Florida Gators' Solomon Patton: Exactly What Florida Needed
On October 27, 2012, Florida Gators junior wide receiver Solomon Patton was hit hard on a tackle by Georgia Bulldogs' Shawn Williams. The play resulted in a broken arm, a season-ending injury for Patton. It was a sad day for the Gators, but he assured he would be back in action soon and would not disappoint when he returned. Looks like Patton is a man of his word.
As wideout for the Gators, Patton had only one reception for 17 yards last season, but was a decent part of the run game with 14 carries for 140 yards and a vital part of special teams. This time around, his performance is a lot different. He is back and looking better than ever. Now a senior and in full health, Patton is showing everyone just how much the Gators missed him last season. As the current leading receiver for Florida, he has 19 receptions for 348 yards and four touchdowns in just five games. One of those receptions included a one-yard pass from quarterback Tyler Murphy that turned into a speedy 52-yard touchdown run against the Tennessee Volunteers.
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In Saturday's game against the Arkansas Razorbacks, Patton stole the show on offense. In the first half, he had a 51-yard touchdown and a 38-yard touchdown in the second half. Patton is adding a flash of excitement to the offense the Gators have desperately needed to see in a wide receiver. Who knew what the Gators needed was on the roster all this time? His hot hands, his speed, and his ability to shed defenders make Patton a definite go-to-guy for Murphy.
Solomon Patton, teamed up with wideout Quinton Dunbar, "Jack of all trades" Trey Burton and Florida's calm, confident new quarterback Tyler Murphy, has vastly improved the Gators passing game from last season. The season is almost halfway over and I believe he still has a lot more in store for us.
The Gators will face their biggest SEC challenge yet when they take on the LSU Tigers at Death Valley Saturday, October 12th at 3:30 PM.