Florida's football team got some very good news Friday.
A little more than a year after an arteriovenous malformation was found on linebacker Neiron Ball's brain, forcing him to miss all of the 2011 season, the sophomore linebacker was medically cleared to play this fall.
The 6-foot-2, 222-pound Ball played in all 13 of Florida's games in 2010, mainly on special teams, and registered 10 tackles. Ball started working out and running again this spring.
Ball will compete at the weakside linebacker spot behind Jelani Jenkins with freshmen Antonio Morrison and Jeremi Powell. Coach Will Muschamp said during the 2012 SEC spring meetings that if Ball were to return to Florida's football team, he could also get some work at the Buck position with Lerentee McCray and Gideon Ajagbe, since starter Ronald Powell is still questionable for the 2012 season while he recovers from an ACL injury he suffered during Florida's spring game.
Getting Ball back into the lineup not only provides more depth at linebacker for the Gators but it will bring a spark to that side of the ball. When Ball was on the field for Florida he was a very energetic figure for the Gators. Florida returns 10 starters to a defense that ranked eighth nationally in 2011.