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Friday, September 30, 2022

Scott happy with progression of Lewis and Stephens, wants to see more from Gamble

<p>Tight end C'yontai Lewis caught seven passes for 42 yards and a touchdown last season for the Gators. </p>

Tight end C'yontai Lewis caught seven passes for 42 yards and a touchdown last season for the Gators. 

Florida tight ends coach Larry Scott hasn’t been pleased with his unit so far this spring.

The Gators are still adjusting to head coach Dan Mullen’s new system, and with it comes leaving behind the norms of the old program. That includes big, flashy plays, something both redshirt senior tight ends C’yontai Lewis and Moral Stephens displayed at Florida’s first scrimmage last Friday.

On two separate occasions, Lewis and Stephens came away with impressive catches in the practice. But what upset their tight ends coach was what came next, when one of them would miss a block or be out of position or just didn’t execute the right technique.

“We can’t be guys that just flash,” Scott said. “We got to be guys that be steady and consistent in our play.”

As spring practice has reached its midway point, Scott is focused on making sure his unit remains consistent in its play while it continues to develop under a new system.

This year, both Lewis and Stephens will look be prominent figures in Florida’s offense.

Lewis played in all 11 games last season, but his stats were lacking. He caught the ball seven times for 42 yards and recorded one touchdown. Stephens, on the other hand, caught just six passes in 11 games for 141 yards, but failed to find the endzone.

Scott said Lewis has strayed away from just being an “assignment guy,” and is focusing more on what affects his position, such as what the defense is doing and what routes the receivers and running backs are taking.

“When he is watching film, he is watching film with details because he knows what he is looking at and he knows what he is looking for as far as the things he needs to improve,” Scott said.

Stephens has been gaining confidence in his play and learning how to read the defense to get open more often.

While Scott praised Lewis and Stephens for their adaptability to the new program, the same couldn’t be said for redshirt freshman Kemore Gamble. At least not yet.

“He has to learn all the little nuances in how to become a complete tight end,” Scott said. “So with that, it's like starting from ground zero with him.”

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Scott said Gamble is currently playing more like a receiver and needs to learn how to become a better blocker.

However, he did acknowledge that a major upside to Gamble is that he is still young. There is still time for him to build his body, get stronger and develop stamina.

“His platform, we are kind of low right now,” he said. “But as we continue to build and as he continues to mature and get in great shape… all those things are going to start to take off and he will really start to reach his potential.”

With the Orange and Blue game quickly approaching on April 14, Scott wants to see his unit focus on the details and make sure the Gators play with the consistency he has been preaching all spring.

“If we begin to see that, then we’ve made some progress and then we’ll continue to grow through the summer,” Scott said. “And then we can hit the field running when we get into fall camp.”

Follow Jake Dreilinger on Twitter @DreilingerJake and contact him at jdreilinger@alligator.org.

Tight end C'yontai Lewis caught seven passes for 42 yards and a touchdown last season for the Gators. 

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