The Florida Gators defense will have a new look in the upcoming season after the departure of Patrick Toney to the NFL. Nonetheless, the Gators made a splash in the new hiring process. Florida hired the youngest coordinator in the nation in Austin Armstrong. Armstrong is one of the top up and coming minds in defense and has amazing enthusiasm.
Justus Boone is a redshirt sophomore who plays as a defensive end for the Florida Gators. Boone joined the team in 2020 and redshirted his first year with the program. He was highly recruited out of high school, earning a four-star rating from 247Sports and was ranked the No. 24 strong-side defensive end in the country.
During the 2022 season, Boone played in all thirteen games for the Gators and started two of them. He finished the season with 24 tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack, and a quarterback hurry. Boone’s best game came against LSU, where he recorded four tackles, three of which were solo. He also had a strong performance against Vanderbilt, tallying three tackles and a quarterback hurry.
Boone’s contributions to the Gators defense were crucial in helping the team finish with a 7-6 record and earning a spot in the Las Vegas Bowl. In the bowl game, he recorded two tackles against Oregon State, one of which was solo. As a redshirt sophomore, Boone has shown tremendous potential and will likely continue to be an integral part of the Gators defense in the coming years.
Boone’s Outlook on the Defense
This will be Boone’s third defensive coordinator in as many years for the redshirt sophomore. That could bring doubts amongst many players, rather Boone is excited.
Impact of the New Guys
Kamran James and Kelby Collins were two of the highest recruits in the most recent cycle for the Gators. The two defensive lineman have left an impression in the eyes of Boone since their time in Gainesville.
Thoughts on Austin Armstrong
As previously mentioned, Austin Armstrong is the new defensive coordinator on staff. While their is someone new in charge, not everything will be new.
Head Coach Billy Napier previously mentioned in the hiring process that they want to find someone that has a similar scheme as Toney so not much will change. While talking to players in the presser, the impression Armstrong has left so far has been very good.
Coming from Southern Miss, Armstrong helped build one of the strongest defenses in the conference. His track record shows him to be on the aggressive end with lots of big payouts for hungry defenders, such as Boone.
Bright Future for Justus Boone
With the young mind of Armstrong at the helm and Boone being a leader, the Gators defense is poised for a bounce back season.