The bits and pieces we saw of Shemar James last season showcased a player who had a solid understanding of the middle linebacker position; he was just a step late at times to make the proper reads.
The belief is that with a normal progression curve, he will mature into a top-level linebacker for the Gators.
With Ventrell Miller and Amari Burney gone to the NFL, it is going to fall to James to lead the linebacking group this season. He will get help from transfers Terajda Mitchell and Mannie Nunnery, both of whom have starting experience.
But once you get past those three, the next man up for Florida football becomes Derek Wingo or Scooby Williams.
Both have potential, but if we are honest, the success of the defense hinges on the ability for James to perform at a high level.