Roberson Excited To Be Back

Marcus Roberson knew his career wasn't in jeopardy from the neck injury he suffered that ended his 2011 season, but any injury in that area is scary. He looks back at it now as a positive. The injury kept him out of the three final games of his freshman season after he lined up as a started in the first ten. After going through spring with no contact, Roberson is excited to get back on the field.

"It was a good thing," Marcus Roberson said of his injury. "It was a good experience for me. We have a good medical staff, so I never paid too much attention to my neck. I came back feeling just as good as when I left. It's going to be a great year."

Roberson went through offseason workouts without much limitation, besides being held from contact in the spring. The injury was scary when it happened, but Florida doctors assured him early that it wouldn't threaten his career.

The Gators have their starting cornerback on the field with no limitations in fall camp.

"He has been fully cleared," Florida head coach Will Muschamp said. "Marcus is a really good player and started as a true freshman. That will tell you the confidence level we have in him as a football player but again another guy that I think changes body a little and is getting stronger."

The spring was the toughest part, and it didn't have anything to do with rehab or pain from the injury. It was the pain from not being able to hit someone that frustrated Roberson the most.

"It was hard for me to stay away from contact since I was playing football," Roberson said with a grin. "It was fun just to get back out on the field."

The offseason program has benefitted Roberson. The natural progression from sophomore to freshman season has happened, making him more comfortable on and off the field. He also worked hard in the weight room under first-year strength and conditioning coach Jeff Dillman.

"He's a year older, been in the weight room and done a nice job," Muschamp said. "He had a scary injury, any time you're dealing with the head or the neck, it scares you to death. Really pleased to get him back, and he's been cleared and he's excited to get going."

Roberson said he feels stronger after adding three pounds of muscle in the weight room. He also focused on improving his technique in the offseason.

"I feel like I improved from where I left off at last year," the sophomore said.

BALL CAN BE SPECIAL: Roberson's career wasn't in jeopardy with his injury, but Neiron Ball's looked like it was over. Ball was hospitalized when a blood vessel burst in his brain and missed the 2011 season. He was later diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation.

He was given permission to return to football in mid-June. After serving as a special teams demon as a freshman in 2010, Ball should see more time on defense at the SAM and BUCK linebacker positions in 2012.

And fellow linebacker Lerentee McCray says he's expecting big things.

"He's going to be special," McCray said of Ball. "He'll be a special guy after missing all last year. He looks real good and ready to go. He's hungry, he wants it. When he missed last year — that just brought a little bit more hunger to him.

"He's fast, relentless and loves the game. He just wants to play. He's going to be a special kid. He's got things that other guys don't have. He's got the "it" factor. Once he gets a little more size on him, he's going to be real good."

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