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Billy Napier on Gators’ backups: Jalen Kitna increasing, Jack Miller on the mend

Florida’s quarterback condition behind Anthony Richardson is improving as the Gators’ starter works his way out of a modern funk.

Coach Billy Napier explained Wednesday redshirt freshman Jalen Kitna is coming off his most effective 7 days of observe. The son of previous NFL quarterback Jon Kitna is the No. 2 quarterback moving into Saturday’s visit to Tennessee inspite of obtaining not thrown a higher education go.

“In specific final Thursday he was incredibly sharp,” Napier stated. “He experienced a fantastic day of apply [Tuesday]. Jalen has completed a terrific work of producing excellent decisions, he’s been pretty accurate and every single 7 days he will get a better being familiar with of our procedure.

“Been pleased with Jalen and the progress.”

The 6-foot-4, 208-pound Kitna’s emergence coincides with redshirt freshman Jack Miller’s restoration from mid-August operation to his damaged appropriate thumb. Miller, who confronted a 4-6 week restoration, has “made sizeable progress,” Napier mentioned.

The Ohio Point out transfer was in line to back up Richardson until eventually the harm. Miller’s status is day to working day.

“Jack is nonetheless to be identified relative to his part Saturday and probably likely ahead,” Napier reported. “He’s acquired a soccer in his hands now. It’s just more about his consolation degree bodily and mentally with the thumb and where by it’s at.”

Richardson’s self-assurance stage, however, will be key to Florida’s probabilities as 10.5-position underdogs at Tennessee.

The redshirt sophomore did not build on a solid 7 days 1 general performance in opposition to Utah, including 274 total yards and 3 dashing scores. From Kentucky and USF, Richardson completed just 24 of 53 passes (45.3%) for 255 yards, no touchdowns and 4 picks. He also ran for just 28 yards on 13 carries.

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If Richardson struggles at Tennessee, Napier will have to make a decision regardless of whether to sit him for Kitna, even if to only enable the Gators’ starter to recalibrate.

“When you assume about it, Anthony is likely into his fourth recreation in this program and this way of functioning,” Napier stated. “There’s a sure volume of wisdom that will come from practical experience.”

Relatives ties

Napier was born in Cookeville, situated in central Tennessee, and dwelling to Tennessee Tech, the alma mater of his mother and father.

Napier grew in Chatsworth, Ga., significantly less than an hour push southeast of Chattanooga. Napier’s late father Billy grew up in Salina. Napier mentioned his mother Pam’s moms and dads owned a tobacco farm in Sparta.

“I’ve got all form of family members that’s diehard Tennessee lovers,” he mentioned. “Know all about the Vols for positive.”

Napier joked his household had improved be Florida followers this 7 days.

“If they’re not, they won’t be at the activity, I can assure you that,” he quipped.

But, Napier is not sure wherever allegiances will genuinely lie on Saturday.

“I don’t know that they would convey to me that to my experience,” he stated. “But ideally they’ll locate a very little tender place for the Gators Saturday — we’ll see.”

This post first appeared on E mail Edgar Thompson at or follow him on Twitter at @osgators.


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