Position Group Breakdown: Edge

With fall camp right around the corner, Gator Country has started previewing the 2023 football season by breaking down each position on Florida’s roster.


The Gators have a total of seven scholarship edge rushers and two preferred walk-on’s heading into fall camp. Junior edge rusher Princely Umanmielen looks to lead a unit that struggled to finish plays in 2022.

Princely Umanmielen

Junior edge rusher Princely Umanmielen was forced to step into a leadership role after the dismissal of Brenton Cox last season. The Manor, Texas native registered 17 total tackles, 4 quarterback hurries, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble all in the final five games of the season.

In the 2023 Orange and Blue Spring game, Umanmielen led the team with two quarterback hurries.

The 6-5, 254-pound junior appeared in all 13 games last season totaling 39 tackles (16 solo), 9.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and five quarterback hurries.

I fully expect Umanmielen to keep progressing as an edge rusher for the Gators this season. The veteran returns to the SEC with an 82.1 rush grade, the highest of all returning edge rushers in the SEC, according to PFF.

“I feel like just making my practice habits better because practice habits equal game time performance,” Umanmielen said after the win over Missouri last season.

Justus Boone

Redshirt sophomore Justus Boone is back for his second season after appearing in all 13 games while totaling two starts in 2022.

The 6-4, 263-pounder recorded 24 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack and a quarterback hurry last season. Boone is a player who has the potential to have a big season starting on the opposite side of Princely Umanmielen this season.

The South Carolina native also returns as one of the highest graded edge rushers in the SEC sitting at 7th with a grade of 73.9. Boone gave us a taste of what he’s capable of in 2022 and I think that becomes more evident this upcoming season.

Kelby Collins

The former four-star was the No. 3 Alabama prospect, No. 5 defensive lineman and the No. 50 overall recruit by On3 in the class of 2022.

Collins appeared in 31 games at Gardendale high school recording 239 tackles (158 solo) for an average of 7.7 tackles per game and 47.5 tackles for loss.

The Alabama native has the potential to be an impact player this year in his first season with the Gators. The 6-4, 272-pounder has a college ready build and will see the field very early in his Florida career.

“Kelby being, I think one of the — you just turn the tape on, one of the more polished, ready to play players in the country. Just fundamentally advanced and really a violent player, plays with effort,” Billy Napier said on Collins.

T.J. Searcy

The Thomaston, Georgia native was rated as a four-star prospect by all four major recruiting sites.

Searcy was ranked as the No. 22 defensive lineman overall and the No. 22 player in Georgia in the class of 2023 by rivals after recording 39 tackles and six quarterback hurries his senior year.

Standing at 6-5, 244-pounds, Searcy has the length and size to be a potential threat in the pass rush.

“He’s long, like he’s very long,” former Gator Antwaun Powell said on Searcy in March. “He’s quick to be that long too. He got some tools; he can definitely make something shake.”

Kamran James 

James was also a four-star rated prospect across all four recruiting sites. The Orlando native was rated as the No. 6 defensive lineman, No. 12 recruit in the state of Florida and No. 54 overall recruit by On3.

The former basketball player registered 77 tackles with 26 for loss and 14 sacks in his final two seasons at Olympia High School.

 I can see the 6-6, 272-pounder being a potential impact player in a few years. With multiple players ahead of James, any experience he gains in his first season as a Florida Gator should be considered a success.

Jack Pyburn

The former three-star prospect helped the Bolles School to an 8-3 record during his senior season.

The 6-3, 253-pound lineman recorded 14 sacks, 109 tackles, 32 tackles for loss, 2 passes deflected, a blocked field goal and a fumble recovery.

While at Florida, Pyburn has appeared in eight games finishing with three solo tackles in his first season. Pyburn is a player with a very high ceiling who could play a major role on special teams in 2023.

Other players to look out for:

Quincey Ivory, Bryce Capers, Layne Swafford

Gentry Hawk
Gentry Hawk is a student at the University of Florida studying sports journalism. He is a writer and reporter for GatorCountry. You can find most of his work on Twitter @gentryhawkgc, or right here on Gator country.