Photo courtesy of @Odom_87 via X (Twitter).

Jonathan Odom Discusses Comeback from ACL Injury, Loss to Utah and Florida Culture

Jonathan Odom has had an inspirational journey this past year as he recently made his comeback appearance with Florida’s football team after suffering an ACL injury at the end of last season. Despite the loss to Utah in the season-opener, he spoke to the media Wednesday on how Florida’s winning culture makes it an easy process to recover from an early loss.

ACL Injury

Odom played in a career-high nine games in the 2022-23 season before suffering an ACL tear against Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 17. It was a rough process for him, but he says his mother gave him an optimistic outlook on the situation.

“Do what your trainers say and take it serious day-by-day and you’ll have an opportunity to play coming up next season,” Odom said his mother told him.

He went on to discuss how he wanted no one but his inner circle around him following the injury.

Odom on the Loss to Utah

Odom recorded four receptions for 46 yards in last week’s loss at Utah. Despite Utah being a nationally ranked team, he said it was Florida’s own wrongdoings that caused the loss. “Our goals for this week … just going out there and playing Gator Football,” he said.

This week’s practices are important in getting the Gators back on track, he said. “Film and walkthroughs are important… but Tuesdays and Wednesdays are what actual games will be like,” he said.

Florida’s Winning Culture

Odom discussed how Florida’s winning culture is different compared to other schools. He recalled his father, Jason Odom, and his time as a four-year starter on the Gators’ offensive line from 1992-95. He said he doesn’t remember ever seeing Gators fans storming the field after a win. “I think it was one of the old athletic directors banned it because the University of Florida expects to win every game,” he said.

Odom also said coach Billy Napier has set the standard by telling the team “No matter what happens, we’re not going to get used to the feeling of walking off of the field with a loss.”

There’s plenty on the line for Florida football players because of the legacy they carry, Odom said. When he asked his father about what he misses most about football, his father told him, “The tunnel and just being able to see everyone in Ben Hill.”

 

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