Florida Football: 5 Players Who Must Step Up in Ronald Powell's Absence

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Florida Football: 5 Players Who Must Step Up in Ronald Powell's Absence
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Everything was looking up for the Florida Gators, but then Ronald Powell tore his ACL. After leading the team in sacks a year ago, Powell will likely miss most, if not the entire 2012 season. 

It's a loss that hits the defense hard.

With Jaye Howard moving on to the NFL, no other Gator had more than three sacks last season. The Gators' defense was ranked eighth in the country last year and returned 10 starters. For the Gators' defense to rise above the rest, someone will have to fill the hole left by Powell.

Incoming freshman Dante Fowler Jr. chose the Gators over the Seminoles because he felt as though he would get on the field quicker. It may have been a wise choice, but will another freshman step up? Or will Muschamp have to do some maneuvering to find the right replacement?

Here are the five Gators that must increase production for the Florida defense to remain one of the best in the entire country.

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