Florida cornerback Marcus Roberson has spent more time off the field than on it this season, thanks to a knee injury, but the highly-regarded NFL prospect is making his return at just the right time for the Gators, and NFL scouts alike: to face LSU.
Roberson injured the knee on Sept. 7 against Miami, and hasn't played since. According to palmbeachpost.com, however, UF coach Will Muschamp said the junior is now ready to play.
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"We've just gotta give him a little bit more time," Muschamp said. "I thought he ran well this week, practiced Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and just came out for the (Arkansas) game and didn't feel totally right. But I think he should be fine for this week."
And that means the Gators will be better able to contain LSU star receivers Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jarvis Landry when Florida visits Death Valley Saturday (CBS, 3:30 p.m. ET). Freshman Vernon Hargreaves III has played exceptionally well in a larger role since Roberson was injured, and it's likely that Hargreaves will continue to see action against LSU, perhaps splitting time with Roberson or joining him in UF's five- and six-defensive back packages.
Landry and Beckham have emerged as the top receiving tandem in the Southeastern Conference, in part due to the impressive development of senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger. If there is any trio of cornerbacks in the SEC who can contain the Beckham-Landry threat, it's Roberson, Hargreaves and another top NFL prospect, cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy.
Of the many matchups to watch closely when the Gators and Tigers meet, that will be among the best.