The Weber State Wildcats are starting to make some noise as the football team looks to prove all the critics wrong about the up-and-coming season.
One key member of the 2013 team will be returning to the field for his senior season: Deon’tae Florence, one of the top cornerbacks in the Big Sky Conference. Florence played in nine games this past year, recording 30 total tackles along with four interceptions. He finished second in the Big Sky in interceptions and second in passes defended with eight pass deflections.
“Really the goal is all about the team, I just want to be a leader on a team that breaks into the playoffs and surprises everyone,” Florence said. “I just want to help my team as much as I can.”
Last season, Florence earned all-conference honorable mentions for his play on the field. Florence was a transfer from Boise State, where he played mostly special teams and saw a few snaps at the cornerback spot.
“I had a great coach at Boise State in Chris Peterson,” Florence said. “First thing I said (WSU football head coach Jay Hill) is a young Chris Peterson. He doesn’t have the wins, but I think they will come and he will be a great coach.”
Florence graduated from Armwood High School in Largo, FL and he had some role models to look up to at a young age.
“I had a big cousin go to the NFL and my brother, who has been in the NFL for 11 years,” Florence said. “I would watch those guys and say I want to follow the same route.”
Florence will be looked at as a leader in the locker room for the upcoming season. The Wildcats’ defense will be led by Justin Ena in his first season as defensive coordinator, joining the staff after eight seasons at Southern Utah.
“We have a great staff that came in,” Florence said. “It’s never fun losing, and I think if I’m a big asset to the team and help contribute to the wins that is going to be a joy for the team. We have good coaches and the program is turning around and I don’t know how (Jerry Bovee) got these guys here, he did a great job because he brought in some great coaches.”
The Wildcats will open up the season against PAC-12 squad Arizona State and Florence is ready for the opportunity to play one of the top teams in the nation.
“I’m excited, it’s going to be a big opportunity,” Florence said. “It will be a good challenge.”