8/9: Muschamp on injuries, Morrison, team issues

By Adam Silverstein
August 9, 2013

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media after his team’s first full week of fall practice ahead of the 2013 season.

ILLNESS / INJURY UPDATES

The bad news: In addition to announcing the re-torn anterior cruciate ligament for freshman linebacker Matt Rolin and expressing his hope redshirt senior wide receiver/kick returner Andre Debose returns for a sixth year of eligibility (see “Notes & Quotes” below), Muschamp discussed three new injuries on Friday.

Seniors defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (sprained knee) and defensive back Jaylen Watkins (sprained foot) will each miss approximately 10 days with their ailments.

Additionally, freshman offensive lineman Roderick Johnson, who enrolled in the fall and entered camp with a pre-existing injury to his meniscus, will have knee surgery on Friday and sit out the next 3-4 weeks. It was unlikely that Johnson saw the field for the Gators this season anyway, but the surgery certainly puts him further behind and makes a redshirt season appear all but guaranteed.

The good news: Redshirt junior left guard Max Garcia (back) has been cleared for non-contact individual work, according to Muschamp. Redshirt senior right guard Jon Halapio (torn pectoral) is meeting with doctors Friday and hoping to be cleared to return to action by Monday at the latest. Redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Trip Thurman (shoulder) remains on track to return Monday as well.

While there is not a full update on sophomore running back Matt Jones (viral infection), Muschamp said he should know more next week. Jones has been able to participate in cardiovascular exercise this week but has not practiced with the team.


SUSPENSION TO BE REDUCED?

Sophomore linebacker Antonio Morrison, who was suspended indefinitely from team activities as well as for the first two games of the regular season, participated in meetings and practice for the first time on Thursday.

Muschamp discussed Morrison’s reinstatement to the team.

“Antonio Morrison joined us [Thursday] in camp after missing a week. He’s still working through some things for me,” he said. “I felt like a week of camp for him missing was a pretty strong statement to him. He’s still working through some things, but he’s still a part of our team. He was never not a part of our team; he was just suspended from all team activities.”

Asked if he has reconsidered Morrison’s two-game suspension, Muschamp was non-committal in either direction – upholding the two games or reducing the suspension to one game. “I’m still working through that. He’s still going through some things for me right now. We’re just working through that at this point,” he said.

Muschamp also addressed how much he has conversed with Morrison as of late and the way in which he is dealing with his suspension and additional punishment.

“He and I had a really good conversation Wednesday afternoon, talked about a lot of things and where things were,” Muschamp said. “We’ve talked continuously through the summer. It’s part of being the head coach. When a young man has poor judgment, you work him through it, you educate him and you help him. That’s what we’re doing.

“I don’t treat these guys any different than I treat my sons. It’s called ‘tough love.’”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On the kicking competition:Brad [Phillips]’s had a little bit of a pulled groin that has slowed him a little bit. [Freshman walk-on] Danny Krysalka is a young man out of Ocala that we brought in…the ball jumps off his foot. And Austin [Hardin] has been the most consistent to this point. Nothing has been settled.”

» On how the wide receivers are developing: “I’ve been very pleased. I think Quinton Dunbar, again, continues to be a leader among that group. Trey Burton is a guy that I don’t ever mention because Trey kind of does a lot of things, but Trey is going to play in the slot. He’s a tough cover, he’s a bigger guy that can run a lot of the option bounce routes and things. The two young guys that jump out at you are Ahmad Fulwood and Demarcus Robinson. Both of those guys figure to get down the field vertically and do some nice things for us. Solomon Patton is a guy we’ve been very pleased with. Solomon is a guy we do different things with. I’ve been pleased. I really have.”

» On Debose tearing his ACL and missing the entire 2013 season: “Obviously very disappointed with the situation with Andre Debose, a guy that went through spring, had a really good spring, practiced all 15 days. By all accounts had an outstanding summer, showed up in great shape, attention to detail, doing the things you got to do to be a good football player. He had five really good days [of fall practice]. It was a non-contact injury; he was running a reverse to the sideline there and just panted on his foot and his knee buckled. No rhyme or reason for why that happens at times. I’m so disappointed for him. Where he was and where he had come from in our time here, again I’ve said it before, some guys mature earlier or later for whatever reason. I felt like he had certainly turned the corner. There’s a possibility of him coming back for a sixth year. He and I have discussed that a little bit, but we’re in the early stages right now. He’s very, extremely disappointed. Extremely disappointed.”

» Redshirt senior defensive back Jeremy Brown graduates on Saturday.

» On Florida making a march to the SEC Championship Game: “Talk is cheap. You got to do it on the field. But I’m glad our guys have confidence that’s going to happen. I feel like we’ve got a deep roster. I think that we have depth at some positions. Any time you talk about a run to Atlanta, you got to have some things fall your way. And obviously right now, we’re probably missing, in parts, six or seven guys that we are counting on to be starters or major contributors to our football team.”

» On if senior defensive lineman Dominique Easley is a leader: “I think certainly Dominique, the way he plays the game, he’s not a real vocal guy with the football team. But he goes out, with the way he performs and the way he attacks practice and games, is certainly a leader. … He’s going to compete. He’s one of the first guys I’m looking for to make sure he’s on the bus going to the stadium because he’s a guy that’s going to compete. He’s going to play hard, and he’s going to play hard for his teammates. His teammates are important to him. His team is important to him. He’s as good of a competitor as I’ve been around on game days and in practice.”

» On whether he thinks a stipend of pay for players is forthcoming: “I think eventually it’s going to happen. I don’t think there’s any question. As far as the autograph stuff, we try to educate our guys. It’s hard when a little boy comes up and asks for your autograph. Are you going to tell him no? As long as the player’s not benefiting from it in an illegal way, there’s nothing wrong with it. You don’t know whose putting it on eBay and all that stuff. When they made this rules back in whatever year that was, they didn’t have eBay I don’t think. … There’s no question I think our players need to have some type of spending stipend, cost of attendance, whatever they want to term it as. Obviously the money’s there, so I think it’s obvious that something needs to happen. When that’ll happen? I don’t know. But I think it’s inevitable that it will.”

4 Comments

  1. Kaleb says:

    I’ve always had a good feeling about Ahmad Fullwood, I see him as being our Julio Jones……..

  2. Michael Jones says:

    Glad to hear Muschamp have all of those positive things to say about Debose. Glad that he wants him to return for a 6th season.

    Also glad that he is considering reducing Morrison’s suspension, particularly since the second incident turned out not to be as bad as originally thought.

    GO GATORS!!!

  3. Aligator says:

    Great Job Adam!!

  4. ccec1 says:

    Any word on Alex Anzalone?

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