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As if Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain needed more obstacles to overcome while locking up his Class of 2017, the Florida administration has reportedly blocked the program from accepting a potential signed National Letter of Intent from four-star wide receiver James Robinson (Lakeland, FL).
Robinson, one of the top 150 players in the nation, had narrowed his recruitment down to UF, Ohio State and Oklahoma. However, an official visit he took to see the Buckeyes not only got his OSU scholarship offer pulled but has now put a wrench in his entire recruitment.
While at Ohio State, Robinson was partying off campus with some Buckeyes when the group — reportedly three or four individuals — was caught with marijuana. Robinson was he only person in the group cited and charged with misdemeanor possession (he will pay $250 in fines and the charge will not go on his record as marijuana is basically decriminalized in the state of Ohio).
Due in part to those circumstances, Florida has now apparently also pulled its scholarship offer to Robinson, according to the Orlando Sentinel, 247Sports and other outlets. McElwain, who was counting on Robinson to be one of the top-rated members of his recruiting class, is now apparently working hard to find the player a soft landing spot, possibly at an in-state school or junior college.
What this shows a mighty big gulf between what Florida and say, Mississippi State, finds acceptable for admittance.
While this was a decision that was made above his head, new Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin‘s former school admitted five-star defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons last year despite the player being shown on film punching a woman while defending his family in a street. “Five seconds of a really poor choice shouldn’t preclude an individual from going to school,” Stricklin said at the time as acting Bulldogs AD.
Whether this decision by UF administration was based solely on Robinson’s latest incident or something else is not known as neither schools nor football programs can speak publicly about recruits.
With Robinson now out of the class, the Gators will likely close the cycle with only four-star Daquon Green (Tampa, FL) in the class as a true wideout. That would be more damaging for Florida had it not loaded up on playmakers over the last two recruiting cycles. Still, McElwain was hoping to make a major impact with a handful of additional commitments over the last two days, including a number of four-star prospects, and Robinson not being part of the class will make it mighty difficult for the Gators to finish in the top 15 nationally.