Chomp: Florida battling injuries, receivers looking for consistency in spring football practice; Golden rounds out staff

FILE - A sign on top of the stadium as the Florida Gators host the LSU Tigers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on October 11, 2008, in Gainesville, Florida. (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images, Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

This story first appeared in Chomp, our Gators football newsletter. Subscribe here.


Hey, Gators fans!

Florida’s first scrimmage of the spring is in the books, so let’s get straight into it.

🩹 Florida battling injuries

Gators football head coach Billy Napier made one thing pretty clear after Florida’s first spring scrimmage: The Gators are thin in certain areas of the roster as injuries add up.

Gators Breakdown host David Waters, in this episode of the podcast, shares Napier’s thoughts after the scrimmage and exactly what areas the Gators are feeling the effects.

🏈 Receivers looking for consistency

Florida has molded wide receivers in recent years who have gone on to the NFL and produced.

While there is still good talent at the position, Napier and wide receivers coach Keary Colbert must develop consistency within the group.

Receivers Justin Shorter and Xzavier Henderson have the experience but need to take their game to the next level.

In the latest Gators Breakdown episode, David shares Colbert’s thoughts, as well as Shorter’s progress this spring.

🏀 Golden hires Hartman

Florida men’s basketball head coach Todd Golden has rounded out his staff.

Carlin Hartman was named associate head coach.

Hartman has 22 years of experience at the collegiate level, including five seasons at Oklahoma under Lon Kruger before coaching at UNLV this past season.

“Carlin brings a wealth of experience and a highly-respected track record to Florida,” Golden said. “We’re excited to add his expertise as a basketball mind, a developer, a relationship-builder and a recruiter to our staff. He sets a great example for all of us as a family man, and he will be a tremendous mentor to our student-athletes off the court in addition to helping us collectively and individually become our best on the court.”

“I’m thrilled to join my good friend and former colleague Todd Golden at a national championship-caliber program such as Florida,” Hartman said. “The program’s success has been well-documented, starting over 30 years ago with Coach Kruger, who I had the pleasure of working for. For Todd to ask me and my family to join him is an honor, and I look forward to getting started in Gainesville.”

READ MORE: Golden rounds out coaching staff

And Victor Lopez was hired as strength and conditioning coordinator.

He comes from the University of San Francisco, where he worked with the men’s and women’s basketball, women’s soccer, and triathlon teams from 2019 to 2021.

“Victor’s professional path and life experience have helped him become a great mentor and motivator for student-athletes,” Golden said. “He brings technical knowledge and understanding to the job, and he builds meaningful connections with student-athletes as he helps them pursue their potential.”

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to become a part of Gator Nation and continue working alongside Todd Golden,” Lopez said. “The University of Florida obviously attracts elite student-athletes, and I can’t wait to get started with our men’s basketball team. The physical preparation of our student-athletes will emphasize a collaboration of the innovation and resources available at UF while instilling the pride, passion and teamwork that is embedded and learned through a multi-faceted approach to strength and conditioning principles.”

On the roster side, forward Anthony Duruji announced plans to hire an agent and enter the NBA draft. But the Associated Press reports that Golden and his staff are hoping to persuade forward Colin Castleton to stay for another season.

🏆 Demps & Haden to be inducted into UF Athletic Hall of Fame

Jeff Demps and Joe Harden will be inducted into the UF Athletic Hall of Fame as part of the 2022 class.

UF Athletic Hall of Fame inductees are chosen by the F Club Committee based on three categories: Gator Greats, Distinguished Letterwinners and Honorary Letterwinners.

The 2022 class is composed of seven Gator Greats, one Distinguished Letterwinner and an Honorary Letterwinner. Demps and Haden are both set to be inducted into the category of Gator Greats, which are Letterwinners who brought recognition and prominence to the University of Florida and themselves by their athletic accomplishments.

Demps, who played running back from 2008 to 2011 at Florida and was also part of the Gators track and field program, is the only UF athlete to win a national championship in two different sports.

Haden was a cornerback for the Gators from 2007 to 2009, starting in all 40 games he played in. Like Demps, he was also a member of the 2008 BCS National Championship team.

To see the entire 2022 class, click here.

✉️ Send us your Gators thoughts & questions

David and I want to hear from you. Do you have any thoughts or questions about the Gators football program? Agree or disagree with something we’ve said? Let us know here, and we’ll share our responses to your questions.

🎙️ Listen to more Gators Breakdown

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About the Author:

Jacksonville native and proud University of Florida graduate who joined News4Jax in March 2016.