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Georgia running back Daijun Edwards (30) is stopped by Florida linebacker Antwaun Powell-Ryland Jr., bottom and safety Trey Dean III (0) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Antwaun Powell Shares Thoughts on What Fans Can Expect from Gators Football

The college football offseason is in full swing, and the Gators have completed two spring practices so far. Since the end of the fall campaign, Florida has suffered losses on the player and coaching side.

The Gators moved on from four-star quarterback Jaden Rashada on Jan. 20, causing controversy around the alleged NIL deal he was offered. Rashada ended up committing to his fathers alma mater, Arizona State.

Most recently, former Gators co-defensive coordinator Patrick Toney decided to leave Florida for a position with the Arizona Cardinals. Tight end coach William Peagler also joined the Cardinals staff. Additionally, wide receivers coach Keary Colbert left for a wide receiver coaching position with the Denver Broncos.

The changes have shifted fans expectations for the upcoming season. Gators linebacker Antwaun Powell gave his thoughts on the defensive side of the ball and some new faces on the field.

Austin Armstrong

The Gators are coming off of a season where its defense allowed 28.8 points a game, ranking 87th in the FBS. The team comes into this season adding head coach Billy Napier’s intended replacement for Toney, Austin Armstrong. Armstrong spent the last two years as the defensive coordinator at Southern Miss, and began his tenure as the youngest defensive coordinator in the FBS. During his tenure, Southern Miss ranked sixth in the Sun Belt in scoring defense, third nationally in tackles for loss, fifth in sacks and seventh in interceptions. Powell spoke about about what he feels Coach Armstrong brings to the table.

 

Improvements

Florida’s total defense ranked 97th in the FBS this season. Additionally Florida ranked 98th in team sacks and 100th in rushing defense. The stats point to immediate improvements needed for the Gators heading into the 2023 season. A bright spot for the Gators was its ability to recover the football. Florida ranked third in the FBS for fumble recoveries with 15 and in the 2022 season, Powell was responsible for a team high three forced fumbles. He gave his thoughts on how Florida can improve its defense come fall.

New Additions

Memphis defensive tackle Cam’Ron Jackson and Louisville defensive lineman Caleb Banks are two transfers looking to make an impact for the Gators. Jackson comes to Florida with three years of experience and fresh off of his best statistical season in 2022. Jackson recorded 41 tackles and one sack but impacted the game outside of the stat sheet as well, drawing double teams and showcasing his ability to rush the quarterback. Banks is coming in as a redshirt sophomore, standing at 6-foot-7, 300 pounds. Although having limited playing time at Louisville, Banks is expected to have a major role on the defense. Powell spoke on what these two bring to the table.

 

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