The University of Florida will begin its spring football practices next Wednesday, the fourth for Will Muschamp as the Gators coach and perhaps the most important anyone has had during their tenure here.

Muschamp led Florida to an 11-win season two years ago and a BCS bowl only to tumble to 4-8 last season with a rash of injuries, the firing of offensive coordinator Brent Pease and the hiring of Kurt Roper.

“At this time of the year, there are a couple of things you're looking for going forward: a belief and confidence in what we're doing,” Muschamp said. “I see that with our team. Ownership of the team. I feel good about that. Accountability across the board with our football team and a really good work ethic. Generally, what you put in is what you get out. I think our guys are putting in a lot right now, and I'm pleased with where we are.”

Players missing for the spring include running back Matt Jones, who Muschamp said will be ready to go on May 1 after knee surgeries. Linebackers Alex Anzalone (shoulder), Jeremi Powell (knee) and Matt Rolin (knee) will be cleared May 1, as well. Recruit and early enrollee running back Brandon Powell has a small fracture in his foot from high school and had a pin inserted since coming to UF. He'll be non-contact in the spring.

Defensive tackle Leon Orr will miss the spring with a fractured wrist that is still healing from last season. Offensive line recruit Nolan Kelleher (back) and tight end Colin Thompson (foot) have not been cleared yet for the spring. Receiver Andre Debose will be non-contact in the spring after a knee injury last August.

Muschamp has opened nine practices to the public this spring — including the first four next Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and the following Monday.

He asked Roper if that would be OK, first, since he's installing a new spread offense and got his blessing.

“I think it’s a little bit of, kind of like offense,” he said of changing his philosophy after keeping them closed most of the last three years. “You do the same things, you’re going to get the same results. So, I’ve got some friends in town that are big Gator fans and they want to come to practice. I’ll let them come. Nah, we’ve got great fans and I’m very appreciate of their support. I’ve had people reach out to me and say, ‘Hey, we’d like to be able to have more access to the team.’ We’re really kind of set in what we do defensively. We are what we are. We are going to make subtle changes based on our personnel. We are what we are on special teams.