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The fight is on at safety for Gators



 The battle for starting jobs at safety has turned out to be among the most intense so far during the Gators’ preseason practices. 

“The safety battle is pretty tight right now because we have four guys that play like starters,’’ UF coach Urban Meyer said Thursday. 

Presumptive starters Major Wright and Ahmad Black are battling with fifth-year senior Dorian Munroe and sophomore Will Hill. That has made for some fierce competition.

“It's real tight, real tight,’’ Hill said. “We've got two people coming back as starters and Major has played since his freshman year and Black did a great job last year. So they are still doing what they've been doing for the last few years, and D-Mo is coming back for his senior year. I'm a sophomore trying to compete with these older guys, so every day is a battle. I want it bad. I want it just like Spikes wants his job. There's no slacking off with any one of us.’’

Assistant defensive coordinator Chuck Heater said the Gators can never have enough depth at the position. 

"We're not that developed,'' he said. "We've got three guys that played last year and (Munroe) coming off that difficult injury. That's four guys, then we've got Dee Finley and he's a young player that's developing.

So we don't have that many. I never feel like we have enough. I tell those guys all the time, if you earn the right to play, you'll go play and it's our job to be creative and get you on the field.''

Because of the type of defense the Gators play, most likely Hill will again see his share of playing time, starter or not.

“We play a lot of nickel, that’s why Will Hill got a lot of starts and playing time last year,’’ Meyer said. “We’ll probably play three safeties more than we’ll play two.’’

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 1:11pm]


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