Florida football picked fifth in SEC East, three players make All-SEC third team

Florida football was picked to finish fifth in the SEC East and had three players make the All-SEC third team in the conference's annual preseason media poll.
Running back Trevor Etienne made the All-SEC third team offense, while cornerback Jason Marshall Jr. and defensive end Princely Umanmielen earned all third-team defensive honors.
Florida was picked ahead of Vanderbilt (7th) and Missouri (6th) after coming off back-to-back 6-7 seasons. Florida went 3-5 in the SEC last year, which included losses within the division to Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Georgia.
The Gators have revamped the roster entering the second season under head coach Billy Napier with 34 new players, including 13 from the transfer portal. There is hope the combination of the new influx of talent and more familiarity with the system in year two will result in progress in Napier's second season.
Florida returns four starters on offense and five starters on defense but will break in a new starter at quarterback -- either Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz or redshirt sophomore Jack Miller.
Florida players at SEC Media Days this week didn't seem fazed about the low expectations for the Gators.
"As a team we don't let outside noise dictate who we are, what we do," Florida center Kingsley Eguakun said.
All-SEC honorees
Etienne played in all 13 games in his freshman season for the Gators ranking second on the team in rushing yards (719) and yards per carry (6.1). His 719 yards on the ground ranked fourth-most by a freshman in program history.
As UF's top cover corner, Marshall led UF in pass breakups last season with eight, had one interception and allowed no touchdowns in over 300-plus coverage snaps according to Pro Football Focus.
Umanmielen had a breakout season for the Gators in 2022, recording 9.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and five quarterback hurries. He projects to get more pressure off the edge this season under new defensive coordinator Austin Armstrong's blitzing scheme.

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