Kan Li / Scout

Burning questions about Gators’ Linebackers

We put our insider members to the test to come up with the hard hitting questions about the linebacker position at the University of Florida. I took it upon myself to answer them given the things that I know. I am one that has been saying I expect more from the linebackers this year than most. Check out what we believe we will see with the 2016 linebackers.

Fightin’ Gators Question: How solid is Daniel McMillian at that third LB spot? It seems like we haven't heard anything about him in camp.

Bob Redman: I think the thing we have to remember here is that the Gators mainly run two linebackers. There are times, like when you play an LSU or someone of that ilk, that a standard 4-3 will be implemented. With that said, at the start of spring McMillian would have been considered the third linebacker most likely to get on the field.

That may come to pass if they do line up with three, but I think there is a real battle with other outside linebacker types, namely Kylan Johnson and Jeremiah Moon. We saw what Johnson could do in the spring game, they like him a lot as an athletic guy that can cover in space. Moon is the same way and he has really long arms and a burst that allows him to be a very solid pass rusher when asked to do so.

A senior, McMillian has had trouble being in the right place and making the right read. He’s not going to get much time to make sure those mistakes are done with in my opinion.


Fightin’ Gators Question: Which of the freshmen do you think will have the most tackles this year?

Bob Redman: The freshmen include Kylan Johnson, Rayshad Jackson, David Reese, Vosean Joseph, and Jeremiah Moon. I see all of them playing, but the bulk of the snaps will be taken by starters Jarrad Davis and Alex Anzalone. Knowing that, I will go with Kylan Johnson as the guy who will get the most snaps among the freshmen. I think that number will be contested by Reese and Moon.


Fightin’ Gators Question: How much does Jeremiah Moon weigh?

Bob Redman: He’s listed at 6-foot-4 and 217 pounds and is probably within 10 pounds of that. He can really run at that size and his frame certainly means he will add more good weight over time.


Fightin’ Gators Question: How likely is it that Kylan Johnson wins the third LB position and, if he does, who's next in line behind him?

Bob Redman: I explained a lot of this above. It is my opinion that he will be the third guy before too long, If not already there.


Fightin’ Gators Question: What is the depth chart for the three spots? Where does Davis fit in? The Mike?

Bob Redman: Again I explained this above a bit. It is more like two Inside Linebackers and the a third when they play heavy run oriented teams would be an outside linebacker. Davis is definitely an interior guy.


Fightin’ Gators Question: One of Anzalone's highlights from last year was where he showed tremendous closing speed to affect a QB who rolled out to throw. Do you think Collins tries to get a pass rush from LB spot more this year without a proven speed guy coming off the edge? Or is Anzalone too valuable in coverage as a LB to use in the regard?

Bob Redman: I do think that will happen because I am not sure we have all of the quickness up front with the absence of Jonathan Bullard and Alex McCalister. Look for Jeremiah Moon to be one that can do this very well.

Kan Li / Scout

Fightin’ Gators Question: Is Jeremiah Moon's future at LB or DE?

Bob Redman: I wouldn’t say anything but linebacker at the moment. He does have a lot of frame to put more weight on, but they love him as a rangy linebacker.


Fightin’ Gators Question: Have not heard much on Rayshad Jackson? What is his status? Has he been passed by Joseph and others?

Bob Redman: He has been quiet. I believe Jackson will have a role, but these true freshmen are really pushing. He may have been passed for the time being, but it definitely isn’t over for him.


Fightin’ Gators Question: You keep talking about how underrated our LB core is. How do you compare the three freshmen LBs and Kylan (since it's his first year at LB) to the incoming class when Davis got here? That was Davis, Anzalone, McMillan, and Rolin.

Bob Redman: The first class was certainly more decorated as recruits. Davis has lived up to the hype and Anzalone has a real chance to be just about as good as that. Over time I believe the Gators get more plays out of the five guys listed above, but that is to be determined. In essence, it will matter how Anzalone finishes his career and if a couple of these guys can get going really quickly.


Fightin’ Gators Question: What is the Reese story? He was committed to Michigan then de-committed because he couldn't enroll early there? That's what I've read? Is the story correct or is there more to it? Also, what is your opinion on him as to early playing time? What are his measurables and has he been tested for strength and speed by our coaches?

Bob Redman: It is true. Reese was set to enroll at Michigan early and Harbaugh decided they needed to get more offensive personnel in early than defense and he didn’t have enough room to take all the defensive guys. They told him he would have to wait to enroll, but the family decided they weren’t going to do that and started looking around.

He’s 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds and already built for the SEC. I don’t have speed times, but he runs well for his size. More importantly he doesn’t hesitate when playing, so he plays quick on the field. He is real comfortable as a leader type.  I think his time on the field will be measured in the beginning, but fully expect him to get a lot and be  first or second to replace the two starters when they need to come out or have a chance to. 

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