Bostic Needed No Introduction to Muschamp

Jon Bostic wasn't caught off guard by Will Muschamp's personality. His passion and fire always came across on television when Bostic would watch a college or NFL team that Muschamp coached. When the hire was announced back in December, Bostic was the player explaining the type of coach Florida was getting to his teammates. Muschamp has lived up to his reputation this fall.

"I already knew about him," Jon Bostic said. "I knew about him at LSU, Auburn and Miami. Some guys didn't really know what to expect, but as soon as they found out what he was really like and that he means good."

The excitement that Muschamp brings to the practice field is something that has been seen all over the Internet during games. There are videos of him flying in for chest bumps with defensive players after a big defensive stop. He has been one of the more animated coaches in college football in recent years.

Bostic hasn't seen that toned down this fall. It's something that the players have gravitated to. Even when Muschamp gets mad about the way a play went, they always know that it isn't personal. The reputation Muschamp has built with the players goes a long way in the players referring to him as a player's coach.

"He may go crazy on you and then just start laughing afterwards," Bostic said. "He doesn't even know he does it."

The defense adjustment has gone much smoother than Bostic expected. For the most part, the defense Florida ran in 2010 under Teryl Austin was similar to the one that Charlie Strong taught for years before that. This is a change in scheme, but it hasn't been tough for Bostic to pick up.

For the middle linebacker who is looked at as a leader of the defense, his understanding of the plays is important.

"It's a lot of the concepts we ran before," Bostic said. "I know one more thing is that we're going to be a lot more aggressive coming after the quarterback."

The Gators will try to get to the quarterback without sending extra blitzers as much as possible, but for a team without any proven pass rushers, that could be a challenge. The defensive line has drawn rave reviews out of fall camp so far, but they still need to prove they can get to the quarterback in game situations.

Muschamp said on Tuesday he would like to see the pass rush be more consistent in camp. There are days when the line seems unblockable, and other days when he needs to blitz multiple linebackers to create pressure.

Bostic has seen the inconsistencies, too, but he thinks it will be ironed out before the season begins.

"We just have to get guys coming out day-after-day," Bostic said. "We can't be a dominant pass rush one day, but then the next day not be a dominant pass rush. We need the whole defensive line up there and safeties coming on blitzes. Everyone has to be coming hard."

While Bostic and Jelani Jenkins are entrenched into the starting lineup at linebacker, the Gators still need to secure a starter at the SAM position. Bostic said that Lerentee McCray, Dee Finley, Mike Taylor and Darrin Kitchens have all impressed him this fall and could see playing time there.

There are also two true freshmen that could see time on the field. Trinity Catholic product Chris Johnson signed with Florida as a safety, but he moved to linebacker this week because the coaches wanted to see what he could do. Bostic thinks it could be a natural fit.

"You can tell he's an athlete. He has a nose for the ball and he finds it real well. He's still new to the position but he's learning. He's one of those guys that can play both (linebacker and safety). He loves to hit and I think that's why they brought him into the box."

Size could be an issue if he stays at linebacker as Johnson is listed at 5-9, 205 pounds. He has played bigger than his size so far since the move.

"I've seen a lot of guys who weren't that big," Bostic said. "We were even telling him that Coach Muschamp had a linebacker when he was at Auburn that maybe was six foot. Even Ohio State had one last year. That really hasn't discouraged him. He just wants to hit somebody."

Graham Stewart has also opened some eyes with his play early in camp. It's unlikely he earns a starting job as a freshman, but Stewart has impressed his teammates enough think he could get in the rotation if he can overcome the normal struggles freshmen have.

"Graham is doing real good," Bostic said. "He's still got to pick up a lot of things, but he's picking it up a lot quicker than the first couple days. He's getting a lot more comfortable."


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