Billy Napier pleased with Florida Football's effort during Orange and Blue Game

The Blue Team won 19-17
Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun / USA TODAY

Florida Football concluded their spring practice schedule with the Blue Team gaining a 19-17 victory on Saturday in the annual Orange and Blue Game.

Billy Napier was mainly pleased with the effort the Gators had on the day, especially compared to the slog that was the 2023 edition of the game.

"What a day for football, man. I'm proud of our team. They played clean, showcased balance on both sides of the ball, and executed well in crucial situations, particularly on the game-winning drive."

Billy Napier

Napier likes where the leadership within the squad is, specifically mentioning quarterbacks Graham Mertz and freshman phenom DJ Lagway.

"It's been fun to watch these guys collaborate. Mertz brings a wealth of experience, while Lagway demonstrates exceptional athleticism. They push each other, and I believe this healthy competition will benefit both players in the long run.""

Looking ahead to the 2024 season, Napier expressed confidence in his team's preparedness, something that wasn't always the case during the 2023 campaign.

"We have a deeper roster with more experienced players, particularly at the quarterback position. The freshmen and transfers are integrating well, and the coaching staff has addressed areas for improvement identified during last season's evaluation."

Napier highlighted several players who stood out to him, including Marcus Burke, Sharif Denson, and Aaron Gates. But it was the showing of true freshman running back Jadan Baugh who really caught the eye of Napier on Saturday.

" Jadan put on a show. He's a versatile player with leadership qualities, and I believe his impact will be significant for the Gators."

While acknowledging the challenges associated with live game officiating during a spring scrimmage, Napier expressed satisfaction with the way the coaching staff handled the responsibility of awarding sacks. The focus remained on creating a fair environment for both teams to showcase their skills.

And as a whole, most would agree that Florida was able to do that on Satruday. It was far from perfect, but no spring game ever will be. And compared to 2023, it was a much better all around showing from the Gators.