Gators QB Jeff Driskel returns to practice; Florida LB Antonio Morrison rejoins team

By Adam Silverstein
August 8, 2013

Florida Gators junior quarterback Jeff Driskel returned to practice on Thursday after missing the first six days of fall camp following an appendectomy, the school announced by posting a picture of him throwing a football on Instagram.

Driskel underwent surgery on July 30 – two days before fall practice got underway – after he was diagnosed by team doctors with acute appendicitis.

Head coach Will Muschamp initially said Driskel could be sidelined for up to two weeks and had a meeting scheduled to reevaluate his condition with team doctors on Thursday. He is returning to the field nine days after going under the knife.

The appendicitis was certainly an unexpected blow for Driskel, who by all accounts worked hard over the summer to stay focused and grow as a leader. Coaches and teammates have praised him for his offseason work ethic and leadership.

“He did a really good job organizing [the player-run practices during the summer]. I’m pretty sure we had 100 percent attendance on all of them except if somebody had a test or something like that. He did a really good job keeping everybody accountable,” sophomore running back Trey Burton said on Tuesday.

Driskel led the Gators to an 11-2 (7-1 SEC) record as a first-year starter in 2012.

He completed 63.7 percent of his passes for 1,646 yards and threw for 12 touchdowns while coughing up five interceptions. Driskel was also proficient with his legs, netting 408 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

Redshirt junior back-up QB Tyler Murphy worked with Florida’s first team in Driskel’s absence. He will now revert to working with the second team after gaining some much-needed experience over the last week.

Also rejoining the team on Thursday was sophomore linebacker Antonio Morrison, who was indefinitely suspended by Muschamp after being arrested in July, his second infraction during a five-week span over the summer.

Redshirt junior LB Michael Taylor told reporters that Morrison attended team meetings Thursday afternoon and was set to practice with the Gators in the evening. “It was good to see him, good to talk to him,” Taylor said, according to the Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar Thompson. “He is a good, close friend of mine. It was good to have him back.”

Though Morrison has rejoined the team – a move Muschamp alluded to on Aug. 1 when he said Morrison would be reinstated and able to participate in practice at some point during fall camp – he remains suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season.

Morrison showed out for Florida as a true freshman in 2012, starting three games and racking up 34 tackles including a highlight sack and forced fumble on Florida State QB E.J. Manuel on Nov. 24.

Still sidelined for the Gators are three starters – sophomore running back Matt Jones (viral infection), redshirt senior right guard Jon Halapio (pectoral) and redshirt junior left guard Max Garcia (back).


  1. Timmy T says:

    I’m scared Halapio won’t be there when the season starts. You know how these injury updates go. Most coaches these days, Muschamp included, don’t reveal the truth at all when they talk about the severity of a player’s ailment.

  2. MAR says:

    Although attempting to communicate with a dog (in dog language) is not something punishable. It wasn’t that long ago that AM was out late stirring the pot when he should have been on his best behavior after his foolish conduct, which was quite punishable, at a local club. Hopefully the two game suspension will humble him to a point that he no longer feels the community owes him preferential treatment when he so desires. Personally, I don’t think it is enough. Muschamp should make more of an example of him so other players take notice. However, it might be enough, we shall see.

  3. Joe says:

    Lost another player to season ending ACL injury. There’s has got to be something in the Gatorade at practice, that’s 2 in two days.

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