Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Pouncey back at practice for Gators
By Chris Low
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
The best news for Florida's offensive line was getting junior Maurkice Pouncey back onto the practice field Tuesday.
Pouncey, who started at center in all 14 games last season, had yet to practice in full this preseason after being slowed this summer with a torn labrum in his shoulder. Pouncey, one of the team captains, worked with the first unit during team drills Tuesday.
There had been some talk about Pouncey possibly moving to guard, where he started 11 games in 2007, but it looks like now the plan is for him to remain at center.
That doesn't mean there isn't still some pretty intense competition going on in the Gators' offensive line.
Sophomore James Wilson has really made the decision difficult for the coaches. He's played very well this preseason and is making a bid for the starting left guard job. Wilson was slowed by a foot injury earlier in camp and nearly transferred to Wake Forest following the 2007 season. He's also weathered a pair of knee surgeries during his career.
The right side of the line appears set with Mike Pouncey at guard and Marcus Gilbert at tackle.
Sophomore Matt Patchan appeared to have a beat on the left tackle job after playing on defense last season, but Wilson's progress has made things interesting. Junior Carl Johnson is right there in the mix, too. He started eight games at left guard a year ago.
Redshirt freshman center Sam Robey and junior guard Maurice Hurt are two other guys who've made bids for playing time, so the Gators enter the season with excellent depth up front.