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.”