Florida Gators WR/KR Andre Debose out for entire 2013 season with torn ACL

By Adam Silverstein
August 7, 2013

By all accounts, redshirt senior wide receiver Andre Debose was in the midst of turning his college career around, becoming a more dedicated and harder working member of the Florida Gators football program throughout the offseason.

Unfortunately for Debose, he will not be able to showcase that newfound intensity this season as the school announced Wednesday afternoon that a knee injury he suffered in practice on Tuesday has been diagnosed as a torn anterior cruciate ligament, an impairment that will sideline him for the entire 2013 campaign.

“I know that Andre is disappointed,” said Florida head coach Will Muschamp in a school release. “He had been doing very well in camp and we were more than pleased with his effort and attitude. Andre was hurt in a non-contact situation. He just planted his foot and there was a tear.

“He will have surgery after the swelling goes down. It is unfortunate and you feel bad anytime that someone is injured, and the coaching staff and our team will be very supportive in assisting Andre during his recovery.”

When Debose goes under the knife, it will be his second time doing so while wearing orange and blue. As a freshman in 2009, he had season-ending surgery in the form of a graft on his biceps femoris, a muscle that connects the knee and hamstring. The procedure was required after an injury he suffered in high school failed to heal before the start of his college career.

Expected to be a dominant play-making receiver for the Gators, Debose has only hauled in 29 balls and totaled 543 yards of offense in three years. He struggled to get on the field as a redshirt freshman in 2010 but stepped up and made a dent for Florida with a pair of 75-yard touchdown receptions in 2011. Debose finished the campaign with career-highs of 432 yards and four touchdowns.

Entering his redshirt junior season in 2012, Debose once again fell out of the coaching staff’s good graces due to his questionable work ethic and barely saw the field on offense, catching just three passes for 15 yards on the year.

“I really don’t want to talk about last year,” he said last Thursday at UF’s media day before noting that he has finally turned the corner on his career.

“I could have done a lot more stuff outside of the building rather than just doing it inside the stadium. It took me a while to realize you’ve got to do more than what the coaches expect you to be,” he added.

RELATED: It’s now or never for Florida WR Andre Debose

Where Debose has made his greatest impact for the Gators is on special teams. He’s averaged 27.4 yards per kickoff return over the last three seasons, racking up 1,592 total yards and a school-record four touchdown returns. His return average is a school record high and second-best in Southeastern Conference history, while the four return touchdowns tie him with three others for an SEC record.

He was expected to retain to his role as starting kick returner in 2013, but his coaches and teammates also had high hopes for him at wide receiver where his routes had become crisper and his attention to detail much greater.

Muschamp noted Monday that Debose was competing to be a starter at wideout.

“I think Andre, based on the offseason, he had a really good spring. He didn’t miss a practice in the spring,” he said before fall practice began. “I’m excited about him going into his senior year and understanding what he has at stake. He’s a senior, and some of us mature quicker than others at times. Again, I’m excited about his senior year.”

Added junior starting quarterback Jeff Driskel: “He knows this is his last go-round. He knows that. I’ve talked to him about that. I’m really excited for him. He has put in a lot of work. I think his attitude’s really changed. He’s having a better outlook on everything. He realizes this is his last chance, so he’s gotta make it count. I definitely see some improvement on that end.”

Redshirt junior WR Quinton Dunbar said Tuesday that Debose was “having an outstanding camp,” and offensive coordinator Brent Pease added Wednesday that Debose has “done a great job” in practice up to this point.

Junior cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy also noted Tuesday that Debose has stepped up to the challenge presented to him by the coaches this year.

Where Debose goes from here remains to be seen.

Should he wish to continue playing college football, he would likely have to request a second medical redshirt and sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA. But for a former five-star prospect who thought 2013 was his last chance to prove that he could play professionally, there are more questions than answers at this point.

Photo Credit: The Gainesville Sun


  1. Michael Jones says:

    That SUCKS!!! I’m a big Andre Debose fan. I hope the kid has the mental toughness it’s going to take to get him back to where he was. I think he’s a rare NFL-quality talent that’s been misunderstood. I just knew he was going to have a breakout season.

    Hang in there, Andre! Don’t give up, buddy!! There’s sunny slopes ahead if you’ll stick and stay and work and fight your way back.

    Darn. . . bummer!!

