Will Muschamp not irked by Florida transfers

Though his team faced major depth issues in 2011 and is still trying to fill its roster with talented, hard-nosed players with a winning mentality, head coach Will Muschamp has no concerns whatsoever about the 12 players that have transferred away from the Florida Gators since he took over the team.

Before giving a speech at a Gator Gathering in West Palm Beach, FL on Thursday, Muschamp broke down transfers into three categories (natural attrition, family reasons, other issues) and said he and the coaching staff approach each individual request differently depending on the player and their unique situation.

“What are the reasons?” he asked when posed a question about his thoughts on a dozen players leaving the team since he arrived. “I use Josh Shaw as an example. He’s a young man that came to me. He’s very happy at Florida. He was a good football player for us. He was competing to be a starter at Florida. He had a bright future ahead of him. He had some personal issues within his family that were obviously affecting him at Florida and him being that far away from home.

“Very similar to Graham Stewart’s situation. Both of those young men came to me, and I don’t know at the end of the day that they wanted to leave Florida, but they wanted to do what was best for their family. And I saw both guys on a day-to-day basis struggling. At the end of the day, life’s too short.”

That is why, upon Shaw making a decision where he wanted to transfer [USC], Muschamp petitioned for him to be eligible to play immediately rather than sit out the one-year mandatory transfer window required by the NCAA. Shaw’s waiver was approved, giving Muschamp hope that the same will be true for Stewart at Connecticut.

“Let’s help these guys out,” he said of his position. “I petitioned for Josh to the NCAA for him to be eligible immediately at USC, and I’m doing the same for Graham Stewart because it’s the right thing to do.

“It’s distance from home and being with your family, and family always comes first with me. Helping those young men is a lot more important than what we’re doing at Florida as far as their future is concerned.”

That does not mean that every player who wants to transfer is met with the same reaction. Some do not respond well to being pushed. Others don’t want to (or feel like they can’t) compete against the talent in front of them to start at their position of choice.

Most importantly, Muschamp does not want to even group these types of issues together because sometimes the student-athlete is to blame and other times, well, it could be the coaching staff’s fault that he is not getting the opportunity he deserves.

“Now when a young man comes to me and says, ‘I don’t feel like I’m being treated fairly, and I want to transfer,’ that’s a different case, a different story,” he explained. “I hate to put a blanket over all transfers and say this is what our stance is. I think they’re all different. I view all situations different. Are you at a position that’s stockpiled with four guys better than you? Is that your fault? No. We signed you. That’s our fault. Those are things you have to take into account.”

The good news for Muschamp and the Gators is that, despite losing Stewart on May 4, the team is deeper than it has been in two seasons at the line of scrimmage. He has finally been able to build the depth he has sought out for the last year and believes that Florida will be better for it both in 2012 and beyond.

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FOUR BITS: football, Howard, Jenkins, Shaw

1 » The Florida Gators released this week a pair of question-and-answer stories with coordinators Brent Pease (offensive) and Dan Quinn (defensive) on their thoughts following the 2012 Orange & Blue Debut. Pease pointed to the improvement of the offensive line as what he was most impressed with after watching film. “We established an identity in being physical up front and being able to run the ball. I think our core kids there are very good. They are quick learners and they are very good athletes,” he said. “I think we built some depth that if we get some injuries during the season, we can rotate guys and put them in positions. We should be good there because there are good players there and there’s experience.” Quinn said that junior transfer defensive tackle Damien Jacobs, freshman linebacker Antonio Morrison and defensive backs sophomore Jabari Gorman and junior Jaylen Watkins stood out for him though it was the first two that took the biggest step. “[Jacobs] showed in the spring that he had power and that he could convert from run into pass rush,” he said. “Antonio Morrison continued to impress me with how it wasn’t too big for him – he got it. He’s got good instincts at the linebacker position.”

