G Jessamen Dunker to transfer from Florida

By Adam Silverstein
April 24, 2013

Just over three months after he was indefinitely suspended from the program following a headline-making arrest, Florida Gators redshirt freshman guard Jessamen Dunker has decided to transfer off of the team.

Dunker, a four-star prospect who did not play as a true freshman in 2012, was indefinitely suspended from team activities in January after being arrested and charged with a third-degree felony for grand theft of a motor vehicle as well as a second-degree misdemeanor for driving with a suspended license. He was then caught speeding about two months later on March 6 and was once again cited for driving with a suspended license because his court case remained untried.

Early Wednesday during an appearance on the post-spring SEC coaches teleconference, head coach Will Muschamp said he was “still working through the situation” with Dunker and that the team “may know some things” in the next couple of days. Less than four hours later during a scheduled press conference with the media, Muschamp announced that Dunker is no longer be a part of the team.

“He has decided to transfer. He felt like he needed a fresh start, and I didn’t disagree with him. I appreciate his time here. We didn’t really get into where [he would transfer]; we’re going to continue to work through that. It’s his job now to continue to finish up strong academically here at Florida,” Muschamp said. “Obviously he’s got some pretty well-documented off the field issues, and we talked about it. He felt like he needed a fresh start, and I support him. … We had not discussed this yet until today, about an hour ago. You support him and hope for the best for him.”

Minutes later, the school released a statement on Dunker’s behalf: “I’m looking for a fresh start. I’m very thankful for the opportunity I’ve had here to [work with] Coach [Tim] Davis and the entire Gator coaching staff.”

Dunker’s legal case remains unsettled as of press time. His trail is scheduled for May 7.

25 Comments

  1. VO2max says:

    Ouch! That’s a big hit.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Oh yeah. . the sky is definitely falling. We should probably go ahead and forfeit the 2013-14 season.

      • VO2max says:

        Easy there wise guy. Dunker WAS a very talented guy who would likely have started contributing to an O-line that really can’t afford to lose depth. I guess when you’re too busy being a smart ass you don’t notice these things.

        It bothers you that he wanted to bail “so quickly?” Two arrests and Champ showed him the door.

        • calgator says:

          Don’t stress too much over this one. It’s more than just those arrests. This guy would be a candidate to leave even without the off-the-field stuff. Not a good guy to have in the locker room and it was definitely a mutual decision.

          • VO2max says:

            I’m all good calgator. Dunker chose UF from over 25 D-1 offers. Dude was a load. Why do you say that he was a transfer candidate even without the arrests? Are you implying that his obvious maturity issues would have shown up in other places?

            My main contention is that UF needs guys up front. There is definitely depth issues. So losing a 6’6″ 315 guard is a “big hit.”

            • calgator says:

              Oh, he’s definitely a loss from a football standpoint. But, I had heard some stuff several months back (pre-arrest) regarding his attitude and the way he fit in (or didn’t) with the program. Just not surprised to see this happen.

            • chigator says:

              No, you make a good point. We can’t afford to have principles while we are thin on the offensive line.

              I just want to point out that attitudes like that (win at all costs) are hurting college athletics. Don’t try to excuse bad behavior from the football players, they need to be accountable just like every other student at UF on scholarship. They cannot have a separate set of rules.

        • Michael Jones says:

          No, I can take time from being a smart ass to notice that a guy has talent. I was really hoping that the kid would be able to work through his problems and become a contributor. I followed his recruiting along with D.J. Humphries’. I was thrilled when we signed him. We can never have too many stud o-linemen (just ask Bama).

          But talent’s not the sole deciding factor in determining whether a guy should be in our program. What bugs me are negative overreactions to what is probably a good development for our program from alarmists whinebags like yourself who always seem to choose to emphasize stuff like this and make a bigger deal out of it than it really is, especially when there’s so much good going on in our program to focus on.

          Yeah, he was big and athletic. Big deal. Muschamp will find another big and athletic guy without the character issues.

          • Michael Jones says:

            And let me clarify that the fact that Dunker did not work out WAS NOT a positive development for our program. Just like with A.C. Leonard, who was also a talented “load,” I’m sorry that it didn’t work out. But once HE CHOSE to become a problem, a distraction, and a guy that wanted to go elsewhere rather than do the things that Muschamp would have required of him to do to become a contributing member of the team again, then cutting our ties with him sooner rather than later was a positive development.

            Can’t keep malcontents and bad influences around the team or in the locker room for long. That can become a cancer. Playing for the Gators is an honor and a privilege and the student athletes who get that chance need to conduct themselves accordingly.

            Dunker has lost a lot more than UF has. He’s a young guy and I hope that he gets things straightened out and goes on to have a great life.

            And, as always. . . GO GATORS!!!

  2. Drew says:

    I guess he will end up at Auburn then.

