Photo: Florida Gators narrow sides Nick Elksnis and Jonathan Odom; Credit: Alex Shepherd
It was a tough six weeks for Florida Gators freshmen Nick Elksnis. Expected to jump ahead on UF’s depth chart during spring training earlier this year, Elksnis was kicked out pretty quickly due to a broken shoulder blade and missed most of the camp.
Elksnis had positive news to share on Saturday, however, it has shown quite a bit of progress in recovering from a shoulder injury. Elksnis went to the gym on Saturday, hitting five repetitions of overhead pressure at £ 135.
“6 weeks ago the day I broke my shoulder blade something serious,” Elksnis wrote on Instagram. “Now I’m only rewinding for six weeks and pressing over my head 135 for 5. Until I’m nowhere near where I want to be[, I] I couldn’t help but announce this progress and damn it if I’m not ready for war with my team in the first week! “
When Elksnis, along with a compact colleague, ends up in a red shirt for the second year Jonathan Odom (shoulders) and first shirt Gage Wilcox (unpublished, considered career end), fell due to injuries at the camp, Florida relied on repatriated defensive players in Dante Zanders and Noah Keeter fill in place instead of three regular associates.
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At that time c Keon Zipperer it was the only healthy UF scholarship.
While Zanders and Keeter held their own, Florida is certainly pleased with Elksnis’ progress. Under new head coach Billy Napier, the Gators are expected to expand their use of 12-man formations, using two tight ends at the same time much more often than UF in years past.
In that case, Elksnis’ health will be an important story to follow after the autumn camp rolls around.
Elksnis, 6 feet-6, 232 pounds, has arguably the greatest potential of all indoors in Florida. A highly coveted recruit in the 2021 class, Elksnis has the size to be a hit blocker in the running game, as well as the length and athleticism required to appear as a mismatch in the passing game, especially in midfield and down the seam.
Elksnis should play a role in the Gators attack this year after receiving permission to participate. Considering he can press a heavy weight in less than two months after the injury, Elksnis is on track to continue training in the fall and compete for some time to play.
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