Pease has high expectations for future OL

Pease has high expectations for future OL

The Florida offensive line will spend the offseason focusing on replacing the left side of the line, and there will be plenty of talent and options to do so. The departure of left tackle Xavier Nixon and left guard James Wilson will mean two experienced players off the team. The Gators have recruited and added transfers well enough to make up for the loss during the 2013 season.

"I think it's going to look really good," Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. "We've got some good kids coming in. We've got some good kids that were young this year. We even got one or two good kids redshirted that I think will be coming up. I think we'll have really good depth."

If there aren't any transfers from the offensive line, Xavier Nixon, Sam Robey and James Wilson will be the only three contributors to leave the Florida roster. Then there's the large number of players that will be joining the position group. The Gators will have two transfer players eligible next season in former Nebraska offensive lineman Tyler Moore and former Maryland offensive lineman Max Garcia. Both are proven players that will help the roster immediately. The coaches have also raved about freshman guard Jessamen Dunker, who is redshirting this season.

The recruiting class is deep, too. Plymouth Canton (MI) High School center Cameron Dillard, Colquitt County (GA) lineman Octavius Jackson, Georgia Military lineman Trenton Brown and American Heritage (FL) lineman Roderick Johnson will also join the team for the 2013 season.

Three players out, six players in. It's the kind of move that will help the depth of the roster and create competition at the position. And with the inconsistent season the group had in 2012, there's still plenty of room to get better.

"There's things we gotta improve on," Pease said. "We have to improve on our sack ratio, some of that is quarterbacks and stuff. But we didn't reach all our goals this year. We've done a pretty good job, but that's what we've gotta do as coaches go back and assess each possession and what our goals were in a lot of areas and say how do we get better."

The 2012 offensive line has one chance to go into the offseason on a positive note with Wednesday's matchup in the Sugar Bowl against Louisville. The Florida offense has featured the rushing attack since Will Muschamp took over before the 2011 season, and that wouldn't be possible without strong offensive line play.

Even while the unit hasn't been consistently great this season, they've played well enough to give the Gators the third best rushing attack in the Southeastern Conference.

"They understand how to work together and their role," Pease said. "They've done a really good job with that. I think they're excited about that because they've had good days where they built on things and through the season."

Whether the offensive linemen are returning or heading out of the Florida program, the focus of the offensive has the unit understanding the importance of their play.

"We know it starts up front," James Wilson said. "I feel like with the O-line, we probably do (most) out of every position. We have the most strenuous practices, and it has to be that way. We know it starts with us, and we just do it for each other."?

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