University of Florida

Vanderbilt RB Ralph Webb may use UF recruiting snub as motivation

Ralph Webb of Vanderbilt carries the ball as Malcolm Jackson of Charleston Southern defends at Vanderbilt Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Ralph Webb of Vanderbilt carries the ball as Malcolm Jackson of Charleston Southern defends at Vanderbilt Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. Getty Images

Two years ago, the Florida Gators passed on Gainesville native Ralph Webb in the recruiting process.

The former three-star tailback, who never received a scholarship offer from the Gators, has flourished at Vanderbilt and should be highly motivated Saturday (7:30 p.m., SEC Network) against his childhood team.

“He’s really playing well. He’s going to set the freshman record there at Vanderbilt, as far as rushing yards are concerned,” UF coach Will Muschamp said.

“He’s a guy that we really liked out of high school. He’s a very good football player, runs extremely hard. Whenever you play a guy like that, certainly I’m sure he has a chip on his shoulder. But it doesn’t look like it’s just against the Gators — it’s against everybody he plays against. He’s a really good player.”

Webb, a redshirt freshman, leads the Commodores with 755 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

“He’s got a little speed. He’s a cut-back guy, so you’ve got to stay at home,” UF defensive end Jon Bullard said. “You’ve got to do your job. You can’t jump gaps with him. He’ll jump around a little bit. … It’s going to be real gap integrity this game. We’ve just got to stay in our gap this week and do our job.”

This and that

UF defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin was disappointed in his unit’s effort late in the Georgia blowout, calling it a learning experience. “I think the big message for our guys is no matter the situation, we need to play the same way,” he said. “We were kind of enjoying a victory already, and the game was not over.”

▪ Vandy coach Derek Mason called Florida “as dangerous of a football team as any in the country” coming off its rousing upset over Georgia.

▪ Redshirt junior Tyler Moore will start at right guard in place of the injured Trenton Brown (knee bruise).

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