Pouncey: The Quiet Key

Michael Pouncey

Everyone knows that Florida's most irreplaceable player is quarterback John Brantley. The fourth year junior is the only QB on campus who has taken a snap in college football and his back ups are true freshmen Trey Burton and Tyler Murphy. A significant injury to him could be a disaster for the hopes of the 2010 Gators.

But right behind Brantley in importance is senior center Michael Pouncey. With Sam Robey and Kyle Koehne out and Mo Hurt and Nick Alajajian sending shotgun snaps in every direction Pouncey is another guy who has to be healthy this fall. Even though the Gators have a lot of and talent and experience along the trenches, it's Pouncey who makes things go.

Mike Pouncey is the clear leader of the unit and the best player on it. Now that he has separated from his brother Maurkice he'll have the opportunity to really establish his own identity this season. Not only that, but he has a chance to make history as he attempts to duplicate his brother's accomplishment of winning the Remington Award at the nation's best center. That would be quite an accomplishment in his first and only year at the position.

I had a chance for a brief chat with Pouncey a few days ago.

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LV: What's it like playing center full-time?

MP: It's fun, you know. I pretty much knew the whole offense and all the positions on the line so it's been pretty easy for me. It's just a matter of getting the footwork down, but I'm getting that down this spring so I'm pleased with how I'm progressing.

LV: Has your brother served as a tutor in your new spot or have you guys talked that stuff all along?

MP: We're pretty much the same player so he just lets me go out and play. He knows I can handle it.

LV: Is the transition involving a lot of under center work? If so, how comfortable do you feel with that?

MP: Oh yeah, we're doing a lot of under center stuff. Brantley feels really comfortable under center and so do I so we're going to run it a lot this year.

LV: How are the young linemen coming along?

MP: They're working hard and getting better and better. It was rough for them at the start, but we got plenty of time left in the spring where they can get things down and we'll see more out of them.

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If you were to pick a couple of linemen who have made some progress this spring you'd probably choose David Young and Jon Halapio. With four seniors in the top six up front for the Gators it's important that some young guys make strides in order to be ready if needed this year. And they have to be ready because they WILL be needed next year.

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