The Florida Gators’ second spring under head coach Billy Napier is currently underway, with practice beginning this past weekend.

After just a 6-7 record last season, fans are ready to see if Napier and his staff can turn things around.

On Saturday, strength and conditioning coach Mark Hocke spoke to the media about the changes he has seen in the team and what he expects from the new season.

Gator’s leader

With Ventrell Miller, Anthony Richardson and Gervon Dexter on the way to the NFL, the Gators are looking for new leaders.

Coach Hocke believes the sophomores are taking the reins of the program and says RB Trevor Etienne, LB Shemar James, DB Devin Moore and safety Miguel Mitchell stand out for him.

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Florida running back Trevor Etienne celebrates as he crosses the goal line for an 11-yard touchdown run during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky on Saturday, September 10, 2022 in Gainesville, Fla. ( AP Photo/John Raoux)

Hocke explained that they are prime examples of what’s expected inside and outside the building and how they help the newer guys get a better understanding of how things are supposed to work within the program.

New Changes

The Gators are coming off a season that saw losses for Vanderbilt, Kentucky, LSU and Florida State.

Hocke believes an early bowl game gave the team time to discuss, reflect and remember the season. He said the key things the Gators want to change are accountability and a fresh start.

He explained how staff feel the one-on-one chats across the facility asking “What do you think needs improvement?” have helped guide the team as players work on discipline and want to take on more responsibility .

Florida running back Montrell Johnson Jr. (2) celebrates with teammates offensive lineman Austin Barber (58) and wide receiver Xzavier Henderson after his touchdown against LSU in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, October 15 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Year 2 preview

Standing on the podium, Coach Napier said, “I see more detail, I see more discipline, and with that comes a better understanding of the rules of engagement.”

He explained that they are trying to keep themselves and the players from being consumed by the events of last season and are looking forward to the present and what is to come in the fall.

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