Florida Football News: Antonio Morrison Maturing Into Leader Of The Defense

Florida Gators middle linebacker Antonio Morrison's work ethic is legendary around the locker room and practice field in Gainesville.

“I mean, you’ll never see anyone practice like he does,” defensive end Brian Cox Jr. said, via Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel. “Every rep he gives is a game rep. That’s why he got better, and it shows in the game.”

That dedication to his craft has turned Morrison into one of the most improved Florida Gators on the 2014 squad. It has also turned him into an unquestioned leader for the defensive unit.

“He’s playing his best football here this year,” Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said. “He’s been consistent with how he performs every day with us.  He’s really stepped up as a leader.”

That consistency yielded major results last week in Athens. Thompson tallied 15 tackles in Florida's 38-20 upset of the Georgia Bulldogs, moving him to third in the SEC with 9.6 tackles per game.

His work this year has helped him turn 360 degrees from the troubles of 2013 when he was arrested twice within the span of the month. Focusing on football has paid dividends for the imposing Morrison both on and off the field.

“Just worked hard, worked hard the whole offseason,” Morrison said when asked what caused the difference in his play this year. “I didn’t want to have the same results, personally, and as a team as we did last year.”

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