Florida football: Gators freshmen played the fifth most snaps in the country


Florida football was a disappointing 5-7 on the season, and there are lots of problems on the field that the coaches need to address before next fall.

One silver lining in the struggles, however, is how young the team was that the Gators were putting out between the hashes.

Florida had a handful of freshmen who made a name for themself early in the season and were consistent contributors all year.

The Gators had the fifth most snaps played by freshmen in the country this season per PFF.

Florida football: Growing pains

The only teams that got more snaps out of freshmen this year were Texas A&M, Miami, South Carolina, and Clemson.

Guys like Eugene Wilson and Jordan Castell headlined the freshmen class this season for the Gators with their production on the field.

Wilson caught 61 passes for 538 yards and six touchdowns, and Castell totaled 59 tackles with an interception and three pass deflections.

Elsewhere on the offense players like Treyaun Webb and Aidan Mizell gave us a glimpse of their potential. But on defense is where we saw the most young guys shine.

Ja'Keem Jackson, Sharif Denson, and Bryce Thornton were all key members of the Gators' secondary, while guys like Kelby Collins and TJ Searcy wreaked havoc on opposing offensive lines.

Sure, all of the youth in key positions showed itself at times during the season in negative ways, with unforced errors and mental mistakes.

But the coaches' willingness to play younger, better talent instead of older guys is encouraging to see, especially after what the last coaching staff did in that regard.

The transfer portal is taking away some of these young guys that Gator fans were hopeful to see again next season, but there is still plenty of young talent on the roster.

If Napier can tighten up the program, the future can be bright.