GAINESVILLE -- Florida safeties Dorian Munroe and John Curtis suffered season-ending knee damage this week during offseason workouts.
The University of Florida released the information today. Both Munroe, a Miami native, and Curtis tore anterior-cruciate ligaments in their knees. Munroe will likely redshirt this season while Curtis' football career could be over. Curtis, a senior, has a history of knee injuries. Florida has now lost five -- that's right, FIVE! -- safeties this offseason for various reasons.
"Dorian and John were having tremendous offseasons," UF coach Urban Meyer said. "I'm confident Dorian will battle through the rehabilitation process and come back a better football player. John has suffered through multiple knee injuries and the medical staff along with John and his family will need to evaluate his long-term future in football."
Munroe, a Miami Coral Reef alum, was the Gators' projected starter at strong safety this season. The loss of Munroe and Curtis are two more major blows for the Gators' secondary, which has lost several players this offseason. Safety Jamar Hornsby was kicked off the team after being arrested for credit card fraud. Incoming freshman Dee Finley, one of the top-rated safeties in the country, didn't qualify academically for enrollment at UF. Jerimy Finch left the program.
Munroe's mother, Eleise Munroe, said that her son's injury occurred on Thursday and that UF's doctors will know more next week after further evaluating the knee.
"He is doing very well and his spirits are up," Eleise Munroe said. "We haven't heard much but he was looking forward to having a good year and we're hoping he can recuperate really fast."
WHO WILL REPLACE MUNROE?
This is terrible news for Munroe, who has risen up the depth chart during his career at Florida. A rising junior, Munroe received his first playing time as a freshman when Tony Joiner went down with a knee injury. Last season, Munroe was a back-up to freshman Major Wright but received playing time in Florida's dime, nickel and three-safety sets.
Who will replace Munroe? Depth is paper-thin at the safety positions with the losses of Munroe, Hornsby, Finley, Curtis and Jerimy Finch. The option are limited. Redshirt freshman Ahmad Black and redshirt sophomore Bryan Thomas are inexperienced options. Black performed well this spring after moving from cornerback to safety. Florida's coaching staff will likely consider moving Major Wright to strong safety and inserting incoming freshman Will Hill at free safety. Hill, a New Jersey product, was considered one of the most athletic high school football players of the 2008 signing class.
Also, don't be surprised to see a cornerback move to the safety position. Gator Clause speculated a couple of days ago that Moses Jenkins might move to safety. After these latest injuries, that idea doesn't seem so farfetched.
Somebody help me out here and name Florida's starting secondary by the Miami game. Here's my speculative two-deep secondary depth chart after Munroe's injury:
-Wondy Pierre-Louis (Jacques Rickerson)
-Joe Haden (Markihe Anderson)