Florida suffered a pretty big loss to its defense over the weekend.
Coach Will Muschamp said during his Monday news conference that true freshman cornerback Marcus Roberson will miss the rest of the season after straining his neck in Florida's 17-12 loss to South Carolina Saturday.
Roberson had started each of Florida's 10 games this season and recorded 18 tackles, one interception and one pass break-up. Muschamp said he expects to get Roberson back in time for spring practice.
Roberson had his hiccups here and there this season, but there was no question he was Florida's best cornerback. He was rangy, fast and physical in Florida's defensive backfield. He was sometimes overly aggressive in his coverage, making him susceptible to pass interference calls, but he rarely got beat for big plays and was Florida's most consistent corner.
The loss of Roberson means Florida takes yet another hit to its corner depth. First it was the dismissal of Janoris Jenkins that hurt this secondary, then a knee injury has kept junior Jeremy Brown off the field this season. Florida will now turn to sophomores Cody Riggs and Jaylen Watkins. Riggs has started 10 games, while Watkins has started five. Both has shown flashes, but have been prone to giving up big plays in one-on-one coverage.
Freshman Louchiez Purifoy and redshirt senior Moses Jenkins will both get more opportunities on the field as well. Purifoy is one to watch here. He is still pretty raw, but his speed and athleticism have caught the eye of his head coach. With more reps in practice, we could see more of him outside of just special teams.