Coming off a five-win season that saw Florida’s offense hit rock-bottom (they hope), attrition on that side of the ball may not necessarily constitute bad news.
Head coach Will Muschamp confirmed Thursday that five players have decided to leave the football program: sophomore tight end Kent Taylor (no relation), redshirt freshman fullback Raheim Ledbetter, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Quinteze Williams, freshman offensive lineman Trayon Young and redshirt junior offensive lineman Ian Silberman (pictured). The first four will transfer and will (likely) have to sit out the 2014 season, while Silberman will graduate and be eligible to play immediately at a program of his choosing.
“These young men felt it was in their best interest to look for an opportunity to play somewhere else,’” Muschamp said in a statement. “We wish all of them the best of luck.”
Silberman was the only one of the five to see significant playing time, starting seven games the past two seasons. Taylor was a four-star member of the Gators’ 2012 recruiting class, rated as the No. 1 tight end in the country by Rivals.com.
The Gainesville Sun notes that, with these departures, five scholarships have opened up for UF, meaning the Gators can sign 21 players in February instead of 16.
For the second time in less than a month, two members of the Purdue football program have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.
This time around it’s a pair of freshmen, linebacker Wyatt Cook and defensive end Chazmyn Turner, who are in a bit of a predicament, with the Indianapolis Star reporting that both players were arrested over the weekend. Cook was charged with minor consumption of alcohol while Turner was charged with possession of marijuana.
No details of what led to the arrests and charges were made public. The program is aware of the incident, but have not stated what if any punishment either could be facing.
Cook was a three-star member of this year’s recruiting class, Turner a two-star. Neither has played in a game this season.
In the middle of last month, two freshmen cornerbacks, Evyn Cooper and David Rose, were arrested and charged in connection to stolen bicycles. Those two were members of this year’s recruiting class as well.
It is no secret that Under Armour is making a nice serious push in acquiring university apparel deals, but the Texas Longhorns is not one it will be likely to whisk away from The Swoosh. According to one report from the Austin American-Statesman, University of Texas officials broke off a meeting with Under Armour and are now expected to stay with Nike moving forward.
The University of Texas has been a partner with Nike since 2000. The contract between the two gives Nike an exclusive window in which it can match or improve on any offers made to the school from rival companies such as Under Armour or Adidas. It is unknown if Under Armour made a formal offer to Texas or how much such an offer could have been valued. What is pretty much commonly known is the Texas brand is still a nice asset in the athletics apparel business, even if the Longhorns are struggling on the football field. Having Texas wear your gear is still a quality investment, which makes Texas a highly sought-after commodity.
Per the American-Statesman report, Texas is expected to sign what would be the biggest deal currently going in collegiate athletics. Considering the handsome deal recently signed between Nike and Michigan, that would mean Texas would be looking forward to more than $169 million from Nike. Michigan signed a 15-year contract valued at $169 million, which will bring an end to its current relationship with Adidas in 2016. As part of the deal, Michigan will become the first football program to wear the Jordan brand logo on its football uniforms. Could Texas be the next? For now that is just something to ponder.
Nike recently lost partners at Arizona State and Miami. Last year Notre Dame began a new partnership with Under Armour, signing a $90 million contract.