University of Florida

Florida Gators secondary hurt by injury, suspension

Florida’s star-studded secondary could enter the Sep. 5 opener against New Mexico State without both starting safeties.

While redshirt junior Marcus Maye is suspended for UF’s first game, junior eraser Keanu Neal remains sidelined with an undisclosed leg injury he sustained in Friday’s scrimmage.

“We’re still working on his leg,” coach Jim McElwain said. “[His status] is to be determined.”

Neal started eight games as a sophomore in 2014, and the hard-hitting defensive back is considered a breakout candidate in his third year in the program. With the possibility of both Neal and Maye missing the opener, the Gators’ impressive secondary depth will be tested.

McElwain said Florida is experimenting moving senior nickelback Brian Poole to safety, while also giving snaps to sophomores Duke Dawson, Marcell Harris and Nick Washington.