Florida LB Powell out indefinitely with torn ACL

By Adam Silverstein
April 9, 2012

The Florida Gators’ best spring performer may not return to the team until late in the fall as junior Buck linebacker Ronald Powell was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament after injuring his left knee in the 2012 Orange & Blue Debut on Saturday.

Head coach Will Muschamp said after the scrimmage that Powell had just sprained his knee and would be fine, but a MRI on the knee obviously revealed more extensive damage. He will be sidelined at least 4-6 months following surgery with his rehabilitation determining his return to the field. Many ACL tears take longer to recover from meaning Powell’s absence could drag on for the majority of the season.

“Ronald is in good spirits and is very eager to do whatever is necessary to have a healthy, speedy recovery,” Muschamp told GatorZone.com‘s Scott Carter on Monday. “He has already started with prehab and once the swelling goes down and he regains his range of motion, he will have the surgery.”

Powell is the second Gators defender to tear his ACL in recent months as junior defensive tackle Dominique Easley went down with the same injury in the team’s 2011 regular season finale against Florida State. Powell and Easley were both five-star players who joined the program as part of UF’s top-ranked 2010 recruiting class. Coaches and trainers expect Easley to return to the team for practice this summer.

Replacing Powell at Buck linebacker will be difficult task for Florida. The most important position on Muschamp and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s defense, the Buck is expected to be a playmaking linebacker who dominates all over the field. Powell was finally learning what it took to play the position well before being derailed on Saturday.

Redshirt senior Lerentee McCray could move over from Sam linebacker to fill Powell’s shoes. Sophomore Gideon Ajagbe is the only other listed “Buck linebacker” on the roster though incoming freshman Dante Fowler, Jr. will be as well once he enrolls. Junior Darrin Kitchens and perhaps even freshman Antonio Morrison could also get an opportunity at the position.


  1. Sloth says:

    When would you guess we’d get him back? LSU?

  2. Sjkoepp says:

    Damn. This really ruined my morning.

  3. cline says:

    Paging Antonio Morrison…. Mr. Morrison….

  4. TOMMY BAKER says:


  5. Alex says:

    Well, this gives an opportunity for a freshmen or a backup to step up and show something. Get better soon RonPo

  6. Courtney says:

    I hate he’s hurt, wish him a speedy recovry..but imho he hasn’t come close to being a dominant player. Of the 5*s he’s been the most dissapointing. With talyor, stewart,and ajagbe emerging along with mccray, we will be fine. Not to mention morrison fowler and bullard. Muschamp will keep us with plenty of depth on the defensive side of the ball. We also have b cox jr and more freshman who aren’t. Even on campus yet

  7. wgator40 says:


  8. John S says:

    Sad news, but if that’s it coming out of the Spring we have to feel pretty good. Crossing my fingers that he’ll be in reasonable shape in late November for a trip to Tallahassee. Hopefully Elam gets better (or gets out of the dog house).

    Morrison looks ready, Fowler be ready, if you want to play early you’ll have your shot.

  9. aziatic41 says:

    Guys this is not a big loss. Powell hasn’t did anything significant for us during his career at UF. Last year all he did was take up space on the field. If I was Muschamp, I’d redshirt him and not rush him back. I actually feel like McCray played better than Powell last year. Also Anontio Morrison looks like a hungry kid who’s ready to play right away.

  10. walt p says:

    Man hate to here that. Hate when any althlete gets hurt but this going to hurt The Gators when season starts. Get better

  11. Aligator says:

    He will more than likely redshirt…. six months is really pushing it …. it took me a year….

  12. Courtney says:

    We may finally get to see more of kendric johnson and earl okine. Adam,if you don’t mind, id like your view on how he is such a huge loss.

    • Team needed a front seven playmaker (sacks, pressures) badly and he had finally developed into one according to the coaches. You don’t just replace that. Buck is most important position on the defense. Makes things happen.

  13. Joe says:

    This is why you recruit to 85 every year. Looks like the s&c coach will have his work cut out for him getting fowler bulked up asap

  14. Courtney says:

    Powell has only had seven sacks since he has been here.that’s not making a whole lot of plays. Not like he was solid like a j cunningham. Or a pass rush specialist like say dunlap,moss, or harvey. Or even a high motor guy (trattou). Elam (secondary) and bostic has been the most consistant playmakers. Ill bet that when the season starts we find a more than capable replaacement.

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux