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NCAA Football

Gator Bites: “Big 3″ Grow Up, Big Commit Has Surgery, Dunbar Stepping Up

Gator Bites: A recap of the days biggest and best stories featuring the Florida Gators.

Florida’s “Big 3″ Mature
Before any one of them ever played a down of football for the University of Florida, Dominique Easley dubbed himself, and fellow defensive lineman Shariff Floyd and the nation’s number one recruit Ronald Powell the “Big 3″. Because of their high ranking (Easley and Floyd were the top two DTs in their class), they came into camp with a sense of entitlement. Their attitude caused a giant rift between the upper classmen and the under classmen. They have had a change in demeanor this year that makes even head coach Will Muschamp gush:

“When you come in and you have all these accolades, it’s hard not to listen. I always tell the guys that’s why you need to remove all the external stuff because it’s never as good as it seems, and it’s never as bad as it seems, either. Unfortunately, some guys listen to a lot of that stuff and all of a sudden they start to think they’re better than they really are. … [Powell] gets it now. He understands that process. I think he’s matured, and I’m very pleased with where he is.”

Powell is moving to the Muschamp tailored “Buck” position, which is a hybrid LB/DE position where he’ll be relied on to apply pressure on the quarterback or drop into coverage to blanket tight ends. Powell seems to have the all in attitude needed for success:

“We’re going to do it together. It’s going to take all of us to do it. We’re going to do it together.”

Easley says the process has made them wiser and understand situations better. Florida never seemed to have great chemistry last season. Now, everyone has the same mentality, making this the closest team in terms of chemistry we’ve seen since 2008.

Big Florida Commit Goes Under the Knife
Armwood High School’s Matt Jones, a 6-foot-2 200 pound running back, had surgery Thursday August 11 to repair a partially torn meniscus in his right knee. Jones injured the knee at a UCF camp, when he right leg planted into the ground while he was cutting up field. Armwood head coach Sean Callahan doesn’t expect the arthroscopic surgery to keep him sidelined long.

“He came out good. Everything went fine. We won’t have him for the first game at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, and then we got Brandon the next week and an open week after that, so hopefully he’ll be ready for what will be Week 3 of the regular season (Sept. 16, vs. Tampa Bay Tech.”

Jones is four star recruit and the number 92 overall prospect according to Scout.com.

Dunbar Fills Void
Quiton Dunbar has been one of the most talked about players on the Gators football team since Muschamp took over as coach. Dunbar is providing that deep threat Florida’s sorely been missing since Percy Harvin took his talents to the NFL. Dunbar has worked his way up the depth chart to be in the top 3 receivers after spending most of last season sidelined with a hamstring injury. Dunbar keeps drawing praise from Muschamp and QB John Brantley for his increased consistency and ability to stretch the field.