Projecting the Gators 2020 Spring BUCK Rush End Depth Chart
As we move onto the defensive side of the ball in order to project Florida's spring depth chart, we'll begin with the BUCK rush end position.
Being a hybrid defensive end and linebacker role and one of the most important positions in Florida's defense as the team's primary pass rusher, the BUCK rush end gets its own story in the projected depth chart series. Last year, Jonathan Greenard led the team in sacks, tackles for loss, and quarterback pressures at BUCK.
Florida enters the 2020 season with plenty of bodies at the position, and loads of young potential. What will the spring depth chart look like?
1. Jeremiah Moon
His redshirt junior season ended a bit early with a broken foot, but Jeremiah Moon emerged in 2019 as a productive pass rusher for Florida and should enter spring as the starter at BUCK.
Over nine games, starting in place of Greenard when he was injured and serving as the team's first rotational defensive end Moon posted three sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, and 20 quarterback pressures.
Given his vast experience compared to the remaining BUCK rushers, Moon is the easy candidate to start. The question, though, is will he be able to hold onto the role?
2. Mohamoud Diabate or Khris Bogle
The two rising sophomores both burned redshirts in 2019 after combining for six tackles for loss, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 28 quarterback pressures.
Considering their impressive performances, both enter the 2020 season with an expectation to step up into bigger roles. Diabate is a bit more versatile than Bogle, seeing snaps as an off-ball linebacker and even STAR nickel cornerback as a freshman, so expect him to move around a good bit.
Meanwhile, Bogle's long, lankier frame should primarily keep him at BUCK, though if he's added enough strength and weight this offseason, perhaps he could see reps at strong-side defensive end on third downs.
The two were key additions in Florida's 2019 signing class, and have already begun to emerge as future cornerstones of Florida's defense. 2020 will be a huge year for both of them.
4. David Reese
Fans were excited for the younger of the two David Reeses' on Florida's roster to start seeing playing time last year, only for Reese to tear his Achilles and missed the entire season.
Should Reese be at full health this spring, an extra year in the system should keep Reese above a couple of other BUCK rushers. But, it's yet to be seen whether or not Reese can get back to where he was. Achilles tears are major injuries, especially for players at a position like BUCK that depend on flexibility. This will be a situation to keep an eye on.
5. Lloyd Summerall III
Summerall should receive a redshirt after playing in three games last year, so it will be interesting to see how Florida's deploys Summerall in year two. Though, with plenty of talent ahead of him, it's hard to imagine him deserving many first or second team reps in spring camp at BUCK rush end, but that's where he'll play.
6. Antwaun Powell
A highly explosive edge rusher in high school when he was actually on the field, Powell suffered through shoulder injuries that derailed his senior season and limited his season prior. Though, Powell still managed to post three sacks and seven tackles for loss in three games as a junior.
Expect UF to take it slow with Powell as he enters college football, in order to preserve his health while the team develops him. Luckily enough, with the amount of talent at BUCK, it's doubtful that Powell would get rushed into action.
No, I didn't forget about Brenton Cox.
But considering the number of bodies Florida has at BUCK and a lack of bodies at strong-side defensive end at this point, Cox gets the bump to S-DE in this exercise, The 6-4, 247 lb. transfer from Georgia bigger than the majority of Florida's defensive ends other than Zachary Carter, and size and strength is required to play the run on the strong-side edge.
Cox should see time on both sides of the line in 2020 as he comes eligible, but at this point, strong-side defensive end feels like the spring fit.
Otherwise, the BUCK position is in great hands for the long-term at Florida. With a veteran in Moon to lead a young group of high-ceiling rushers, the Gators should have no struggle creating pressure off of the weak-side edge in 2020 and beyond.