Experience & Youth

New Defensive Coordinator Charlie Strong and Head Cach Ron Zook have a nice blend of youth and experience in the Gator secondary.

Spring Preview - 2003

Defensive Backs

The secondary is going to have some new blood and a sprinkle of the old as it prepares for spring practice.  We know Keiwan Ratliff will work at receiver  to see if he can make a difference, but he is a second team All-SEC cornerback.  Guss Scott should be a first team All-SEC  strong safety.  Where does that leave the unit? In good hands with a nice mix of veterans (Dixon, Bailey,and Reynaldo Hill) and athletic youth (McCollum's and Brooks).  It is also a critical spring for guys who have been around for awhile and need to step up (Orrr, Carter, Kendrick).

Cornerbacks:

Keiwan Ratliff (Senior)

Played 901 snaps and only had one interception which is amazing.  He did however have 9 passes defensed.  He has the ability and needs to produce the results.
Strengths: good speed, very flexible and pretty good instincts.
Weakness:  needs to be more physical.  Got worked by Andre Johnson and Anquan Boldin.

DeShawn Carter (Sophomore)

Played mostly special teams and may have fallen out of favor with the rotation.  He has good size but has not done a whole lot with it.
Strengths:  he does have height on others and has been around a little.  Needs to have a breakout spring.
Weakness:  seems lost at times and does not have great speed.

Tre Orr (Junior)

Best looking athlete who only saw action in 17 plays last season.  He has never realized his potential and may have missed his window of opportunity.
Strengths:  experience as far as being around the team.  Has great strength and speed.
Weakness:  does not make plays.  For whatever reason he has not found the extra gear.

Jermaine McCollum (Red-freshman)

I think he could of played last season.  He was not highly recruited out of Miami Southridge but is a very confident corner.
Strengths:  although diminutive very good cover guy.  Will only get better and has a feel for anticipation.  Great football savvy.  Good speed.
Weakness:  height could be a problem.  As is the trend in college football everyone has a big receiver who can run.

Tremaine McCollum (Red-freshman)

Should be a major factor on special teams and compete for playing time at corner.
Strengths:  like his brother he has good football instincts.
Weakness:  height and experience.

Nick Brooks (Red-freshman)

He is my sleeper of the spring.  He looks like a safety but has the speed and athletic ability to play on an island.  He can really play the run.
Strengths:  great size and fearless against the run.
Weakness:  experience and must adapt to matching up with starters every day.

Matt Jackson (Senior)

Jackson moves to corner after three seasons as a wide receiver.  He played defensive back in high school.  He had 9 receptions last season and has seen action in 33 games in his career.
Strengths:  he has good size which will help him versus the run.  He also understands where the receivers are going.
Weakness:  can one spring be enough reps to see if he can contribute?  I think it will be tough which is why Ratliff will spend the spring at receiver to free up reps for new guys.

Safeties:

Guss Scott (Senior)

If anyone does not think guys like the McCollum's can end up being players ask Scott.  He was not highly recruited and almost not even signed by UF.  He is there most talented NFL prospect and will be remembered for the interception versus Georgia.  He must develop into the defensive team leader.  With youth at linebacker and defensive line, he must step to the forefront.
Strengths:  great speed,

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