UF’s leading rusher to miss rest of season

Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks hands the ball to running back Malik Davis during the first quarter Saturday against Georgia. Davis suffered a knee injury and sat out most of the game. [Lauren Bacho/Special to The Sun]

True freshman running back Malik Davis, Florida’s leading rusher and top offensive playmaker, is out for the season after injuring his right knee in the 42-7 loss to Georgia last Saturday.

“It’s a big blow for us because he was an explosive running back,” interim head coach Randy Shannon said Monday.

Sophomore outside linebacker Kylan Johnson also might be gone for the rest of the season after reinjuring his hamstring in the Georgia game.

“Kylan will probably be out for the season,” Shannon said. “Slim chance of Kylan coming back. It would just be tough for him to come back.”

With Davis out, senior Mark Thompson moves up as the backup to starter Lamical Perine, while true freshman Adarius Lemons becomes the No. 3 running back.

“Mark Thompson has got to step up,” Shannon said. “He’s a senior. He’s a guy that’s 6-2, 240, runs 4.4. It’s his opportunity to come in and play. We’ve got to challenge him on offense to make sure there was a reason why he was recruited to be a part of Florida, and that’s for him to be a skilled running back, but also be productive and be a physical-type guy that can get open in space and make plays.

“Adarius Lemons will be a third guy on the roster. If something goes wrong, he’ll be the next guy up. We’ve got three running backs that we feel comfortable with, but Mark Thompson has to really step up this game.”


  1. Very impressive straight forward presentation by Coach Shannon. Simply refreshing! Go Gators!
    I hope all three running backs get some carries. All have talent. The D will be under pressure with Mizzou’s passing game. Could be an entertaining game if we do some new things with the O.

  2. For the sake of our School, please please please Hire A GATOR!!! He has to know, love and and eat Orange and Blue! Kerwin Bell is a proven winner at Jacksonville and HE IS A GATOR! a good start for a Head Coach that is Orange and Blue!

  3. Damn…. what a blow to the run-game losing Davis for the year. Already lost our #1 WR and RB to suspensions, now we’ve lost our #1 WR and RB to injury. Davis was a big blow to the offense, bigger than most realize… as he was our home-threat every time he touched the ball, he’s that good. Scary how good he will be for us down the road. Then Cleveland’s injury, the dreaded “high ankle sprain”, which means he will never fully recover from it this year, and even if he does play he’ll probably never be any better than 80% tops, depending on the severity of the sprain.

    I’m just hoping that with a new S&C coach and different training and pre-game prep proceedures that we can start avoiding so many injuries each year.Injuries happen of course, but different approaches to avoiding them can help reduce them by a lot.

    Wishing all our injured players quick and compl;ete recoveries!