5 Formerly Injured Players We Can't Wait to See in Spring Practice
Injuries are a sad but all-too-familiar reality for many college football stars. Guys like Texas quarterback David Ash and 2012 Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year Devonte Fields had their 2013 campaigns cut short by the injury bug.
But like the season itself, spring practice brings new life to many guys who were unable to see the field in 2013. And it's these guys that we can't wait to see get back to action.
Check out five players who will make their return to the gridiron this spring.
After serving a suspension to start the season, TCU defensive end Devonte Fields saw action in just three games before being ruled out for the rest of the 2013 season with a foot injury, per ESPN.
Fields had 10 sacks in his freshman campaign and was expected to be one of the best players in the Big 12 the following year. Now, he's faced with the task of living up to the expectations he put on himself, and that starts this spring.
Fields is expected to get back to the field this spring, and his presence is desperately needed in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs lost eight games last year, but Fields could be the reason things turn around in TCU's third year of membership in the Big 12.
David Ash suffered a concussion against BYU, the Longhorns' second game last season, and after Texas' matchup with Kansas State two weeks later he never saw the field again.
But it was announced in mid-January that Ash was cleared for spring practice (per Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports), which should result in an all-out battle for the quarterback position between himself and rising sophomore Tyrone Swoopes.
Ash has been inconsistent at best during his tenure in Austin, and that's been a huge reason Texas has failed to live up to expectations in recent years. But with a new head coach in town and some months off to refocus, Ash could be poised to take the Big 12 by storm in 2014.
Evan Engram was just part of a slew of injuries that Ole Miss had to deal with last year.
It was reported in late October that the freshman tight end would miss the rest of the 2013 campaign after succumbing to an ankle injury. Before the injury, Engram had hauled in 20 catches, three of them for touchdowns.
Engram was part of the heralded 2013 recruiting class that Hugh Freeze brought in, and looked like one of its biggest contributors early on. Hopefully the spring can bring renewed life to the Rebels as a whole, and Engram's return is certainly among the most highly anticipated.
Whether Florida fans like Jeff Driskel's return to the Gators from injury is a whole different argument all together. Nevertheless, according to Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel, Driskel will make his return from a broken leg by spring practice, which starts on March 19 in Gainesville.
The Gators are coming off one of their worst seasons in recent memory, and the quarterback play was a huge part of Florida's struggles.
Driskel may not be the type of playmaker that Gator fans are used to having (it's hard to find another Tim Tebow), but his experience is certainly valuable as Will Muschamp looks to overhaul and reignite the offense.
Wide receiver Austin Hill missed all of 2013 with a torn ACL that he suffered last spring. He later announced that, after missing the entire season, Hill wouldn't pursue the NFL and would return to the Wildcats.
Hill is expected to be a huge boost to Arizona's offense, which ranked 31st in the nation in total offense last year.
The Corona, Calif., native is considered one of the best receivers of his class. But he'll need to prove that with a solid bounce-back season in 2014. But for now, we'll see how his knee holds up in spring practice.
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