Trattou Ready to Improve Defense

Justin Trattou made quite an impression as a freshman defensive end for the Florida Gators last season. The New Jersey native made the most of his limited playing time to finish third on the team in quarterback sacks (3.5) and fourth in tackles for loss (6.5).

This season Trattou said he's bigger, stronger and better prepared for what college football has to offer. He also might be seen virtually anywhere on the defensive front as the Gators experiment with various personnel packages. He talked about moving around on the line, among other things.

JT: "Yeah, I've been working at end as well as nose in the three man front. I've also been working at tackle in nickel and trying to help the team any way I can. End is more like my natural position, but when it's a passing situation I can get in there on the inside and do some work."

LV: How do you feel the line is coming along?

JT: "I feel like the D-Line has been coming along great. We just got to keep on going. The effort's been really high, and we have a bunch of news guys stepping up so it's working really well right now. I think it's the most important part that the defensive line takes the next step to raising the entire defense to the next level."

LV: How much more comfortable are you out there than you were a year ago at this time?

JT: "I got a whole bunch of experience last year and now I know the whole defense inside and out. That's always a key because you can play as fast as you want once you know what's going on. I've done the adjustment from high school to college ball and now I'm just trying to keep getting better."

LV: These are like the dog days of camp with another week to go before school starts and then it's game week. Is this a tough time to push through?

JT: "Oh definitely because everyone's sore, everyone's banged up, but this is a real key time in the development of this team. We just got to keep pushing through it and before you know it it'll be game day. We're going hard out there and guys are going to get nicked up here and there. We've had some pretty bad injuries and we miss those guys but it's part of the game to get knocked down and try to get back in there."

Trattou adds for the defensive line this has been a more intense camp than it was last year because there is a lot more competition for playing time.

JT: "We have lots of bodies flying around this year and lots of real high efforts and you can see when you watch it on the field. There's definitely a lot of high intensity."

Trattou was reluctant to single out any teammate who has had a particularly good camp to this point, but he finally identified Lawrence Marsh. If Marsh can continue to raise his game and Florida gets the kind of play the Trattou, Carlos Dunlap and Jermaine Cunningham are capable of, this just might be the kind of defensive line Florida needs to have a championship caliber defense this fall.

Questions or comments? Contact's Larry Vettel

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