The Florida Gators were simply not the team many had expected them to be during former head coach Will Muschamp’s tenure. A slew of injuries year and lack of direction on the offensive side of the ball characterized the team during his stint manning the sidelines. Under Jim McElwain, the team will attempt to retain some of their former glory, and build UF back into the national powerhouse fans are accustomed to.
The rebuilding process begins little by little, and Tuesday the team received a major boost when tight end Jake McGee announced that he would play for the Gators during his sixth and final season of eligibility.
McGee, a Virginia Cavaliers transfer, broke both his tibia and fibula during his first game with the team causing his season to come to a premature end. In 2013, McGee led the Cavs with 43 catches for 395 yards and two touchdowns. The Gators received almost no production from the tight end slot and their top receiver at the position caught eight passes for 81 yards. If healthy, McGee is an instant upgrade at the spot and will provide veteran leadership to a rather young roster. Still, it remains unclear how the team plans on using McGee as he returns from such a serious injury.
Florida returns quarterback Treon Harris to the position, and the true sophomore will need all the help he can get when the Gators take on the always-difficult SEC. The Gators finished the 2014 season 7-5 and had an overall record of 28-21 during Muschamp’s tenure leading to his ultimate demise. McGee is the first of a long rebuilding process, but a good sign to McElwain that players will stay true to the program and help him achieve the same level of success he did at Colorado State. McElwain will coach his first contest as the head ball coach of Florida on September 5 when the team squares off against the New Mexico Aggies in “The Swamp.”
*Section Photo credit to Sam Greenwood, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Howard Smith, USA Today Sports