Starting Florida Gators defensive end/linebacker Ronald Powell could be sidelined into the season with a torn ACL, and perhaps even longer. It's the second such injury for the Gators since last year's regular season, as they hope to get back defensive tackle Dominique Easley in the summer.
Florida's defense is set to be one of the nation's best, ranking No. 8 last year and returning a whopping 10 starters. But Powell's contributions are critical. As a sophomore, he led the team with six sacks from his 3-4 Buck position. With Jaye Howard moving on, no other returning Gator had more than three sacks. Powell also finished third among returning players in tackles for loss.
In line to contend for his spot are Gideon Ajagbe, Lerentee McCray and Dante Fowler Jr., says Rachel George of the Orlando Sentinel. McCray has the most game experience, and Ajagbe got the bulk of the non-Powell practice snaps in spring. Fowler is a true freshman.