Welcome back, Adam Lane.
Playing in his first game since suffering a season-ending ankle injury in August of last year, Lane’s return Thursday night couldn’t have been scripted better.
The Florida running back commit rushed for a total of 213 yards and five touchdowns on 15 carries in Winter Haven’s spring jamboree, which consisted of two quarters against Tenoroc and then two quarters against Frostproff.
His play of the night came in the second matchup. On the first snap from scrimmage, Lane bounced off the right tackle and blazed by two defenders for a 60-yard score. You can watch his full game highlights HERE.
The last time Lane played was in the Blue Devils’ 2011 spring game, where he had 305 rushing yards and five touchdowns against Belen Jesuit.
Winter Haven coach Charlie Tate was happy to see his star player have another sensational spring showing.
“He’s a tremendous player,” Tate said. “It was great to watch him back out there. He was definitely a show-stopper. He was healthy and had a really good time. He said, ‘I knew how much I missed it coach, but I forgot how much fun it is to actually be out here and play in a game.’ ”
Tate said he and his coaches had concerns going into the game, but they quickly left once Lane went 38 yards for a touchdown on his third carry.
“I wasn’t exactly sure what we were going to get Thursday night,” Tate said. “All of us were kind of nervous and holding our breath. He had a tough injury a year ago. But he showed no worries and made three very special runs that just showed who he is. It was a pleasant surprise because it’s the guy we knew we had.”
Tate praised the work ethic Lane displayed during his recovery from a broken fibula and dislocated ankle in his right leg.
“When he got injured, he was the best thing I’d ever been around,” Tate said. “He had a great offseason last summer and he was ready to have an outstanding year. Then he got hurt and it was hard on him. But he went through rehab and stayed the course.
“When spring started, with each scrimmage he got a little bit more fearless and more like himself. So he deserves all the credit he gets. He’s just a great worker and pushed himself through his doubts to get back.”
UF running backs coach Brian White was on hand for Lane’s performance. Tate said the Gators are getting a special running back who will strive in the competitive environment at Florida.
“The thing that’s neat about going to a big school like Florida is the challenge to make himself better,” Tate said. “I think he excels in that arena. This spring was a testament to that. He’s not a finished product yet, but he’s close.
“He’s a strong kid and works extremely hard in the weight room. But he’s also very fast, and that’s what makes him special. He’s a load to tackle and if he gets that little bit of space he needs, he’s got a chance to be in the end zone.”