    • tom says:

      Umm, NO Drew. He will not end up at Auburn but probably end up doing some jail time. You might have missed the “small” fact about his felonies? Not sure about your mental connection with him transferring to another SEC school. He might (just might) resurface later as a JUCO transfer. Sort of like the turd that wont flush.

      Go Gators.

  3. Dan says:

    He should transfer somewhere that you don’t need a license to operate a motor vehicle.

  4. Michael Jones says:

    It’s not that the kid ran into some trouble that will probably work itself out that bugs me, it’s that he wanted to bail so quickly on the program. Tells me he wasn’t invested the way you’ve got to be invested these days if you want to play football for the Gators.

    I’m sure Coach Muschamp will use that scholarship to bring in another quality athlete.

    GO GATORS!!! Onward and upward.

  5. ga8or22 says:

    You can’t communicate your way out of something you behaved yourself into. Maybe he can get a new start elsewhere, but not while stealing vehicles and driving on suspended licenses. The Gators do not need the extra baggage.

  6. BillP says:

    tennessee and auburn are desperate for 4 star players–they should go after him hard, asap!

  7. Timmy T says:

    Good riddance. Talent or no talent, we can no longer tolerate nonsense. One bad decision, one mistake, one whatever, can be tolerated. The guys that keep showing how dumb they are over and over again, see ya.

  8. joe says:

    How Did Huntley Take The news?

  9. MAR says:

    Don’t let the door hit you in the butt. We don’t need players who don’t have high standards and don’t appreciate the opportunities presented to them by a place as prestigious as UF. A five star education, five star football instruction, and five star physical training was given to him for his abilities and he blew it. See ya JD, FSU would love you.

  10. Donnie W says:

    He will be missed depth and talent wise but common sense and maturity weren’t his strong points. Hopefully he gets his head right or he could easily become another John Brown. (Only offensively)

  11. Wyatt Oates says:

    He would fit in well at LSU or Alabama. Someone get him the word.

  12. Joe SEC says:

    Always gotta throw Bama in, right Oates?

    Everyone hatesTHE winner!!!

    RTR and Go SEC!!!

  13. dru2012 says:

    Personally, I am SO glad and proud at our Head Coach’s (and hence the whole program’s) attitude towards spoiled head-cases has been and continues to be strongly and clearly stated and acted upon: “Buck up, buckle down, show you WANNA BE a Gator, or MOVE ON.”
    Sure, there were good, solid reasons we wanted him in the first place, but those have long since come to pale before his stubborn refusal or inability to accept the responsibilities of his place on a TEAM, or to make commitment to threat team and/or his own future with it a priority. In the end, with selfish mistakes piled on top of foolish ones, he STILL pulled-the-plug on his own chances here QUICKLY over any effort to rededicate himself–all in keeping with the way he not only kept getting into trouble, but for THE SAME DAMN THINGS.
    You learn to read between the lines with Muschamp & Co., their moves and “official statements”: We’ve heard a number of these over the past couple of years cleaning house after The Liar, and it amounts to a gracious way of saying:
    “He’s gone. We don’t want him. Someone ELSE’S problem now…Good luck, and don’t let the door hit ya in the @$$ on your way out…”
    While disappointing, in a system that coddles and strokes over-hyped “man-children” right before bringing ’em in to BREAK THEM DOWN, this is inevitable: It’s a wake-up call for young not-yet-men that they may never hear or learn from, and one (albeit unfortunate) part of a “weed-out process” that though harsh, is necessary. In case you haven’t noticed, access to great young talent alone is NO guaratee of success by ANY means: In college football, it is in the end the most talented TEAM that rises to the top, and the program with a coach who makes this a priority that consistently fields such teams–ones that annually vie for championships.

  14. Gator Man 78 says:

    I just hate that this kid couldn’t get his head on straight because he had a bright career ahead of him at Florida and he screwed it up! And it really hurts us on depth on the offensive line because this kid would have done great things here at Florida if he would have got his head on straight but if and when he does someone will pick up a hell of a good football player if he can keep his self out of trouble! I just wish he could have got his shit together here at Florida and helped our team so I will say I will miss his great ability to play the game but won’t miss his attitude ability! I just hope for his sake that he gets his head on straight so he can have a bright future!!! GO GATORS!!!!!!

  15. Marty says:

    Good riddance….UF certainly doesn’t need or deserve a distraction like Dunker !!!

  16. Collegeballdude says:

    From a UF football program perspective he needed to go; from a personal perspective it’s sad he messed up such a golden opportunity. How he handles adversity over the next year will be the deciding factor for this young man. I don’t see many SEC teams going after a kid charged with a felony. That said knowing the system as it plays out I’ll bet he gets a deal of restitution and probation and will not be a convicted felon if he completes all of the terms of the deal. Then maybe he will get that second chance.

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