The buzz is swarming out of Gainesville, as Dan Mullin is back and bringing a new-found energy that has been lacking probably since he took the offense with him to Mississippi in 2009.
His offensive genius, and overall understanding of how to maximize the talent he has, will surely bring out the best in players that may have been under utilized while under Jim McElwain.
The coaching change surely will help the defense as well. Todd Grantham comes to Florida to bring back the elite defensive excellence, that side of the ball had shown the six seasons prior to 2017.
With that being said, here are my five breakout players for the Gators in 2018……
The 6’5, 330 lb tackle was primed for a breakout last year, but with all the drama surrounding the program, it was hard for most of the players to be consistent. Taylor possesses the athletic ability, and nasty streak in the run game, it takes to be a very good tackle, capable of playing on either side of the line.
The junior tackle is built long, and lean, which is perfect for a Dan Mullin offense. The high tempo, and quick read offense will allow him to show his talent to take away that initial move of the pass rusher, with his long, and quick kick step.
Now that the Gators have a legit strength program, Look for Taylor to add the strength necessary to anchor consistently in pass protection. Doing so, could form a very good combo opposite highly decorated, Martez Ivey.
The sophomore out of Alabama, has the highest potential to breakout out all the players I’m about to continue to discuss.
At 5’11, 195 lbs, Toney has the electric ability to stop and go on a dime, that makes it hell for a defense, once he gets his hands on the ball. Getting better at receiver is the next step for him. Being ask to play the slot is a very important position in a Dan Mullin Passing game.
Kadarius also should be used a lot more in the wildcat, and almost add a different offense to the offense. He was a state champion quarterback in high school, and as you saw in the video, can use that arm when he needs to.
The running back position is the deepest on the on the team, and I could have easily chosen Jordan Scarlett as the breakout, since he missed last year. Real Gator fans know Scarlett can be a star.
What Malik Davis showed a freshman, should really put the conference on notice if he comes back the same prior to his knee injury that ended his season.
Davis rushed for 562 yards, on 79 attempts, and two touchdowns, with 6.7 yards a pop.(According to ESPN.com) So you do the math to what he could have done if he played the final four games.
The 5’11, 195 lb sophomore will definitely benefit in the new scheme. with it being a power-zone based run game, Davis could use the vision he showed as a freshman, and become one of the best backs to come through Gainesville.
Miller was one of the seven players suspended last year. in the credit card fraud case, that you can fairly say helped get Jim McElwain fired. His absence also hurt the linebacker depth, which was pretty much none existent behind David Reese.
With Todd Grantham implementing the 3-4 defense. The two inside backers have to man the inside gaps of the defense, and at least be able take away the middle/curl area of the field during the pass.
If Vosean Joseph continues to show the inconsistency he showed in 2017(that’s being light), look for the hard-hitting red-shirt freshman to possibly take his job.
Over his first two seasons, Gardner-Johnson has flashed All-Conference playmaking ability. He has the ability to play every position in the defensive backfield.
The reason he makes this list, is now that he will stick to playing the nickelback position. Look for Chauncey to find a comfort level with his tackling, that has been the lone negative he has shown since stepping on campus.
With Duke Dawson now in the NFL, Chauncey is now the most experience DB the Gators have. His energetic personality should also help bring together a young, but very talented DB group, sooner than later.