One of the key tenents to Florida Gators football is that it relies on a strong front four.
Well, that's a key tenet to any defense in football, but the Gators have historically been reliant on its pass rush and defensive front four for years, especially over the past few seasons under head coach Dan Mullen and defensive line coach David Turner.
Entering this season, Florida will have a slew of new players entering the rotation early and often. After losing a few of its defensive linemen, and moving forward with a couple of transfers, there will be plenty of young players looking to step up, including sophomore DL Princely Umanmielen.
Umanmielen is one player that Turner believes has plenty of ability, and he's seen the strides he's taken while working with strength and conditioning coach Nick Savage over the year, getting bigger and stronger.
"Last year we were able to get him in on some third-down situations at times, and let him rush the quarterback, but he's got to be a more complete guy," Turner said last week. "That's what he's been concentrating on, that's what we've been talking about. Obviously, he brings a unique skill set in terms of being able to rush quarterback, but he's gotta be an every-down player for us in terms of first and second down."
Currently, Umanmielen is listed at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds. He was listed at 255 pounds last season. While it appears he's "only" gained five pounds over the course of a season, it's clear he's packed on more muscle and has gotten stronger, having an ability to play more of an every-down role with the Gators' defense.
This is something that Turner and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will continue to work with Umanmielen on as the season moves forward, developing him into a similar role as defensive lineman Zachary Carter.
"We [are] still trying to get better on some things in terms or rushing the quarterback, but he's got to be better. He's got to be stronger, he's got to be more stout in the run game and those are things he's working on," Turner said. "But I'm glad that Princely, I'm glad we have him."
The Gators will continue to progress players throughout its starting lineup. While Umanmielen won't be a starter right away, his importance to the team cannot be understated. Last season, the young defensive lineman accounted for two sacks and two tackles for loss.
His most productive game would come against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl, a good end to the then-freshman's season.
"He's going to be a really, really good player over a period of time before his careers out, and he's a guy that works at it and I think football is important to him."