Florida Gators release video features on nine assistant football coaches

With a brand new staff looking to bring Florida Gators football back to respectability, the program rightly thought it would be worthwhile to give fans — and more importantly, recruits — a closer look at what each of its assistants brings to the table.

As such, over the last two months, Florida has been slow-releasing each of these profiles, which cover the coordinators and position coaches under head coach Jim McElwain.

Here are all nine of those videos.

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Florida Gators to add freshman legacy OL T.J. McCoy on hardship waiver

Three-star offensive lineman T.J. McCoy (Groveland, FL) committed to NC State out of high school and joined the team for 2015 spring practice. However, McCoy is now expected to suit up and play for the Florida Gators this season as familial circumstances have forced him to switch programs.

According to the Orlando Sentinel‘s Chris Hays, McCoy’s father is currently in remission from Leukemia, which he has been battling for years. His dad, former Gators All-SEC defensive tackle Tony McCoy, is slowly recovering but “hurting and struggling,” according to T.J. McCoy, who wanted to be much closer with his father during this tough time and will now get that chance.

“I talked to Coach [Dave] Doren and I explained to him what was going on with my father and he was very understanding,” the player told the Sentinel. “He granted me a hardship waiver and now I’m home and I am transferring to UF.”

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Florida adds JUCO OL Branton Autry for 2016

The Florida Gators on Wednesday added some much-needed experience at a shallow position when junior college offensive lineman Branton Autry committed to the team for the 2016 season.

Autry (6-foot-5, 320 pounds) plays offensive tackle for Coffeyville Community College and was named first-team all-conference last season. He chose Florida over offers from Arkansas, Arizona State, Baylor, Missouri, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Louisville and South Carolina, among others.

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2016 OT Stone Forsythe commits to Florida

Just days after receiving a scholarship offer from the Florida Gators, three-star offensive tackle Stone Forsythe (Winter Garden, FL) gave the program a verbal commitment.

“Officially committed to the University of Florida! #GoGators #GatorNation #ChompChomp,” he wrote on Twitter.

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Florida Gators OL Rod Johnson on retirement: ‘It can be taken away from you in just one play’

Less than one week ago, Florida Gators redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Roderick Johnson, a promising talent and the team’s best returning starter on the unit from a season ago, was told he must retire from football after being diagnosed with congenital cervical stenosis.

For the first time since the announcement, Johnson has decided to speak at length about the issue by releasing a statement through the school.

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Two of Florida Gators’ six ‘healthy’ scholarship offensive linemen underwent surgery

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.

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Florida Gators OL Roderick Johnson’s career over after cervical stenosis diagnosis

Updated on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Florida Gators redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Roderick Johnson, a promising talent and the team’s best returning starter from a season ago, will likely retire from football and end his career after being diagnosed with congenital cervical stenosis, the program announced on Tuesday.

Johnson, who started three games for Florida in 2014 and was expected to be an NFL prospect as soon as next season, received the official diagnosis on Monday. His medical condition was not discovered until he suffered a “stinger” in practice on April 3 that resulted in numbness of his hands. An MRI was done to ensure there were no other underlying medical issues, which is when doctors uncovered the cervical stenosis.

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McElwain: ‘Doesn’t look great’ for Florida Gators offensive tackle Roderick Johnson

The Florida Gators already incredibly thin offensive line was dealt a serious blow on April 3 when redshirt sophomore left tackle Roderick Johnson, the unit’s best returning player from a year ago, was ruled out indefinitely after suffering a stinger in practice.

Johnson was knocked out of action on last Friday when he got banged up in practice and noticed that his fingers were numb. Doctors that evaluated Johnson “found out there were some things that he might have had well before” the stinger, according to head coach Jim McElwain, and it was determined that further evaluation was needed.

On Saturday following Florida’s 2015 Orange & Blue Debut spring football game, McElwain sounded extremely pessimistic about Johnson’s prospects of playing this season – or possibly ever again.

“We actually should get the final [prognosis] on Monday. It doesn’t look great,” he said.

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