Linebacker Beal out for season with torn ACL


Published: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 1:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 1:20 p.m.

Unfortunately for the Florida football team, this has become the summer of the torn ACL.

The latest player to go down with the season-ending knee injury is true freshman middle linebacker Brendan Beal, who sustained his injury in Monday's afternoon practice.

Less than two weeks into preseason practice, the Gators have already lost five players to torn ACLs. Two of the five were starters tight end Cornelius Ingram and strong safety Dorian Munroe. The other three were expected to play key roles as backups offensive guard Jim Barrie, free safety John Curtis and Beal, who was the No. 2 middle linebacker behind junior Brandon Spikes.

UF coach Urban Meyer said Tuesday that practices have been no tougher than they've been in the past. Two of the injuries occurred before the start of fall practice.

"We're following pretty much the same routine," Meyer said. "Last year, we had the high ankle sprains. Two years ago it was the shoulder. It's frustrating when guys are hurt."

A number of other players have missed practice time due to nagging injuries. Meyer said the coaching staff pushed the first major scrimmage back a day to Wednesday because so many players were on the injury list Tuesday.

"We had nine guys who couldn't scrimmage that needed game reps," Meyer said.

One of those players is true freshman strong safety Will Hill, who was held out of practice for the past two days with a concussion. Meyer said Hill will be full-go for Wednesday's scrimmage. True sophomore cornerback Moses Jenkins also was held out the past two days with a concussion.

Star wide receiver Percy Harvin (heel) went through some drills Tuesday, but Meyer said he will not participate in Wednesday's scrimmage.

In his post-practice meeting with the media, Meyer said the three most improved players on the team are offensive guard/tackle Marcus Gilbert, wide receiver Carl Moore and defensive tackle Lawrence Marsh.

Meyer said Moore is starting to do the things they thought he would when he signed with UF in December. Moore did not have a good spring.

"I told him I was crushed in the spring," Meyer said. "He wasn't very good. An athlete thinking instead of reacting looks slow. He looked very slow. He's one of Tim Tebow's favorite targets right now. They worked together all summer and you can tell."

Meyer also confirmed that four true freshmen have lost the stripe on their helmet defensive end William Green, running back Jeffrey Demps, cornerback Janoris Jenkins and wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr.

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