GAINESVILLE -- UF weak-side linebacker Dustin Doe is still listed behind Ryan Stamper on the Gators' depth chart but expect Doe to receive plenty of playing time on Saturday against South Carolina.
Doe is a talented linebacker in pass coverage and will be in the spotlight when lined up against South Carolina tight end Jared Cook, who is one of the best tight ends in the country. Cook leads South Carolina in receiving yards (542) and is second on the team in receptions (33) behind receiver Kenny McKinley (35 receptions).
"We're going to give him a couple looks but there will be a couple defenses where I will be manned up against him," Doe said. "We haven't faced a dynamic tight end this year. He's really good, he's athletic, he's fast and he can catch the ball, so I think it will be not only a big test for me but a big test for our defense."
Cook, a 6-5, 240-pound junior, has the two longest receptions of the season for South Carolina (66 and 63 yards) and is expected to be taken high in the upcoming NFL Draft. He had eight receptions for 111 yards against Vanderbilt.
"These are the type of players you want to play against," Doe said. "These are the type of players you come to the SEC to play against. He's an NFL-caliber guy, so to go out there and play with him and match up with him we can see how we match up with the best."
Doe wowed Florida fans and teammates against Georgia with his triumphant return from in-season surgery to correct sports hernia. He deflected two passes in the third quarter on back-to-back plays and later intercepted UGA quarterback Matthew Stafford. Doe had three tackles against Vanderbilt.
DORIAN MUNROE UPDATE
UF redshirt junior safety Dorian Munroe was cleared today to begin running and cutting. Munroe, a Miami native who starred for Miami Coral Reef, tore his anterior-cruciate ligament during the offseason.
RYAN STAMPER, MAN OF WISDOM
Redshirt junior weak-side linebacker Ryan Stamper is the oldest defender on the Gators' two-deep depth chart. According to fellow linebacker Dustin Doe, Stamper is "the old man" of the defense and often serves as judge and jury during locker room debates and discussions.
"Stamper is just an old man," Doe said. "He's real laidback. He's real chill. He kind of mopes around. He's just the old man of the group. We're sitting at the table and we have a dispute or an argument, everyone says, 'Stamp, what you think?' He gives his words of wisdom and then everyone says, 'I told you. If Stamp agrees with it, then it must be right.'"
Stamper has been more than just the locker room high priest this season. He is the team's most versatile linebacker and had seven tackles against Vanderbilt. Stamper has recorded 24 tackles in seven games this season and recovered two fumbles.
UF FOOTBALL HISTORIAN WEIGHS IN ON UF VS. SOUTH CAROLINA
There is no better expert on the significance of Steve Spurrier's return to UF than Norm Carlson, the UF sports information office's historian. Carlson began working for UF in 1963, Stephen Orr Spurrier's freshman year.
"You know Coach Spurrier will have his team very motivated to play," Carlson said. "He has one of the best defensive teams in the country, so [Florida] had better be ready. I think we will be ready, too. It should be a good game."
Carlson says Spurrier appears to have more confidence in South Carolina's new defensive coordinator, Ellis Johnson, than any Spurrier defensive coordinator since Bob Stoops. Stoops, now the head coach at Oklahoma, was the Gators' defensive coordinator from 1996 to 1998.
Before joining Spurrier at South Carolina this season, Johnson was the defensive coordinator for Mississippi State coach Sly Croom from 2004 to 2007. Johnson's 4-2-5 defense ranks first in the SEC in yards allowed (256.5) and third nationally.
BUCKY DENT'S SON SIGNS WITH UF
Cody Dent, the son of former Major League Baseball star Bucky Dent (known fondly by Red Sox fans by a more creative name), signed a baseball scholarship with the University of Florida on Wednesday. Cody Dent, a shortstop for Park Vista High in Palm Beach County, helped lead the Cobras on a 32-game winning streak last season, which ended with a loss to Lake Brantley in the 6A state championship game. Dent was an honorable mention all-county selection.