Over the next 9 days, GatorCountry will preview the players that make up the 2013 Florida Gators football team as we inch closer and closer to the season.
Each day we will count down using the player whose jersey number corresponds with how many days there are left until Florida kicks off against Toledo in The Swamp on August 31.
Today we take a look at freshman linebacker Matt Rolin.
Matt Rolin was an Under Armour All-American linebacker from Briar Woods High School in Ashburn, Virginia. Rolin was a long time South Carolina commit before flipping to Florida in December on 2012.
Rolin enrolled at Florida in January and continued to rehab an ACL injury that he suffered during his senior season of high school. Rolin worked hard and was cleared to begin practicing at the beginning of fall camp. Rolin impressed the coaching staff before he re-injured the same knee during camp, requiring another season-ending knee surgery.
Rolin had the knee repaired this week by Dr. James Andrews.
Rolin is an athletic linebacker who plays with the kind of aggression you love to see at linebacker. He is equally efficient at filling gaps and taking on offensive linemen as a blitzer, as well as playing back in pass coverage.
Rolin is an instinctual player who reads plays quickly and uses his athleticism to get in the position to make plays. He is a solid wrap-up tackler who shows great form and tenacity at the point of attack.
Rolin played both ways in high school and you can see some of the receiver in him with his ball skills on defense. He has the ability to go up for jump balls and either come down with the ball or separate the receiver from it.
Rolin is really a complete package at linebacker but you really have to start questioning his durability. You would hate to see injuries derail his career but after tearing the same ACL within a year, you have to start questioning whether Rolin can stay healthy.
He has all the potential in the world, he just needs to stay healthy and on the field.
What to Expect
Rolin is obviously going to be taking a medical redshirt this season. After tearing his ACL, Muschamp told the media that Rolin was on the path to making an impact on the field this season and it is truly unfortunate that he won’t be able to play this season.
Rolin had his knee repaired by one of the best surgeons in the country and should be on the same track as Ronald Powell and be able to return next season.