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Florida-Miami nuggets, including why Amari Burney is one of the most important Gators

NFL draft prospects to watch and more odds and ends on the Florida Gators-Miami Hurricanes opener.

Local of the week

Florida LB Amari Burney (Calvary Christian): You won’t find many players more important to the Gators than Burney. The sophomore spent most of the spring preparing to play linebacker (where he’s a co-starter) but is also on the two-deep at star defensive back thanks to UF’s thin secondary. His flexibility will be vital, especially if an injury or targeting call hits the Gators’ depth even more.

RELATED: Orlando opener comes full circle for Florida Gators’ Jonathan Greenard

Three prospects NFL fans should be watching

1. Florida cornerback CJ Henderson: Far-too-early mock drafts already list the Miami native as a potential first-round pick. It’ll be especially interesting if he defends…

2. Miami receiver K.J. Osborn: The 6-foot IMG Academy product could have entered the NFL draft out of Buffalo last season but transferred to Miami to boost his stock. He already looks like one of the Hurricanes’ top weapons.

3. Florida running back Lamical Perine: He, too, could have gone pro but returned for another college season. Perine has led UF in rushing each of the last two years and has potential at the next level.

RELATED: What will the Florida Gators-Miami Hurricanes crowd split be?

Matchup to watch

The football cliché of games being won in the trenches is true here. Both teams have iffy offensive lines; the Hurricanes have struggled there recently, and the Gators are replacing four starters. Both teams have good defensive fronts with potential star ends like UF’s Jabari Zuniga and Miami’s Jonathan Garvin. Both quarterbacks will likely be under pressure, which means Jarren William’s first career start for the ’Canes won’t be easy.

Miami’s awesome-looking Aussie

Miami punter Louis Hedley earned national attention on signing day for his size (6-4, 230 pounds), past (a former Australian rules football player) and the fact that he’s covered in tattoos.

“It’s pretty much one tattoo, just merged,” Hedley said.

His first was his last name, under his right bicep. He got it when he sneaked off into an alley while visiting his aunt in Hong Kong at age 15.

Mom, she didn’t really mind,” Hedley said. “My older brother has a lot of tattoos. I grew up trying to be like him.”

UM punter Louis Hedley works on catching the ball during the Miami Hurricanes first practice of the fall camp, Friday, July 26, 2019. [MICHAEL LAUGHLIN | South Florida Sun Sentinel]

RELATED: Q&A with Louis Hedley, the Miami Hurricanes’ heavily tattooed, 6-foot-4 Aussie punter

By the numbers

29-26 —Miami’s all-time record in the series. The ’Canes have won seven of the last eight

135 — Consecutive passes without an interception by Florida’s Feleipe Franks. That’s the fourth-best mark in school history

9 —Returning Gators who caught a touchdown last season

6Players from the transfer portal on Miami’s two-deep

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