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Defense: Grading the two-deep depth chart

October 10, 2019
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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 offensive depth chart and our assessment of how each player has performed so far.

BUCK
Player Comment Grade
Jonathan Greenard The Louisville transfer has been amongst the most impactful transfers across the college football landscape. With 4 sacks, Greenard’s arguably been the Gators MVP and could be on his way to an All-SEC selection with a strong second-half. A+
Jeremiah Moon The argument could be made that Jeremiah Moon is amongst the most improved players on the Gators. He’s already tallied two sacks, which is greater than his 1.5 mark a year ago. B

 

END
Player Comment Grade
Jabari Zuniga

In the two full games Zuniga played, he was dominant. It’s tough to grade him because of his injury, but Zuniga’s been a wrecking-ball in the games he’s played and the Gators need him to do the same once he’s back.

B+
Zachary Carter

The redshirt sophomore has been another key reserve along the defensive line in Zuniga’s absence. The Gators have been able to lineup Carter in a number of places along the line, as he’s one of the more versatile defensive lineman.

B-

 

NOSE
Player Comment Grade
Kyree Campbell

The Gators nose tackle has been their key clog in the middle against the run. Campbell has 3.5 tackles for loss and has forced a fumble. He’s cooled off a bit from his opening performance against Miami, but Campbell has still been a key factor for the Gators defense.

B+
Luke Ancrum

Forgotten amongst the big names of the Gators defensive line, Ancrum is quietly having a pretty solid year. He had a standout game against Tennessee with two tackles for a loss and a sack. He’s not a game-breaking player, but Ancrum has been a quality reserve so far for Florida.

C+

 

TACKLE
Player Comment Grade
Adam Shuler

Another clog in the middle, Shuler has been solid for Florida. 1.5 tackles for loss on the year and he may just be getting going. He didn’t pad the stat-line, but Shuler had a good game against Auburn and was in the backfield a handful of times.

B
Marlon Dunlap

Dunlap has been a key reserve along the defensive front for the Gators. He’s become more of a rotational piece and had one of his better games against Auburn.

C+

 

MIDDLE LINEBACKER
Player Comment Grade
David Reese II

What else can you say, Reese is a tackling machine. That was known heading into the year but he’s been on another level in terms on tackling. He still gets exposed in coverage at times, but Reese has been vital to the defense’s success.

A-
James Houston

The redshirt sophomore has grown into a valuable reserve linebacker for the Gators. Houston had a huge sack down the stretch of the Auburn game and will need to continue to be a reliable reserve.

B-

 

WEAKSIDE LINEBACKER
Player Comment Grade
Ventrell Miller

The development of Ventrell Miller has done wonders to the Gators linebacker core. He came firing out of the gates against Miami with a two-sack performance and is up to 19 total tackles on the year.

B
Amari Burney

There may have not been more hype surrounding a player heading into this season than there was for Amari Burney. Half way through the season, the sophomore is living up to it. His speed has become a weapon for Florida defensively and his ability to move around and play multiple positions makes Burney that much sweeter.

B+

 

STAR
Player Comment Grade
Trey Dean III

The transition to STAR hasn’t been as smooth as some expected for Dean. If he can clean up his tackling, he can be as effective as Chauncey Gardner-Johnson was a year ago.

B
Amari Burney

See above.

B

 

CORNERBACK
Player Comment Grade
C.J. Henderson

Another star hobbled across the Gators defensive was lockdown corner C.J. Henderson. As expected going into the year, teams have been looking the other way from Henderson. His grade isn’t a complete one due to missing three games, but the Gators need Henderson on his A-game for the second half of the season.

B
Jaydon Hill

Seeing little action in mostly mop-up duty, Hill hasn’t been bad by any stretch of means. The young corner is continuing to develop and the storyline to watch is if the Gators are forced to burn his redshirt, as he’s played in just two games.

C

 

CORNERBACK
Player Comment Grade
Marco Wilson

It took Wilson a few games to knock off the rest, but he’s starting to look like himself before suffering his ACL injury. He’s got two interceptions on the season and is starting to clean up his tackling woes from early in the season.

B
Kaiir Elam

The Gators were forced to rely on the true freshman early this season and Elam hasn’t disappointed. He’s tallied two interceptions himself and looks to be the next lockdown corner to play for Florida.

B-

 

SAFETY
Player Comment Grade
Donovan Stiner

So far, Stiner has played to the expectations he set for himself last year. There’s been some good and there’s been some bad, but Stiner is still one of the smarter guys at the position and continues to put himself in positions to make plays.

B-
Shawn Davis He’s developed into more than just a thumper on the back end of the Gators defense, Davis is now a playmaker. He’s still prone to miss a tackle here-and-there, but Davis has turned into one of Florida’s top safeties. B+

 

SAFETY
Player Comment Grade
Jeawon Taylor

Another season spells some more injury woes for Jaewon Taylor, as he missed a couple games in the first few weeks. Healthy now, Taylor serves as a veteran leader of the safeties and the defense as a whole.

C-
Brad Stewart

He was a bit of mystery early in the year, but Stewart is starting to see more game action and is looking like himself. The safety rotation still remains an unknown, but when Stewart get in he’s all over the field.

B

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Defense: Grading the two-deep depth chart

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