On the Youth Movement
- Ahmad: "We wanna see what [the young guys] can do. Not saying completely exchange [more experienced players], but we can't ignore what just happened."
- Dan: "I do [think Donovan Stiner and Marco Wilson start against UGA]."
- Silkk: "I think Jaydon Hill's snaps need to be on par with Elam."
People have been calling for the younger defensive players to get more playing time without real evidence to back it up. But, when COVID forced tenured starters to sit against Mizzou, Florida's struggling defense finally seemed to mesh. The Gators played 15 non-draft-eligible defenders and did not allow an offensive score, save for a garbage-time touchdown.
Freshman safeties Rashad Torrence (4 TKL) and Tre'vez Johnson (1 TKL, 1 PD) have earned more playing time based on their successes with limited snaps. Sophomore corner Jaydon Hill had just one PD against Missouri. But his film shows a player willing to make himself seen on every snap and stick to opposing receivers.
With Zachary Carter out for the first half, Florida should feel confident sliding freshman DT Gervon Dexter up to Carter's spot, as he's been a tackling presence all year and holds the Gators' sole INT this season. Freshman DT Jalen Lee (1 TFL, 1 sack) playing Dexter's usual minutes should hold the spot pretty well. DE Princely Umanmielen also looked good off the edge against Mizzou.
One Wish: Sub out players who aren't pulling their weight. The rotation proves the youngsters have the juice to play. So, those of us drinking the Kool-Aid would love to see it happen, if necessary. UGA can get going. Don't let them.
On Recruiting (ft. Mike Farrell, national recruiting director at Rivals.com)
- Mike: "I think Florida's gonna add Terrion Arnold... He wants to be a Gator."
- Mike: "If he was still at IMG right now... [Tunmise Adeleye] would be a Gator. There's no doubt in my mind." Says Texas A&M leads.
-Mike: "Kids who say all schools are equal are a bunch of liars."
Recruiting is nuts, ok. It just is. That being said, Florida's 2021 class has been pretty mellow so far. The Gators have good kids -- one five-star and four within spitting distance -- and are only looking to get better. Most Florida fans -- and likely the staff -- have LB Xavian Sorey, S Terrion Arnold and DE Tunmise Adeleye on their wishlists. Sorey's played pretty close to the vest, but he seems to have a top three of Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Same with Arnold. Tweets have given way to Sorey and Arnold wanting to be a package deal but that almost never actually works out, so read into it as much as you want to.
Read more into the fact that Mike Farrell says Terrion Arnold wants to be a Gator. Arnold is a ballhawk on film. And God knows the Gators need as many ballhawks at safety as possible. He's also long and flashy with good hands. We love.
Florida picked up a DE from the Lone Star state in Umanmielen last season and has a chance to repeat with Tunmise Adeleye. Adeleye de-committed from Ohio State a few months ago and Florida looked to be the ~heavy~ favorite with murmurings of a silent commitment. But, he still hasn't gone public with anything and now that he left IMG Academy in Florida and returned home to Katy, Tx., he seems to talk a lot about staying home. I get it. And he will thrive wherever he goes to school. But if Florida can stay pressing, an Adeleye commitment would be a phenomenal addition.
One Wish: GET THEM ALL!
On UGA (ft. Brandon Sudge, UGA football writer for The Telegraph)
-Brandon: "They don't have the answer at quarterback right now. Stetson Bennett, right now, I'm not sure he's the guy."
- Brandon: "They have a lot of depth, they recruit very well, Kirby Smart is a defensive guy."
- Brandon: "Do I think Florida's defense is that great? No, I don't. But Georgia's offense is not at that elite level yet and that might hurt them."
Stadium and Gale wrote a preview about UGA (https://www.stadiumandgale.com/post/can-florida-come-out-on-top-we-think-so) so I'm not going to. I'm also not going to get into Florida's offense. Everyone knows what it is. However, I am going to fill in the Georgia holes.
Stetson Bennett throwing is best-case scenario for Florida. He's not good at it. If go-to receiver George Pickens is out, Bennett will be even worse at throwing. However, as is the case with the Dawgs, Georgia can run. Zamir "Zeus" White pounds the rock the hardest, but James Cook comes in a close, close second. Freshman Kendall Milton has looked good, too. Expect him to play.
Fortunately, Florida's defense looked great against the run against Missouri. Larry Rountree III isn't Georgia-caliber, but he's certainly a household name in the SEC, and Florida held him to 2.6 YPC. Florida can get it done and win, but Georgia can, too.
Even if all of the questionable players are out on defense for the Dawgs, I wouldn't consider it a victory. Georgia's last three classes have been 1, 2, 1. They have the horses. Do they always keep those horses? No. Georgia players love to transfer. Does the staff develop well? Debatable. But, when you've got a team full of the rawest talent -- especially on defense -- year-in, year-out, your team is always going to be good.
Keys to the game: Stop the run and score. That's it.
One Wish: Just win.