Less than two years after signing on to be a Florida Gator, De’Ante Saunders is now an ex-Florida Gator.
While UF has yet to confirm the move, Saunders told the Gainesville Sun that he was granted a release from his scholarship a couple of days ago. “It’s been a long time coming,” Saunders told the paper.
The safety was a member of Will Muschamp‘s first Gators recruiting class.
Said Saunders, “Nothing against Florida or coach Muschamp, but I just needed a fresh start.”
Saunders started 16 games in his two seasons in Gainesville, including nine as a true freshman last season and seven this season. He was suspended for unspecified violations of team rules in November of this year, sending him to the sidelines for the final two games of the regular season. The sophomore had previously been ruled out of the Gators’ Sugar Bowl matchup with Louisville as well.
Oddly enough, Saunders also confirmed to the Sun that Louisville is “[t]he top school I’m considering right now” as a transfer destination. The Cardinals’ head coach, Charlie Strong, was UF’s defensive coordinator during a sizable portion of Saunders’ recruitment.
Coming out of high school in Deland, Fla., Saunders was a three-star member of UF’s 2011 recruiting class. He was rated by Rivals.com as the No. 27 safety in the country.