Countdown to Kickoff: #63 Trip Thurman

Continuing our countdown to the season with the player jersey numbers and July 4th marked the 63rd day before the Gators kickoff the season. Number 63 on this Gator roster belongs to quite possibly the most important member of the whole offense… senior offensive guard Trip Thurman.

A year ago no one would have pointed to Trip Thurman as such an important part of the 2015 season. But, two NFL defections and a couple of injured contributors later and the senior guard may have to be the glue to hold the entire offensive line together when he gets back from injury.

Thurman’s return would not only mean the return of the only starter back on the offensive line, but also now one of only two upper-classmen in the entire unit and only because of transfer tackle Mason Halter showed up last month.

There were a lot of questions of whether Thurman would return because of a severe shoulder injury and although there has been no definitive word, it does appear very likely that he will return early in the season if not by the start of the opener on September 5.

2014 was certainly Thurman’s best year on the field and he likely played as one of the top three linemen a year ago in a year when the offensive line seemed to play over its head. With 10 starts in 2014, they were the only starts of Thurman’s career, but set himself up to have a really nice senior season before injuring his shoulder.

Thurman will be expected to start at left guard in the fall, but should be able to tremendously help both a new starting center and new starting left tackle, whomever they should be. He spent this June helping the staff with the football camp, allowing him some time to really ingrain himself with the new offensive staff.

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