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August 6, 2008
T.J. Pridemore Q&A
If there is a position with a question mark on what is expected to be a very potent Gator offense, it is fullback. Florida doesn't return a single player from last year's squad with playing experience at the position.
That leaves the door wide open for a player such as T.J. Pridemore to perhaps earn early playing time.
InsidetheGators.net caught up with the freshman after Tuesday's practice.
Last year at Buford (Ga.) High School, you played linebacker and now at Florida you're playing fullback - how do you feel with the switch and which position do you feel more comfortable playing?
"You know, I don't think it's a matter of liking one or the other. I just want to get playing time and contribute."
How much playing time do you think you'll get as a freshman?
"You know there's really no telling. You've got a lot of guys that can play the fullback position. There are some older guys that I'm competing with. All I can do is come out here and work as hard as I can and see what happens."
When do you think you'll get your freshmen stripe off?
"Like I said I'm competing with a couple of other guys and just trying to do everything I can. Hopefully before the season starts though. I don't want go out there with a stripe on my helmet. Again, all I can do is go out there and work as hard as I can; whatever happens happens."
Is there anyone on the team that you look up to or like his playing style?
"Yeah, Aaron Hernandez is helping me out a lot. He's kind of taking me aside and helping me out. James Smith - Smitty is one of the quiet leaders on the team that everybody looks up to and he's really kind of come to me and said, 'If you need any help, come to me and I'll help you out as much as I can.'"
Who do you think will be Florida's biggest competition this season?
"Tennessee up at Tennessee is going to be tough. Georgia is always a big game and I'm excited about that, being a Georgia kid."
You and Omar Hunter both came in from Buford - How has it been transitioning together as opposed to the guys who come in and don't know anyone?
"It's been great. Omar and I have been really close and we've helped each other out a lot in coming down here and transitioning and everything. It's a lot different coming down here and being away from my family in a different state - it's something you're not used to and dealing with the heat every day and just not being comfortable around everything. It's been good to have someone to go through that with. We room together and get along really well."