- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- When James Hearns was diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee, the Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln High School junior linebacker wasn't expecting to lose scholarship offers.
It's not an uncommon injury. Players tear ACLs, have surgery, rehab, return to the field in less than a year, and play at the same high level at which they were performing before the injury. It's not as big a deal as it was 20 years ago.
But some schools apparently didn't want to take the risk with Hearns. Several pulled offers, which surprised and disappointed him. Florida, however, wasn't one of those schools, and that's why he verbally committed to the Gators' 2013 class on Feb. 2.
Tallahassee, Fla., linebacker James Hearns committed to the Gators after the UF coaching staff stuck with him during his recovery from a torn ACL.