GAINESVILLE — Florida redshirt senior WR Andre Debose suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee during a noncontact situation in practice Tuesday, the second season-ending injury of his career.
"I know that Andre is disappointed," coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday. "He had been doing very well in camp, and we were more than pleased with his effort and attitude. He just planted his foot and there was a tear."
Debose has played in 31 games and has 29 receptions for 543 yards and four touchdowns. His greatest value has been as kick returner: 58 returns for 1,592 yards. He holds the UF career record for kickoff return average (27.4) and is tied with three others for the SEC record with four kickoff returns for TDs.
A knee injury from high school wiped out his 2009 freshman season. He will have surgery on this injury after the swelling goes down.
USF: Young DBs star
TAMPA — Three days into USF's fall practice, with no pads yet in drills, there's a growing buzz around freshman CB Lamar Robbins, who is making a case to play immediately.
"He had a good day (Tuesday), was talking a lot of smack," senior S Mark Joyce said. "He told us he was going to shut Andre (Davis, USF's top receiver last season) down, and he did. He got a pick on Andre and shut him down the whole day. I liked that."
Coach Willie Taggart, speaking about noticeable defensive players, pointed to Robbins and fellow freshman Hassan Childs, who got an interception for the second day in a row.
this and that: Taggart praised DT Elkino Watson, listed at 286 pounds, who looked natural picking up a fumble. "He looked like an athlete, looked like a skill guy, one of those skinny guys," Taggart said. … Senior QB Bobby Eveld continued to work with the No. 1 offense early in Wednesday's practice, with sophomore Matt Floyd working with the second team. Penn State transfer Steven Bench and freshman Mike White will now be worked into a rotation for reps with the returning veterans.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer
FSU: Newbies at home
TALLAHASSEE — FSU's incoming freshmen might be going through their first practices, but they haven't looked out of their element.
"I really like how the freshmen incorporated themselves into practice; we put them in the fire real quick," coach Jimbo Fisher said. "They're just taking reps, being where they're supposed to be, not running around like a chicken with their head cut off most the time."
Fisher credited the leadership of his upperclassmen.
A go: Freshman RB Mario Pender did not practice Tuesday, waiting for a grade to post but was cleared to return Wednesday.
UCF: Back to watch
ORLANDO — Storm Johnson, the transfer from Miami, is ready to step into the full-time role as UCF's starting running back.
The junior's ability to churn out yards will be crucial, as UCF will play physical teams this season, and it will need to keep its defense off the field.
The knock on Johnson has been his penchant for dancing instead of squaring his shoulders to get yards, but coaches said they have seen a difference since spring.