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Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham met with local reporters Tuesday for the first time since his hiring.

New Florida DC Todd Grantham gives first real insight into Gators’ plans on defense

Ryan Young

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Todd Grantham talks defensive influence and style

Now that the 2018 recruiting push is over, Florida is rolling out its new assistant coaches for their first media sessions with local reporters.

On Tuesday, it was defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and defensive line coach Sal Sunseri.

Both talked about their excitement to work with senior defensive end CeCe Jefferson, who was convinced to return for his final season rather than declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft. Sunseri had recruited Jefferson when he was the defensive ends coach at Florida State, and Grantham has already determined that Jefferson will play both defensive end and outside linebacker (when the Gators are in their 3-4 alignment).

Speaking of that 3-4 defense, many had questions and concerns about how the Gators’ personnel would fit Grantham’s preference to run the 3-4. The new defensive coordinator did a good job allaying some of those worries while emphasizing that he will cater the defense to the strengths of his players and that while he runs the 3-4, his defense also will often operate with four down linemen as well.

For those curious about the Gators’ new defensive philosophy, Grantham addressed it in great detail here.

He also talked about how his defensive approach has been influenced by coaches such as Frank Beamer, Nick Saban, Wade Phillips, Dom Capers and Vic Fangio.

Watch the full video of Grantham’s first news conference at Florida.

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In other Florida football news

  • In the wake of the NCAA vacating Notre Dame victories from the 2012 and 2013 seasons, many Florida fans reacted to the reality that the Gators had finished third in the BCS standings behind Notre Dame and Alabama in 2012. Former Florida player and recent Super Bowl star Trey Burton also chimed in, tweeting “We would’ve been in the Natty in 2012 then!!!”.
  • In the latest edition of the Chomp Chat podcast, SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi and Florida broadcaster Jeff Cardozo discuss the feedback they’ve received after speaking to a couple Gators clubs in recent days.

Recruiting roundup

In basketball news

  • Once Ole Miss basketball coach Andy Kennedy announced he would step down after the season, it was only a matter of time before Florida coach Mike White was mentioned as a potential target for the Rebels. White played at Ole Miss and also was an assistant coach there, but he stated emphatically on Tuesday that he has “no interest at all” in being considered for that job or any other. Read his full comments here.
  • White also addressed the ongoing uncertainty about center John Egbunu’s potential to return from the torn ACL in his left knee that he sustained a year ago. Egbunu’s rehab has plateaued as he continues to deal with swelling in the surgically repaired knee. White said there has been no thought of the senior applying for a sixth year of eligibility, though. “I haven’t had any discussion about it. … I think John is really eager to help this team any way he can. He’s getting really antsy. That’s what we’re focused on right now.”

Around campus

  • Baseball America ranks Florida right-hander Tyler Dyson as the No. 6 sophomore in the country heading into the 2018 season. See the list here.
  • Florida sophomore track standout Grant Holloway earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Men’s National Athlete of the Week honors. Holloway broke the 60-meter hurdles collegiate record last Friday in a time of 7.42 seconds, besting the previous mark by three-hundredths of a second. He also becomes just the second man in history to run that time or better before his 21st birthday. Read more here.
  • The Florida softball team makes its 2018 home debut Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET, hosting North Florida. The No. 2-ranked Gators are off to a 5-0 start with a key win over then-No. 18/16 Michigan.
  • Two Florida gymnasts were honored by the SEC on Tuesday for their performances in a win against No. 9 Alabama last Friday. Kennedy Baker was named the conference’s Specialist of the Week and Alyssa Baumann the Freshman of the Week. Read more here.

What they’re saying on Twitter

  • Florida defensive back McArthur Burnett is the latest Gator to share his excitement for the program’s new direction:

  • High-profile Florida Class of 2018 signee Jacob Copeland is already adding sources of motivation:

  • Coach White is in the running for the INFINITI Coaches’ Charity Challenge:

  • Former Gators cornerback Quincy Wilson talked to a group of young football players about his experiences:

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