Image Credit: ESPNI
Junior transfer Dre Massey was an offseason bright spot for the Florida Gators, a player who was supposed to play a key role in fixing an offense that has lacked playmakers for years. As it turns out, he will have to wait another year to do just that.
Massey, who injured his knee in the opening kickoff in Saturday’s contest against the UMass Minutemen, never returned to the game after halftime. On Monday, head coach Jim McElwain confirmed that Massey will not play again this season.
“Big loss that we’re going to need some guys to step up. Obviously Dre Massey hurt his leg and he’ll be out. He’ll get that operated on when the swelling goes down. He’ll be out for the year,” he said. “Dre [got hurt] on the very opening kickoff and played all the way through halftime on something that needs to be surgically repaired. That shows you his toughness and his want to do what he can for this football team.”
Massey, who was listed as the starting kick returner No. 3 wide receiver on Saturday, barely saw the field after returning the opening kickoff back. He was pulled from the game and brought to the locker room for evaluation.
“Everything happens for a reason, we won’t always understand..” Massey wrote on Twitter early Sunday afternoon.
This is certainly a massive blow for the Gators, which had big plans for Massey.
His presence gave Florida a one-two punch in speedy, shifty wideouts along with junior Brandon Powell. He was also expected to serve as the primary returner, reducing Powell’s snap count as he works his way back from a foot injury that cost him much of 2015.
“Man, he gives us a lot of versatility in a lot of different ways — not only in the return game but in a lot of things that we’re going to do offensively,” McElwain said during fall camp. “He’s one of those kind of multi-spot guys. He can throw it. He can catch it. He can run it. So he’s another guy to be looking for in that [return] situation.”
Massey was not the only Florida player to go down Saturday as junior defensive back Duke Dawson also injured his arm. Dawson, however, tweeted the following Sunday: “[Gator] nation I’m good, I will be back for UK.”
One of the five things we learned from UF’s 24-7 win over UMass was that the Gators need all their horses this season. Losing a player of Massey’s talent and potential this early is most certainly a step in the wrong direction for Florida.
Massey will be able to take a medical redshirt and retain two seasons of eligibility.