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Nov 7, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators offensive lineman David Sharpe (78) blocks Vanderbilt Commodores linebacker Darreon Herring (35) during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores 9-7. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Gator Offensive Line

When the Florida Gator football team takes the field on September 3 for the season opener against Massachusetts, they will do so with a more experienced offensive line.

Nov 7, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators offensive lineman Martez Ivey (73) blocks Vanderbilt Commodores defensive lineman Torey Agee (94) during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 7, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators offensive lineman Martez Ivey (73) blocks Vanderbilt Commodores defensive lineman Torey Agee (94) during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Considered a weakness a year ago, the offensive line returns most of the players from  last season, excluding Trip Thurman, who graduated and is now with the Cincinnati Bengals, Mason Halter, who also graduated, and Travaris Dorsey, who transferred.

Head coach Jim McElwain said at media day that the offensive line has grown up. He said the key to the offensive line’s success is the development and maturity of David Sharpe. As a sophomore last season, Sharpe started 13 of 14 games.

Speaking for himself on media day, Sharpe said he feels the offense, as a whole, has a lot of potential.

McElwain also said sophomore Martez Ivey will be limited in preseason camp after having shoulder surgery in the offseason.

However, Ivey said he feels healthy.

The offensive line also returns redshirt junior Antonio Riles, who now has two years of experience on the offensive line after switching from defensive line in the spring of 2014, redshirt junior Cameron Dillard, who started 11 games last season, sophomore Fred Johnson, and sophomore Tyler Jordan, who played in all 14 games last season.

Also returning are a group of players who redshirted last year including Richerd Desir-Jones, Brandon Sandifer, and Nick Buchanan.

The Gators also bring in true freshmen Brett Heggie, an Under Armour All-American, Jawaan Taylor, and Stone Forsythe.

About Ellen Bazley

Junior telecommunication student at the University of Florida. Passionate about all things related to sports.

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