Gators safety Rashad Torrence speaks on the new scheme and structure in Gainesville

Junior safety Rashad Torrence is looking to have his most impactful season yet for the Gators. Torrence started in all 13 games last season, finishing third on the team with 87 tackles (51 solo). Torrence added 3.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions, one fumble recovery, and two pass breakups to the stat sheet. 

Torrence says that Billy Napier has brought a new structure to Gainesville. 

“I feel like the structure is amazing,” Torrence said. “He breaks it down to where there isn’t any gray area, there isn’t any question about what you should be doing at certain times. It’s all scheduled out so there’s nothing that you have to really guess.”

Torrence and Napier have both discussed eliminating the “gray area”, a clear issue with last year’s defensive scheme. 

“It’s more of a confusion,” Torrence said. “When you have gray area, you are kind of indecisive about what your next step is. So, Billy Napier and his staff have kind of eliminated that from the football field to just life in general.”

Torrence believes the change in scheme will help the Gators this season. 

“The scheme we have now, it kind of depends on all 11 players doing their job, and when one guy tries to do another man’s job, it’s exposed,” Torrence said. 

The new scheme appears to hold the players accountable. Accountability was a major emphasis for Napier this offseason. 

Napier has drilled repetition into his players’ heads since the start of spring. 

“The installs have become easier just because of the repetition that we’ve had and the numerous times we’ve gone over the same calls and plays,” Torrence said. 

Torrence believes that Napier and Toney’s new scheme and structure has made him a better football player. 

“I feel more confident and comfortable in the back end,” Torrence said. Having guys that know that I know what I’m doing, and that they’re trusting in me that I’m going to put them in the right position, I feel like that’s going to push us forward as a whole defense.”

A new coaching staff is a drastic change for the players on the roster. Torrence says that the energy towards Billy Napier and the new scheme is positive in the locker room. 

“Through 100 guys you are going to have some guys that may nay-say or whatever, but throughout the whole team I feel like the energy is positive,” Torrence said. 

Torrence has high praise for defensive coordinator Patick Toney, saying it’s about how young he is. Toney is just 31 years old. 

“Just the way he can break down formations, to route concepts, to really anything on that defense,” Torrence said. “He’s a football geek, in my opinion, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Just picking his brain every day is phenomenal.”

Tackling is a skill that many teams struggle with early on in the season because it’s very difficult to practice without risking injury. Torrence explains how they are preparing for tackling.

“We do everything until we bring them to the ground,” Torrence said. “At that point once pads come on, it’s just a matter of bringing them to the ground. We do everything in terms of shuffle and shimmy into the man and right foot up. It’s just a matter of bringing him to the ground at that point, all the other tools are in the box.”

Torrence spoke highly of Gator newcomers Devin Moore and Jalen Kimber. 

“Jalen Kimber, I feel like is coming along real well, “Torrence said. He’s learning the play book, phenomenal, and I feel like he’s going to be able to create plays for us during the season.”

Torrence says Devin Moore’s length is a huge attribute to him and that he’s been displaying that in practice. 

Another newcomer Torrence is excited about is WR Ricky Pearsall. 

“I’m excited to see what Ricky Pearsall can do, “Torrence said. “Just the energy he brings and having a new face, most guys come in kind of timid, and he came in with the energy that he belongs here, and we’ve embraced that, it’s a good feeling.”

The wide receiving group as a whole has significantly improved since spring, according to Torrence. 

“The receiving core is coming along, they’ve meshed and gelled real well, we’ve added new pieces, some guys have moved around, but I feel like from the spring coming to fall camp now, it’s been a huge improvement,” Torrence said. 

The Gators starting safety last season is expected to get the nod again this year. A change in scheme and structure should allow Torrence and his teammates to be placed in a better position for success. 


Nick Marcinko
Nick is a recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Telecommunications. He is passionate about all sports but specifically baseball and football. Nick interned at Inside the Gators and worked part time with Knights247 before joining the Gator Country family. Nick enjoys spending his free time golfing and at the beach.