2 » Florida defensive tackle Jaye Howard may not be getting as much attention as some other current and former Gators heading into the 2012 NFL Draft, but he is still doing whatever he can to prove to teams that he is worth selecting relatively early in the process. NFL.com recently released a short video interview with Howard in which he talks about getting ready for the event later this month. “[Teams are] not going to invest any money in anyone who is not conducting themselves in the right manner,” he said. “You have to carry yourself in the right way all the time. I’m going look at the coaches right in the face and square and tell them that I’m going to provide energy to the team, be a team player and try to compete to earn a spot on the team.”

3 » Former Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins’s stock continues to fall as the NFL Draft approaches. According to NFL.com’s Albert Breer, who cites sources with three different teams, Jenkins “admitted in pre-draft interviews that he continued his drug use at North Alabama.” He had previously claimed that being dismissed from the Gators was the dose of reality he needed to stop smoking. UNA claims that Jenkins was tested while with the program as part of a “Zero tolerance behavioral contract” he signed that included random drug testing. Breer reports that “a significant number of NFL executives cast a skeptical eye toward” such a statement despite many seeing him as potentially the best cornerback in the entire crop of players available. “It’s not just his personal situation with the kids and different moms. This is a multiple offender of the drug policy in college, and it’s not like there were no character concerns at North Alabama,” an AFC personnel executive told Breer. “He had multiple opportunities to get away from it. He didn’t at Florida, and he went to North Alabama and he wasn’t clean there. You just wish the situation at North Alabama was clean, that he had a rebirth, from a personal and football character standpoint. But it was more of the same.” You can read much more about Jenkins including opinions from other executives here.

4 » Former Gators DB Joshua Shaw will be eligible to play for the USC Trojans in 2012 after being granted a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com. Shaw, a California native who transferred from Florida in order to be close to home (his father and grandfather are sick), will compete for the starting job at both strong safety and cornerback.

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FOUR Tebow BITS: Top 10, marketing, support TWO BITS: early enrollees, Shaw’s destination

1 » The Late Show with David Letterman, one of if not the most popular late-night talk show in the United States, has aired a famous Top 10 list every evening since its inception. On Tuesday night, that list was based on little-known facts about Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Thanks to Twitter follower Erica S. for the heads-up.

2 » Six Florida Gators 2012 commitments have already enrolled early and begun their college careers this spring. As of press time, three-star defensive back Willie Bailey (Hallandale, FL), four-star guard Jessamen Dunker (Boynton Beach, FL), five-star tackle D.J. Humphries (Charlotte, NC), four-star JUCO defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (Scooba, MS), four-star linebacker Antonio Morrison (Bolingbrook, IL) and four-star wide receiver Latroy Pittman have joined the team and will participate in spring practice. However, three-star defensive end Quinteze Williams (Tyrone, GA) – who was expected to enroll early with his teammates – has not yet had his transcript approved by the NCAA Clearninghouse, according to ESPN.com. Williams and the school hope to have the situation “resolved by the end of the week” but worst-case scenario he can just enroll with the rest of the signees in the summer.

3 » Speaking of Tebow, a new article in Advertising Age takes a look at his marketing potential following a eventful and successful season. Rich Thomaselli believes Tebow “could become a $10 million a year endorser if he keeps delivering like he did over the weekend,” sourcing sports-marketing experts like Bob Dorfman of Baker Street Advertising. “He’s become an icon; he’s bigger than football,” Dorfman said. “He has the kind of marketing potential that could put him in the Tom Brady or Peyton Manning category.” Another executive, Darin David of The Marketing Arm, believes Tebow has already hit that category. “I’m not so sure he didn’t get to the $10 million level already after Sunday,” he said. “To do that in the playoffs, to do that against a team like the [Pittsburgh] Steelers, the game that was the highest-rated [wild card] playoff game in 20-something years? As a marketer, you want somebody like that. He doesn’t have the same kind of negative backlash as other players. He is just so newsworthy right now that you would want to capitalize on that.”

4 » On a conference call with New England media Tuesday, Tebow spoke about a number of topics heading into his second playoff game on Saturday.

On what he did to celebrate Sunday’s victory: “Honestly just when we left the stadium, I just went home and hung out with my close family, a few friends, my brothers and sisters and brothers-in-law, just hung out at the house and played with my nieces and nephews and had a good time.”

