FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING COVERAGE
Here are 28 ITG Must See features FREE for all to read. From some of our Anonymous Player Q&A sessions to our Behind-the-Scenes look at Florida football. All FREE!
- 10 Remaining Targets, Buy, Sell or Hold
- Former Player Feedback: Church's 10 observations after the UGA win
- Parental Perspective: Gamble rewarded mom's bravery
- Florida Football 3-2-1: Trask Heisman hype grows
- Recruit Reaction: I wasn't expecting such a blowout
- Uncensored Sound Off – Post Game Reaction
- A historic night for Trask, a momentous win for Gators
- Inside the Gators: Mock Signing Class 8.0
- 30 Game Report Card: On par with Spurrier, coming up short of Meyer
- Today's Take: Mullen has a history of doing more with less
With the regular season halfway over, it seems like a good time to hand out some midterm grades. Here is the Gators’ unofficial two-deep defensive depth chart and our assessment of how each player has performed so far.
Though he is still listed as the starter on the strongside on the depth chart, he’s played more at BUCK in the past two games. He’s looked much more comfortable there. He leads the team with two sacks and is tied for the team lead with 4.5 tackles-for-loss and nine quarterback hurries.
He’s played well in his limited snaps, tying for fifth on the team with 2.5 tackles-for-loss and tying for third with 1.5 sacks. With Zachary Carter back at end, he figures to see his playing time reduced over the second half of the season.
After making strides last season, Moon has clearly regressed this season when it comes to setting the edge. For example, on Georgia’s first two plays, he got caught too far inside and gave up a pair of explosive runs, including a 75-yard touchdown. He’s also contributed very little as a pass-rusher.
He got off to a hot start this season but has tailed off as the season has progressed. He’s still a bit undersized, which makes him a liability against the run.
His return coincided with UF’s drastic turnaround on defense. That’s not a coincidence. He’s made two tackles-for-loss and a sack in two games. He clogs the middle and allows Carter and Cox to play at their more natural positions.
Though he’s listed as the backup at nose tackle, he’s really the starter at the other tackle spot. Along with the rest of the defense, he struggled in the first three games but has turned things around in the last two once he got Campbell back beside him.
He’s started at end the last two games and looked much better suited for that position. He’s tied for third on the team in sacks and tackles-for-loss. He would receive an ‘A’ if not for that failed experiment with him playing tackle full time.
Other than his interception against Ole Miss, he hasn’t generated much excitement. He’s a solid rotational player who’s better as a run-stopper than a pass-rusher at this stage in his career.
For a while, it looked like he was the only one playing defense. He’s picked up right where David Reese left off as a tackling machine, leading the way with 37 stops, including three for losses. He does struggle a bit in coverage, however.
He’s one of the best tacklers on the team. However, he gets out of his lane at times and doesn’t cover well, which has relegated him to a two-down player.
He recorded the second interception of his career against Georgia. However, that South Carolina game was rough, and he’s got a lot of work to do to bring this grade up by the end of the season.
He hasn’t gotten as much playing time as most expected, and he doesn’t seem to be as good of a fit at linebacker as he is at BUCK. He’s made two tackles-for-loss and a sack.
The former safety has started at STAR in the last two games. He’s known as a hard hitter, but he’s been surprisingly good in man coverage, breaking up a pair of passes.
Wilson started the opener at corner, moved to STAR for the next two games and is back to playing primarily on the outside again.
After a rough opening game against Ole Miss, Elam has rebounded nicely and turned in a solid season. He leads the SEC with eight passes defended and made his first interception against Georgia. He’s the only proven commodity in the secondary.
He’s done most of his work on special teams, which makes him difficult to grade. He hasn’t played in the last two games.
That Texas A&M was about as bad as it can get for a defensive back. He played much better against Georgia, though, with a pass breakup and a nice tackle on a jet sweep.
He’s been the second-best cornerback this season. He’s started three games and broken up four passes, which is the second-most on the team. He’s due for his first career interception.
Other than his interception against Georgia, he hasn’t stood out much this season. Like the rest of the safeties, he’s given up his share of explosive passing plays due to poor eye discipline and communication.
You can make the argument that he’s the best safety on the roster already. He hasn’t received as much playing time as his more veteran teammates, but he hasn’t made many mistakes when he’s been out there. He always seems to be around the ball and tackles well in space.
It’s been more of the same from Stiner. He’s good for one or two coverage breakdowns per game, but his experience and knowledge of the defense keeps him in the lineup.
When he’s been on the field, he’s played well. He seems far more comfortable at safety than he did at STAR, but he’s played sparingly and made just six tackles. It almost feels like the coaching staff has given up on him.