Published August 31, 2012 - 9:26am
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When Florida suits up on Saturday to take on Bowling Green there is a chance that as many as eleven players from the 2012 recruiting class, head coach Will Muschamp’s first full class, will get an opportunity to see the field. Check out the fresh faces below and be prepared to impress your friends with your knowledge of these newcomers.
The following six players have been listed on Florida’s depth chart:
4 DT Damien Jacobs, 6’3” 284 lbs. – A junior college transfer from East Mississippi Community College, Jacobs will be counted on heavily in the defensive line rotation. He enrolled early at Florida and has already benefited from Florida’s new strength and conditioning program, slimming down from around 310 lbs. He is a big, strong run-stuffer who should feel right at home in the SEC.
74 RG Jessamen Dunker, 6’4” 301 lbs. – The offensive line was an area of major concern for the Gators in 2011 and the coaching staff knew that recruiting impact players, like Dunker, would be a priority for 2012. The Boynton Beach native will be the first OL from this class, as the back-up right guard, to get a shot at showing why he was such a highly sought after recruit.
6 Buck LB Dante Fowler, Jr., 6’3” 277 lbs. – Even if you have been living under a rock, chances are you have already heard of Dante. The former FSU commit made a highly publicized switch to the Gators late in the recruiting cycle (making anyone an instant celebrity in my mind) and has already made his presence known in the linebacker rotation, filling in for the injured Ronald Powell. If any newcomer is going to leave a lasting impression on this season it is going to be Fowler.
12 Will LB Antonio Morrison, 6’1” 218 lbs. – Another early-enrollee, Morrison took spring practice by storm, impressing the coaches with his consistency and effort. His performance in the spring game was just as impressive with nine tackles (one TFL). Expect Morrison to see the field plenty this Saturday and to be fully entrenched in the Gator linebacker rotation this fall.
13 WR Latroy Pittman, 5’11” 209 lbs. – When the depth chart was released on Monday the main focus of most fans was the fact that Andre Debose wasn’t listed as one of the starting wide receivers. Lost in all that talk was the emergence of Pittman in the receiver rotation. It’s not a shock that he will be given an opportunity to catch passes Saturday; he has been a standout at practice ever since he arrived in Gainesville, and he even made his mark in the spring game with a 43-yard catch.
24 Dime CB Brian Poole, 5’10” 206 lbs. – Poole is going to be part of a defensive backs unit that may be the best in the SEC, if not the nation, this season. His name first popped up when he recorded an interception in Florida’s first fall scrimmage and has always seemed to make his way into most defensive back conversations since then. His versatility will allow him to play both corner and safety.
Coach Muschamp has stated that these five players will be given an opportunity to see the field even though they are not listed on the official depth chart:
90 DE Jonathan Bullard, 6’3” 271 lbs. – This is one of those strange cases when you’ll look at the depth chart and not see his name listed anywhere. However, he will be on the field early and often, rotating at the defensive end spot. When he takes the field Saturday you will soon learn why he was the #1 DE coming out of high school.
24 RB Matt Jones, 6’2” 226 lbs. – Though he was beat out by sophomore Mack Brown for the back-up running back spot, Jones will get a good amount of playing time Saturday. Besides Mike Gillislee being named the starter, the running back line up is not set in stone, so Brown and Jones will be competing for snaps the entire season.
86 WR Raphael Andrades, 6’1” 191 lbs. – The 2012 recruiting class’ diamond in the rough, Andrades was a fairly low rated recruit coming out of high school and yet he may be catching passes in his first ever collegiate game Saturday.
18 TE Kent Taylor, 6’5” 223 lbs. – Desperate for pass catchers, Florida will be wise to get Taylor on the field as much as possible. Expect him and Jordan Reed to see a lot of passes thrown in their direction this season. Taylor could play a hybrid-type TE position as a bigger receiver.
70 OT D.J. Humphries, 6’6” 275 lbs. – He is probably a better overall player than Jessamen Dunker, but Humphries has been hurt this fall so his status is still up in the air for Saturday. If he is healthy he will see extensive action on the offensive line.