On if Sunday’s win matched his big wins at Florida: “I definitely was very blessed to have some great memories at Florida and very blessed to have some great teammates and special relationships and special wins.”

On how he and his teammates deal with the attention he gets: “For the most part it’s not like it’s something that you ask for. It’s something that, when they know that you care about them and that’s what matters, and you care about going out there and trying to get better every day and trying to be a great teammate, I don’t think they see the rest. Hopefully they see you as a friend and a teammate, and the rest is something that we laugh at and sometimes they make fun of you for.”

On going head-to-head with linebacker Brandon Spikes: “Yeah, that’ll be a lot of fun. I’ve gone against him enough times in practice. All of those spring practices we had, we had some fun going against each other. You’d like him on your team, but it’ll still be fun going against him. He’s a great player, and I wish him nothing but the best, and I look forward to giving him a hug. […] I remember a few times in some spring practices when he might have hit me a little light when I had one of those red jerseys on. He wasn’t supposed to hit me but he kind of gave me a little nudge.”

5 » Former Gators defensive back Joshua Shaw, who decided to transfer from the program after the regular season and was expected to attend UCLA next year, will instead transfer to USC, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com. Shaw, who wanted to return to the west coast and play closer to home, will be able to do so at a “prestigious school right around the corner,” his high school coach Jeff Williams told the website. ESPNLosAngeles also reports that Shaw will apply for a hardship waiver due to health problems in his family which could allow him to play in 2012 rather than wait until 2013.

6 » Tebow has been receiving plenty of support from around the sports landscape, but Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry went out of his way to praise the Denver quarterback after his team’s game Sunday evening. Gentry spent his entire post-game press conference talking about Tebow, which you can watch below:

The Suns team also had some fun with Tebow on Sunday. According to ValleyoftheSuns.com, Hakim Warrick Tebowed during the pregame huddle and a number of players were watching the Broncos game in the locker room before their contest began. In fact, Phoenix players “may wear Tebow jerseys to shootaround on Tuesday in Los Angeles in part to have some fun with trainer Aaron Nelson” (a big Pittsburgh fan). Thanks to reader Steven for the heads-up.

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TWO BITS: Senior Bowl, transfer destinations

1 » A pair of Florida Gators – redshirt seniors running back Chris Rainey and defensive tackle Jaye Howard – have officially accepted invitations to participate in the 2012 Senior Bowl, the organization announced on Wednesday. The duo will play on the South roster and are the only Florida players currently invited/committed to the event. “It feels good. I know a lot of great players have come to this game and I’m glad I’m invited and hope to do the best that I can to compete with the other greats,” Rainey said in the event’s official release. “The first thing I’m going to tell the scouts and coaches is that I want to be on special teams. They are going to have to set up some scheme for me to block a punt or do whatever they want me to do on special teams, because I love special teams and that’s the number one thing that wins games.”

Howard said he is playing in the game because he wants to “prove that I’m one of the elite defenders in this class this year and it’s a business trip for me.” He continued, “I’m quick, I can run all over the field and chase plays down. I want to prove that I can play several positions on the defensive line, not just d-tackle. I can play the end, nose guard—everything on the d-line, so I can bring that to a system.” The Senior Bowl will be played on Jan. 28 and air live on NFL Network beginning at 4 p.m. Practices will also be televised during the week leading up to the game on the same network.

2 » Four former Gators who decided to transfer this season have already chosen their new destinations, according to various reports. Defensive back Joshua Shaw has chosen to head closer to home (Palmdale, CA) and picked UCLA where he will sit out a season per NCAA transfer rules, while linebacker Dee Finley announced that he will play for Tuskegee, a HBCU, beginning next year. Two Florida players are expected to be heading to Louisville to play for former UF defensive coordinator Charlie Strong. Tight end Gerald Christian told the Palm Beach Post on Wednesday that he will be going to Louisville, while multiple reports over the last two weeks have wide receiver Robert Clark planning to join him. Like Shaw, each will have to sit out one year due to NCAA transfer regulations and will be eligible to play beginning in 2013.

