Florida starting offensive lineman to enter transfer portal, per reports

By Michael Phillips
November 5, 2019
Florida starting offensive lineman to enter transfer portal, per reports

Image Credit: @NaturalWorks_ / Twitter

Following the loss to now No. 6 Georgia on Saturday, the No. 10 Florida Gators have decided to make a change along their offensive line. That decision may be fueled by redshirt freshman right guard Chris Bleich deciding to leave the program and enter the transfer program, according to multiple reports.

Speaking Wednesday on the SEC teleconference, head coach Dan Mullen explained that a family issue led to Bleich’s decision to move on from the Gators. It was expected that Bleich would be moved to a reserve role on the line this week after starting eight of the first nine games this season.

“We support Chris and everything he’s doing,” offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator John Hevesy said Tuesday evening during a media availability. “I mean, there’s things going on, but Coach Mullen will say more tomorrow.”

Over the last few weeks, fellow redshirt freshman Richard Gouraige has seen an increase in snaps, supplementing Bleich and often outplaying him. It has led many to wonder why Gouraige had not replaced Bleich in the starting lineup. Though Bleich started the game against Georgia, it was Gouraige who saw the majority of the action. 

“He did a pretty good job,” Mullen said of Gouraige’s play against the Bulldogs. “We’re looking at those, I think you look the two, other than the two young guys on the O-line, the two freshmen on the O-line are growing, developing and they’re getting reps and they’re going to be good in the future. We try to not put too much on individually on either one of them. 

“They’re both developing nicely. I think Richard’s doing a really nice job because we ask him to play multiple positions for depth purposes. I think it’s going to really help him out long term.”

With Bleich now apparently deciding to continue his college football journey elsewhere, Gouraige will most assuredly be bumped up from the sixth man on the line to a starter. That leaves a true freshman to fill in as the primary reserve.

“To me, Ethan White steps up and again Ethan’s been having great practices,” said Hevesy. “It gives him opportunities, next guy in, get up and go.”

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