Florida football: Just when things were going well, Gators lose McWilliams for season

It might be safe to say the Florida football offensive line won’t be the only question mark for the Gators this season. Heck, it might not even be the biggest.

I was fully prepared to deal with a youthful Florida football offensive line.

I am not, however, prepared to deal with continued losses in the Florida football secondary.

In his post-practice news conference Tuesday, Florida football head coach Dan Mullen confirmed that defensive back C.J. McWilliams is lost for the 2019 season after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon during practice.

“It was early in practice, planted and drove and felt the pop,” Mullen said. “It’s a shame.”

McWilliams played in nine games for the Gators last season. He recorded 16 tackles and four pass breakups, according to a report on ESPN.com.

That leaves the number of secondary losses the Gators have this season at four.

Cornerback Brian Edwards entered the transfer portal earlier this spring and wound up at Central Michigan where he will play for former Gators’ head coach Jim McElwain.


Nickleback John Huggins is out due to family reasons and defensive back recruit Chris Steele transferred to USC as fallout from the Jalon Jones situation.

That leaves three freshmen cornerbacks — Kaiir Elam, Jaydon Hill and Chester Kimbrough — as potential starters for the Gators.

Honestly, this is a pretty big setback for the Gator secondary. It leaves us pretty vulnerable to the passing game and susceptible to big, breakout runs if we can’t wrap up at the line of scrimmage.

I want to be surprised by one of the three aforementioned freshmen, but I am one of those where I’ll believe it when I see it.

Hopes are still high, despite the loss of McWilliams and the offensive line that returns just one starter from a year ago.

Of course, if coaching college football were easy, we could all do it.

Next: An in-depth look at the Gators' offensive line

Florida continues its workouts leading up to the season opener in Orlando, against Miami on Aug. 24.