Coach: Matt Gerber, third year (9-13)
2007 record: 4-7 (3-3 Southeast)
Returning letterwinners: 31
Returning starters: Seven offense, seven defense
Top players: QB Nick Libonati (Sr.); WR Kyle Larimer (Sr.); DB Derrick Stevens (Sr.); DB Dallas Halasz (Sr.); K Nolan Kohorst (Jr.)
Key losses: RB Frank Satterfield
Outlook: Gerber said he expects to see improvement this season from a
The Gators had more than 60 players on the field as practice started, and that added depth has meant better competition in practice. The offensive line should be much improved with four starters back to help protect Libonati.
Libonati, who passed for 833 yards and six TDs as a junior, will need to take a bigger role as the team tries to replace all-state running back Frank Satterfield (1,769 yards, 16 TDs). Larimer (22 catches, 287 yards, four TDs) is back to provide an experienced target, and Gerber said he expects three or four running backs to continue to work into the rotation to start the season.
“I think the talent level is there, it’s mentally do we put in the effort the whole season,” Gerber said. “There’s many teams that fail with great talent. It’s teams that constantly put in the extra effort that are going to be the winners and the champions.”