Jaylen Watkins: Senior that has moved over to safety from corner after the loss of two starters to the NFL.
Through January: Watkins has probably been the most steady and versatile of the defensive backs on the team in the last two years. He plays smart and has all the ability to play any position in the back four. He has played a lot of corner, nickel, and safety already in his time at Florida.
Improvements since January: He is going to be asked to be the leader in the secondary and he made great strides this spring in becoming that guy. He showed excellent instincts to be a full time safety.
Needs to work on: Just keep on with the leadership. It is one of the most important factors for this defense in 2013.
Expectations for August: play with confidence and the way he has been playing. I don't they expect anything but the best from Watkins who is the ultimate team player.
Jabari Gorman: junior safety that has seen a little bit of real playing time even with the guys ahead of him.
Through January: Gorman is one of those players that doesn't play a whole lot, but he seems to make plays when he is in there. He has shown that he can play in space as a free safety or in the box as a strong safety. I imagine he will play more in the box in 2013.
Improvements since January: As an upperclassman and a guy that has a real chance to start, he pushed hard in the spring and showed more toughness than even before, which really wasn't an issue. He isn't the biggest guy but he played big in the spring.
Needs to work on: Consistency. He's a real ball player, but stay focused.
Expectations for August: Start opposite of Watkins and allow for an all upper classman secondary to lead the defense.
Valdez Showers: Sophomore that will vy for a lot of playing time in 2013.
Through January: Hasn't played much but not due to talent. He will get a chance more this year than ever to show what he can do.
Improvements since January: Is a good hitter in the secondary and showed that toughness in the spring. He showed terrific athletic ability as well.
Needs to work on: Instincts and consistency.. he has the tools.
Expectations for August: be more consistent and get on the field. That should happen.
Marcus Maye: Red-shirt freshman who will compete for starting strong safety spot.
Through January: High school All-American who was sidelined for most of the year in 2012 with an injury but is completely healed and ready to go.
Improvements since January: Made a great run this spring and starred in the spring scrimmage to end it all. He is a very heady player with good instincts and basketball player athletic ability.
Needs to work on: Just consistency. He's never done it before, so reps are going to help him a lot.
Expectations for August: Push Gorman for that starting spot and see what happens.
Jeremy Brown: Senior in his sixth year and the opnly player on the roster to have a national championship ring.
Through January: Has been injured more than not during his career. Has played well when he has been on the field and has the confidence of the staff to play his position at a high level.
Improvements since January: Stayed healthy and was asked to be a leader of the younger guys and stepped up in that role.
Needs to work on: Just stay healthy. He has more limitations than the starters, but is a consistent and heady player.
Expectations for August: Be there when they need him and take the young pups under his wing and help them along. He wants to get into coaching when his time is up and this is a good start for him.
Loucheiz Purifoy: Junior starter at one cornerback position.
Through January: Played very little as a freshman before being thrown to the wolves in the bowl game against Ohio State. As a sophomore in 2012 he starred on defense and special teams and is the guy that none of the Gators like to face in practice.
Improvements since January: He's bigger and more physical. He has a lot on his shoulders now because he is also asked to play offense, but he is a bona fide talent at cornerback.
Needs to work on: He's so fast he gets lost sometimes while trying to run and not watching his receiver. His make up speed usually gets him out of trouble when that happens but he needs to be more hands on and eyes on the receiver.
Expectations for August: He's an All-SEC talent, so he needs to play like one. He can be an offensive player on defense if he gets the ball in his hands, so take advantages of the chances he gets.
Marcus Roberson: Junior starter at the other cornerback spot.
Through January: Roberson has been the most physical corner on the team since he's been on campus. As a freshman, he was called several times for pass interference or holding with his aggressive play, but he was truly thrown to the wolves in his entire freshman year. As a sophomore he got much better and used his physical play much more within the limitations of the rules. He finished third in the SEC in pass break ups in 2012.
Improvements since January: Just a smarter player with all the reps and time he has had on the field.
Needs to work on: Not much, he isn't the fastest guy, but that isn't something you are going to work on much at this point.
Expectations for August: Florida truly has a pair of All-SEC caliber corners and there is no reason that Roberson can't play up to that level in 2013. That is all but expected of him.
Cody Riggs: Junior corner that can play several roles in the secondary.
Through January: Has played a lot of football for Florida with 14 starts at cornerback. Riggs has played corner and nickel for Florida for his first two years and two games on campus and broke his foot in game two a year ago, missed the rest of the year, and red-shirted. He has been a physical corner even though he is a little undersized for the proto-type they are looking for. He has been a smart player as well.
Improvements since January: Moved to safety in the spring and was doing well before getting hurt midway through the practice sessions. The move allowed him a little time there to get to know the position and will allow him to fill in at safety if need be, but has been moved back to his more natural corner position.
Needs to work on: He's a solid player at corner. Not much he can really do to improve other than get to know that safety position even better.
Expectations for August: He will contribute a lot and should play well. Just be ready when his number is called.
Brian Poole: Depending on the opponent, the sophomore will likely start at the nickel.
Through January: Played maybe more than expected a year ago in a true backup role as a freshman. He showed that he is truly a physical player.
Improvements since January: The staff was very happy with his progress this spring. It is a tough position in this defense, and Poole isn't ideal siize, but he plays well. He will challenge Roberson for the most hands on physical corner on the squad and should be a natural at the nickel position even guarding bigger more physical type receivers.
Needs to work on: He isn't the fastest guy, but technically he is super sound. Just stay focused on what is ahead of him and he will be doing big thigns at Florida before all is said and done.
Expectations for August: Own that nickel spot and make life miserable for any receiver that lines up in the slot.