Stacked secondary


UF’s Major Wright and Ahmad Black take down Mississippi’s Shay Hodge on Sept. 27, 2008.

Brian W. Kratzer/Staff photographer
Published: Sunday, July 26, 2009 at 8:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 11:23 p.m.

Note: This is the second in a series breaking down the Florida football team by position. Next up is a look at the receivers on Aug. 2.

Facts

Ranking SEC secondaries

1. Florida
2. Tennessee
3. Alabama
4. Georgia
5. LSU
6. Ole Miss
7. Arkansas
8. Auburn
9. Kentucky
10. South Carolina
11. Vanderbilt
12. Mississippi State

The upside

The Gators have speed, experience and depth at all four positions. A year ago, Joe Haden, a former high school quarterback, and Janoris Jenkins, a true freshman, were somewhat unknowns. Now, they are two of the best cover corners in the SEC. Haden is coming off a big spring (he was consistently one of the best players on the field), and he and Jenkins play the position with great confidence. Haden and Jenkins also have experienced backups in Wondy Pierre-Louis and Markihe Anderson, and there is depth behind those two in Jeremy Brown, Moses Jenkins and Adrian Bushell. In Ahmad Black, the Gators have one of the best defensive playmakers in the SEC. Will Hill, the No. 2 strong safety, came on strong as a true freshman in 2008 and is a starter when UF opens in a nickel package. Major Wright is a big-time hitter at free safety who has gained consistency in his two years as a starter. Dorian Munroe, who missed last season after undergoing knee surgery, can play both safety positions and should see considerable playing time. Dee Finley, a true freshman, is a physical player who showed promise in the spring.

The downside

Perhaps the only real concern is how to keep everybody happy in terms of playing time. It’s a crowded secondary group with a lot of proven talent. The top backups (Munroe, Hill, Anderson and Pierre-Louis) are good enough to start at some other SEC schools.

Young guy to watch

Jeremy Brown and Janoris Jenkins enrolled early together two years ago and participated in spring drills. Urban Meyer has said that before Brown injured his back that spring, he was further along than Jenkins, who went on to become a starter as a true freshman last season. Brown missed most of this past spring (again, with a bad back), but made quite an impression when he was cleared to go in the final week. He has a tremendous upside and will push for playing time if his back holds up.

DEPTH CHART

Cornerback
5-Joe Haden
14-Markihe Anderson
36-Moses Jenkins
27-Adrian Bushell

Cornerback
1-Janoris Jenkins
4-Wondy Pierre-Louis
28-Jeremy Brown

Strong safety
35-Ahmad Black
10-Will Hill
13-Dee Finley

Free safety
21-Major Wright
20-Dorian Munroe
24-Josh Evans

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