The Gainesville Sun ran previews and depth charts over the last month. I'm compiling them here, along with a graphic that brings the entire offensive and defensive units together for ease of review.
Now the defense.
The big story after the championship game last year was that we were returning our entire two deep defensive unit. That still seems to be the party line, and while it is more true than false there are a couple things to point out.
1. Dustin Doe started last year, and has missed just about every offseason workout because of his suspended drivers license problem. Supposedly everything is worked out now, but I'm sure this guy will miss some time, not to mention he's probably been passed by Stamper.
2. Defensive tackle. We didn't have a first and second string rotation that was set in stone last year. We lost Javier Estopinan, who contributed at times. We also lost Torrey Davis. Now I know Torrey wasn't a consistent contributor, but it looked like he was finally getting on the field and making plays, and that all came to a sudden end with his unceremonious departure. Brandon Antwine is back, but he has really been battling injuries. So much so, that the Sun has him listed pretty far down on the depth chart. Lastly, John Brown, one of the big seven Lakeland recruits from a few years back, finally gave up and transferred. Bottom line, there is an element of turnover in the interior of the line that should be acknowledged.
3. This depth chart lists Major Wright as a starter, but Will Hill is killing it in practice. The coaches think he may be the best player on the defense. Will Hill can play both strong safety and free safety, and the prevailing opinion is that Ahmad Black is too good to sit, which makes Major Wright the odd man out. It wouldn't be shocking if the starting secondary was Haden/Black/Hill/Jenkins.
The talk on the team is that the defense wants to be the "best ever". Please do so. If the Gators want to repeat the defense will have to play a major role.
Previews from the Sun