The premise that the Florida Gators are loaded at cornerback has been true for most of the last decade, really. Keiwan Ratliff, Dee Webb, Joe Haden, Janoris Jenkins, Marcus Roberson, Loucheiz Purifoy and Vernon Hargreaves have really spoiled Gators fans.
But what if I told you that Florida isn’t as deep at the position as you may have thought?
With the loss of JC Jackson, Florida has Hargreaves, Brian Poole, Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson as the four main guys playing cornerback in 2015. One player makes a difference but while the depth may have taken a hit, the Gators still have some of the most talent in the SEC and the country. Today we focus on Quincy Wilson.
2014 Season Stats: 22 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 interception, 3 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble
Wilson played in 12 games as a freshman including two starts and his 22 tackles were the second most among the freshman class. He had a career-high four tackles in three different games and intercepted Heisman quarterback Jameis Winston in Tallahassee. Wilson didn’t enroll early like fellow freshmen Jalen Tabor and Duke Dawson but the son of a former college player and coach, Wilson came in ready to compete and knew what to expect.
That level of preparation and maturity helped him get on the field immediately where he played on special teams as well as. Wilson is easily the biggest player in the secondary after safety Keanu Neal. That size is Wilson’s biggest asset. He’s a physical corner who likes to press and jam receivers on the line. He’s very good against the run, breaking down, staying in front of the running back and form tackling. Wilson also surprised some with how well he flipped his hips. Bigger cornerbacks sometimes have trouble mirroring routes, flipping their hips and running with receivers, not Wilson.
He’s also smart. The coaching staff worked Wilson out on both sides of the field in the spring, while Tabor and Hargreaves worked exclusively on one side. Wilson can also play inside at nickel, a position he worked on in the spring. That versatility will ensure that he sees adequate playing time, if not earns him a starting role in 2015.