackles (57) and sacks (4.0), which is highly unusual for an interior defensive lineman. What it says is that Richardson is talented enough to make tackles down the field and anywhere along the line of scrimmage, plus quick and strong enough to get to the quarterback.

(Read full post)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Here’s an analysis of three key plays in Florida’s 44-11 victory over South Carolina on Saturday.

Driskel to Reed for a TD

[+] EnlargeJeff Driskel
AP Photo/John RaouxFlorida tight end Jordan Reed (11) celebrates after scoring a touchdown on a 1-yard pass against South Carolina.
The score: Scoreless less than a minute into the game.

The situation: Third-and-goal from the South Carolina 3-yard line.

Why it worked: TE Clay Burton gets a pick on LB Reginald Bowens to clear a spot for Reed.

The breakdown: The Gators are in 12 personnel -- meaning one running back (Trey Burton) and two tight ends (Burton and Jordan Reed). QB Jeff Driskel is in the shotgun, with Trey Burton to his left. WR Quinton Dunbar is lined up wide right and WR Frankie Hammond is lined up wide left but off the line scrimmage.

Reed is lined up in the slot on the left side. Clay Burton is lined up to Reed’s left, but on the line of scrimmage. Hammond goes in motion to the right and settles just to the left of Clay Burton.

At the snap, Trey Burton heads into the left flat, where he’s covered by FS D.J. Swearinger, while Dunbar heads into the end zone. Clay Burton crosses in front of Reed and heads into the middle of the field. Hammond heads straight into the end zone. Reed settles right behind Hammond at the goal line.

Burton runs into Bowens in the middle of the field at the goal line while Reed stops 2 yards into the end zone and faces Driskel. Hammond continues behind Reed to the back of the end zone.

(Read full post)

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Scene and Heard: Top 10 Predictions
In a conversation with ESPN's Antonietta Collins, national recruiting reporter Gerry Hamilton breaks down the recruiting momentum building at Auburn and offers predictions for where the top 10 recruits will commit.Tags: Trenton Thompson, Kerryon Johnson, Jeffery Holland, Martez Ivey, Torrance Gibson, Cece Jefferson, ESPN 300, RecruitingNation, high school football recruiting, Gerry Hamilton
VIDEO PLAYLIST video