August 27, 2009

Will Hill pushing Major Wright for starting spot

Not a whole lot seemingly going on today for the Florida Gators football team, as even the slight leaks to the media that we've had since practices closed to the public are starting to dry up.

That's no real surprise, as the Gators tend to keep their game-planning type practices completely sealed to the public and even the media.

Today, I'll comment on the position battle at safety, where sophomore Will Hill is pushing incumbent starter Major Wright hard for the starting spot.

Hill has undoubtedly already worked his way into a significant amount of playing time this year and has the coverage skills to play the nickel back spot, which he will probably do frequently until he wins the starting job.

While Wright has absolutely brought the pain to wide receivers and running backs during his career at Florida, he lacks the level of coverage skill that Will Hill offers. We saw this several times last year, as Hill picked off passes and quickly took them the other way.

That's not to say that Major Wright is inept in pass coverage, just that he frequently takes bad angles and the majority of his interceptions have come from tips and bobbles, rather than jumping a route, like Hill tends to be better at.

Personally, I think Hill will break into the starting role by the third or fourth game of the season. We are also likely to see a good bit of rotation between the two based on the situation. Wright will likely primarily play in running downs, while Hill will be on the field in obvious passing situations.

Major Wright is a terrific player in his own right, but Hill will eventually win the starting job because his ceiling is much higher. In fact, Joe Haden even called him "the best player on defense" following a practice earlier in the week.

With some of the players on the Florida Gators defense, that's quite high praise for Will Hill.

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