Football notebook: Defensive line rounding into shape

Florida defensive line coach Chris Rumph is expecting a productive season from lineman Taven Bryan. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent] It’s still too early to tell if former five-star defensive end Antonneous Clayton will make “the leap” this season.

After finishing his senior season in Dooly County, Ga., weighing 210 pounds, Clayton made it his mission to add mass to his frame.

So far, so good: Fellow defensive end CeCe Jefferson said Clayton’s physical development is impressive, and he expects a breakout season from the rising sophomore.

Yet defensive line coach Chris Rumph wouldn’t go as far as Jefferson.

Because while Clayton’s physical stature is promising, he still needs time adjusting to the speed of the college game before he can make a sizable impact for the Gators.

“He’s improved. He looked like he had a pretty good (practice), flew around, made some plays,” Rumph said. “Once the game slows down for him, the more he understands, the better he’s going to get, the faster he’s going to play."

But with Clayton expected to earn minutes on the outside of Florida’s defensive line, Rumph didn’t mince words when it came to Clayton’s progress from a technical aspect.

“He’s still raw,” Rumph emphasized.

Clayton isn’t the only potential starter Rumph is expecting to improve before Florida opens the season Sept. 2 against Michigan.

Defensive tackle Taven Bryan has matured and re-dedicated himself heading into his redshirt junior season, Rumph said, and it should impact his play on the field.

“He’s a very smart guy and he’ll come off sometimes as he’s being cocky, but that’s just Taven. He’s just carefree. That’s who he is. He loves the game,” Rumph said. “It took me a while to figure him out and for him to figure me out. He’s bought in and he’s learning, and he’s up in the office doing the same thing (Caleb) Brantley did toward the end of the year last year.”

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