It has been about 19 months since Ronald Powell has played a down of meaningful football for Florida, but going into fall training camp, the junior is looking to make up for lost time.
Powell, a 6-foot-4, 234-pound linebacker, suffered an ACL tear in his left knee in the 2012 Orange and Blue Game and hasn’t played a game since. He was expected to return in midseason, but a setback pushed back his return.
But now he’s ready.
“I’m definitely ready to go out, go back out there and play with my team, make an impact and do the things I think I’m capable of doing,” Powell said at UF Media Day on Thursday.
Powell made an impact on the field the last time he suited up for game action. In 2011, he led the Gators with six sacks and finished fourth on the team with nine tackles for loss.
Coach Will Muschamp said Powell was cleared to practice, but Powell plans to make sure he’s healthy when he gets back on the field.
“I don’t want to get too anxious where I go out and I override my body,” he said. “I need to stay healthy and stay smart.”
But Powell has chosen another football star to inspire him: Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who returned from an ACL tear in 2011 to win the NFL MVP in 2012.
“He’s up in my locker right now,” Powell said. “That article that Sports Illustrated did on him when he came back from his ACL, that’s up in my locker right now.”
Morrison suspended indefinitely: Muschamp said on Thursday that sophomore linebacker Antonio Morrison will not join the team for the beginning of fall training camp.
Morrison was arrested on June 16 after police said he punched a bouncer at the Kava Lounge, 1007 W. University Ave. Morrison was arrested a second time on July 21 after allegedly barking at a police dog.
Morrison received deferred prosecution for the battery charge in June. The state dropped the charges after the second incident.
Muschamp said Morrison will join the team at some point during fall training camp.
“At the end of the day, our guys understand if they make mistakes, there are going to be consequences,” he said.
Contact Adam Lichtenstein at email@example.com.
Ronald Powell stands on the field prior to Florida's 14-6 win against LSU on Oct. 6 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.