Florida offensive lineman O'Cyrus Torrence excited about chance to prove himself in SEC play
Growing up near the Louisiana-Mississippi border in Greensburg, La. (population 1,018), new Florida offensive lineman O’Cyrus Torrence wasn’t a hardcore SEC football fan.
“I watched football, but I never thought too much about where I would play,” Torrence said. “I just always kind of liked it. Towards the end of my high school years, I wanted to play SEC ball at LSU, but it kind of didn’t pan out for me.”
Instead, Torrence wound up at Louisiana, where he developed into an all-Sun Belt conference standout under head coach Billy Napier and offensive line coach Rob Sale. When the opportunity came to follow Napier and Sale to Florida, Torrence didn’t hesitate, transferring to UF.
Torrence will suit up for the Gators this fall with two years of eligibility remaining.
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By all accounts, the 6-foot-5, 347-pound Torrence is ready for the grind of a weekly SEC schedule. He was named preseason first-team, All-SEC by the media at right guard, the position he projects to play at UF. Pro Football Focus rates Torrence as the third-best interior offensive lineman in the country, behind USC guard Andrew Vorhees and Notre Dame center Jarrett Patterson.
“For me, I use it as fuel,” Torrence said. “I feel like it feels good to get the type of recognition. I feel like I work hard to get that recognition, but I still feel like I haven't done anything yet to deserve it … it makes me want to work harder to prove to myself that I do deserve it.”
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Torrence started at Louisiana as a true freshman in 2019, becoming the first true freshman to start on the offensive line since Jesse Newman in 2004. In three seasons with the Rajun Cajuns, Torrence started 35 of 36 games.
Sale said what stands out about Torrence is his character and ability to process information.
“He's big, he's twitchy,” Sale said. “Football comes easy to O'Cyrus, it really does. But we have a plan and a teaching progression to get a freshman to be able to play early. If they are ready. But you got to meet us in the middle.
“The teaching plan is, there's no holes in it, but the player also has to do his part being full in. O'Cyrus missed like the first two series, first game of his freshman year and then he started the rest of his career there and he was ready to go.”
So far, Torrence said he’s adapted well to his new surroundings in Florida. The only difference, he said, has been the food.
“I'm just used to the spiciness of Louisiana,” Torrence said. “We talked about it, with the hot sauce and stuff like this. Nobody out here likes their food hot, so I have to kind of find places that have food or I just want to cook my own food. I have to put my Louisiana style to it.
“My roommate, he's from Orlando, and there's times he tastes it, and he's like, what you doing with this or asking questions about it and stuff like this, and it's too spicy, but it's just a little spicy.”