    • Craven says:

      Misunderstood? You make me sick! This kids been a lazy pain in the ass since he came to g-ville. This is his reward for all that hard work.

      • SaraGator says:

        Wow – Not nice, Craven!

      • Crock says:

        You are a piece of shit.

        Just because a guy doesn’t live up to his star rating suddenly he is a lazy pain in the ass?

        • Craven says:

          Hey crock of shit, ever wonder why he didn’t get much playing time when he was healthy?

          • W says:

            Probably the same reason you slave away at your minimum wage job and troll internet forums and insult 21 year old kids.

      • Michael Jones says:

        You would say that a torn ACL is a “reward” for a young kid who is also a Gator football player and who coaches and teammates have universally praised for his hard work and excellent performance so far this year? Dude, there is so much wrong with that that I don’t even know where to start and maybe it doesn’t even deserve to be dignified with a response.

        If you’re on medication, then start taking it. If you’re not on it, then go see a doctor, because you’re ill.

    • V02max says:

      I can’t stand injuries. Hell, I wince when a Bulldog or seminole goes down. It’s a big part of why I watch the NFL with a passing interest. Those guys blow up players and get a bounty payment for it. Injuries make me sick.

      That said, calling Debose a “rare NFL quality talent” is a J-O-K-E! Typical rainbow and unicorns comment from the in-house KoolAid snorter. We’ve seen these “showing great improvement” type of comments from the the coaching staff for years. Some people don’t have the ability to see the truth. And the truth is that Debose, for all of his athletic talent is either dumb (can’t learn the playbook) or lazy, or both. Champ stopped short of throwing him under the bus in previous years.

      This is probably a blessing in disguise as it will give Debose even more time to step up and act like a man. I’m assuming he will return for the 14 campaign when UF will be an elite team that has everything in place to win another crystal football.

      I hope he makes a FULL RECOVERY. I just don’t buy a damn word of the rhetoric at this point. Nothing would make me, a guy who really pulled for this kid, happier than to see him come back and put it all together next year. Not holding my breath on that on.

      • Michael Jones says:

        VO2max, I’ve forgotten more football than you’ll ever know in your life. You’re another classic whiney “glass is always half empty” and “the sky is falling” lukewarm alleged Gator fan (i.e. to the extent that your all-over-the-place comments are even intelligible . . I’m not really sure who you pull for). I’m sure that you’re arrogant dogmatic approach plays well in the circles somebody like you hangs out in, and that’s where you should keep it. I’m sorry that Adam dumbed-down the math questions so that you’d be able to post comments again.

        Ask somebody who knows football where Debose’s talent levels rank among NFL wide receiver prospects, know-it-all wannabe. Ask them where he was ranked back when they still threw him the ball.

        (I know, “dogmatic” has you stumped. . go get a dictionary)

  2. Roman719 says:

    awful. just absolutely awful

    i can’t even express the shock and sorrow i feel for him

  3. Joe says:

    Yeah, this is a terrible blow for AD. The team will obviously get over this loss but it was his time to show people that he was serious. It’s gonna be tough for him to bounce back from this. Hope the best for him.

  4. Intuition says:

    Here’s hoping RoPo mentors him. It really sounded like Andre had turned the corner as far as investing in the team, elevating his work ethic and commitment to new levels. Sad but here’s hoping he uses this setback as just another opportunity to mature and ends up stronger.

  5. GG says:

    Really sorry for AD. Does anyone else feel like the season is unraveling before it even starts, scary!

  6. brlgator says:

    I think people need to remember we are talking 19, 20 and 21 year olds here. They are in the process of maturing. Some people get it quicker than others…

  7. Matt Burris says:

    Some of the criticisms and juvenile insults in the comments are getting a bit out of hand.

    Okay, we know that Debose came in with a lot of praise. Meyer set him up with a hefty dose of ego when he compared him to Percy Harvin. I don’t know what the real story with Debose is. From what I’ve read, it seems to be that the pressure and all the positive attention to him got to his head and it didn’t translate to a positive thing for him. That’s nothing new, he’s a young kids, lots of kids that age fall apart when they find out they’re no longer the top player on the team, or can’t cope with all the pressures.

    In the end, someone else will have to step up and take his place. It’s up to the coaches to help those players do that in a big way. As for Debose, I hope he’s at least taking advantage of the education that UF has to offer, because I think the NFL is going to be on his mind now as he recuperates.

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux