No. 12 Florida Gators football, looking for a home win against the in-state rival No. 13 Florida State Seminoles for the first time since 2009, will be forced make that attempt without junior wide receiver Demarcus Robinson.
The Gators announced late Saturday that Robinson has been suspended for “making a choice” and more specifically violating a team rule. It is the fourth time in his three seasons at Florida that Robinson has received a suspension.
Florida’s leading pass catcher (47), Robinson is second on the team with 505 yards; he also has two receiving touchdowns on the campaign. Robinson finished the 2014 campaign with 53 catches for 810 yards and seven scores.
Just two weeks ago, head coach Jim McElwain said Robinson had “probably come farther than anyone on our football team as far as” turning around his behavior. “This guy loves to practice, loves to play,” McElwain continued. “I guess the greatest thing is he’s seeing that he can [succeed]. But really, it’s his choice. I’ve told all the scouts that come through, this guy has come farther than any guy in our program, and I’m proud of him.”
McElwain also said the prior coaching staff enabled Robinson’s behavior, primarily on the field when it came to not learning all of his routes. “[Last year], they just lined him up over to the bench side and told him what to run every play,” McElwain stated. “Is that how you go through life? You’re just going to enable that type of behavior? I don’t believe in that because there is more to him and he’s a smart guy and he cares.”
The last thing the Gators needed ahead of an important rivalry game against the Seminoles, one which could save or end Florida’s hopes at earning a College Football Playoff berth, is to be without a top playmaker from a side of the ball that is void of an abundance of them. Alas, that is where UF stands entering Saturday night’s contest.
Photo Credit: John Raoux/Associated Press