Young players again stepping up will be key for Gators, Harris says

Florida safety Marcell Harris
Florida safety Marcell Harris answers questions during SEC Media Days last week at the Hyatt Regency - Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala., last week. [Gary Cosby Jr./GateHouse Media Services]

Five questions with Florida redshirt senior safety Marcell Harris, a Preseason All-SEC third-team selection:

You’ve played behind two safeties who were selected early in the NFL draft. What can you take from Marcus Maye and Keanu Neal that can help your game this year?

“Everything, everything possible. I hit them guys up whenever I need help, whenever I see something that they did that I’m trying to add to my game. How they do it, how they go about watching film. Me and Marcus Maye built a great relationship his last year here, just going over the plays and everything.”

At the same time, how crucial will the underclassmen be when it comes to depth in the secondary?

“They’re going to be very important. Like last year we had a guy I guess, Chauncey Gardner, everybody knows of, he stepped up big time. But, as well, a lot of older guys going out, so we had a lot of defensive players step up, from the defensive line to, let’s see you can name them, Jachai Polite, you have Cece Jefferson, you have (Jabari Zuniga) on the edge, and then for the linebackers you have Vosean Joseph and David Reese and Kylan Johnson, they all played throughout the whole season until the SEC championship because of some of the injuries we had.”

You’re entering your senior season, and you have another defensive backs coach. What are your early impressions of Corey Bell?

“Honestly, he’s a great guy. He’s been coaching a long time. Every DB coach teaches us something new, so just grasping some of the things he does new, from our DBs, coaches, to everybody who has come in this program.”

Facing an opponent of Michigan’s caliber in the opening game hasn’t exactly been the norm at Florida. As a result, are you going to have to work harder earlier in preseason camp?“Attention to detail, you can’t take any team lightly that we play. Any team we play, they’re playing to beat you. At the same time, we pay attention to detail more than we ever have. This is going to be one of our biggest seasons I feel like. Everybody’s on the same page and everybody right now is focused. And it’s special to me, because last time we played Michigan we didn’t win. So coming out here and playing these guys first game, it’s going to put a lot of fire in everybody.”

Has the leadership role you’ve entered with resulted in a change to your approach to the game?

“I don’t feel too much different, no. I play every game the same, but it’s just getting these young guys rolling and prepared that is just a different mentality, as a leader. Actually having to bring the young guys along, and otherwise just focusing on myself and my preparation. It’s helped me being a better communicator as well, and seeing those guys and helping them out is helping me out.”