Notebook: Moon, 2 others to miss spring practice due to injury

Florida linebacker Jeremiah Moon brings down Colorado State Rams quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels in last year's game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Cyndi Chambers/Gainesville Sun Correspondent]

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.”

Johnson transferring

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.”



  1. Congratulations to Kylan Johnson, graduating is something to be appreciated. to only be down 3 guys for spring practice is also a good omen. I like Moon, but this may be the best thing, Greenard needs the reps as there is a good chance he will win the starting position based on his Louisville high level play on the field.

    • Given our “history” with injuries, I mentally shudder each time I read a headline like this. Now, however, I also mentally check off that we have Coach Savage, his conditioning regime having greatly reduced our previous rate and impacts, and take it as within normal limits. Still, I agree with Jaws — you can’t help but feel bad for the guys. Let’s just hope they’re back in the mix soonest.

    • Greenard’s best season at Louisville came while playing in Grantham’s defense. He should be able to step right in and not miss a beat. I really think Moon needed the reps more than him. Sucks he’s going to miss the Spring as the projected front runner to take over that position. It would’ve been nice to have 2 players on the same level going into Summer camp. Now Moon’s going to have to play catch up.

      • Hope you’re right about Greenard, Joe. Still, Moon has made some plays and knows the defense. Would like Moon available for the Miami game, though. We’re going to be so much improved over even last year’s team that we should see quite a few redshirts in the UT-Martin and Towson games.

      • I agree with you Joe, I think Moon really would’ve benefited from Spring Practices. It seemed to me last year that he needed “something”, not sure how to put my finger on it, to step up to the next level. Whether it be continued body sculpting via strength and conditioning or whether it just be experience to play the game faster and in position. I’m not a coach so I’m not sure what, but I’ve always felt like he was going to be a great player one day….he just hadn’t gotten there yet.