Florida Gators 5-star freshman OT Martez Ivey set for surgery (torn meniscus), will miss opener

Five-star freshman offensive tackle Martez Ivey, a gem from the Florida Gators‘ talented 2015 recruiting class and potential starter along the offensive line, will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his knee and be sidelined for team’s season opener on Saturday, Sept. 5 (and possibly longer).

Head coach Jim McElwain addressed Ivey’s injury at a post-practice media availability on Thursday. “He’ll be back,” McElwain said. “I don’t know how quickly … but it doesn’t appear to be a season-ending [injury] or anything like that.”

Orlando Sentinel recruiting writer Chris Hays spoke with Ivey’s coach at Apopka High School, James Delgado, who related that Ivey suffered a “slightly” torn meniscus in his left knee that could keep him out of action for 2-4 weeks (1-3 games seeing as the season opener is a week away).

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Florida Gators practice update: Receivers improving, new faces helping passing game

While the focus to this point has been on who will line up under center (or in the shotgun) for the Florida Gators, head coach Jim McElwain has been harping on another position’s need for improvement in order to get his passing attack to resemble something that would help the Gators win football games.

Up until this week, McElwain has been highly critical of Florida’s wide receivers, noting that they were struggling with running crisp routes, being consistent (not just between practices but between plays) and completing the action that is most critical at their position – hauling in the football.

McElwain changed his tune a bit on Tuesday.

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Florida Gators practice update: Four injuries, three suspensions … and two quarterbacks?

Will the Florida Gators starting quarterback be decided before the team’s season opener against New Mexico State on Sept. 5? Only head coach Jim McElwain knows for sure, but he certainly made it seem Friday like he would feel perfectly comfortable if the gig was still up for grabs in two weeks.

“We’ll be OK if we go into [the first game] and let them kind of play and kind of go from there and see who plays under the lights the best, you know, might be a two[-quarterback situation],” he said.

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Florida Gators practice update: Offense using newfound tight end depth to its advantage

Gainesville, Florida, may once again become a bastion of tight end development and production – perhaps as soon as this season – if Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain is to be believed.

McElwain, who was in a suspiciously positive mood for large portions of his media availability Monday, sang the praises of Florida’s tight end corps, led by redshirt senior Jake McGee.

The overly complimentary nature of McElwain’s comments was rare not just for the coach but for anyone speaking about the Gators’ tight end situation over the last few seasons.

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Florida Gators practice update: McElwain worried about disaster, happy with ‘darn good’ scrimmage

Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain was unable to sleep Thursday night. He was worried that Friday’s scrimmage, his first with the team this fall, would be an unmitigated disaster. Luckily, his apprehension only amounted to nerves and not actuality.

“I’ll be quite honest with you: I didn’t sleep last night thinking this could be a disaster, and it actually turned out pretty darn good,” he quipped. “I guess that’s comforting, I don’t know.”

Specifically, McElwain was concerned about how Florida’s freshmen – the Gators will be counting on plenty this season, especially on offense – would hold up in the scrimmage. He was ultimately proud of the way they competed and thought Friday’s effort was positive overall.

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Florida Gators practice update: Freshman DE CeCe Jefferson gets rave reviews; injury updates

Freshman defensive end CeCe Jefferson received plenty of hype as a consensus five-star prospect and one of the top recruits in the country, but his dragged-out signing process after committing to the Florida Gators on National Signing Day earned him national headlines. Now, five practices into his Florida career, Jefferson is the topic of conversation again – for all the right reasons.

“He’s one of the young guys doing a heck of a job. He shows up, and he’s not the only young guy that’s been stepping up. I’m sure that he’s here. He’s a guy that can make an impact,” said head coach Jim McElwain after Monday’s practice, the first for the Gators in pads this fall. “[Defensive line coach Chris] Rumph really enjoys working with him. He’s a guy that’s eager to learn, jumped right in at everything we’re doing. That just speaks volumes of the type of kid he is, too.”

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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 coach Jim McElwain counters Will Muschamp, calls roster ‘really insufficient’

Will Muschamp was humble when he departed the Florida Gators, but he did not leave without making one definitive statement about what he was leaving behind and how well the team would be positioned entering 2015.

“They’ve got a deep and talented roster, so don’t let that new guy tell you they don’t have any players,” Muschamp warned with a smile last November.

Well, let’s just say that now over three months into his tenure with the Gators, new head coach Jim McElwain does not necessarily agree with Muschamp’s parting statement.

“You’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt and right now, quite honestly, the hand we were dealt is really insufficient at some of the areas,” he said Friday.

McElwain was responding to a question about Florida’s offensive line, which returns just eight scholarship offensive linemen (seven healthy this spring), most of which were relatively inexperienced and had not seen much game action.

But his comments were about other parts of the roster, too, as offensive line is not the only position where depth is a major concern for the Gators. UF entered the spring with three scholarship running backs (one of whom has been moved to wide receiver) and six scholarship linebackers, neither position deep enough for McElwain to be worry-free entering the season.

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