Tuesday Practice Report

Defensive players Channing Crowder and Kenny Parker both had surgery last Tuesday. Surprisingly, there's a chance they could return as soon as Saturday....

Because of unusually quick recoveries by two defensive players, UF's injury-plagued front seven could wind up more effective than expected.

LB Channing Crowder and DT Kenny Parker dressed in pads and ran through no-contact drills Tuesday, just one week after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.

Crowder, the most experienced true freshman with 260 plays, and Parker, a starter at tackle, walked without any noticeable limp after practice. As a result of the workout, Crowder said his status was upgraded.

"I went from doubtful to questionable," said the weakside linebacker. "I feel real good. I'm going to practice a little harder tomorrow and see how it works out."

Both said watching Saturday's loss to Ole Miss – especially the Gators' inability to stop the rush – has caused each to work harder in effort of a fast return.

Parker and Crowder were each expected to miss at least two games – maybe more. Should they return against LSU, they will have only missed one. Neither was listed on this week's depth chart.

"You look at us like we're half-crazy," Parker said. "But we just really need to get back."

FEAR OF FLYING: By this point in his career, you've certainly seen TE Ben Troupe leap over a defender. Since January, he's skied over the heads of three opponents in what has quickly become his trademark.

But that's as high as he'll go.

The 6-foot-5, 262-pound senior has asked Coach Ron Zook to allow him not to fly on the team's charter plane. Instead, Troupe hopes to snag a seat on the equipment bus.

"I'd have no problem with that," Troupe said. "I'm going to end up at LSU, but I don't see myself flying through the friendly skies. They ain't too friendly to me."

As long as he makes it to the stadium, the Gators don't care how he gets there. In recent weeks, Troupe has become one of UF's most explosive receivers.

The senior picked up 63 yards on four plays against Ole Miss – one of which was selected as SportsCenter's No. 2 play from the weekend's dose of college football.

"Ben's a big guy who's a lot faster than he looks," Zook said. "Sometimes he doesn't look like he's going quite as fast as he really is, and he's just getting better and better and more confident. Now, we've got to make sure that he doesn't get worried about flying."

BRIEFLY: After spending last week's loss to Ole Miss in Zook's doghouse, TB Ciatrick Fason will return to action as a backup tailback Saturday. Zook benched Fason without an explanation to the media, which kept him off the field for his second consecutive week. "He's ready to rock and roll," Zook said….Walk-on Richard Brown, a Ft. Lauderdale native who has seen action in five plays on special teams, tore his anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the rest of the season. Brown, a 26-year-old who spent the last seven years playing professional baseball in the New York Yankees organization, will undergo surgery Monday. ###

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