Facing off against cross division rival LSU this weekend, Gator defense looks to continue to embody next man-up philosophy. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has been playing musical chairs every week in the secondary, dealing with some injuries.
After losing some veteran players from last year team, the Gators were a major player in the transfer portal. Nevertheless, heading into the year, the depth in the secondary looks very promising. However, after losing Jaydon Hill and Kamar Wilcoxson for the year due to knee injuries, the depth is now thin.
Also, star cornerback Kaiir Elam is still nicked with a knee sprain he suffered during the Alabama game, earlier in the year. On top of that, coach Dan Mullen announced Monday former transfer from Texas A&M Elijah Blades was kicked off the team. Now, the Gators defense are starting two freshmen and transfer Jadarrius Perkins to hold down the fort in the back end.
Perkins Role on Defense
The three star recruit Perkins spent his time at a junior college last season. Perkins helped Mississippi Gulf Coast win a national championship. As a result, a flood of college programs were interested in the young cornerback. Originally, Perkins committed to play at Missouri and even spent spring camp there. However, the defensive back decided to enter the transfer portal.
Luckily, it wasn’t long for Perkins to a find a new home. Having prior friendship with junior linebacker Diwun Black when the two played at junior college together, the decision to play at the Swamp was fairly easy for Perkins.
Perkins recently talked about his experienced entering the transfer portal.
Even more, the transfer cornerback shows some promise against Vanderbilt, when the team needed him the most. Starting cornerback Tre’Vez Johnson was kicked out of the game in the first half after a targeting call.
As a result, Perkins services were needed.
Despite, playing cornerback most of his collegiate career, Perkins had adjust and play the star (nickel) position for the Gators. Perkins discussed how far he came learning a new position.
Florida was able to shut out the Vanderbilt offense throughout the game forcing two interceptions. Perkins says the defense has came a long way, fighting through adversity.
Gator Defense Face Hostile Environment
Now, Perkins and the Gators defense look ahead to this weekends matchup against rival LSU. Florida secondary will be tested on the road as they face Tiger quarterback, Max Johnson.
Johnson currently sits in the top ten in college football in touchdown passes with 17.
Although, LSU is coming off two straight loses to SEC teams in Auburn and Ole Miss, the Gators maybe on upset watch in Death Valley.
Perkins expects the environment to be a hostile one and the team needs to be prepare for that if they have any chance of winning.
Florida heads to Baton Rouge this Saturday to play the Tigers. Kickoff for the game starts at 12 p.m.