Azzanni Searching for the Right Mix
Zach Azzanni works with Solomon Patton
Zach Azzanni works with Solomon Patton
FightinGators.com Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2010


The Florida Gators’ new wide receivers coach, Zach Azzanni, is still searching for the right combination of guys to run with the first team, but he is sure happy with ones he has to select from. From injuries to no-shows to just mixing things up a little bit, Azzanni has tried many different lineups at receiver this spring.

When asked about how his receivers were coming along, Zach Azzanni responded by saying a good thing about almost every one of his players.

“I’m excited about them. We have good, tough young kids,” Azzanni said.

He said they still aren’t finishing routes like he would like, but didn’t expect them to fix that overnight. Other than getting them to finished routes better, Azzanni is making sure his players don’t get the idea that he is going to get away from stressing the importance of them blocking.

“I wouldn’t have gotten brought here if coach Meyer had turned on the film of Central Michigan and saw a bunch of guys that didn’t block, so that’s not a big thing, that’s a huge thing,” Azzanni said.

When the team scrimmages or competes in pass skeleton, Azzanni continuously messing with the rotation of players, trying them all at different spots.

Deonte Thompson is the leading candidate to play the X receiver in the fall, but that hasn’t stopped Azzanni from moving him around either.

“I’m trying to find the right pieces to the puzzle right now,” Azzanni said. “Deonte has played three different positions this spring. I’m just trying to find the right fit out there.”

Freshmen Robert Clark and Solomon Patton have gotten more reps at the slot receiver spot in the Percy Harvin role while Chris Rainey was out with a hamstring injury.

Patton’s speed has the Gators trying to get him the ball in space.

“He’s a fast guy. We need to use that speed,” Azzanni said. “We want to get him on the edge and see what he can do.”

Another player spending time in the Percy position is Frankie Hammond, who got the most praise from Azzanni.

“I can’t say enough about him,” Azzanni said. “What a tough kid, he knows all the positions, he can play anything we want, he shuts his mouth, works his tail off.”



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