Florida Gators Buck linebacker Ronald Powell was on track to take a major leap forward in 2012. The junior had shown flashes in the past, but was said to have been a workout warrior during the offseason. Powell appeared determined to live up to the enormous hype that came with being the nation’s top high school prospect a few years ago and people had taken notice. Then he tore the ACL in his left knee.
Not long ago, you would have seen “torn ACL” followed by “will miss the entire season.” Instead, Powell was given a timetable of being out four-to-six months. Still ambitious, but not out of the realm of possibility. If all continues to go as planned, Powell could make his debut in October. That’s great news for Florida and the to-be star defender, but everything is still very much in TBD mode.
Powell could be completely cleared to return, but he shouldn’t be rushed. Manning the position in his absence are Lerentee McCray and Dante Fowler Jr. We’ve heard of McCray’s positive progression and we’ve also heard that Fowler could command serious playing time from game one. Basically, the Gators seem to be in good hands at the Buck position. If the two are performing well, there’s no reason to rush Powell and risk further injury.
We all want to see Powell on the field as we hope for a great year from the junior, but no one – fans, coaches, players or Powell himself – should want to rush him back if there’s an opportunity to give him a little extra time rehabbing.