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Q&A: Florida buck signee Dante Fowler Jr.

3/28/2012
Dante Fowler, right, and his family show off their Gator colors. Courtesy Fowler Family

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Over the next few weeks GatorNation will have a series of Q&As with Florida's incoming freshmen. Next up is St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood defensive end/outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr., who will enroll at Florida for Summer B in June.

GN: What number will you wear next season?

Fowler: Me and head coach [Will] Muschamp, we had already talked about it. For some reason Coach likes to say, 'We need to get that number 6 pass-rusher off the edge.' So that is the number I'm going to wear. That was also my high school number.

GN: Who are you planning to room with when you get to Florida?

Fowler: I'm not sure who I'm going to room with yet. Most likely it's going to be with Matt Jones. Matt's like a brother to me, we talk all the time about going up to Gainesville. If not Matt it will probably be Marcus Maye.

GN: What kind of workout or training program are you doing to prepare?

Fowler: Right now I'm doing the training program that the new strength coach gave us. But right now what I'm really working on is getting faster and learning to run with my body and weight low to the ground. Also I'm going to try and lose four-to-five pounds. Right now I run a high 4.5 [40-yard dash] but I want to make that a legit 4.5. I just want to be in shape and be ready to play college ball.

GN: What are you looking forward to the most when you get to Florida?

Fowler: What I'm looking forward to the most is just contributing as a player and just making great things happen. Just overall being a Florida Gator.

GN: What are your expectations as a freshman at Florida?

Fowler: I talked to the coaches a few days ago after I saw the depth at the specific position I play. I know I can come in and contribute real fast. They are going to give me every opportunity to compete and try to get the starting spot.

GN: Have you talked to returning starter Ronald Powell at all?

Fowler: Yeah, we had a 10-minute conversation or so after I watched practice last week. He just told me what it was going to be like when I get to Florida. He was just giving me advice on how football was going to be and how life was going to be here. Basically he was just looking out for me.

GN: Tell Florida fans something about you that most people don't know.

Fowler: A lot of people might think of me as this big, mean person because I'm big and I play football, but I'm actually like a big teddy bear. I'm real goofy, and I smile all the time. People might say that I'm kind of shy because I put my head down when I talk and stuff. But I'm a big teddy bear. My favorite TV show is iCarly. I'm going to be a big teddy bear off the field, but on the field I'm all business. When I'm in the game I'm going to do what I have to do to help get the W.