Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain announced Wednesday the trio of players that will accompany him to Hoover, Alabama for the 2017 SEC Media Days. And for the second straight year, it won’t be any potential offensive stars.
Instead, McElwain will be joined by safety Marcell Harris, defensive back Duke Dawson, and offensive tackle Martez Ivey.
Harris is a senior safety that will look to lead the Gator defense once more after leading the team in tackles last season with 73 tackles. He also accumulated two interceptions, one sack, a forced fumble and another fumble returned for a touchdown.
Dawson is another senior that will be a leader on defense as he transitions from the nickel cornerback position to the outside cornerback spot. This move comes after the Gators secondary lost both Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson to the NFL.
Ivey is a junior that will be starting at left tackle this season, moving over from the guard position where he played his first two years. In 2016, Ivey earned two SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week awards as well as earning second-team All-SEC honors.
This mimics the roster of players coach McElwain brought with him to the 2016 Media Day. It seems strange that McElwain is focusing on his defensive players when he has always been known to be a more offensive-minded coach.
He could have chosen to bring either of his two quarterbacks, Luke Del Rio or newcomer Malik Zaire, who are competing for the starting position. He also could have brought junior running back Jordan Scarlett to Alabama. However, McElwain chose to stay away from putting his offensive playmakers in the Media Day spotlight.
With star wide receiver Antonio Calloway possibly receiving a suspension and an offensive skill player at SEC Media Day for the Gators, there will be plenty of questions for coach McElwain to answer about his offense.