Mark Schlabach ESPN Senior Writer
Defending SEC East champion Florida's defense was dealt a significant blow Thursday when the school announced senior safety Marcell Harris would miss the 2017 season with a torn right Achilles tendon he suffered Wednesday participating in team activities. "As a coach this is one of the hardest things you are faced with," coach Jim McElwain said. Harris played in all 13 games last season and started eight at safety. He totaled 73 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack and 2 interceptions. The Gators were already having to replace six starters from a defense that ranked fifth in FBS in total defense and sixth in scoring defense in 2016.