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Florida's Munroe lost for season to knee injury

7/16/2008 - Florida Gators

Florida's secondary, the Gators' most glaring weakness a year ago, has taken another blow before the start of preseason practice.

Junior Dorian Munroe, expected to start alongside Major Wright at safety this season, will require season-ending surgery after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Also lost for the season is reserve defensive back John Curtis, who tore the ACL in his left knee. Curtis has already had two prior surgeries on that knee.

"Dorian and John were having tremendous offseasons," Florida coach Urban Meyer said in a statement. "I'm confident Dorian will battle through the rehabilitation process and come back a better football player. John has suffered through multiple knee surgeries, and the medical staff along with John and his family will need to evaluate his long-term future in football."

With Munroe out of the picture, incoming freshman Will Hill will likely figure prominently in the Gators' plans in the secondary. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Hill was one of the top-rated safety prospects in the country.

The loss of Munroe also will hurt the Gators on special teams. He led the team with 13 special-teams tackles last season.

The Gators, who started two true freshmen in the secondary, were last in the SEC a year ago in pass defense.

Chris Low is a college football writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnclow@aol.com.