Defensive end Dante Fowler, Jr., and cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III were both named to the All-SEC first team defense. Offensive tackle Chaz Green was named to the third team offense. Return specialist Andre Debose was named to the second team.
Fowler has made 13 starts in his first two years, totaling 80 tackles, 18.5 tackles for a loss and six sacks. He led the Gators with 10.5 tackles for a loss last year and was second with 3.5 sacks.
Fowler struggled during the second half of the season in 2013, facing double teams weekly with Dominique Easley out for the season. He had a strong, consistent spring to prepare for his junior season.
Hargreaves started 10 games last season on his way to earning Freshman All-American honors. He had three interceptions -- all of which came in the first four games of the year -- to go along with 11 pass breakups. He had 26 tackles on the season but made his impact on the opposition’s passing game.
Hargreaves is the only certain starter in a young secondary. The Gators need to find a second starting cornerback and decide on two starting safeties before the beginning of the season, but the production and leadership from Hargreaves will make jobs easier for the other three.
Green missed all of the 2013 season with a labrum injury. He has started 19 games during his Florida career and was named a freshman All-American in 2011. Green spent spring practice working at right tackle and is projected to be the starter there heading into the 2014 season. He played well enough in the spring to convince the coaches that he could handle the position, sliding senior Trenton Brown from tackle to guard.
Debose is heading into his sixth year at Florida. The senior holds the Florida record and is tied for the SEC record with four kickoff return touchdowns in his career. He has 58 career returns, averaging 27.4 yards, good for second all time in SEC history among players with at least 50 returns. The Gators expect him to make an impact on the offense, too.