Junior Jeremiah Moon, considered the leading candidate to replace Jachai Polite and Cece Jefferson at Florida’s rush end/outside linebacker position, is expected to be out for the spring after fracturing his foot during a conditioning drill in January.
Redshirt freshman center Griffin McDowell, who was injured in a scooter accident earlier this year, and junior defensive tackle Marlon Dunlap (unspecified injury) also likely will miss the spring, UF coach Dan Mullen said Monday.
“Moon, McDowell, Dunlap would probably be the three that would be doubtful to get back in the spring,” Mullen said. “Everybody else might be limited here or there, but those guys are doubtful to get back this spring.”
Starting wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland, who broke his collarbone in the FSU game, has been cleared to practice and is good to go, Mullen said.
With Moon out, Louisville transfer Jonathan Greenard, redshirt freshman Andrew Chatfield and true freshman Mohamoud Diabate will be competing for playing time at the Polite/Jefferson hybrid position.
“There’s certainly going to be opportunities for guys,” Mullen said. “You look at that spot, the outside backer spot with losing one guy to graduation, another guy decides to leave early for the draft and then the next guy gets injured for the spring. A lot of opportunities for guys to go earn some reps and playing time for when the season comes around.”
Mullen on Polite
Speaking of Polite, Mullen said he did not catch any of the junior’s well-publicized struggles at the NFL Combine last week.
“I just heard a couple of things,” he said. “He’s got Pro Day coming up, so hopefully he’s ready for that. I want to see all of our guys have great success. I think that’s huge, there on the team, they’re part of the family. You want to see them succeed in whatever it is they’re doing.
“I want to see those guys have a great Pro Day (March 27) and get opportunities to better themselves and play at the next level.”
Senior outside linebacker Kylan Johnson is going to be a graduate transfer and will not go through spring drills with the Gators. His name is in the transfer database and he’s looking to close out his college career at another school.
“He’s going to graduate either spring or first summer semester and then look to be a grad transfer and go somewhere else,” Mullen said. “I have no problem with guys (leaving), if they do it for all the right reasons. He’s a guy that fulfilled his obligations, played hard, worked hard, did a great job with the program while he’s here.
“He’s going to earn his degree from the University of Florida, which is pretty special to have with you for the rest of your life. Once the opportunity to go somewhere, he’s going to have the ability to play more in his final season of football.”
Mullen said he does not, at this time, foresee any other players transferring out of the program.
“Not that I know of,” he said. “But we’ll see.”