With less than three weeks from the season opener against the Miami Hurricanes, the Gators are look for players to step up to address depth needs. Florida is lacking depth in the defensive back position. It didn’t help when their rotation in the secondary unit got even more depleted after redshirt junior defensive back CJ McWilliams was ruled out for the season. McWilliams ruptured his Achilles during fall camp in a non-contact drill.
Mullen: CJ McWilliams out for the year with torn achilles. non contact. Second DB to go down with that injury this summer.
— Pat Dooley (@pat_dooley) August 6, 2019
Next Man Up Mentality
With game one of the season right around the corner, the Gators need to adapt immediately. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham emphasized that players need to train and practice multiple positions. In football, injuries can happen at any point, as the team saw in the McWilliams injury. Grantham spoke on the issue and is looking for specific players to step up.
One of the players that Grantham mentioned that will step up in the rotation is defensive back Trey Dean. The sophomore has experience stepping up and being ready to play when his number is called. This was shown last season when starting defensive back Marco Wilson had a season-ending injury against Kentucky. Dean, a reserve at the time, moved into the starting role and did not disappoint. After the Wilson injury, Dean started nine of the final 10 games. That experience and versatility will be a huge factor for this season, according to Dean.
There are still some question marks that need to answered for the Gator football team in regards to their defensive rotation. This minor setback still does not slow down their aggressive attitude for the upcoming season. The clear advantage that the Gators have is their strength in numbers and relying on just one player at the defensive back position.