Dunlap Says Defense Ready to Shine

Most would agree that for Florida's defense to improve from last season it has to start with the pass rush. Florida got very little push up the middle last year and couldn't get consistent pressure from the edge. But the prognosis for the upcoming season is optimistic.

On one end, Jermaine Cunnigham returns after having a solid sophomore season. And first round draft pick Derrick Harvey may be gone, but Carlos Dunlap is ready to show Gator Nation what he can do.

"You're going to find out this first game," Dunlap said. "I'm not going to talk about it too much. Coming up in this first game, the defensive line is going to show up. We're going to show everything what we've got. We're not going to hide a thing. In the first game, you'll all see it for yourself."

Dunlap understands the importance of a successful pass rush.

"We put pressure on them so our cornerbacks can make plays," Dunlap said.

Dunlap spent most of last season watching and learning from Harvey. He's ready to put what he learned to the test.

"Watching Derrick Harvey I learned all different ways to make plays," he said. "I watched him stay low and coming off the ball hard. He came off the ball the same way every time whether it was run or pass, so you don't have to cheat."

The Gators will likely show a three-down linemen look against a pass-happy Hawaii team. Dunlap said that shouldn't impact the kind of pressure the Gators will put on the quarterback, and he also said that the absence of Brandon Spikes shouldn't have an impact either.

"We've been training for having a rotation," Dunlap said. "We have a backup in Ryan Stamper who is doing real good. He's one of our leaders on the team too. He's helped us a lot too. There hasn't even been much of a fall off from Spikes. He can fill Brandon's shoes for this game or however many games we need him."

Dunlap saw action in all 13 games last season recording seven total tackles, including a sack and a forced fumble.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski

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