GAINESVILLE, Fla. – His undershirt is drenched by sweat and clings to his trim and muscular torso. He pushes the colorful dreadlocks that serve as curtains over his eyes to the side so he can look a visitor in the face. As he speaks, Kadarius Toney frequently adjusts the mask covering his face for COVID-19 protection, cognizant of when it’s about to dip below his nose.
Toney is so close yet seems far away, a mysterious figure who can disappear at any moment. During this encounter, Florida’s dynamic playmaker from Mobile, Ala., has just finished practice as the eighth-ranked Gators prepare for Saturday’s showdown against fifth-ranked Georgia in Jacksonville.
As his teammates pass by, most of them bigger — and by the way they are moving, more physically drained from practice — Toney still has a distinctive bounce in his step. At 6-foot and 190 pounds, Toney is one of those rare players who appears bigger out of pads. He emits a palpable energy when in his presence, a constant blend of motion and movement.
Anyone who has watched Toney play has seen how that vitality translates on the game’s green canvas, where he can make the impossible become reality in a blink of an