Having played in the shadow of former Florida Gator greats Sharrif Floyd and Dominique Easley, linebacker/defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. is now stepping into the leadership role on defense. He is entering his junior season at Florida, which could possibly be his last. With as well as he played in 2013, I think we are all looking forward to seeing what he will accomplish this year.
In 2013, Fowler’s production was consistent. When Easley went down, he really stepped up for the Gators. Fowler terrorized offenses. In the Tennessee game alone, he forced two fumbles, had three tackles for loss, and one sack. He was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for that impressive performance. Fowler led the team in forced fumbles, tied for most solo tackles, was second on the team in quarterback hurries, and second on the team in sacks. Most people didn’t seem him coming, or had no idea who he was, but they do now. And if there’s some who still don’t know, they will in 2014.
Fowler is just about to ready to get that 4-8 season out of his head and focus on what’s to come. He and the rest of Florida’s defensive linemen have been gelling this offseason. That chemistry is necessary for the Gators defense to be successful. Fowler even made a commitment to getting in better shape by erasing one his favorite foods from his diet…Big Macs. Now that he’s slimmed down a bit, Fowler is looking to be quicker in his quests to get to the quarterback. I personally cannot wait to see him in action. Trading Big Macs for more sacks? A welcome notion for Gator Nation.