Six Gators named preseason Coaches All-SEC

Dominique Easley

The Florida Gators start off pretty modestly in the eyes of the Southeastern Conference in terms of all-conference recognition before the season starts. Only six Gators total among three teams garnered recognition. That said, the Florida defense showed up big landing four on the preseason list.

Starting up front, senior defensive tackle Dominique Easley earned first team honors. Back for a final year, Easley has moved inside this season to play his more natural position. Easley had 26 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks a year ago while playing less than full speed most of the year.

Joining Easley on the first unit is junior cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy. Purifoy has toyed with offense this fall and may very well line up on that side of the ball some, but is a natural athlete at cornerback and can also return kickoffs for Florida. Purifoy is a mainstay on all the kicking units and finished the season last year with 55 tackles, 5 passes defensed, and 3 forced fumbles.

Junior punter Kyle Christy returns after an all-conference season a year ago. He averaged 45.8 yards per punt to lead the conference in 2012. He punted 66 times and pinned 27 of them inside the 20 yard line.

Florida landed its only offensive player on the second team all-conference list. Senior guard Jon Halapio who hasn't practiced much this fall due to injury is a second teamer and brings 41 games of experience with 33 starts in his three years of playing time.

Back to defense and again in the secondary, junior cornerback Marcus Roberson brings his tough physical style as a second teamer. Roberson finished third in the conference in passes defensed with 14, while adding 45 tackles and two interceptions in 2012.

One player that is probably just happy to be anywhere on a list is BUCK / SAM Ronald Powell. The junior defender sat out all of last season after a couple of ACL tears. Powell has a good fall camp and looks ready to go and is the only Gator represented in the coaches' third team.

Alabama placed an astounding 16 players on the list, almost one at every position on the field. They had the most on the first team with five. LSU and Georgia both had eight on the list, the next best number, and then Florida with six.

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