Three injured Gators football starters finally cleared for contact, Jim McElwain announces

By Adam Silverstein
May 31, 2016
Three injured Gators football starters finally cleared for contact, Jim McElwain announces
Football

Image Credit: UAA

The road to recovery has been a long one for senior linebacker Alex Anzalone, junior wide receiver Brandon Powell and sophomore offensive lineman Martez Ivey, but the Florida Gators starters have now been cleared to work out in full with the team once it reconvenes for summer practice.

Head coach Jim McElwain, speaking at the 2016 SEC Media Days on Tuesday in Destin, Florida, confirmed to reporters in attendance that Anzalone and Ivey (shoulders) and Powell (foot) have been cleared to participate in full-contact practices.

A former five-star prospect, Anzalone is somehow still an unknown quantity. Injuries his freshman season and depth at the position limited his snaps and development early on. With 2015 looking to be a breakout campaign for the newly-minted starter, Anzalone suffered a serious shoulder injury and missed the final 12 games of the season. The talent and ability is there with Anzalone, and now he has the opportunity to step into an even further depleted linebacking corps that is counting on him to help lead the defense.

Ivey is a sure-fire starter along the offensive line for the Gators now that he’s healthy. He gained some much-needed experience as a true freshman in 2015 and now has the opportunity to start at a tackle spot for Florida’s re-tooled offensive line under assistant Mike Summers.

Powell’s injured foot hampered his ability to breakout in 2015 as many, including McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, expected. McElwain said that Powell has now been fit with a special shoe that should allow him to stay healthy going forward.

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