Kaiir Elam was named a second-team All-American by the Associated Press on Monday and is becoming a go-to player in the Florida secondary.

Coach Dan Mullen said he has grown more into a leadership role, is a great playmaker, great student and lives up to “The Gator Standard.”

“He’s a guy that’s very conscientious, does things the right way, takes care of his business” Mullen said. “But now he has an opportunity to realize, ‘Hey, I’m the veteran older guy’ even though it doesn’t seem like he’s been here forever. ‘I’m the older veteran guy and I’ve got to be a leader and he’s bought in to that role as well.”

Mullen previously said the secondary is one unit that might keep him up at night. That’s because outside of Elam, there is little meaningful experience.

Elam last year started all 12 games at cornerback and finished his sophomore campaign with 39 tackles, 2 interceptions, 11 pass breakups and one fumble recovery.

“They’ve grown up a little bit, but there’s a lot of scenarios guys haven’t been in,” Mullen said of the other defensive backs. “There’s a bunch of guys in the secondary that haven’t been in scenarios. Kaiir’s been in situations, Trey Dean’s been in situations, Rashad Torrence’s been in situations, Tre’vez Johnson’s been in some situations. None of the other guys have really been in those situations before.”