Photo Credit: University of Florida Athletics Association
Four Florida Gators football players have made their way onto the preseason coaches All-SEC team this year, including defensive lineman Zachary Carter, cornerback Kaiir Elam, wide receiver Jacob Copeland and linebacker Ventrell Miller.
Aside from Elam, all four players are entering their fourth year in college football or later, with Copeland being the only redshirt junior on the list.
Carter and Elam have earned spots on the first team, while Miller earned second-team recognition, Copeland, third-team recognition. All four players were also represented on the All-SEC team voted by the media earlier this year.
This year will be one of the more interesting seasons under head coach Dan Mullen as the Gators are expected to become major competitors yet again, vying for the elusive SEC Championship that has landed in the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide for years now.
All four players will be incredibly important to this year's team, especially the three defenders listed, Carter, Elam and Miller.
All three play on various levels of the defense and will be the unquestioned leaders of their respective units this season. For Elam, it is yet another honor as he is listed on several watch lists, and was named to the AP Preseason Second-Team All-American list yesterday.
Speaking with the media yesterday, Gators head coach Dan Mullen reiterated Elam's importance to the team as a leader in its secondary.
“The one thing that I think he’s grown into is more of a leadership role back there," said Mullen. "He’s a guy that’s very conscientious, does things the right way, takes care of his business. Obviously a playmaker on the field. A fabulous student, as well, in the classroom. Really lives up to what the Gator Standard is all about.
"But also, I think, now he has the opportunity to realize that I’m the veteran older guy, even though it doesn’t seem like he’s been here forever. I’m one of the – I’m the older veteran guy, and I’ve got to be a leader, and he’s bought into that role, as well."
The Gators open up shop against Florida Atlantic University on Sept. 4, the first full-capacity game for Florida at The Swamp since 2019.
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