Gone are CeCe Jefferson and Jachai Polite, who combined for 25.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks in 2018. Who steps up to fill their roles? Jabari Zuniga could very well be that guy: He’s the leading returner in tackles for loss (11) and sacks (6.5). Others who could step up are Jonathan Greenard, Jeremiah Moon and Andrew Chatfield and Bogle.3. Gators’ momentumMullen’s first season in Gainesville was, by all accounts, a fantastic debut. Not only did the Gators turn around a 4-8 season with a 10-3 campaign, they also beat ranked teams in Mississippi State, Fiesta bowl champion LSU and Sugar Bowl opponent Michigan. The question now becomes: Can Florida keep that momentum going in 2019? It bookends the seasons with rebuilding programs in Miami and Florida State, and that could go a long way in Mullen making Florida the premiere in-state program. But then there’s No. 3 Georgia (which beat the Gators 37-16 last year), No. 7 LSU (looking to avenge its 27-19 loss) and No. 16 Auburn. It’s a tough challenge for Mullen and Co., but the Gators seem to have bought in to what he’s selling there in Gainesville. MORE: SN’s pre-preseason rankings for 2019The Gators look to have another challenging year ahead of them, but it goes without saying that everyone has bought into the Dan Mullen way of doing things — part of the reason Florida is ranked No. 9 in Sporting News’ pre-preseason top 25 for 2019. Can the Gators continue their improvement under Mullen in his second year?Here’s a closer look at the Gators heading into 2019:Florida football schedule 2019DateOpponentLocationAug. 31MiamiOrlando, Fla.Sept. 7UT MartinGainesville, Fla.Sept. 14at KentuckyLexington, Ky.Sept. 21TennesseeGainesville, Fla.Sept. 28TowsonGainesville, Fla.Oct. 5No. 16 AuburnGainesville, Fla.Oct. 12No. 7 LSUBaton Rouge, La.Oct. 19at South CarolinaColumbia, S.C.Oct. 26ByeOffNov. 2No. 3 GeorgiaJacksonville, Fla.Nov. 9VanderbiltGainesville, Fla.Nov. 16at MissouriColumbia, Mo.Nov. 23ByeOffNov. 30Florida StateGainesville, Fla.Dec. 7SEC championshipAtlantaBold denotes SEC gameMORE: SEC 2019 primerFlorida football recruiting 2019The Gators pulled in a stellar 2019 class — just Mullen’s second in Gainesville. It ranked ninth nationally and fifth in the SEC according to 247Sports’ Composite team rankings. Florida secured four top-100 recruits all defensive players, headlined by cornerbacks Chris Steele and Kaiir Elam, defensive end Khris Bogle and linebacker Tyrone Hopper. Florida football roster 2019Florida’s football roster will be updated in the spring and fall here.MORE: Early predictions for 2019 seasonWhat to watch from Florida in 20191. The quarterback positionFeleipe Franks hasn’t always been the fan favorite in Gainesville, but he showed a tremendous amount of growth at the position last year, completing 58.4 percent of his passes for 2,457 yards and 24 touchdowns to six interceptions. That included a four-game stretch to end the season (all wins) in which he completed 63 of 97 passes for 862 yards and eight touchdowns. But redshirt-freshman Emory Jones was the first big-name recruit of the Mullens era, and many expect him to challenge Franks for the starting position this spring.2. Defensive line It’s Year 2 of the Dan Mullen era in Gainesville, and if the first year is anything to go off of, the Gators have a lot to look forward in 2019.Mullen helped turn around a disastrous 2017 season by improving the offensive and scoring a couple of key upsets en route to a 10-3 season. That said, the Gators also lost to SEC East opponent Kentucky for the first time in 31 years — something the Florida contingent will want corrected as soon as possible.