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Jefferson High alum Gage Wilcox’s Florida Gators career is likely over

His absence is a notable blow for a very thin tight end group.
Gage Wilcox, seen here at Jefferson High in 2019, suffered a career-ending injury at Florida.
Gage Wilcox, seen here at Jefferson High in 2019, suffered a career-ending injury at Florida. [ SCOTT PURKS | Scott Purks, for the Times ]
Published Mar. 31

Florida tight end Gage Wilcox has sustained what is expected to be a career-ending injury, Gators coach Billy Napier told reporters Thursday night.

“Very unfortunate for Gage,” Napier said after a spring scrimmage. “While he was here with us, he did a fantastic job. Certainly tough but part of the game.”

Napier did not elaborate on the nature of Wilcox’s injury.

Related: Florida’s ho-hum pro day is another sign of what Gators must fix under Billy Napier

Wilcox signed with UF in the 2021 class as a four-star recruit from Jefferson High and one of the top 12 tight ends in the country. The 6-foot-4, 241-pound athlete debuted last season against USF and also played in the Gasparilla Bowl against UCF.

His injury is a significant blow to an already thin position group. Another Tampa product, Jesuit High alumnus Jonathan Odom is sidelined after undergoing a recent surgery.

In need of bodies, the Gators have moved Dante Zanders from defensive end to tight end. Napier said Zanders “has been a godsend” and has the potential to make an impact at his new position this season. Another defensive lineman, Griffin McDowell, has been playing tight end and caught a passing during Thursday’s scrimmage. So did one of UF’s long snappers.

“When a long snapper catches a pass, you’re being creative to find a way to get it done,” Napier said.

UF has some incoming players at the position who will have a chance to help, including King High alumnus Tony Livingston. But expect the Gators to be active in the transfer portal after spring at tight end and elsewhere.

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