Monday Practice Report

Monday Practice Report

Florida fullback Joe Cohen said he's contemplating a jump to defensive end next season....

As RB Joe Cohen nears the end of his first season at Florida, it appears his trial at fullback is also nearing its conclusion.

The former Palm Bay High standout said he'll wait until the spring to make a final decision, but he's leaning toward moving over to defense.

"It was an experiment," said Cohen, who chose to be recruited as a running back although he also starred as a defensive end. "But you don't have that much time in college, so you have to make the best of it…If I had to choose between fullback and defensive end, I'd rather play defensive end. This year, I just decided to play my role because fullback is what we needed."

Cohen, who got just one carry in eight games as a blocking back, has been buried on a depth chart that includes Ran Carthon, Ciatrick Fason and DeShawn Wynn. But the 6-foot-2, 250-pound true freshman has no regrets despite his lack of production this season.

"If I came to a school with no good running backs, then I'd be disappointed," Cohen said. "But we've got great backs here."

Cohen admits at times this season, the thought of moving to defense remained in the back of his head. However, he said he committed to his decision and he was going to stick with it.

When all is done, though, everything could work out for him. Because senior defensive ends Darrell Lee and Bobby McCray will graduate, Cohen would have the opportunity to step up should he choose to make the change next season.

"There's a good chance I'll get a lot of playing time at defensive end," he said. "I'm going to need a lot of coaching. I'm going to need a lot of help from defensive players."

Rated among the best defensive ends in Florida out of high school, Cohen was named a Parade All-American and First-Team All-State at Palm Bay High.

COACH'S FORMER PLAYERS FIND SPOTLIGHT

For anyone willing to argue against Florida offensive coordinator Ed Zaunbrecher's recipe for success, direct your attention to Sunday's game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Jets.

Two of Zaunbrecher's former students – quarterbacks Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich -- squared off against one another for the first time since leaving their coach's system at Marshall.

Although the assistant didn't watch the game because he was planning for his own, he said he'd surely call both players sometime this week.

Leftwich started for Zaunbrecher when he was at Marshall in 2000-01, while Pennington played under him in 1999.

BRIEFLY

McCray, the Southeastern Conference leader in sacks with 8.5, was placed off limits to the media this week. Defensive coordinator Charlie Strong told McCray he wants him to focus on nothing but football….TB Ran Carthon practiced Monday after missing both of last week's workouts with the flu. Still, sophomore Ciatrick Fason, who had 290 yards against South Carolina, may be in for the game's first snap. "Ciatrick could be the starter," Zook said. "But they're all healthy, and that's the key."

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