Floyd Back on the Inside Track

According to junior defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd, fall camp has been mutually beneficial for the offensive and defensive linemen. Although Floyd feels very comfortable at defensive tackle, he has noticed that the offensive linemen have progressed a lot since last season. Without the depth chart woes, the Gators have been able to get more physical reps in during fall camp.

For Sharrif Floyd, Monday was a great day of fall camp. After missing practice over the weekend with a slight injury he was back to going strong.

"I went today and everything is good," the junior defensive lineman said.

The most exciting part of fall camp for Floyd is getting a chance to play defensive tackle, unlike a year ago when the talent personnel on the team dictated that he play outside.

"It feels great [to be back at DT]. It feels like winning the lottery. I love what I do. I love what I do for the team. I love the chemistry that the team brings so I'm happy to be back," he said.

For Floyd, the switch was not a hard transition. He came to Florida as a tackle and flourished there in high school.

"I knew what it could be and what it was so I didn't lose focus of how to play and of things to do. I know it's more attacking on the inside than it is on the outside and, as far as distance between the defensive linemen and the offensive linemen, it's four steps to get to a tackle and two to get to guard so it wasn't a hard flip," he said.

Getting a chance to show off at defensive tackle in Jacksonville against Ohio State in the Gator Bowl win over the Buckeyes, it was just a natural move for him to jump back inside.

"It felt good [playing DT in the bowl game]. That was basically the start of me playing back at DT so it felt good to get my feet wet again. That was the jump-start of that position and me doing that," Floyd said.

According to Floyd, the fact that the offensive line play has improved has greatly benefited the defensive linemen during camp.

"The starters, the second (team), the third, whoever is out there on the grass is pushing the guy in front of him. The offensive linemen are pushing us and we're pushing them. I make a play then I tell them what they did wrong. They make a good block on me then they tell me how they did it and what I did wrong so we are just correcting each other's mistakes as we go along," he said.

"They are doing a good job, a really good job. They understand defenses and they understand why they have to block a certain way. I think we're all a lot mentally stronger," Floyd said of the offensive line.

In his mind, the Gators are ready to prove themselves on the field.

"I think we're all bigger, faster and stronger, but we've got to go and we don't want to talk about it we're just doing what we said we were going to do two years ago," he said.

Last season's 7-6 mark was a learning experience for the Gators. For this reason, Floyd thinks that Florida will do whatever it takes on and off the field.

"I think we hold each other and ourselves to a higher standard because we know we're better than what we put on film… It's a lot more intense (now). We've been banging every day of camp," he said.

There was a pretty drastic numbers issue a year ago, especially in the trenches. There is more depth and better health up front so far this year and that has given Floyd another reason to be optimistic as there is competition every day on the field.

"We're reminded every day that there is no depth chart, there are no starters and there is no second string. We're just out there competing with one another and we're out their fighting to get better and more physical and more mentally strong," he said.

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