Five questions with Dante Fowler Jr.

Florida standout defensive end/Buck linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. feels like the level of intensity in practice will elevate the defense this season. The Gators take the field Saturday vs. visiting Idaho.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer/File
Published: Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 12:19 a.m.

Q: Your coaches have praised your practice efforts. How much have your teammates fed off your energy in practice?

A: We all feed off each other. That was a big thing not just for me but for the whole defense and team. Everybody is competing, and I feel like that’s what took us to the next level. We treat practice like a game. I really do believe that how you practice is how you play. So everybody treats that seriously and we just go fast and physical.

Q: Do you view yourself as one of the team leaders?

A: I do. Just someone that gives great advice to young guys and anybody on our team who has anything going on. I want to be that type of person who comes in and solves everything. But I’m still learning how to become a leader and still maturing.

Q: Coach Will Muschamp said this offense is the most talented he’s had at Florida. Can you see that from going against them?

A: Yeah, I can see it. Those guys are playing very fast. For them having just gotten into the offense, I like that they’re comfortable now. Offensive linemen look great, (Jeff) Driskel is comfortable and I like our running back rotation.

Q: What’s it like going against starting left tackle D.J. Humphries in practice?

A: It gets both of us better. I like it a lot because basically I’m going against the best. It brings the competition out of me and D.J. because we both know that we always have to be on our game or one of us can get embarrassed.

Q: You were both five-star recruits, ranked top-10 overall in 2012. Coming into Florida, did you anticipate this competition with him?

A: We kind of knew it was going to be like that. We’ve been bumping heads ever since I stepped on campus. But D.J. is my boy. He’s like my big brother and we hang out a lot. But when we get on the field, it’s go-time.

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