Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Florida Notebook

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Florida Notebook

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael DiRocco, Times-Union sports writer

BROWN MOVED FROM CORNERBACK TO RECEIVER

The University of Florida began the first day of full-squad two-a-day practices yesterday with one major position change. Vernell Brown, a redshirt freshman from Gainesville, moved from cornerback to wide receiver after coach Ron Zook won the battle with his defensive coaches.

Zook, who really liked what the 5-foot-8, 165-pound Brown did in the spring on defense, had discussions with secondary coach Mike Woodford about trying Brown out on offense. After contemplating the move over the summer, Zook persuaded Woodford.

"The defense fought. They didn't want to give him up," Zook said. "When I was on vacation, I was watching tapes on the boat, and I saw him with the ball in his hands, and I just think that he's a guy that needs to have the ball in his hands [on offense].

"He knows what to do on defense, and in the first three or four days here if it doesn't look like he's catching on -- and he looked awful good to me this morning -- we'll move him right back to defense and he won't be behind a bit."

Brown caught several passes, including some swing passes in the flat that would allow him to use his speed and moves to shake defenders. He had better hands than some of the more experienced receivers, who dropped several passes in an intermittent rain during the morning practice.

Where Brown fits on the depth chart is uncertain. Taylor Jacobs had a solid practice -- he caught a long touchdown pass from QB Rex Grossman after he beat CB Robert Cromartie -- and Carlos Perez caught several passes in traffic.

ANOTHER OPTION ON OFFENSE

The option is part of Ed Zaunbrecher's offense, and it's not limited to backup QB Ingle Martin, who played that style in high school. Grossman ran a few option plays during yesterday's morning practice. …

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