DJ Durkin talks youth

Florida defensive coordinator DJ Durkin met with the media today:

-Durkin gave no definitive answer about the depth chart at linebacker. He did mention linebacker Neiron Ball, who has played well, is moving inside. He’s adapting to his position and has been a pleasant surprise.

-Durkin says linebacker Ronald Powell is someone who hasn’t disappointed on expectations.

-Durkin says he’s confident about the level of play they have at the safety position. Out of the younger guys, freshman Keanu Neal has stood out as a physical player.

-Durkin says he likes all the freshmen, though Neal will have to minimize mental mistakes before he actually plays.

-Durkin also said freshman cornerback Vernon Hargreaves will see the field this season. Called him a phenomenal player.

-Durkin says BUCK Dante Fowler is an impressive football player and has a rare mix of size and speed. Fowler practices hard every day with a smile on his face in meetings and on the field.

-Durkin says Fowler takes coaching very well.

-Durkin thinks defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson is the best around. Loves the energy “T-Rob” brings to practice as well as his knowledge. He also thinks he’s an unbelievable recruiter.

-Durkin thinks Robinson will be a head coach one day.

-Durkin knows managing the number of snaps cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy will handle is important.

-Durkin doesn’t have a set number of snaps he feels Purifoy will play because the style of offense Florida will face could either increase or decrease the amount of snaps on defense.

-Durkin says Purifoy could do something like Champ Bailey did at the University of Georgia and play over 100 snaps a game because he is in such good shape.

-Durkin has trust that Purifoy can run all day.

-Durkin has had to make adjustments moving from position coach to coordinator primarily because he had to take off the blinders and focus on all the defensive positions and not just one.

-Durkin loves the competition of the offensive and defensive line, says it makes each player better to bang heads every day.

-Durkin thinks Antonio Morrison has brought a great energy back now that he’s returned to practice. He has great respect for coaches and has been a professional since he’s come back.

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Richard Johnson
Richard lives in Gainesville and prides himself in being a bonafide lifelong Alachua County Resident. He attends the University of Florida and is in his third year studying Telecommunications. He isn’t sure how he started loving football being the son of two immigrants that don’t care about the sport, but he has developed a borderline unhealthy obsession with it. In his free time, Richard watches other sports and is an avid fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Tampa Bay Rays. He doesn’t like chocolate, knows Moe’s is better than Chipotle and drinks way too many Arnold Palmers. He also took up golf in the summer of 2012. That pursuit isn’t going well. You can listen to him talk about sports during the Cheapseats radio show on ESPN 850-WRUF or online at Follow him on Twitter at @RagjUF.