UF Class Breakdown - DL

UF did well this season on the DL with guys like <B>Derrick Harvey</B> and <B>Mike Mangold</B> leading the way.

Over the last two recruiting seasons Coach Zook has landed some very impressive defensive line prospects. This season the Gators landed another great haul with defensive ends Derrick Harvey, Jeremy Mincey and Mike Mangold.

Harvey is perhaps the gem of the entire recruiting class, regardless of position. Like Jarvis Moss from a season ago Harvey is an athletic freak. He has only played the game two years and is already a remarkable talent. He needs to get bigger and more experience and once he does he should really become a difference maker. Harvey, a former basketball standout, should be a super edge rusher for Defensive Coordinator Charlie Strong.

Mincey was high school teammates with Gator running back Jimtavis Walker at Statesboro (Ga.) High School but Mincey had to go the JUCO route. He is another quick edge guy that should provide some immediate help with rushing the passer. Like Thomspon at tight end Mincey will get the much needed benefit of Spring practice.

Mangold is one of those defenders that every team loves to have because this is a player that gives it everything he has on every play. Mangold is a David Pollack (UGA) clone and his motor is always running a hundred miles per hour. He can makes plays behind the line of scrimmage or chase down the ball carrier.

Harvey and Mangold are both part of our TheInsiders.com National Hot 100 players in America.

Derrick Harvey
What his coach said?
"Even though is only a two-year player, he is making big plays like guys that have been playing there whole life," said Rick Houchens." Derrick just has great instincts and is a terrific athlete."

The Stats
31 sacks as a senior.

Jeremy Mincey
What his coach said?
"Jeremy played five games as a freshman and every game this season," said Butler CC assistant coach Rainey. He could very well make an impact at Florida because he can be a difference maker and a real terror off the edge."

The Stats
Mincey recorded 75 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, 6 sacks, one interception, four caused fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

Mike Mangold
What his coach said?
"Mike is a relentless pass rusher," said former Head Coach Terry Gough. "He's got all the moves including the swim. He has great feet and is basically a sideline to sideline type of player."

The Stats
Last season as a junior, Mangold recorded 95 tackles (70 solo), 10 sacks and 25 tackles for a loss.

My Take?
Over the last two recruiting seasons, Florida has done exceptionally well on the defensive front. In order for the Gators to get back to a championship level they have to get difference makers on defense, especially the front (see LSU, Oklahoma, and USC from this past season). Last season it was Jarvis Moss and Marcus Thomas. This season it's both Mangold and Harvey at the defensive end position. Both have a chance to become very special players. But will they come to Gainesville and work hard to be the next "freaks" like Jevon Kearse and others? Or they will be the next Darrell Lee, a guy with so much promise and upside but didn't quite get there?

Mincey has a head start because he will see action in spring practice. All three are athletic, quick and make big plays behind the line of scrimmage. It's difficult to say if they can come in as true freshmen and make an impact, especially with Tranell Morant, Steve Harris, Julian Riley, Travis Harris, Moss, and others battling for a spot in the two-deep rotation. Also, will fullback Joe Cohen make a switch to defense and play end as well?

Any way you look at it UF is going to be VERY good at this position over the next few seasons and they should get better and better each and every year. This is an athletic and talented bunch and the depth is started to get there. Now they just need maturity and experience.

At defensive tackle Florida landed two good ones in Brandon Daniel and Michael Brown. Daniel, from Pompano Beach, Florida, has already graduated high school and has enrolled at UF. This should be a huge help to him and Florida if he can come in and learn quickly. Daniel has tremendous lower body strength but needs to get stronger up top to deal with the powerful OLs in the SEC. Brown was a big battle with the Georgia Bulldogs and in the end, Florida won out. The big difference was that Brown felt more comfortable at UF than UGA and he had to deflect a lot of local pressure. Brown, at 6-5.5, has great size and a great frame to be a really big-time player. He moves well and has a great attitude. Brown could also be a terrific offensive tackle if things don't work out on the defensive side of the ball.

Michael Brown
What his coach said?
"Above all, Mike is a big time player," said Head Coach Dallas Allen. "He will be truly missed on the defensive line. Mike is a four-year starter and those guys are few and far between. His work ethic is amazing and he's willing to do the little things that you want. "

The Stats
300 pound bench, 425 squat.

Brandon Daniel
The Stats
80 tackles and 10.5 sacks as a senior and 50 tackles and 12 sacks as a junior.

My Take?
Florida signed two big bodies in Brown and Daniel. Daniel is already on campus and UF expects him to find his way into the rotation. He has an incredibly strong lower body but needs to work on upper body strength. Spring practice next month in March will be critical for Daniel.

Brown could be expected to play this fall as well. At 265 pounds or so, he may be too small for SEC play as a true freshman so his off-season preparation will be huge before he gets to Gainesville this summer. Best of all about Brown is his versatility. Personally, I think he is better suited as an offensive tackle. He has very good footwork, long arms and a great frame but Brown wants to play defense.

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