Publisher Profile

THE INSIDER AUTHORITY ON GATOR SPORTS

  • Quincy Wilson, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

Fine Fifteen: Ranking
the Florida Gators football team 10-6

Written by Nick de la Torre, August 4, 2015, 2 Comments,
Print Friendly

With a new regime in place and a new season just around the corner, the Florida Gators football team is ready to tackle 2015 and improve upon their past several seasons. To prepare for the season, Gator Country is counting down the top-15 players that Jim McElwain will rely on and the most crucial players to the programs’ success. Today we hit No. 6-10.

 

10) Quincy Wilson | CB | Sophomore

The first player in the top 10 may not even start on the team, and that is a testament to how great Florida’s secondary can be this upcoming year. Wilson has elite size, range, and mental toughness to dominate at cornerback, and he will in a rotation featuring fellow elite players Vernon Hargreaves and Jalen Tabor. His highest ceiling may be at the nickel back spot, but he has surprised many who wondered if he could even make it as a corner out of high school. I expect him to make some noise this year, and in 2016 will be counted on to replace Vernon Hargreaves. He may not start, but he is still one of the best corners in the league.

 

9) Jonathan Bullard | DL | Senior

Bullard may take the next step in his senior year, and if he does, will become the next dominant defensive lineman at UF. He really came on last season, and should be a force against the run off the edge. He has struggled a bit with his pass-rushing, but if he is able to eat up a pair of blockers by winning one-on-ones, it will open up Alex McCalister to do some damage on the other side. Part of what places Bullard so high is also his versatility. He has shown over the past couple of seasons that he can play both defensive end as well as tackle, giving the coaching staff flexibility in what they are doing defensively. If some improvements are made to his pass-rushing game, Bullard may even turn himself into a first round draft pick.

8) Brian Poole | CB | Senior 

It could be argued that Quincy Wilson is better than Brian Poole as a pure cornerback, but I believe there are only a few players opposing teams have to plan around more than Brian Poole. He is a ball hawk, ferocious against the run, and a matchup issue for anyone he covers. He has the size to go up against a tight end, the hitting ability to shadow a running back, and the pure cover skills to take away a slot receiver. He is also a senior, and even in today’s game where youth has taken on an increasingly prominent role, veteran leadership cannot be discounted as anything other than a major advantage. Watch for Poole to pass up his team leading four interceptions from a year ago.

7) Alex McCalister | DL | RS Junior

As a 6’7” defensive end, McCalister’s pass-rushing ability comes as no surprise. Gathering six sacks as a backup is extremely impressive, though he did it with Dante Fowler in the lineup across from him. He needs to put on some weight to be able to stop the run, and will become a constant target of double teams. More than anything, though, he needs to emerge as a leader on the defensive line opposite of Bullard, as he is stepping into his redshirt junior season. If he can put on some bulk and improve the mental side of his game, I expect him to develop into a special player. His statistical output may not be extraordinary, but the effect of drawing double teams could yield extreme benefits for other defensive lineman, notably Jonathan Bullard.

6) Antonio Morrison | LB | Senior

Morrison is an excellent SEC linebacker and the best on Florida’s squad next season. He may have ranked higher if not for lingering injury concerns about his knee. Either way, his ability to tackle from sideline to sideline is without equal on the Florida roster, and he makes up for a rather small size with ferocious hitting power. Just ask former FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel what he thinks about it (if he is able to remember, that is). Morrison will never be an incredible coverage man, but I would still put his name against just about any other linebacker in the SEC, where defensive players are expected to be dominant. While he may miss a few games in 2015, expect Morrison to be a leader on the field, and should provide a stout threat against the run, helping put less pressure on an extremely talented defensive backfield (as if they need any more help).

  1. showmeAugust 4, 2015, 10:06 am

    I take issue with some of your comments. Bullard, for one, doesn’t have the pass rushing skills to become a first round draft choice, and I think the staff is making a mistake not leaving him inside where he has played much better than at end.
    Another is the idea that Alex McCalister will command a pair of blockers. I’ve never seen teams need more than one guy to block him, and was blocked fairly easily with only one player. There’s a reason he wasn’t on the field much, and it’s not because you need to double team him. I think he’s a liability against the run, which is why he wasn’t on the field much.
    Brian Poole, I feel, is an average, to poor. player. He makes plays some times, but he also makes plays to get you beat. He isn’t a good cover guy, if he was he’d man the corner opposite Hargreaves. Too often he was called for pass interference, he might be the all time leader at UF in that category. His penchant for that against LSU was a main reason UF got beat. Even when he makes a great play, like his second interception against FSU, he turns it into a negative. All defensive players are taught to head for the sideline when they get hold of the ball. That’s Football 101. Yet, Poole, for some inexplicable reason, forgot to do that and turned a pick six into getting tackled by an offensive lineman. UF got zero points. It seems that more than anyone else,, when a team makes an opposing team makes a big play, Poole is involved in some way.
    Morrison? I doubt he’ll play a down this year.
    I think Wilson can become a great player, he just needs more experience. He has the size and speed you want, and I’d love to see him on the field more than Poole.

