Spring practice No. 8: Defensive Observations

Defensive Observations

  • Darious Cummings had a great day. Playing both nose tackle and defensive tackle, Cummings was unblockable on the line today. He made a home in the backfield and was a handful for both Max Garcia and Trip Thurman.
  • Nick Washington had a great interception today. Will Grier looked to go deep, overthrowing the ball slightly. Washington came from over the top and made a nice over-the-shoulder grab while falling down to the ground. Washington put together his most complete practice to date, even giving Adam Lane a nice shot in 11-on-11-scrimmage work. Washington was also out of his non-contact jersey and a full participant in practice.
  • There’s a lot of movement on the defensive line. Cummings had been playing nose and defensive tackles, Jonathan Bullard has been playing defensive end and tackle and both of those will likely carry over into the season. Expect to see both players playing multiple positions throughout the fall.
  • Keanu Neal was not dressed out for practice again, working in the pit with the other injured players.
  • Duke Dawson and Jalen Tabor continue to battle for the starting spot across from Vernon Hargreaves. Both players had a good day but Dawson is keeping this battle closer than a lot of people might have expected. Both players seem destined to get a lot of playing time as freshmen, regardless of who starts.
  • Jabari Gorman and Marcus Maye continue to start at safety, but neither were overly impressive on Monday. Maye dropped several interceptions and Gorman hasn’t been able to keep up the level of production that he showed earlier this spring. You have to think Keanu Neal is a shoe-in to start if and when he can return to full health.
  • At linebacker, Antonio Morrison and Jarrad Davis continue to run with the first team with Mike Taylor backing up Morrison. Other than those three, there is a lot of learning going on, specifically with Daniel McMillian.
  • Marcell Harris is still struggling a little bit. He’s getting coaches harder than most of the safeties. Harris stayed after practice today to work on his own. Hargreaves and Poole waited for him and walked off the practice field with him.
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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


  1. Is there any chance we see Duke Dawson Moved to safety if no one else really stands up & takes the safety spot? From what I’ve seen of him he looked as if he has a frame similar to Major Wright. & cant be much smaller than Cody Riggs. I could be way off base, I know he’s young & needs to add strength, but if he’s pushing Tabor so much maybe. We see him on the back end as opposed to the nickel position
    I have no idea if he has the skill set needed to play safety but he seemed like he could be built to lay some hits from there .