Florida coach Billy Napier talks to players during the NCAA college football team's practice Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

Florida defensive lineman Gervon Dexter talks UF football

Florida Gators’ Gervon Dexter touched on head coach Billy Napier, stepping up this upcoming season and off-field plans in an interview preceding Florida’s Pro Day. The junior played all 13 games last season, starting as a defensive lineman in nine games.

Coaching Changes

With major coaching changes, the Florida team is learning to adjust to Napier’s style. To make these adjustments easier on his players, Napier is implementing his coaching through phases this offseason.

Compared to last year’s spring practices, Dexter said the team is focusing on technique to prepare for the upcoming season. Napier and his coaching staff are honing in on the little things in order to work toward the “big picture.”

Dexter also touched on the importance of co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Sean Spencer, nicknamed “Coach Chaos.” Dexter said he typically relies on his physicality. However, Spencer stresses the importance of technique, something that Dexter said he was lacking.

Becoming a Leader for Florida

As Dexter progresses through the Florida football program, he said he has seen himself becoming a leader. He has learned from those who came before him and now it is his turn to lead those who follow him.

Last year, Dexter learned a lot from defensive lineman Zachary Carter. He has implemented how Carter prepares for practices and games into his own routine.

With people like Carter to look up to, Dexter has grown into a leader over the past few years. With all he has learned and observed under his belt, Dexter is ready to become the leader his teammates need.

“I’m the older guy that the younger guys look to now, so now it’s time for me to lead.”

Off the Field

Off the field, Dexter is looking forward to bonding with his teammates. He said he hopes the bond they share will translate into their game.

Dexter has also been working on improving his off-field habits, including a meal plan to lose body fat. He praised Kelsee Gomes, the director of sports nutrition, for helping him reach his goals off the field.

Looking Ahead

After a disappointing 6-7 season, the Gators turn their attention to the future.

Dexter said last year’s performance cannot be assigned to one person. Instead, the team has small problems the coaching staff is working to fix, including discipline issues. Again, Dexter stressed how Napier is focusing on the “small things” that will help the team in the long run.

While some view the upcoming season as an opportunity to “bounce back,” Dexter said the team needs to learn from its mistakes in order to move forward.

This offseason, Napier and the Gators are working toward getting back to Florida football’s winning standard.

“I’m really competitive, and I like to win. That’s one of the reasons I came to the University of Florida.”

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