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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Florida coach Urban Meyer said fullback Steven Wilks (back) is ready to suit up for the first time this season.

Sophomore T.J. Pridemore has filled that role in every game this season, but Meyer said Wilks has performed great in his first week of practice and reminds him of former Gator Billy Latsko.

“That’s good news for us,” Meyer said. “He’s just one of those football position guys and [a] very smooth player. He’s not a home-run hitter or anything like that, but he’s a guy that gets in your way and blocks you and knows the offense real well.”

Wilks appeared in six games last season.

Demps still limited: Running back Jeff Demps has yet to practice at full speed this week, but Meyer still thinks the junior will play in Saturday’s game against LSU.

“We expect him to be at the same tempo he was last week against Alabama,” Meyer said.

Demps (sprained foot) was limited in practice last week as well, and his performance sagged against the Crimson Tide. The tailback carried the ball 11 times for 47 yards, and he did not catch any passes or return kicks.

In Florida’s first four games, Demps averaged 172 total yards on 18 touches.

Brantley struggles to pass: Quarterback John Brantley (ribs) has not missed a practice this week despite feeling sore. What he wasn’t doing early this week, however, was toss passes.

“He was limited throwing,” Meyer said. “We would have another guy go in and throw the ball a little bit. His ribs were so sore, but he’s fine now.”

In other injury news, defensive tackle Brandon Antwine (shoulder) and kicker Caleb Sturgis (back) will not play this week.

Still looking for playmakers: Five weeks into the season, Meyer said the team has still not found a go-to player on offense who can get the ball across the goal line.

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“We got to score touchdowns,” Meyer said. “That’s the biggest issue right now is finding out who’s going to physically put that ball in the end zone. Whether it be go up and make a great catch, or is it tailback, is it quarterback? Who’s going to punch the ball in the end zone?”

The Gators rank sixth in the Southeastern Conference with 31.4 points per game.

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