Florida has made a strong case to be considered "DBU" over the last decade, but bad news hit the defensive backfield Thursday morning. The school announced that starting safety Marcell Harris will miss the season after suffering a torn right Achilles tendon. He suffered the injury Wednesday participating in team run activities.

"As a coach this is one of the hardest things you are faced with," coach Jim McElwain said in a statement released by Florida. "Here is a kid who has made great personal growth during his time here and has really matured both on and off the field. It is tough to see a player invest so much in himself and his teammates and have this happen, but I do know that we will support him every step of the way as he works through this injury."

It's a huge hit to a Florida team that's known for defense but will be facing a massive rebuild in 2017 with less than a handful of starters returning from its 2016 unit. Here are four things to know about the injury, and where Florida goes from here.

1. It's a massive loss in run and pass situations: Harris had a team-high 73 tackles, four for loss, one sack, two interceptions and one fumble return for a touchdown last season -- his first as a full-time starter -- for the SEC East champion Gators. The 6-foot-1, 211-pound Orlando native was ultra-reliable sticking his nose in to stop the run a year ago, plays with the intensity that McElwain wants from his defenders and was a reliable leader for the team.