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Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Gator Breakdown: Ian Silberman

By Michael DiRocco

During the summer, GatorNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Florida roster -- excluding the Gators’ 2013 recruiting class -- in our Gator Breakdown series. Starting with No. 1 Quinton Dunbar, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 97 Brad Phillips.

No. 77 Ian Silberman

Redshirt junior offensive lineman

Expectations for 2013: The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Silberman goes into August practices as the top backup to Max Garcia at left guard. After the projected starters and redshirt senior reserve Kyle Koehne, Silberman is the Gators’ most experienced lineman. However, he has played in only 12 games (three starts) in his career. Most of that came last season, when he played in eight games and started three because of injuries. Silberman did not participate in spring practice, because he was recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

Best-case scenario in 2013: Silberman, ESPN.com’s No. 3 offensive tackle prospect in 2010, got a lot of work last season in UF’s jumbo package, and that’s likely where he’ll see most of his playing time in 2013. He’s solid enough that he could fill in for Garcia or right guard Jon Halapio because of injuries on a short-term basis.

Worst-case scenario in 2013: Silberman has been bothered by injuries in his career, although the shoulder injury was the most serious. He played well when thrust into the starting lineup against Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Louisiana-Lafayette but hasn’t been consistent enough to challenge Garcia for the starting spot in 2013. UF’s depth along the offensive line isn’t great, so injuries that take someone out of the lineup for a significant length of time would be hard to overcome.

Future impact: Garcia has two years of eligibility remaining, but Halapio graduates and Silberman could get into the mix with Trip Thurman for the starting spot at right guard in 2014.