Leonard transfer from Florida is a big loss

HOOVER, Ala. -- Florida tight end A.C. Leonard caught only eight passes for 99 yards last season, so on the surface, his decision to transfer doesn't seem as if it would have much of an impact on the Gators in 2012.

But losing Leonard will hurt.

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound sophomore was Florida's most talented tight end. He's got good hands and runs with the ball well after the catch. An early-season injury hurt his development, but he came on toward the end of the season, making all receptions in the final five games.

Redshirt junior Jordan Reed is the only tight end remaining on the roster who has caught a pass in college. He has 34 career catches for 386 yards and three touchdowns, but has been exclusively a tight end for only one season. He began his career at UF as a quarterback and he is still adapting to the position switch.

The other tight ends on the roster are redshirt freshman Clay Burton, sophomore Tevin Westbrook, and freshmen Kent Taylor and Colin Thompson. Westbrook was moved to tight end after spring practice. Taylor is more of a flex tight end and could be used at receiver if the Gators struggle there. Thompson is more of a blocking tight end.