  2. kenny12gatorAugust 4, 2015, 10:25 am

    Morrison won’t play a game this year!? And Brian Poole is a bad corner? Mccalister does need to get better against the run, and Im sure thats what hes been working on since the end of last season. Bullard will be a MUCH better rushend than he has been in the past. I guarantee it. Hes put on weight the last two years to help him play inside. Im sure he’ll lighten up and will be ready to play DE full-time.

    Man, I wonder what Mr ShowMe thinks about the rest of our squad.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Florida-Gators-florida-football-third-spring-practice-march-20-2015-Florida-Gators-defensive-back-Quincey-Wilson-coverage-150x150.jpg Nick de la Torre FootballThe Latest ,,,,,,,,,
Print Friendly

With a new regime in place and a new season just around the corner, the Florida Gators football team is ready to tackle 2015 and improve upon their past several seasons. To prepare for the season, Gator Country is counting down the top-15 players that Jim McElwain will rely on and the most crucial players to the programs’ success. Today we hit No. 6-10.

 

10) Quincy Wilson | CB | Sophomore

The first player in the top 10 may not even start on the team, and that is a testament to how great Florida’s secondary can be this upcoming year. Wilson has elite size, range, and mental toughness to dominate at cornerback, and he will in a rotation featuring fellow elite players Vernon Hargreaves and Jalen Tabor. His highest ceiling may be at the nickel back spot, but he has surprised many who wondered if he could even make it as a corner out of high school. I expect him to make some noise this year, and in 2016 will be counted on to replace Vernon Hargreaves. He may not start, but he is still one of the best corners in the league.

 

9) Jonathan Bullard | DL | Senior

Bullard may take the next step in his senior year, and if he does, will become the next dominant defensive lineman at UF. He really came on last season, and should be a force against the run off the edge. He has struggled a bit with his pass-rushing, but if he is able to eat up a pair of blockers by winning one-on-ones, it will open up Alex McCalister to do some damage on the other side. Part of what places Bullard so high is also his versatility. He has shown over the past couple of seasons that he can play both defensive end as well as tackle, giving the coaching staff flexibility in what they are doing defensively. If some improvements are made to his pass-rushing game, Bullard may even turn himself into a first round draft pick.

8) Brian Poole | CB | Senior 

It could be argued that Quincy Wilson is better than Brian Poole as a pure cornerback, but I believe there are only a few players opposing teams have to plan around more than Brian Poole. He is a ball hawk, ferocious against the run, and a matchup issue for anyone he covers. He has the size to go up against a tight end, the hitting ability to shadow a running back, and the pure cover skills to take away a slot receiver. He is also a senior, and even in today’s game where youth has taken on an increasingly prominent role, veteran leadership cannot be discounted as anything other than a major advantage. Watch for Poole to pass up his team leading four interceptions from a year ago.

7) Alex McCalister | DL | RS Junior

As a 6’7” defensive end, McCalister’s pass-rushing ability comes as no surprise. Gathering six sacks as a backup is extremely impressive, though he did it with Dante Fowler in the lineup across from him. He needs to put on some weight to be able to stop the run, and will become a constant target of double teams. More than anything, though, he needs to emerge as a leader on the defensive line opposite of Bullard, as he is stepping into his redshirt junior season. If he can put on some bulk and improve the mental side of his game, I expect him to develop into a special player. His statistical output may not be extraordinary, but the effect of drawing double teams could yield extreme benefits for other defensive lineman, notably Jonathan Bullard.

6) Antonio Morrison | LB | Senior

Morrison is an excellent SEC linebacker and the best on Florida’s squad next season. He may have ranked higher if not for lingering injury concerns about his knee. Either way, his ability to tackle from sideline to sideline is without equal on the Florida roster, and he makes up for a rather small size with ferocious hitting power. Just ask former FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel what he thinks about it (if he is able to remember, that is). Morrison will never be an incredible coverage man, but I would still put his name against just about any other linebacker in the SEC, where defensive players are expected to be dominant. While he may miss a few games in 2015, expect Morrison to be a leader on the field, and should provide a stout threat against the run, helping put less pressure on an extremely talented defensive backfield (as if they need any more help).

Read previous post:
Gators WR Brandon Powell at SEC Media Days 2015
Offensive camp preview- Florida Gators Football Podcast

Our offensive camp preview is full of good information about the offense of the Gators.

Close