The Florida Gators are set to have a ton of depth along the defensive line this fall.
It has proven to be one of the strongest units on the team this spring, with returners like Cece Jefferson, Khairi Clark and TJ Slaton leading the way.
New defensive line coach Sal Sunseri has made it clear that he plans on using the depth he has this season by rotating a lot of guys in and out. Junior Marlon Dunlap should expect to see some of that playing time at defensive tackle.
Dunlap transferred in last year after spending one season at UNC. He played in seven games in his freshman season with the Tar Heels, recording four tackles and 0.5 sack.
After sitting out the 2017 season due to NCAA transfer rules, Dunlap will finally get his chance to play in the orange and blue in 2018.
He used his transition year to get into better playing shape. The huge lineman is listed on Florida’s roster at 6’3, 328, but he said he’s gotten his weight all the way down to around 300 now.
He had been working on his weight under the old staff as well, but strength and conditioning coach Nick Savage’s program has taken him to a new level. That’s put him in position to move better and just feel a lot better overall.
“Coach Savage got my weight really down,” Dunlap said. “I’ve leaned up and my body’s looking better, so I love it.”
Dunlap has spent most of his time bouncing between second and third string defense so far this spring, and has often impressed in his opportunities. He wreaked some havoc in Florida’s first scrimmage and even recorded two sacks.
When the Gators need some good size inside this season, Dunlap will be a nice option to have in the arsenal. He plans to take full advantage of any time on the field he can get.
“I always like to set the standards high for myself,” Dunlap said. “I’m just going to do the best this season I can for the team and for my career. The team is first, so I’m going to do what’s best for the team.”
Florida’s defensive linemen exuded a feeling of great confidence for the upcoming season while speaking to the media on Friday. The Gators have bountiful talent there, and a coach with NFL experience could be just what they need to take that talent to the next level.
Dunlap is not only excited about what he can do this season, but the potential of the entire unit.
“I feel like we have talent across the board from the ends all the way to the BUCK position,” he said. “I feel like we have all kinds of talent. We can do something special in this defensive line room.”