Alex Shepherd/Inside the Gators
As the Gators' 2017 spring practices concluded last Friday with the Orange & Blue Debut in The Swamp, we learned a number of things about how Florida's depth chart on both sides of the ball may look. After taking a look at the offense on Tuesday, today we project how Florida's defense and special teams may look heading into fall practices and present questions moving forward with each position group.
It's worth noting, we've included players who were injured this spring in our depth chart projection. We've also added 2017 signees who plan to enroll during the summer, but those new additions are placed at the end of each of their positions' respective depth charts.
* - Sherit missed spring ball with a knee injury
The rundown at defensive line: Florida's D-line was one of its deepest groups this spring, especially at defensive end. Jefferson worked with the 1's throughout the spring at end, while Zuniga eventually took Davis' spot in the lineup with the 1's. Clark and Bryan repped as the first-string defensive tackles, while Campbell, Ancrum and Polite often saw second-team reps this spring. Desir-Jones, Clayton, Smith and Reed worked mainly with the 3's in practices.
Biggest questions moving forward: Will Florida's depth at defensive tackle be sufficient this season? Bryan and Clark look like a promising starting duo, but after those two are question marks. Campbell had a promising spring game and looks in line to contribute immediately as a true freshman, but how will he fare in his first collegiate action as a signee out of prep school? Can Ancrum and Desir-Jones be capable of contributing, along with 2017 summer enrollees Conliffe and Slaton? There's also Polite, who could potentially play snaps inside if he manages to put on more weight this offseason.
Also, when will Sherit return from his knee injury? After missing the spring, Florida announced Wednesday that Sherit is "not currently on track" to be cleared by the start of fall practice, but that he will be reevaluated closer to camp and his status could change prior to the team’s first practice. When healthy, Sherit should contribute nicely in the rotation and serve as one of Florida's best run-stopping defensive ends.