Florida Gators cornerback C.J. McWilliams will miss the entirety of the 2019 season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in practice, Florida coach Dan Mullen revealed Tuesday in a press conference.
McWilliams, per Mullen “planted, drove, and felt a pop” in a practice, suffering the injury in a non-contact context.
McWilliams, a redshirt junior from Georgia, was in the mix to contribute significantly at Florida’s slot corner position — called “Star” — but had struggled for most of his first two seasons with the Gators, frequently getting targeted by opponents and ceding much of his playing time at the end of the 2018 season to true freshman Trey Dean III. His injury could allow younger defensive backs that might have higher ceilings than McWilliams’s own into the rotation in a sink-or-swim role.
“Freshman advance a lot off of opportunity,” Mullen said later in his presser. “Our three freshman corners” — Kaiir Elam, Jaydon Hill, and Chester Kimbrough — “they’re going to play.”