What’s the state of Florida’s defense after losing Marcell Harris for the year?
Welcome to another installment of Good Morning, Gators, SEC Country’s daily morning column covering Florida athletics with beat writer Jordan McPherson. Here’s a look at what you might have missed on Thursday.
The state of Florida football’s defense
The Florida Gators football team took a big hit Thursday when the school announced that redshirt senior safety Marcell Harris tore the Achilles tendon in his right ankle and will miss the 2017 season.
All this begs the question: What does this mean for the Gators’ defense, which is already down eight starters from last season.
Well, the answer is simple: More younger guys will need to step up faster than anticipated, as our Ryan Young wrote. An excerpt:
“The Gators already knew they would have to get immediate production from their talented class of six freshmen defensive backs.
The urgency is even greater now.
Along with [freshmen Donovan] Stiner and [Brad] Davis, the Gators bring in 4-star cornerbacks C.J. Henderson, Brad Stewart, Marco Wilson and 3-star corner Brian Edwards.
It is now even more likely that one of those first three guys opens the season as a starter opposite senior Duke Dawson.”
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Our latest ‘Next Gen’
Zach Abolverdi has the latest installation of our “Next Generation” series with a look at running back Malik Davis, who brings record-setting skills and top-notch grades to Florida.
Florida’s premier recruiting camp, Friday Night Lights, takes place tonight, and the Gators will be hosting a bevy of talented high school players. The list includes 5-star quarterbacks Matt Corral and Justin Fields, both of whom would be major additions to the Gators’ 2018 recruiting class.
Other recruiting highlights:
- Florida earned its second commitment in three days when Class of 2018 tight end Kyle Pitts (Warminster, Pa.), a 4-star recruit and the No. 11 tight end in the class, committed to the Gators.
- Keon Zipperer, a 2019 tight end from Lakeland, Fla., said Thursday that Florida is his leading school.
In other Florida football news
- Florida great Steve Spurrier told Kentucky Sports Radio the story of how he committed to the Gators.
- Our 2017 position preview series continues with a look at the Gators’ tight ends.
- Running back Jordan Scarlett was named to the Doak Walker Award watch list.
- ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill said he doesn’t see quarterback Malik Zaire as a fit for the Gators.
- Five Florida Gators players who must make strides this offseason.
- Reserve defensive back Chris Williamson is transferring from the program, as first reported by Gator Country’s Nick De La Torre.
Let’s keep talking
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What they’re saying on Twitter
Coach Jim McElwain
A lot of explosive talent is about to walk through The Swamp this weekend! Can't wait to see some playmakers doing the Gator chomp!!! pic.twitter.com/rzp5EQJ6tk
— Jim McElwain (@CoachMcElwain) July 20, 2017
Punter Johnny Townsend
Gators are on almost every preseason watch list… Glad everyone is recognizing the talent this team has 🐊🐊
— Johnny Townsend (@johnnytownsend1) July 20, 2017
Quarterback Luke Del Rio
— Luke Del Rio (@Ldelrio12) July 21, 2017
Defensive end Zach Carter
The day I stop having fun with it is the day ill hang up the cleats.
— Zachary L Carter (@_ZachAttacks) July 21, 2017
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