GAINESVILLE -- Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel said he had “no limitations” during practice Thursday, as UF’s incumbent starter returned to the field for the first time since undergoing an emergency appendectomy on July 30.
On Friday the junior added that “He is up to speed,” and ready to show off Florida’s improved attack.
“Great to have Jeff back at practice,” coach Will Muschamp said. “He had great command and threw the ball extremely well. … I thought he looked sharp.”
Driskel was officially cleared Thursday morning and has no more doctor visits scheduled. He noted UF’s team doctor gave him one piece of exiting advice: ‘“Don’t be dumb about it. Don’t push through pain.”’
Driskel missed six days of training camp and did not participate in any weightlifting sessions. He said he tried to stay in shape with some walking and light running.
Due to NCAA acclimation rules, Driskel won’t practice in full pads for another four days. “You have to go two days in helmets, two days in shells and then full pads,” Muschamp explained.
GATORS LIMPING THROUGH PRACTICE
Muschamp updated UF’s lengthy injury list Friday, officially confirming linebacker Matt Rolin tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. The freshman re-tore the same ACL he had surgery on last November.
Defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (sprained knee) and cornerback Jaylen Watkins (foot) will both be sidelined until Aug. 19. Freshman offensive tackle Roderick Johnson had knee surgery (meniscus) Friday and will miss 3-4 weeks.
As for the rest of Florida's sidelined players, Muschamp said, "Jon Halapio (guard) is meeting with the doctor today. I’ll know more this afternoon. Max Garcia’s (guard) been cleared for individual work and he’s doing all of that. They just want to lay off some of the contact work. He’s out there working. We’re just not doing much of the contact. I think he’ll be cleared Monday. Trip Thurman will be cleared the 12th. I have not had any update on Matt Jones (running back). I’ll probably know more the first part of next week. He is running and getting exercise, but he hasn’t been cleared to practice yet."
Will Muschamp derisively issued a no comment on the Johnny Manziel autograph scandal, but Florida’s coach did acknowledge he sees a day when college football players are paid for their efforts.
“I think eventually it’s going to happen. I don’t think there’s any question,” he said. “There’s no question our players need to have some spending stipend, cost of attendance, whatever they want to term it as,” he continued. “Obviously the money is there, so I think it’s obvious that’s something that needs to happen. When, I don’t know.”
THIS & THAT
The Gators scrimmaged for the first time Saturday in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. … Muschamp highlighted the recent play of two freshmen receivers, Demarcus Robinson and Ahmad Fulwood. … Sixth-year senior Jeremy Brown, Florida’s last remaining holdover from its 2008 BCS National Championship, graduated Saturday with a degree in sociology and criminology.Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton