It's no secret that Florida expects a lot out of Ronald Powell, the former national high school player of the year. But two surgically repaired knees have made the defensive end/linebacker's ascension difficult. Can he make it to the season opener against Toledo? He says he's getting "closer and closer."
Kentucky's Avery Williamson doesn't like to disappoint. When he was in grade school he kicked a hole in the wall because he disappointed his parents. Since then, the decorated linebacker has done all he can, developing into a leader of the Wildcats defense.
Missouri cornerback E.J. Gaines is an integral part of the Tigers' defense. Unsure if he'll play in Thursday's scrimmage because of an injury, Gaines' status for the season opener has been in doubt. After Tuesday's practice he said he'll be ready to go.
The Mike Davis era is officially underway in Columbia, S.C., as the Gamecocks announced that he would start the season opener against North Carolina. But Brandon Wilds and Shon Carson will see plenty of time, too.
Tennessee's defense had a lot of work to do this offseason, rebuilding after a tough 2012 campaign. Though the Vols are on schedule, they're still not there yet.