GAINESVILLE — Florida offensive lineman James Wilson has been on campus since July, working out with teammates and waiting to get on the field.
The guard finally practiced Wednesday.
Wilson, who asked to be released from his scholarship so he could transfer, was the biggest surprise at the Gators' first spring practice. Though he worked mostly on the side because he's recovering from knee surgery, it was a positive sign that coach Urban Meyer might be able to keep the former Parade All-American in Gainesville.
"I'm here, so I'm going to make the most of my situation right now," Wilson said. "I want to keep an open mind and have a chance to play with the guys. I'm still weighing my options."
Wilson, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound redshirt freshman from St. Augustine, felt disconnected from teammates and wanted to transfer to Wake Forest.
But Meyer denied his request, asking him to give Florida a second chance.
"I decided to come because I didn't want to have any regrets if I do decide to leave," Wilson said. "Just prove I'm a competitor. Just want to show people what I do and get better in the long run."
Wilson hopes to practice fully in two or three weeks.
Florida lost two starters on the line and expect plenty of competition for the open spots.
Wilson said his knees felt "better than ever, stronger than ever."
"I'm proud of him for coming out here," Meyer said. "It says a lot about him."
In other spring news, receiver Carl Moore, a junior college transfer making his Florida debut, made several tough catches, including a one-hander.
PLANCHER UPDATE: An autopsy was inconclusive on the death of UCF redshirt freshman Ereck Plancher, a cousin of USF player Moise Plancher. The Orange County Medical Examiner's office said several weeks of additional testing will be needed to determine why Ereck Plancher lost consciousness Tuesday after strength and conditioning drills. UCF's scheduled start of spring practices Wednesday was indefinitely postponed. Florida cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis, a high school teammate of Plancher's, hopes to attend the funeral.
VIRGINIA TECH: Star running back Branden Ore will not play next season, a decision reached after meetings with coach Frank Beamer. Ore would have been a redshirt senior. On his Facebook profile he said he was "making life decisions right now." Beamer said in a statement that it would be best for Ore to pursue other opportunities. In January, an Ore friend was convicted of possessing crack cocaine with intent to distribute. Ore was in a car with Tony Majette when police found drugs, but Ore was not charged.