Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gators Lose Starting O-Lineman

Gator offensive lineman Phil Trauein went down in practice on Tuesday and the Gators found out his fate on Thursday, which was not good. Tests revealed that Trautwein has a stress fracture in his foot and he is out indefinitely, possibly the entire year. The O-line was supposed to be a strength for the Gators as they were returning 4 starters from the National Champion team, including Trautwein. The Gators do have some depth at the position, but they will be forced to start a freshman on the offensive line for the first time since 1992.

The injury to Trautwein will have the Gators shifting around a bit on the offensive line. Jason Watkins will now move from right tackle to left tackle, Carlton Medder will move from right guard to right tackle, and freshman Maurkice Pouncey will start at right gaurd. Medder played at right tackle last year so the switch should not effect him as much. The problem comes in because Trautwein was the backup for senior center Drew Miller. This is the third straight year that the Gators have had a senior at center and they would like that to continue through the year.

Pouncey enrolled early at Florida and was practicing with the team during spring drills. Pouncey played at Lakeland High School and was the 15th best offensive lineman in the country as ranked by Maurkice's twin brother Maurice will slide in and be the back up center to Drew Miller. The Pouncey twins are big guys and have some skill. Maurkice will be asked to fill some big shoes on the offensive line, but he is ready and that's why he enrolled early so if he got this chance he could take it. Hopefully Trautwein will be able to come back later in the season, but if not the Gators will have to pull together and get a push on that line with out him.

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