Spring preview: Offensive line
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Spring preview: Offensive line

The depth on the offensive line still isn't where head coach Will Muschamp wants it to be, but it's much better than when he took over at Florida. After losing Xavier Nixon and James Wilson to graduation after the 2012 season, the Gators signed four freshmen that will all be on campus during the summer. Two transfers will have a chance to win starting jobs this spring.

Florida returns center Jonotthan Harrison, right guard Jon Halapio and right tackle Chaz Green from the group that started last season. Harrison and Halapio head into their senior seasons viewed as the leaders on the offensive line. Green will be in a battle at tackle that includes two transfers and a sophomore expected to make a jump this offseason.

D.J. Humphries was thrown into the fire as a freshman and held his own on the edge despite being under the ideal weight. He heads into spring practice at 6-6, 275 pounds and could still use some weight, but his strong technique will get him on the field this year. The former five-star offensive lineman will be in the thick of the battle to start at one of the tackle position this year.

Humphries will be counted on this season

Of all the 2013 recruiting class, Nebraska offensive line transfer Tyler Moore might have been the most important. Moore was the first freshman to ever start a season opener at Nebraska and ended up starting four games that season, another school record for a freshman. Nebraska ran for over 200 yards in all four games he started.

The 6-5, 312-pounder brings experience to the outside of the offensive line. After not playing football last season and enrolling at St. Petersburg Community College, Moore needs the spring to get back into football shape and used to the demands.

Maryland transfer Max Garcia redshirted last season while still going through practice with the Gators. The 6-4, 307-pound offensive lineman has been mentioned as candidate to take over at left guard with the loss of James Wilson, but he did play tackle at Maryland. He started every game in 2011 at left tackle for the Terps.

Green, Humphries, Moore and maybe even Garcia will be involved in battling for the starting tackle positions this spring.

The wildcard at left guard is Jessamen Dunker. The redshirt freshman was arrested in January and immediately suspended from all team activities by Will Muschamp. His status hasn't been updated since, and there's no word on whether or not Dunker will go through spring practice.

If he does, the redshirt freshman will be in the thick of the battle for a starting guard position.

The Gators have three more offensive linemen on the roster that can move around and play multiple positions. Redshirt senior Kyle Koehne played in all 13 games last season and started against Tennessee, Kentucky and LSU. He has played in 27 games during his career and can move to different spots on the offensive line. His versatility will be important this fall.

Koehne brings versatility

Trip Thurman has also played guard and tackle during his career. The 6-6, 323-pounder will bring more versatility and a big body on the offensive line.

Ian Silberman tore the labrum in his left shoulder late in the 2012 season and is expected to miss spring practice.

The Gators will add four bodies in the summer — Trenton Brown, Cameron Dillard, Octavius Jackson and Roderick Johnson. Brown is a junior college transfer while the other three are freshmen. Late addition Trevon Young is a late addition to the 2013 class that is a jumbo athlete capable of playing offensive line.