The Florida Gators will be without their leading tackler from a year ago when they kickoff the 2017 season.

Redshirt senior safety Marcell Harris will miss the 2017 season after tearing his Achilles tendon. Harris suffered the injury in a team running session on Wednesday.

“As a coach this is one of the hardest things you are faced with,” Jim McElwain said in a release. “Here is a kid who has made great personal growth during his time here and has really matured both on and off the field. It is tough to see a player invest so much in himself and his teammates and have this happen, but I do know that we will support him every step of the way as he works through this injury.”

Harris played in all 13 games last season and his 73 tackles led all defenders. The redshirt senior enjoyed his best season last year and was poised for another big year where he was expected to be a leader in what will be a young secondary. With Harris out the Gators will likely lose the versatility that Chauncey Gardner would have provided, as he is the likely full-time replacement next to Nick Washington at safety. The other option to replace him would be redshirt freshman Quincy Lenton, who missed the 2016 season with a foot injury, or sophomore Jeawon Taylor, who went through offseason shoulder surgery.

No matter which way you spin it, losing Harris is a huge blow to Florida’s secondary.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC