Florida Gators Seek to Upset No. 14 Utah on the Road Thursday Night in Season Opener
By Florida Gators // August 30, 2023
kickoff set for 8 p.m. on ESPN
ABOVE VIDEO: Gators Football Press Conference on Friday
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA (Florida Gators) – The Gators open the season Thursday night at No. 14 Utah, a rematch of last year’s season opener at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Florida head coach Billy Napier on Monday night released his team’s initial depth chart to start the season.
Napier enters his second season as UF’s head coach and has a team that looks much different on the field — and on paper — than the one he took over in 2022.
The most notable item on the Game 1 depth chart is that two regulars — starting center Kingsley Eguakun and defensive lineman Chris McClellan — are listed as questionable with lower-body injuries. Eguakun has started 26 consecutive games and has been limited recently.
Meanwhile, quarterback Jack Miller III, who started Florida’s last game in the Las Vegas Bowl, is listed as questionable with an upper-body injury.
The emergence of former walk-on Kahleil Jackson garnered attention Monday night when Napier spoke to reporters. Jackson is the son of former Gators receiver Willie Jackson Jr., and grandson of Willie Jackson Sr., one of the first Black players to star for the Gators.
“I can still remember the first practice we had when we got here and I was asking about Kahleil, ‘who’s that guy?’ He’s not on scholarship and he looked as good or better as some of our guys,” Napier said.
“And then I would tell you this, I think Kahleil’s role obviously what he wanted to be last year. But he took all the feedback relative to what he needed to do to get better, to be a better football player, a better teammate, and really has grown as a human being.”