Two of the six “healthy” scholarship offensive linemen the Florida Gators will bring into summer workouts underwent surgery early this week.
According to head coach Jim McElwain, who met with the media ahead of a speaking engagement at the Titletown Gator Club in Gainesville, sophomore tackle David Sharpe and redshirt sophomore lineman Antonio Riles each had (relatively) minor surgery following spring practice.
Sharpe, who is expected to start at left tackle for the Gators this season, had a “cosmetic” procedure done to his eye, according to The Gainesville Sun’s Robbie Andreu.
Playing basketball as recently as Sunday, Sharpe tweeted Monday that he was set for surgery, only to delete the message. On Tuesday, he wrote: “Surgery went well #Blessed.”
Riles, a converted defensive end who is just beginning to get comfortable on offense, went under the knife after being diagnosed with a sports hernia.
With redshirt sophomore tackle Roderick Johnson’s career over and the future of redshirt senior OL Trip Thurman still up in the air after offseason shoulder surgery, Florida’s offensive line is not just thin, it’s also severely wounded.
Thurman is the Gators’ seventh returning scholarship linemen, though only four – redshirt sophomore center Cameron Dillard and redshirt freshmen Travaris Dorsey, Kavaris Harkless and Andrew Mike – appear to be without health concerns entering the summer.
Returning offensive line coach Mike Summers undoubtedly has his work cut out for him this summer when those six or seven players will be joined by six true freshmen, including five-star OT Martez Ivey.