Jon Halapio's toughness impresses Gators coaches, teammates
Florida RG Jon Halapio has had his struggles with injuries that past two months, but his toughness and ability to fight through has impressed his coaches and teammates.
Halapio missed all of preseason camp and the first two games of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. Then in Saturday's game against Tennessee - his first game this season - Halapio was accidentally stuck in the eye and had to leave the game for awhile. He did later return.
"Jon got poked in the eye pretty good," UF coach Will Muschamp ssaid. "He’s got three stitches in his eye but he’s going to be fine this week. But I’ll tell you what a tough young man he is to be able to play through that."
Muschamp said when he went out onto the field after Halapio's eye injury, he saw blood coming from the eye.
Gators OL Max Garcia said he was in awe that Halapio was able to return to the game.
“At first, I thought it was his shoulder again when he was on the field like that," Garcia said. "When he came back with his eye, it pretty much looked like a grape. I was like, ‘Man how’d that happen? When did that happen?’ He was like, ‘I tried to cut the guy and his finger went in my eye.’ I was like, ‘are you going to go back in? You’re crazy, you can’t even see.’
"I'm like I can't even play if I lose a contact and you don't even have an eye," Garcia continued, half-jokingly. I'm like this guy is a warrior. I have a lot of respect for him, even before I came here, I knew he was a leader on this team. Just a tremendous amount of respect. He just continues to show that he's a leader. And he doesn't talk about it, he just walks the walk.”