The Florida Gators will head into this year with brand-new additions to its defensive staff, particularly on the backend of the defense with Jules Montinar (cornerbacks) and Wesley McGriff (safeties) added early into this year.
With the additions, Florida is expecting to get a lot of out their players, hoping the renewed energy the two coaches bring to the units will allow for the players themselves to live up to their potential.
The team's defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham has known at least one of the coaches for a while now and believes the experience and background of both defensive backs coaches will work to bring the most out of his young athletes.
"Coach McGriff is a guy that I’ve known for a long time. He’s been in the SEC and coached in the National Football League with the Saints. He’s a very good teacher,"
Grantham said last week. "Very knowledgeable about playing the backend and also a guy that players like to play for. All of that allows him to get the best out of his players."
The Gators will deploy two brand-new starters this year at its safety position. Both senior Trey Dean III and sophomore Rashad Torrence II are currently the team's expected starters. Being able to get the most out of both inexperienced and experienced players will be one of the keys to this season for Florida's defense.
The rest of the team's secondary, namely its cornerbacks this year, will also be under a close microscope. Last year, Florida featured one of the worst secondaries in the nation, ranking No. 100 in passing defense across the entire FBS. That cannot be repeated this season and Grantham believes that guys like McGriff and Montinar will help in that regard.
"Jules, Coach Montinar, he’s been in this system before, both at Alabama and Georgia. He understands systematically how we play things and why we can things a certain way," Grantham explained.
"So his knowledge – even though he is a younger guy – his knowledge of our system and his ability to add to that is really good. He brings a lot of energy to the field with his players, holds them accountable and the guys like to play for him."
Plenty of players, including cornerback Jaydon Hill, have already raved about Montinar's coaching style. Having a player-friendly coach will go a long way in determining how well the secondary plays this year. Young players must take to teaching in order to excel.
"Certainly glad to have both of those guys and like I said before, we look forward to showing improvement.”
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