Photo by David Rosenblum / Getty Images

Last fall, Florida defensive tackle, Elijah Conliffe suffered an injury to his right foot. Although it was never revealed exactly what type of injury was sustained, Conliffe was sidelined for the entirety of the 2019 football season. On Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson for the university announced that Conliffe would be taking a medical exemption. Although he will remain on scholarship at the University of Florida, the embattled defender will no longer count towards Florida’s remaining scholarships.

The junior out of Hampton, Virginia amassed a grand total of 15 tackles in limited play during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Despite the sparsity of playing time in his career, Conliffe factored heavily into the future when it came to Florida’s class depth. The Gators boast a trifecta of returning seniors at the defensive tackle position but have no returning sophomores or juniors now that Conliffe is out of the mix.

The staff has made the defensive line a point of priority in the 2021 recruiting class. However, they have received just one commitment to date, a reality that they hope to change in August when Miami Palmetto five-star, Leonard Taylor announces his commitment.

Surely this hurts Florida’s depth—at least in terms of experience—but it is a heartwrenching realization for a young athlete who will never play another down. We, here at Chomp Talk, wish Elijah well in all of his pursuits moving forward.

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