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Top 11 for 2011: Off the Field Stories of the Year

For as much as the Florida Gators accomplished on the field in 2011 (check out Saturday’s post), the Gator Nation was making plenty of news off of it as well. From former players ending their accomplished careers to coaches and current players being part of some of the biggest news stories this year, Florida was spread all over the sports landscape in 2011. Below are OGGOA‘s Top 11 Off the Field Stories of the Year.

11 » LEGAL ISSUES/EMBARRASSMENTS HANG OVER PROGRAM
Like 2009 and 2010, Florida could not escape its share of unfortunate arrests and embarrassing incidents in 2011. It started simply enough early in February when a pair of Gators swimmers – Lily Ramirez and Daniela Victoria – were arrested and indefinitely suspended from the team after being accused of shoplifting from Nordstrom at the Orlando Mall. Next up was Florida senior outfielder Bryson Smith, who was picked up on March 13 for driving under the influence. Oakland Raiders wide receiver Louis Murphy was arrested in Gainesville, FL three weeks later and charged with a trio of misdemeanors for failing to obey a police officer, possession of a drug (Viagra) without a valid prescription and resisting arrest without violence. The month of April was a tough one for the basketball team. Forwards Erik Murphy and Cody Larson were arrested in St. Augustine, FL and charged with third-degree felony burglary charges after allegedly breaking into a car, and team manager Josh Adel was also arrested for principal to burglary for allegedly serving as a lookout. Charges against the players were eventually reduced and each settled their respective case, while Adel had all charges against him dropped. Additionally, former Florida F Dan Wener was charged with a DUI even though he blew below the legal limit (0.08) on the Breathalyzer twice. The State Attorney’s Office eventually dropped his charges due to insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction.

Unfortunately the year of brushes with the law was just getting started for the Gators. It surfaced on April 24 via a news report that both linebacker Chris Martin and defensive end Kendric Johnson were cited with misdemeanors for possessing approximately two grams of marijuana each in their respective vehicles on separate occasions. Former Florida WR Reche Caldwell was arrested one month later for possession of marijuana and driving with a suspended license. Gators runner Andries Dumisane Hlaselo had the darkest arrest of the year, being picked up in June after being accused of rape and sexual assault. He was immediately dismissed from the team. The Florida football team had the remainder of the year’s arrests. Sophomore safety Matt Elam was cited for underage drinking for the second time in as many years in July, and an August report noted that freshman defensive back De’Ante Saunders was cited for misdemeanor possession of marijuana in May. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Dee Finely was arrested on Sept. 13 on a first-degree misdemeanor for driving a scooter with a suspended license as well as a third-degree felony for resisting arrest without violence, and freshman cornerback Marcus Roberson was served with a written arrest for underage drinking just one day later. Sophomore defensive tackle Dominique Easley had the last brush with the law of 2011 as he was accused of attacking a former Alabama player early in October but was cleared of the charges one month later. All-in-all, for every positive thing accomplished by the Gators in 2011, there always seemed to be something negative about the program just around the corner.

10 » SIX BECOME A PART OF THE GATOR NATION IN THE SKY; THREE SUFFER SERIOUS MEDICAL ISSUES DURING THE YEAR
It would be difficult to recount everything that Gator Nation has gone through in 2011 without remembering those close to the University of Florida who left us for a better place or suffered through serious medical issues in the past year. Young and old, these Gators departed too soon or had plenty to deal with as the year went on. Jimmy Carnes (76), a former Gators track and field coach, passed away in March after losing a four-year battle with prostate cancer. Former linebacker/safety and three-time Super Bowl winner Godfrey Myles (42) suffered a massive heart attack in June and, while in the hospital on life support, had a stroke that took his life. Former punter and 12-year NFL veteran Don Chandler (76) also lost a long battle with cancer in August. Mike Heimerdinger (58), who was diagnosed with cancer early in the year, passed away in October. He was a former graduate assistant and wide receivers coach at Florida and won consecutive SEC titles with the team from 1984-85. Ending the year on a sad note, beloved Gainesville, FL businessman and former Gators long snapper Harold Monk III (42) died suddenly in December. OGGOA once again sends our deepest condolences to the families and friends of these men.

