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6 Days to Toledo:
Dante Fowler Jr.

Written by Nick de la Torre, August 25, 2013, 0 Comments,
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Over the next six days, Gator Country will preview the players that make up the 2013 Florida Gators football team as we inch closer and closer to the season.

Each day we will count down using the player whose jersey number corresponds with how many days there are left until Florida kicks off against Toledo in The Swamp on August 31.

Today we have a two-pack of players to bring you, with the second being sophomore BUCK linebacker Dante Fowler Jr.

History

Fowler grew up a fan of the Florida State Seminoles and was committed to play football for them for more than a year before flipping his commitment on National Signing Day in 2012.

Fowler was a defensive end in high school but moved to Florida’s hybrid linebacker/defensive end BUCK position as a freshman. Ronald Powell’s ACL injury opened the door for Fowler to earn playing time and he didn’t disappoint.

As a freshman, Fowler finished third on the team with 8.5 tackles for a loss and sixth with 2.5 sacks.

Player Evaluation

Strengths

Fowler’s biggest asset is his speed. His quick burst off of the line, combined with his athleticism and speed allows him to quickly get around tackles before they can kick back and set the edge.

Fowler came to Florida at about 280-pounds but has shed some weight in the offseason and will play around 260 this season. Most of the weight Fowler lost was bad weight and he actually looks bigger even though he’s almost 20 pounds lighter.

Fowler is an active pass rusher and a solid tackler.

Weaknesses

Fowler needs to continue to progress as a run stopper. He is much more adept at rushing the passer than he is at stopping the run. He needs to continue to develop this aspect of his game to become a more well-rounded player.

As a pass rusher, Fowler needs to work on his hand placement and working his hands against offensive linemen more. He relies on speed rush techniques but he could stand to add some more hand work and additional pass rushing moves to his arsenal because the more he plays, the more tape opponents have to study on him.

What to Expect

Fowler is set to start at the BUCK this season for Florida. He along with Ronald Powell, Jon Bullard and Dominique Easley make up a dangerous pass rush for the Gators.

Fowler looks to be even better than the player we saw last season and he could be the first player to record double digit sacks in Orange in Blue since Derrick Harvey in 2006.

Nick de la Torre

About Nick de la Torre

A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC

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Over the next six days, Gator Country will preview the players that make up the 2013 Florida Gators football team as we inch closer and closer to the season.

Each day we will count down using the player whose jersey number corresponds with how many days there are left until Florida kicks off against Toledo in The Swamp on August 31.

Today we have a two-pack of players to bring you, with the second being sophomore BUCK linebacker Dante Fowler Jr.

History

Fowler grew up a fan of the Florida State Seminoles and was committed to play football for them for more than a year before flipping his commitment on National Signing Day in 2012.

Fowler was a defensive end in high school but moved to Florida’s hybrid linebacker/defensive end BUCK position as a freshman. Ronald Powell’s ACL injury opened the door for Fowler to earn playing time and he didn’t disappoint.

As a freshman, Fowler finished third on the team with 8.5 tackles for a loss and sixth with 2.5 sacks.

Player Evaluation

Strengths

Fowler’s biggest asset is his speed. His quick burst off of the line, combined with his athleticism and speed allows him to quickly get around tackles before they can kick back and set the edge.

Fowler came to Florida at about 280-pounds but has shed some weight in the offseason and will play around 260 this season. Most of the weight Fowler lost was bad weight and he actually looks bigger even though he’s almost 20 pounds lighter.

Fowler is an active pass rusher and a solid tackler.

Weaknesses

Fowler needs to continue to progress as a run stopper. He is much more adept at rushing the passer than he is at stopping the run. He needs to continue to develop this aspect of his game to become a more well-rounded player.

As a pass rusher, Fowler needs to work on his hand placement and working his hands against offensive linemen more. He relies on speed rush techniques but he could stand to add some more hand work and additional pass rushing moves to his arsenal because the more he plays, the more tape opponents have to study on him.

What to Expect

Fowler is set to start at the BUCK this season for Florida. He along with Ronald Powell, Jon Bullard and Dominique Easley make up a dangerous pass rush for the Gators.

Fowler looks to be even better than the player we saw last season and he could be the first player to record double digit sacks in Orange in Blue since Derrick Harvey in 2006.

Read previous post:
/ Gator Country Photo by David Bowie
6 Days to Toledo: Jeff Driskel

The Gators' 2013 season will rest primarily on the arm of quarterback Jeff Driskel.

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