Gators’ injury report: Cleveland full-go for Missouri game

Florida wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (89) catches a five-yard pass against Georgia last Saturday in Jacksonville. [Lauren Bacho/Special to The Sun]

Florida wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland, who reinjured his ankle in the loss to Georgia, is back at full speed and good to go for Saturday’s game at Missouri, interim head coach Randy Shannon said Wednesday.

“He’s bouncing around, didn’t miss a rep in practice yesterday,” Shannon said. “Learning a lot of deep balls, doing his thing what he can do most. We’re excited to have him back because we have a chance to throw some balls downfield and see if we can make some plays. You have a chance to score some points because you’ve got a big-play receiver back that can run full speed and get after it. It makes you feel good.

“We have to make sure we take some shots downtown with Tyrie, because he’s 100 percent healthy. We’re excited about that.”

Cleveland is UF’s leading receiver and best deep threat.  He missed the Texas A&M game three weeks ago and was not full speed, and not a factor, in the 42-7 loss to the Bulldogs last week.

Florida’s other big-play receiver, true freshman Kadarius Toney, also is expected to be ready for Saturday’s game. Toney, who missed the A&M game with a separated shoulder, is practicing this week but not participating in contact drills.

Paper thin at LB

With Kylan Johnson likely out for the remainder of the season with a chronic hamstring injury, the Gators are down to almost zero depth at linebacker.

UF’s only depth comes from former walk-on Cristian Garcia, true freshman Lacedrick Brunson and sophomore Rayshad Jackson, who has mainly just played on special teams before this season.

“It’s always a concern because that takes away from the special teams,” Shannon said. “We’ve been having nicks throughout the season with both sides of the football. We just have to keep coaching the guys we have. I tell the coaches this is not the NFL, you can draft nobody, you can’t go get nobody off the waiver wire, you can’t sign somebody who’s sitting home and you can’t trade for anybody.

“So, coach the guys that we have on this football team and make those guys be the best they can be, and it will be that way. If you coach those guys like they can’t play, you’re not in the right business. You’ve got to coach those guys to be the best that they can be.”


    • I must agree with you, Shannon sounds like a guy that has “been there done that”, he’s not giving that “Folksy” B.S. “yeah Cleveland is doing some good things in practice this week”.”Our O-line is going to be the highlight of this years team”. Such B.S. Let’s see if Randy put a TEAM out there that will compete and look like they want to beat Mizzou’s A… I want to see a team that has some fight left in it, WIN or LOSE!!

  1. I know Cleveland can catch the 50 or 60 yards pass once every 6 games or so, but I would love to see him catch more 10 yard slants, 15 yard outs, 15 yard ins, 25 yard posts, 30 yard fades…….etc. And less bubble screens while he is at it. In fact, the above goes for all the wide receivers. And, heck, how about sending a tight end out on a pass pattern once in a while, Nussmeier. Love Shannon, but Nussmeier is still the OC. As a result, my confidence that the offense will become anything reflective of a real offensive attach is very low. But I hope my confidence is restored on Saturday, especially since it is Missour’s defense the Gators will be said attacking. If they cannot do it against Missouri, well maybe Plant High School should be put on the schedule to see if Nussmeier can meet that big time challenge with his high school offensive play calling.

    • Hopefully Randy has given Nuss some instructions on how he wants this offense to perform and the type offense he wants to see out there HELPING the Defense get their job done, not 6 straight 3 and outs. Maybe with Zaire out there it will be a little more competitive. Maybe Franks was forcing the O-line to perform poorly, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt until Saturday. I’m not looking for a miracle, just a TEAM that’s out there fighting and showing SOME improvement, Heart, and Desire to be a better representative of the UF!

  2. Hot darn! A coach who acts and sounds like a coach! No “and yets” here. Just coach ’em up and turn ’em loose! I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised by the OC calling a real offense, instead of what our former “QB Whisperer” permitted in the game plan. The call for more “deep balls” may mean that Franks is the guy, but then again, anything longer than a bubble screen will look deep to us.

    • You are very correct on the LB shortage. It seems if not Bama, everyone in the country comes to the state of Florida and RAPES us of the 4 and %5 * L.B’s and O-linemen. I was hoping that trend would end this year. If we keep what we have and can get some High powered LB’s and a few GREAT O-linemane, I think we can FINALLY get back to a GREAT program (with a good COACH). just my opinion!! Go GATORS!!!

      • There is only one LB among the current list of 18 commits for this coming recruiting class. It is urgent that we shoot for at least 2 more, especially if the 2 LB’s in the Knuckle Head 9 don’t return next season.

  3. The scary thing about the lack of depth and not recruiting the O line and linebacker positions hard enough is that Randy Shannon is the recruiting coordinator and was the linebackers coach two years in a row. You would think that the possibility of immediate playing time would turn recruits heads. It is refreshing to hear coach Shannon talk and he certainly can afford to let it all hang down. Hopefully he can light the fire with the players that the recently departed coach could not do. Go Gators!

    • He was fired for it, I think that says it all! SEEMS HE WAS TOO STUPID TO REALIZE THAT HIS ATTEMPT AT TRYING TO GET BACK AT COMPLAINING FANS WOULD GET HIM FIRED! Sorry, hit caps lock and Im not going to retype. He could have saved his job if he could prove it, but refused to give any details to the University(if he had any proof he would have given it).

  4. I think almost always vs. pass happy Mizzou we will have two LBs at most on the field at one time. Shouldn’t be much of an issue THIS game.
    As for the OL, next year’s coach will inherit a VERY experienced and deep OL(but will need to coach them and synch them with an attacking offense-I’ve seen those before on TV). In his second year, he will lose alot of that experience and depth, Mac’s slim class last year, one of whom is of the two not getting off the hook, will hurt him. He needs to hold onto the two current OL commits(keeping Davis would help with that) and add a few more.

  5. Fans are dumb as a rock … or molecules. Yak, yak, yak! You don’t run the team so you get pissed off. How come no one has said anything about a better coach and staff that would send the Gators to the top? Got all the stats and opinions, where are the answers? How about we fire coaches every 3 years until Saban and his staff move to Florida out of compassion. The fans have absolutely sucked since the gators won their last NC.

    • “How come no one has said anything about a better coach and staff…?” That happens to be what the “yak” has been about. Can you actually read with comprehension, or does your mother read to you at bedtime while you suck your thumb? The fans I have seen in the stadiums, and the ones I know who have watched on TV have been very supportive of the TEAM and PLAYERS. Have you been watching and listening? Read Dooley’s article on the rocky road that McElwain paved for himself beginning with his arrival. The fans on forums like this tend to be more critical because it is a discussion about results vs. expectations. It is NOT a pep rally. If you want a pep rally, ask your mother to do Two Bits with you before your bedtime story.

  6. Sparky – I agree with your first sentence about Shannon being a breath of fresh air with his talk but as far as wanting this season to be over and on to the excitement of the next regime, I don’t agree.
    I want to enjoy the rest of this season and win out and win the bowl game, beating FSU on the way.

  7. This recruiting class looks very good to me if we can keep it together & add enough to cover the suspended dingbats(if many don’t return). Glad to hear Tyrie is going to be ready for Saturday as he’s badly needed. Thank you Coach Shannon for stepping up & taking charge. Hope we can get a W on Saturday. Go Gators!