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Florida linebacker cleared to play following shoulder surgery

Florida linebacker Derek Wingo spent all of spring in a non-contact jersey as he worked his way back from a shoulder injury that required surgery.

On Monday, Wingo took to Twitter to announce that team doctors had medically cleared him for a full return to action. Wingo has appeared in all 37 games for the Gators over the past three seasons and is in his final year of eligibility.

Over 46 career games, Wingo has 58 total tackles (20 solo), including 6.5 tackles for loss (43 yards) and 4.5 sacks (38 yards). He’s also deflected two passes and blocked a kick.

He’ll play a big part in Florida’s linebacker rotation this year, mixing in behind Grayson Howard and Shemar James.

Wingo is viewed as a team leader, even if he isn’t a first-stringer.

“Tremendous leadership there. I think that’s the first thing (you notice),” Wingo’s position coach Ron Roberts said. “You’re always looking for those types of things. Those are the things that make a difference on a football team. Do you have the right guys in leadership positions that can help bring the young guys along?”

Wingo shouldn’t have any rust by the time the regular season starts. He played in a non-contact jersey during the spring game and another team scrimmage. He’ll experience summer and fall camps in their totality.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire