Florida has suffered its first season-ending injury in preseason camp.
Redshirt sophomore safety Quincy Lenton tore his achilles tendon in Monday’s scrimmage and underwent surgery Wednesday. He’s expected to miss the season.
“That’s the only injury that we expect anyone to miss any amount of time,” UF coach Dan Mullen said.
Lenton, who played in four games last season, was battling for playing time at one of the safety spots.
With Lenton gone, and some other safeties banged up, true freshman running back Iverson Clement is seeing reps at safety. It’s a temporary move, Mullen said.
“That’s a place where we don’t have a lot of depth,” Mullen said. “Great for him. He’s a running back still. He’s just a great team guy who is going to take some reps so we can get through all the reps we need in practice.
“It’s really unselfish on his part to go over there and help the team out and fill in. We just don’t have enough bodies right now.”
Starting nickel/safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson practiced in a red non-contact jersey Wednesday, but his unspecified injury does not appear serious.
“He’ll be fine,” Mullen said.
Some individual praise
Mullen usually doesn’t like to single out players, but he recognized three defensive players for their performances in camp so far.
“(David Reese) is doing a nice job inside,” he said. “Jachai Polite is doing a great job pass rushing. He’s a dynamic pass rusher.
“Vosean Joseph can really run, can make some big plays. He has to do it consistently, and make the regular play every time and not just the special play every once in a while.”
Mullen said the Gators have excellent depth on defense that will allow UF to stay fresh at most positions throughout games.
“We’re going to have some depth to really roll guys through defensively,” he said. “It’s the style I like to play to keep everybody fresh and really play fast for four quarters. We’re doing a good job developing that front to back so that we have the depth and guys being ready to go play.
“I’d love to play anywhere from 25 to 30 guys a game on defense and that all get double-digit reps. I think we’re developing the ability to do that.”
Versatile wide receivers
The Gators not only have depth at wide receiver, they also have versatility. All the receivers are getting reps at every wide receiver spot.
“We are going to move guys around,” Mullen said. “Guys won’t always be locked into one position. We’ll move guys to some different spots to create matchups in specific game plans.
“We’ll have plays that are designed to go to a specific player. So, (wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales) knows in that play to get that guy in that position to go make the play.”