Marcell Harris and the DB unit might have lost a few big names this offseason, however, Harris is not too worried because of the big names that remain.
"I feel like a DB unit, we are still DBU and we contribute well all around," he said. "We still got the best two corners and me and Nick (Washington) and Marcus Maye, one of the best safeties in the nation coming back. I think we are still one top of the line groups in the SEC."
"The new talent are coming along well," said Harris. "We teach them, they follow the ropes. As long as they keep learning and get over that learning curve -work on getting ready for the game and on how they prepare, they should also be one of the best groups."
With the group loaded with talent, Harris says the competition is fierce for playing time.
“I mean, the competition level is high," he said. " I mean, every day we come out there and you see guys making plays and then you make a play. But, I mean, it’s as well a competition, but as well we all get each other better, you know? So we see what this guys might do wrong, what another guy might do wrong and you try and perfect them and try to make them better, because at the end of the day, we’re gonna need everybody in this tomorrow.”
The addition of Torrian Gray as the defensive back coach has also brought change.
"We had to adapt on how he sees things and his perspective," he said. "It's actually pretty cool. He likes to break down film and he is a good guy to learn from honestly: breaking things down, working on technique, and doing the little things right it is all going to help us be a better unit."
Special Team Truly Special
The Gators have been putting a lot of effort on special teams this offseason.
"One of the biggest things with our special team unit is to win games," said Harris. "We need everyone to contribute and go hard on special teams. We got new kickers in, Eddy Pineiro, Johnny Townsend, All-American. This year our special team unit is top of the line."
The addition of kicker Eddy Pineiro is definitely one that help boost the unit.
"Making 70-yard field goals, thats the first time I've ever seen that been done. I mean just seeing him at practice, he works after (practice), and his work ethic. All that plays a big part, thats why he is one of the good kickers."
On Luke Del Rio:
“Luke Del Rio, he’s a real student of the game. You know, he’s been in the system for a minute, so him knowing and communicating with his wide receivers and knowing where to put the ball in certain spots and certain places, or when to pass the ball or, you know, what situations he’s been put in you know, because he’s kinda older. I feel like that’s one of the best things about him, because he knows situations and he knows how to get the job done.”
On Joseph Putu
“I mean, you know, I heard his story and it’s a crazy story, you know, where he comes from and how he got here. But honestly, his transition into coming into this NCAA league and playing, you know, Division I top football, it’s been pretty good. I mean, as long as he keeps coming along — he’s learning really fast. There’s some habits that he may have to break coming from, you know, as a technique standpoint. But I mean honestly, you know, he’s coming along pretty good and he’s a good guy to have in the room. He’s honestly a good guy.”