Commentary

Gators have a void at defensive end

Florida has little talent and even less depth on the edge of its defensive line

Updated: December 14, 2011, 11:04 AM ET
By Michael DiRocco | GatorNation
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- One of the biggest issues Florida had entering the 2011 season was the pass rush. Specifically, would the Gators be able to generate any kind of pressure from the edge?

The concern turned out to be valid, because the Gators' defensive ends didn't do much this season. The group of seven players managed to record just eight of UF's 22 sacks. Ronald Powell had five, but three of those came in the last five games. The only other player with more than one sack was Lerentee McCray, a strongside linebacker who also plays the buck position (end/linebacker hybrid). He had 1.5.

[+] EnlargeRonald Powell
Kim Klement/US PresswireLinebacker/defensive end Ronald Powell leads the Gators with five sacks this season.
Sharrif Floyd, who missed the first two games of the season because of an NCAA suspension, was UF's sixth-leading tackler (44) but he did not record a sack. He's better suited as a tackle but was moved to end because the Gators don't have much production there. Floyd is talented enough that the expectation was he'd be able to make some kind of an impact.

The bulk of the ends will be back next season, which means the position will again be an issue throughout spring practice and preseason practices.

Here's a look at the position in 2012:

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter