The Bash Brothers

When Jonathan Bullard and Dante Fowler were being recruited, opposing teams used them against each other. Other schools recruited against Florida, pointing out to one player that the other would likely end up in Gainesville and steal his snaps. But playing together was exactly what they wanted, and the self proclaimed Bash Brothers head into 2013 with high expectations for their sophomore years.

Right after they signed their names on letters of intent to Florida, Bullard and Fowler knew they'd be compared to each other. They were highly recruited players that could've gone just about anywhere they want to play college football, but they wanted to help Florida cure its pass rush woes in Gainesville.

"We knew that coming in. We had schools when we were recruited throwing our names at each other that Florida was recruiting him, but as we came in, you want to play with great players," Jonathan Bullard said. "(Fowler's) a real good player. He's got a lot of good attributes that'll help me out. It's always good to have someone on the other side.

"They can't double team. If they do, we've got good guys like Easley on the inside. We look at that as a positive thing."

Bullard and Fowler have been friends since getting to campus

They bring different skill sets, and that's why they compliment each other so well on opposite sides of the defense line. Bullard made his imprint on the team as a freshman by playing well against the run. He anchored the edge of the line and didn't get thrown backwards after the snap.

Fowler brings the pressure. He's drawing rave reviews throughout fall as one of the breakout players on the Florida defense while Bullard even noted that he can "definitely" see a double-digit sack season because of what Fowler is showing on the practice field.

He weighed in at 267 pounds on Thursday and expects to play between 265-270 pounds this fall.

"A big year," Dante Fowler said when asked what he expected of himself this fall. "I've been working. I'm in shape. I've been really focusing on the run game and being able to play the run better. I know my pass rush will take care of itself, so I'm just taking care of my run game. And how it's looking right now, I feel really good."

Sitting together and talking during the offseason, Fowler had an idea. He wanted a nickname for the two. Bullard, the more quiet and kept to himself of the two, laughed it off and let Fowler run with it.

"The Bash Brothers."

It was one of the first options that crossed Fowler's mind, and it stuck. Soon, the Bash Brothers were practicing their celebrations for the 2013 season but wouldn't shed any light on what fans might see after a sack or tackle for a loss this fall.

"Right now, as I know of, it's two (celebrations)," Bullard said with a laugh. But (Fowler) is always making something up."

They've spent the offseason learning from each other with help from first-year defensive line coach Brad Lawing. Bullard focused on improving his hips and explosiveness off the line. Film sessions and workouts on the practice field with Fowler helped him improve his pass rush skills.

Fowler mentioned his need to improve playing against the run game, a strength in Bullard's game.

"Jon-Jon is like my brother," Fowler said. "That's just how it is. He brings some stuff to the table what he does and I bring some stuff to the table that I do. He's a great run stopper. I'm a great pass rusher. We just take it as a good thing. We love each other. We just try to go out there and compete every time. And I think that's what makes us great."

Fightin Gators Top Stories