Name: Matt Rolin
Why did he redshirt?
Rolin was cleared to begin working out after going through an exhaustive rehabilitation to repair a torn ACL that he sustained as a senior in high school. Rolin put the injury behind him, enrolled early at Florida and was ready to begin his college career when disaster struck again.
Rolin tore his ACL again in August in a non-contact drill just eight months after tearing the ligament the first time.
The injury was Florida’s second ACL tear of the week — following one suffered by Andre Debose — and shook up Florida’s head coach.
“A guy that was making tremendous progress for us, a guy that was going to play for us this year, was going to be on special teams and be a backup SAM linebacker,” Will Muschamp said of Rolin. “He’s still got a tremendous future at the University of Florida and will be a really good football player. He’s physical, he’s tough, he’s smart and I just really hurt for both of those guys.”
Depth at the position?
The Gators have eight scholarship linebacker (nine if you include BUCK LB Dante Fowler) and it’s certainly a versatile group.
Rolin is an athletic linebacker and pass-rusher who will likely battle with Neiron Ball and Alex Anzalone at SAM linebacker.
Rolin is an aggressive football player and sound tackler. He’s quick and athletic, more than capable of playing the kind of zone that will be asked of him at SAM linebacker.
He’s an active pass-rusher and a relentless pursuer of the ball carrier. He’s sound against the rush and will be a very good player for the Gators this season and moving forward.
Rolin had two ACL surgeries in the span of 12 months, so who knows how healthy he will be coming back.
Rolin is cleared for spring practice and once those practices get going, we’ll be able to see how much those surgeries have affected him as a player.
If truly healthy, Rolin will be an impact player for the Gators this season. He’s a big, strong, athletic linebacker who fits into Muschamp’s defense perfectly. If Rolin is healthy I wouldn’t be surprised to see him earn a starting job at some point this season as well as being able to contribute immediately on special teams.