Florida football: Offensive lineman O'Cyrus Torrence honored as All-American, gearing for Pro Day

Kevin Brockway
The Gainesville Sun
Florida Gators offensive lineman O'Cyrus Torrence (54) smiles while holding his All-American brick with head coach Billy Napier outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. [Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun]

Florida Gators coach Billy Napier recalled when he first recruited standout offensive lineman O’Cyrus Torrence.

Torrence grew up in Greensburg, La. (pop 1,018), a small town near the Louisiana-Mississippi border. There was no full cell phone service, and Torrence had to go in a specific room in his house to field Napier’s recruiting calls.

From humble, small-town roots, Torrence emerged as one of the best offensive linemen in the country, first at Louisiana (where Napier was coaching) and then at Florida, where he earned consensus All-American honors after starting 11 of 13 games at right guard for the Gators last season.

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The 6-foot-5, 347-pound Torrence was honored with a commemorative brick outside of The Swamp on Wednesday as the 71st consensus All-American in Florida football history, joining a group that includes Steve Spurrier, Tim Tebow and Maurkice Pouncey, who was the last offensive lineman to achieve the feat in 2009.

“Being a part of something that’s bigger than myself, I feel like, coming here was the right decision in my career overall,” Torrence said. “The after effects doing it, being here, playing in the SEC level, it’s an amazing opportunity, I’m just glad to be part of Gator history.”

Torrence transferred from Lousiana to Florida before the start of the 2022 season in part to show he could thrive in the SEC, college football’s toughest conference. He more than held his own, earning SEC offensive lineman of the week honors in back-to-back weeks against Texas A&M and South Carolina. Per Pro Football Focus, Torrence finished the 2022 season with an 88.0 grade, best among interior offensive linemen in the country, while allowing just eight pressures.

“He made the decision to come here play against better competition to increase his value and this is a guy who in his heart felt bad about leaving,” Napier said. “He had a passion for the University of Louisiana and all those people that had helped him there on that staff and in the community.”

Torrence gearing for Pro Day

A projected first- to second-round pick, Torrence is one of 11 former Gator players and one track athlete (Dedrick Vanover) who will take part in Florida’s Pro Day on Thursday.

Torrence will likely be the first interior lineman taken in the draft and has been linked most frequently to the Buffalo Bills, who hold the 27th overall pick in the first round.

After benching 225 pounds for 23 straight reps and running a 5.31 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, Torrence said he will just do position work on Thursday in front of scouts.

 “Just to go in and be fluid and smooth in my position work, weigh in at a good weight, that’s what I want to show,” Torrence said.

All eyes will be on former Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson, who has vaulted to a potential top 10 pick in the NFL Draft after a historic performance at the NFL Combine. Richardson is expected to do some throwing drills.

Napier said he expects about 80 NFL personnel evaluators to attend the event, including eight to nine general managers and a handful of head coaches.

“It’s a reflection of the hard work the individuals have put in and I know they are excited to put on a good show,” Napier said.

Coverage of Florida's Pro Day is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on the SEC Network with former Gator receiver Chris Doering reporting on site. Peter Burns, Jordan Reid and Matt Stinchcomb will be in-studio. The broadcast can also be watched on SEC Network+ and ESPN streaming platforms.