Florida football is heading into this fall aiming to improve on a whole lot of things, but their defense is one of the main issues.
Patrick Toney’s unit was not a strength of the team last season, but now Austin Armstrong comes with a promise of a stronger, more violent squad.
At the heart of any good defense is great play in the trenches along the defensive line, and the Gators are primed to have an elite unit up front.
PFF released their highest graded edge rushers in the SEC that are returning this fall, and two Gators were in the top seven.
Princely Umanmielen took the top spot with a grade of 82.1, which was almost three points ahead of the second place player.
Justus Boone came in at 7th, with a 73.9 grade. The only other school with two guys on the list is Ole Miss.
Princely has been establishing himself as one of the bets pass rushers in the country over these past few years, and it’s good to see him getting the recognition he deserves.
Last season he totaled 39 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He’s quick off the edge, so even if he can’t get home on a play, he’s always a threat that the QB has to worry about.
As for Boone, Gator fans should be very excited about what he can do.
Heading into his redshirt sophomore season with this type of hype is rare. Last year he racked up 24 tackles and a sack, but it may be the type of sack that gets him all this praise.
This kind of athleticism and power is exactly what you need to be successful in the SEC, and Boone has shown that he has those traits.
So is having two of the top seven returning pass rushers in the conference a good thing. Hmmm. I say yes.
And if the Gators can apply more pressure on opposing QBs, that will give the secondary a chance to shine as well.
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