Posted: 7:37 pm Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Freshman WR Andre Debose opts for season-ending surgery 

By Post Staff

Andre Debose, his parents, the Florida medical staff and Urban Meyer spent a week consulting outside doctors to see if Debose could avoid surgery to repair a torn tendon in his leg.

But after a week of trying, the answer became obvious – Debose needs the surgery.

Meyer announced Tuesday that Debose, the Gators’ top offensive recruit in 2009 whom Meyer has been calling “the next Percy Harvin” since February, will undergo a procedure to re-attach a hamstring tendon to a bone in his leg. Debose will red-shirt this season, and will begin his four years of eligibility in 2010.

“Really crushed,” is how Meyer said Debose took the news. “He wanted to really play. But he also understands this is a marathon, not a sprint, so he’s going to get it fixed.”

Debose, who was ranked No. 17 in the ESPN 150 and the No. 2 receiver for the class of 2009, initially suffered the injury while running track for Sanford-Seminole High this past spring. The injury, first thought to be merely a hamstring pull, held Debose out of most of the Gators’ summer workouts, and limited him last month during training camp.

Tuesday, Meyer called the injury “significant.” It is the same injury that kept Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray out of the BCS Championship Game. Murray needed three months of rehabilitation to get back on the field.

With Debose out, Meyer said the Gators will count even more on senior Brandon James and sophomore Jeff Demps to fill the “Percy position.” Meyer also mentioned sophomores Chris Rainey and T.J. Lawrence as candidates for the position.