After UF Media Wednesday, ambitions are running high for the Gators football team this year.
One unit that’s looking to help be the driving force for the team—the defensive line. Last year, the Gators’ defense was tied for fifth in the nation in total sacks (40), and was 12th in total yards allowed. Head Coach Jim McElwain envisions having a nine or ten man rotation for the defensive line. McElwain states that having the deeper rotation will help the team early in this season.
The defensive line, like every other unit, took a hit by losing departing seniors and players leaving for the draft. Chicago Bear, Jonathan Bullard, and Philadelphia Eagle, Alex McAlister, were two leaders on last year’s unit. However, the Florida Gators will return a large cast of players who had a significant amount of playing time last year. Amongst the returning lineman is standout sophomore Cece Jefferson. During the UF media day Jefferson talked about how losing players on the defensive line won’t phase this team because of how close-knit the unit is this year. When you return a unit consisting of Bryan Cox Jr., Caleb Brantley, Joey Ivie, Jordan Sherit, Khairi Clark, Cece Jefferson, Taven Bryan, and Justus Reed it’s easy to feel confident.
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) August 3, 2016
On top of the plethora of players returning, the Gators added #10 overall recruit
DE Antonneous Clayton. Even though Clayton is currently listed at 6’3″, 217lbs, there are high expectations surrounding the team’s top recruit from last year’s class.
Preseason camp has officially begun for the team Thursday. The regular season will kick off on September 3 against the Massachusetts Minuteman. Stay tuned right here at ESPN Gainesville 95.3 FM to get all your latest news on Gator athletics.