Report: Florida Gators dismiss starting DE Alex McCalister for team rules violation

By Adam Silverstein
December 19, 2015

Starting defensive end Alex McCalister, who has been sidelined with a foot injury for the last month, has been dismissed from the Florida Gators for a violation of team rules, according to The Gainesville Sun’s Robbie Andreu.

A redshirt junior who totaled 6.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss in nine games, McCalister was expected to at least consider leaving the team early and declaring for the 2016 NFL Draft, though the severity of his injury and how that might impact his draft status was never revealed by the school.

Florida has not confirmed McCalister’s dismissal as of press time, and the rule that McCalister violated was listed as unspecified by The Sun. McCalister was previously suspended for UF’s season opener against New Mexico State on Sept. 5.

Head coach Jim McElwain also refused to confirm or deny McCallister’s reported dismissal when presented with the question on Monday.

“He’s going to go on into the NFL. He was injured. At times, I really don’t quite get it, but that’s your choice to say what you want. He’s not going to play. But if you choose to throw something out there, that is hearsay or whatever, that’s your choice,” McElwain said, referring to the media. “I’d never do that to a guy. I’m here to support these guys in every way, shape or form.”

Earlier on Saturday, the Gators confirmed that redshirt freshman quarterback Will Grier, who led Florida to a 6-0 start this season and looked to be the team’s answer behind center, decided to transfer away from the program while serving his year-long NCAA suspension for use of a banned substance.


  1. ken (CA) says:

    Well, I guess this makes his NFL decision easier.

  2. johnnyappleseed says:

    It sounds like pot. He was already suspended earlier this year for it. that only happens on the second one, and as Spurrier opined, one pot, two pots, you’re o.k. three and you’re gone.

  3. 1974Gator says:

    Is Mac cleaning house to free up more scholarships?

  4. 1974Gator says:

    Bad post. I apologize. Alex seems to have screwed up for the last time. The only silver lining is that Grier and Alex free up two scholarships.

    • ken (CA) says:

      Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. We can use the extra scholarships we didn’t use last year for some of our early enrollees, and add to that 25 initial new scholarships (which includes JuCo transfers). An article that broke it down on last week went through all the NCAA rules and how it worked and explained why there would be a maxiumum of 28 total available in this class no matter how many leave, that is the maximum amount of initial counters we have available.

      If that article is accurate, I suspe will see more attrition in this class as there are some big time players still on our recruiting board.

      • 1974Gator says:

        If we loose those two players the total number on scholarship is reduced. We are allowed a maximum number of 85. When are we allowed to return to the max?

        • Ken (CA) says:

          There has been a lot of confusion about the maximum class size we can have and there was a great article about it at
          It is pretty confusing as it gets into the granular details but the gist of it is that we can take 28 total NEW scholarship players this cycle, regardless of how many leave. The 85 max limit is only a limiting factor that you cannot go past. The real detail is that each cycle you can have 25 NEW scholarships to give out. You can then add to this any unused scholarships from the previous cycle and use them for early enrollees. EE are counted toward the previous cycle until the maximum of 25 is reached there.
          After JuCo and graduate transfers we had a total of 3 unused last period so 3 of our early enrollees count toward last period and the rest toward this period.
          This gives us 25+3 = 28 total new scholarships that can be handed out this cycle up to a maximum of 85 total scholarships.
          This is likely why players like Mitchell who still says we are his dream school and at the top of his list has backed off his pledge. He was likely told we don’t have room for him (along with the 2 others that left recently), and there will likely be some more that leave if all the big time studs that have us at or near the top of their lists make the call for UF.
          I suspect there will be a number of the lower rated prospects leaving as people like Manual, Burns, NCM, Nixon, etc. turn around and finally declare. This could be a monster class if Mac closes like he did last year on NSD pulling a number of big time rabbits out of the hat.
          Adam, please correct me if I am giving any misinformation here.

  5. coreym says:

    Guaranteed there will be some attrition. Guys will always stick around when a new coach comes in to see how they might or might not fit in. If they don’t, or aren’t willing to compete to play, then they’ll transfer to somewhere that they feel they’ll have an easier opportunity to play more. Time will only tell. I think in the case of Grier, he might just feel he needed a fresh start somewhere else.

    • 305Gator says:

      In the case of Grier it is rumored his father wanted assurances that Grier would be handed the starting job once he became available in game 7, instead BigMac pointed to the glowing “EXIT” sign above the door. I really like BigMac.

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