Three Unexpected Florida Gators Who Must Make an Impact

We are only 81 days from the start of the Florida Gators football season and there are still a plethora of unknowns – a season that starts against an opponent where you need to have answers rather than questions.

The Gators still have questions at quarterback, tight end, defensive tackle, linebacker, defensive back, and kick/punt returner. While some of those positions have favorites and expected starters, there are still filler names in many of those spots and there are a few unexpected players that need step up and help fill those holes.

Jeremiah Moon – LB: Fans, and the Gators coaching staff, had high hopes for Moon’s freshman year before he suffering a season-ending injury. Comparisons to Jevon Kearse were gaining steam and as the only 4-star signed by Randy Shannon, he had the largest expectations. While he was injured, Moon watched as Vosean Joseph started to come into his own, along side Kylan Johnson and David Reese. And while those three are your anticipated starters, Jeremiah Moon could quickly pass one on the field. He can run, he can go into coverage, and he can rush the quarterback. Moon could be your linebacker surprise this season, as the Gators must replace Jarrad Davis and Alex Anzalone – something Moon may be up to, because he once compared himself to Davis in the weight room and Anzalone on the field.

Kemore Gamble – TE: Jim McElwain and Doug Nussmeier would love use the tight end more often – it is has been a staple of their offense for years, well before they came to Florida anyway. McElwain has been seeking the tight end that can block and catch…consistently. Gamble, although only a freshman, can be both of those things. Both upperclassmen tight ends C’yontai Lewis and DeAndre Goolsby have both failed to live up to expectations by both coaches and fans and it may be time to rely on a third option. The 6-foot-3, 241-pound Gamble has been raved about by coaches and if all he does is push Lewis and Goolsby to perform better, Gamble has done a miraculous job.

Joseph Putu – DB: Putu, a junior college transfer, had a rough go of it his junior season after coming off a heralded 55 tackle 10 interception sophomore year at North Dakota State College of Sciences. With the Gators replacing starting cornerbacks Quincy Wilson and Jalen Tabor this upcoming season, the Gators will rely on Chauncey Gardner, a cornerback/safety/nickel hybrid, and Duke Dawson at the cornerback position. However, as those two rest, the Gators will need Putu to make an impact. With those behind Dawson, Gardner, and Putu likely all redshirt- or true-freshman, the Gators will need the 6-foot-2 cornerback to truly step-up. Putu has range, he just struggled with the speed of the game. Hopefully, another off-season in the system will allow Putu to be a viable third option at cornerback.

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Daniel Thompson
Dan Thompson is a 2010 graduate of the University Florida, graduating with a degree in Economics and a degree in Political Science. During this time at UF, Dan worked three years for the Florida Gator Football team as a recruiting ambassador. Dan dealt daily with prospects, NCAA guidelines, and coaching staff. Dan was also involved in Florida Blue Key, Student Government and Greek Life. Currently, Dan oversees the IT consulting practice of a Tampa-based company. Dan enjoys golfing, country music, bourbon, travel, oysters, and a medium-rare steak. Dan can be found on Twitter at @DK_Thompson.