McElwain Notes: Morrison may miss early fall

Florida head coach Jim McElwain continues his speaking tour with the various Gator Clubs in Florida and Atlanta. On Tuesday night he was in Jacksonville and brought us some insight into senior linebacker Antonio Morrison and his injury, J.C. Jackson and what is ahead for him, the possibility of some transfers, and his thoughts on the SEC not allowing satellite prospect camps for their schools.

Linebackers Antonio Morrison (SR) and Jarrad Davis (JR) missed the entire spring recovering from injuries suffered at the end of last season. Morrison’s injury is much worse, but Jim McElwain said his linebacker leader is doing everything possible to be the leader once again of the group.

“Antonio, both of them, did an outstanding job all spring as far as their rehab,” McElwain said in Jacksonville on Tuesday. “Jarrad is obviously a little ahead. Antonio has a ways to go. He’s attacking it and is a great leader in the classroom and a great leader in all of our meetings. I am really proud of the way he is attacking his rehab.”

McElwain did say that something we all thought was possible if not probable. That there is a real possibility that Morrison could miss the early part of the fall.

“I’m sure,” the Florida coach said of the possibility. “You’ve heard me say before and will hear me say a lot, ‘I will never put a guy out there that isn’t ready to go’. His body will tell him, our trainers and team doctors will do what is best for him and his future.”

No timetable for Jackson…

Redshirt freshman cornerback J.C. Jackson is still away from Gainesville and living with family in Lakeland while he finishes up classes online to finish his semester. The young Gators is in the midst of an investigation where he is currently charged with three counts of felony armed robbery. Until we have some resolution in the matter, there isn’t much the staff can do.

“He’s not on campus and trying to finish up his finals through his online classes,” McElwain said. “That is kind of where it is right now.

“When things get resolved… there are a lot of things he is dealing with right now. The most important thing isn’t the Florida Gators. He has some important things going on in his life and he is trying to handle that.”

Possible transfers?

McElwain talked on an earlier stop on the tour about the possibility of some guys not wanting to stick around before. Although he said that every player was welcome back, he understands there are some that may not buy into the coaching change or have other issues to deal with and may want to leave. He says that he will allow whoever wants to transfer to do so.

“We’re still waiting on grades for some guys to see where our roster will be complete,” McElwain said. “A couple of guys have asked to explore their options and I am totally supportive (if) this isn’t going to be the place for them. I will keep the door open for those guys and we’ll see what happens moving forward.

He said not to expect any huge news in this matter.

“Nothing earth shattering by any stretch of the imagination. I have been really proud of the way they have attacked what we have asked them to do. They are a tight knit group and they care a lot, and care a lot about each other.”

When asked if they can go anywhere, McElwain said that is not an issue.

“I will help them. I am pretty open book. If they don’t want to be here I don’t want to keep them here. It is really totally up to them, yet we have a lot of great things here and a lot of great things are going to happen. It is an exciting time to be a Gator.”

Looking for an even playing field with regard to satellite camps…

The Southeastern Conference has a rule that member institutions cannot hold prospect camps outside of the city of the school itself. Big time programs from other conferences are taking advantage of coming in state and holding camps and McElwain would just like to see everyone have the same opportunities with it.

“One way or another we need to come up with a rule for all the colleges so everybody is on the same playing field,” he said. “Right now we obviously can’t and it is something that a lot of us would like to do and at the same time these are rules we have to work under.”

“We did a satellite camp at the last place I was at. Now nobody was worried about us stealing players, but it did help us evaluate and uncover some gems. That was a big part of what we did.

“It is definitely an advantage. To be able to take your show on the road, to evaluate and let those kids get around you. Build some relationships during that camp experience. It’s huge and I don’t blame those guys for doing it. Coming down to Florida is just natural.”


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