GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida coach Will Muschamp on Tuesday said the Gators will open spring practice March 19 with nine players out due to injury, including three starters.
Junior running back Matt Jones (torn meniscus) and senior defensive tackle Leon Orr (fractured wrist) were starters in 2013, while senior wide receiver/kick returner Andre Debose had been a starter before missing all of last season with a torn ACL. Muschamp said Debose is expected to be medically cleared to return March 28 but will wear a non-contact jersey.
Three linebackers -- sophomores Alex Anzalone (shoulder) and Jeremi Powell (torn ACL) and redshirt freshman Matt Rolin (torn ACL) -- won't be medically cleared until after spring practice. All three are rehabbing after surgery for injuries suffered last fall.
The other injured Gators are sophomore tight end Colin Thompson (foot) and two true freshmen early enrollees -- running back Brandon Powell (fractured foot) and offensive lineman Nolan Kelleher (back).