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Tag:Linemen
Posted on: July 28, 2009 12:25 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2009 1:54 pm
 

2009 Florida Gators Football Previews: DLs

Written by Chris Canada, Gatorsfirst.com Co-Founder

The long and dull offseason is finally coming to a close. Anticipation has never been higher in Gainesville, as last year's BCS champions are looking to do what no team in the BCS era has been able to accomplish: win a second-consecutive championship.

With all of the players from last year's team coming back to defend their title, introductions are probably not needed. However, the Gatorsfirst.com team will give you the positional breakdowns you deserve to be fully ready for the 2009 season.

The entire defensive line that terrorized the SEC last season, and kept Sam Bradford on his back in the national championship game this past January is back for another season.

Here is a detailed preview of this year’s squad.

 

Returning Starters

Jermaine Cunningham (Sr., No.49, DE, 6'2'', 252lbs) returns for his senior season to anchor the defensive line. He had a great season last year, totaling 52 tackles and six sacks. Not only that, he forced three fumbles and deflected four passes. He does everything.

Cunningham is going to be a stud in the NFL. Gator fans need to appreciate what they’ve got as his days in Gainesville are fading fast.

 

Carlos Dunlap (Jr., No.8, DE, 6'6'', 290lbs) also returns to secure the other defensive end spot. He led the team in sacks last season with nine, good enough for second in the SEC.

After a slow start to last season, he heated up and straight dominated the last seven games. He ended up being named the defensive MVP of the national championship game with four tackles and 1.5 sacks. In fact, he wasn’t technically the starter, even though he got the majority of playing time.

Dunlap is tall and agile, and he gets to the quarterback with ease. Opposing QBs will have trouble sleeping the night before playing the Gators this season.

I was really surprised by the great play of our defensive tackles last season. Lawrence Marsh (RJr., No.90, DT, 6'4'', 304lbs) had 28 tackles and three sacks, while Terron Sanders (RJr., No.92, DT, 6'2'', 309lbs) had 21.

Although Sanders didn’t record any sacks, he was constantly causing havoc in the backfield, pressuring the quarterback into bad passes. He also had a fumble recovery against Georgia, which he returned for 20 yards.

 

Backups

Justin Trattou (Jr., No.94, DE, 6'3'', 264lbs) actually started 13 of the 14 games for the Gator defense in front of Carlos Dunlap at defensive end. Although Dunlap saw more time on the field, Trattou was crucial for the success of the line, garnering 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

I think Dunlap is going to see more starts, but wouldn’t be surprised if Trattou sees a bunch of starts.

Duke Lemmens (Jr., No.44, DE, 6'3'', 260lbs) and Jaye Howard (RJr., No.6, DT, 6'3'', 296lbs) will be relied on heavily to spell Jermaine Cunningham and Terron Sanders, respectively. Both got some playing time last season, notably Lemmens, who seemed to make some big tackles when we really needed them.

I’m really looking forward to seeing former 5-star prospect Omar Hunter (RFr., No.99, DT, 6'0'', 308lbs). He got to play in three games early in the season, but was granted a medical redshirt midway through the 2008 campaign.

As a big nasty in the middle of the defensive line, I expect him to spell Lawrence Marsh at nose tackle and gain the experience he’ll need as a mega-star in the future.

 

Other DLs

Brandon AntwineWilliam GreenTroy Epps, and Edwin Herbert will all get some playing time, but it will be limited, due to the depth in front of them. The cupboard is full on our D-Line with new freshmen stars Gary Brown and Kendric Johnson coming in, as well as sophomore Earl Okine.

However, they will probably be learning from the veterans from the sidelines all season. Lamar Abel and Glen Watson will probably not see the playing field.

 

I've already discussed the QBsRBsWRs/TEs, and OLs. Look for the Linebackers preview tomorrow!

