Florida makes key change to running back depth chart as O’Cyrus Torrence joins injury report

By OnlyGators.com Staff
October 12, 2022
Florida makes key change to running back depth chart as O’Cyrus Torrence joins injury report

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As the Florida Gators continue their preparations for Saturday night’s rivalry showdown with the LSU Tigers, head coach Billy Napier on Thursday released an updated depth chart that included a number of key changes. Among them were a long-awaited adjustment that will surely please some fans.

Sophomore Montrell Johnson Jr. and freshman Trevor Etienne now sit firmly in the first- and second-team spots at running back. Previously, the two shared a second-string “or” designation with redshirt sophomore Nay’Quan Wright listed as the starter.

Johnson got the initial carries last week against Missouri marking the first time this season that someone other than Wright began a game toting the rock. It has been clear throughout the campaign that Johnson and Etienne are the Gators’ most superior rushers likely due to a combination of their skill and Wright’s shiftiness being diminished following offseason surgery for a broken ankle. Wright is now in his own “or” designation for the third-team spot with redshirt junior Lorenzo Lingard.

This change has been a long-time coming for Florida. Despite all three players receiving an equal share of carries through five weeks, Johnson (8.0 yards per tote) and Etienne (6.8) are outgaining Wright (4.0) by a significant margin. Johnson has more than double Wright’s yardage (368-175) with five touchdowns compared to a pair each for Etienne and Wright.

Johnson and Etienne got more work than Wright last week, and given the depth chart change, perhaps that disparity will be even more apparent against LSU.

Elsewhere on the depth chart …

Junior right guard O’Cyrus Torrence remains listed in the lineup but now carries a questionable designation entering Saturday’s game due to a lower-body injury. Napier said he believes Torrence will be OK, but he has not been a 100% participant in practice this week. Should he be unable to go, sophomore Richie Leonard IV is likely to start in his place.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Jack Miller III (thumb) returned to the depth chart as the backup behind sophomore starter Anthony Richardson. However, Napier was flummoxed when learning Miller was listed second noting that he has not yet regained the No. 2 job as he is just starting to work in practice again. It sounds as if redshirt freshman Jalen Kitna will remain in the second-string role vs. LSU.

Sophomore cornerback Devin Moore is out for Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury. Replacing him behind sophomore Jason Marshall Jr. is redshirt sophomore Jalen Kimber.

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