Five Questions with ... Florida defensive tackle Daquan Newkirk

Zach Abolverdi
Gator Sports
Florida defensive lineman Daquan Newkirk (44) squishes South Florida quarterback Cade Fortin (6) during last Saturday's game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Florida graduate transfer defensive tackle Daquan Newkirk, an Orlando native who transferred from Auburn, has experienced a win over Alabama, a 48-45 decision in 2019. 

“You basically gotta have to have a perfect game,” Newkirk said. “You gotta come with your A-game just like they do all the time.”

Q: Playing at Auburn, have you developed proper hatred for Alabama to help other guys this week?

A: "You could say that. It’s something well learned over the years, so I know what it takes. I know what I’ve got to come into this week doing and what guys have to prepare for."

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Q: Having faced them for a couple years in a row, do you have extra insight into the Tide’s personnel?

A: "Absolutely. I know a few things and have a few things up my sleeve. I mean, definitely from playing them each and every year, I talk to the guys a lot (about it). Definitely from facing them last year, they’re pretty similar. They lost a few guys up front, but they’re pretty similar to the guys from last year, so that’s a big plus I guess for us.”

Q: How excited are you to play in a packed house, sellout at The Swamp?

A: “I’m very excited, because I know it’s actually going to be completely sold out. I know when I came here in 2019 how the atmosphere was, so I know it’s going to be exciting. The crowd is going to help us a lot. It’s definitely going to have a huge impact.”

Q: What is it that makes The Swamp so difficult to play in as an opponent?

A: “I can say, even though I was on defense, once they got momentum going, it was crazy. The crowd got into the game. It was like a huge momentum boost. The energy from the crowd, I mean, you feed off it, so it’s huge. It’s going to be very exciting (today). I can’t wait to see it.”

Q: How has the defensive line gelled and how important will your unit be against Alabama?

A: “The first game was a little uppity, but the second game, USF, we played way more consistent. Didn’t think about making too many plays, just did our job. That’s what it takes from us up front because we’re not a stat stuffer position, we’re more of a do your job type of position. So we gotta focus on doing us first and then we’ll make plays. … Each and every game we get better. Hopefully we can keep that going.”