You can view the original article here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl
orida-gators-sports-news/gatorsfirs
t/2009-florida-gators-football-posi
tional-previews-dls.html

Posted on: July 27, 2009 8:48 am
 

2009 Florida Gators Football Previews: OLs

Written by Chris Canada, Gatorsfirst.com Co-Founder

The long and dull offseason is finally coming to a close. Anticipation has never been higher in Gainesville, as last year's BCS champions are looking to do what no team in the BCS era has been able to accomplish: win a second consecutive championship.

With all of the players from last year's team coming back to defend their title, introductions are probably not needed. However, the Gatorsfirst.com team will give you the positional breakdowns you deserve to be fully ready for the 2009 season.

The offensive line took a had this offseason as three starters graduated. Phil Trautwein, Jim Tartt and Jason Watkins will sorely be missed. However, with a string of injuries last season, a lot of quality young linemen got their chance to show off their skills. Here is a 2009 preview for the offensive line...

 

Returning Starters

The menacing twins Mike Pouncey (Jr., No.55, RG, 6'5'', 320lbs) and Maurkice Pouncey (Jr., No.56, LG, 6'5'', 318lbs) are back to protect Tim Tebow and create gaping lanes for our speedy RBs to run through. Both have started many games in their first two seasons. Mike will be at right guard and Maurkice will start at left guard.

Coming off All-SEC team selection last season, both will be watched closely by NFL scouts. If they both play up at the same they have for the past two years, I can very well see them leave for the NFL following this season.

Carl Johnson (RJr., No.57, LT, 6'5'', 342lbs) is a big boy. At 342 lbs, he is our biggest starter. He started eight games last year at left guard and was a beast. This season he’ll be moving to left tackle to take over for Phil Trautwein.

 

New Starters

Marcus Gilbert (RJr., No.76, RT, 6'5'', 320lbs) started two games last season, replacing Jim Tartt who was injured. He’s played in 26 games in his career, so he has plenty of playing experience.

Another new starter is Sam Robey (RFr., No.50, C, 6'4'', 291lbs). Robey was slated to get a ton of playing time last year, but was derailed by a pre-season injury. He dressed for the SEC and BCS championship games, but did not play. This season he should be starting at center, which will move Maurkice Pouncey over to left guard.

 

Backups

There are plenty of good young players eager to get some playing time. James Wilson (RSo., No.66, OL, 6'5'', 329lbs) got plenty of playing time last year, as did Maurice Hurt (RJr., No.74, OL, 6'2'', 305lbs). Both should be backing up the Pounceys at the guard positions, and will see a lot of playing time.

Corey Hobbs (RJr., No.79, OL, 6'3'', 300lbs) played in eight games last season, and will be vital in backing up Sam Robey at center. David Young (So., No.78, OL, 6'4'', 303lbs) will also be a back up for Marcus Gilbert at the right tackle position, but could see some time at center, as he's been used there during spring practice.

One of the most interesting stories this offseason was the move of Matt Patchan (So., No.71, OL, 6'6'', 260lbs) back to offensive line. He played in 11 games last season as a defensive tackle. He was a highly touted offensive line prospect in high school, so moving back to his natural position will probably work out the best for the Gators. He’ll be backing up Carl Johnson at left tackle.

 

Other OLs

The Gators did a great deal of recruiting for the offensive line this past off-season. They ended up signing seven OL recruits: Xavier Nixon, Nick Alajajian, Jonotthan Harrison, Cole Gillam, Christopher Guido, Jon Halapio, and Kyle Koehne. Nixon, Alajajian, and Harrison are players to look at for the future and expect to get some playing time, but not much. The others are expected to redshirt. 

Jim Barrie, Shawn Schmieder, Gary Beemer, William Steinmann, and Bryan Jones are on the team roster, but aren’t expected to see much playing time.

I've already discussed the QBsRBs, and WRs/TEs. Lok for the Defensive Line preview tomorrow!

You can find the original article here: http://gatorsfirst.com/index.php/fl
orida-gators-sports-news/gatorsfirs
t/2009-florida-gators-football-posi
tional-previews-ols.html

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com