If you quickly think of the phrase "Florida Gators," the first thing that probably pops into your mind is Tim Tebow, and understandably so, with all of the media coverage devoted to him these days.
But when you really sit down and take a few minutes to think about what defines the Florida Gators football team, a strong (or Strong, as in Charlie Strong) defense is what has made the Gators one of the best teams the past several seasons.
The unit has seen the likes of Reggie Nelson, Brandon Spikes, Derrick Harvey, Joe Haden, Carlos Dunlap and Jarvis Moss terrorizing opposing offenses, only for those offenses to see the next superstar step into the void left behind by his predecessor. With those stars and others (Major Wright, Jermaine Cunningham) gone from the Gators and left for the history books as national champions, it's time for the new crop of defensive talents to step up and take over for the Gators.
There are a lot of holes to fill, but rest assured, there is an unbelievable influx of talent heading to Gainesville to take their place (Have you seen their recruiting class? You might have heard something about it). The Gators will be fine and ready to continue their tradition of defensive excellence. The only question is which players will attempt to fill the mighty large shoes left by crews that have taken two national championships in the past four seasons.
So who is expected to be an X-Factor for Florida's new-look defense in 2010?