Florida freshman linebacker Neiron Ball was the first of three members of the Gators family to suffer serious health issues during the year. He was rushed to the hospital in February after a blood vessel in his brain ruptured as part of a congenital vascular condition. The doctors were able to stop the bleeding and Ball was released from the hospital four days later, but he was forced to miss the entire season for recovery purposes. In the middle of the year, Miami Heat guard/forward Mike Miller was lucky enough to have his wife give birth to a daughter named Jaylen. Unfortunately for the family, she was forced to spend two weeks in a pediatric intensive care unit after doctors found that she had five holes in her heart upon being born. The Millers eventually brought Jaylen home with them in a bit of a coincidence considering they actually donated $1 million to a pediatric intensive care unit at children’s hospital in his home town in 2007. Later that month, former Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, which he is currently still recovering from and will continue to do so over the next few months.

Continue Reading » Top 11 for 2011: Off the Field Stories of the Year

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OGGOA Week In Review: Nov. 27 – Dec. 4

Considering so much has gone on over the past week in regards to the Florida Gators, the OGGOA Week In Review returns for its second edition. (Yes, it covers an eight-day period, but let’s just all agree to ignore that.) Be sure to check out all of the posts that have been written this week just in case you happened to miss a thing or two.

OGGOA COLUMNS
» An in-depth look at former Florida head coach Urban Meyer going to the Ohio State Buckeyes was published in the latest edition of The Silver Lining. The 3,500-word piece looks at Meyer’s decision from every possible angle (some tidbits you will not find elsewhere are included) and provides you with all the information you need in order to draw your own conclusion.

» OGGOA had the unique opportunity to review “The Play That Changed College Football,” the latest edition of the ESPN documentary series SEC Storied.

» Following Florida basketball’s loss to the No. 3/4 Syracuse Orange, former Gators forward Adam Allen posted the latest edition of Allen’s Alley, explaining in what areas Florida has room for improvement.

EXTRA
While Al Michaels and Bob Costas are discussing the Denver Broncos improving to 6-1 this season with quarterback Tim Tebow starting, former Gators wide receiver now NBC color commentator Cris Collinsworth does the Gator Chomp. (Thanks to OGGOA follower Chaz.)

FOOTBALL
» Meyer agreed to coach the Buckeyes beginning in 2012. His signing was officially announced prior to OSU introducing him at an on-campus press conference. In between, UF athletic director Jeremy Foley wished Meyer the best of luck with his new employer.

» Two Gators – redshirt freshmen safety Joshua Shaw and defensive end Lynden Traildecided to transfer on Tuesday. Shaw and Trail each chose to transfer for different reasons, and OGGOA also spoke with Trail for an exclusive interview about his decision and promise to remain a Florida fan.

» Former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow was announced as the cover athlete for the premiere edition of NFL Magazine, set to go on sale Dec. 13 for $4.99.

» OGGOA confirmed that strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti would join Meyer and has already left the program for the Buckeyes.

» Florida announced that it accepted an invitation to the 2012 Gator Bowl.

» While on the media teleconference to officially accept the bowl bid, Gators head coach Will Muschamp confirmed Marotti’s departure, said sophomore defensive tackle Dominique Easley will undergo surgery on his ACL Wednesday and discussed a number of other topics relating to the bowl game.

» Florida four-star running back recruit Mike Davis (Stone Mountain, GA) decommitted from the Gators after a significant miscommunication with the coaching staff and completely eliminated UF from his list.

BASKETBALL
» One of the greatest television commercials to feature a college coach was published on OGGOA for your enjoyment. Florida head coach Billy Donovan does a press conference praising the variety of offerings from Florida Gulf Seafood.

» Donovan earned his 400th career win as UF routed the Stetson Hatters 96-70 Monday evening. Freshman guard Bradley Beal led the way with career-highs of 22 points and 10 rebounds. He also discussed what winning his 400th college basketball game meant on a number of levels.

» It was determined that junior forward Erik Murphy did not tear his meniscus but rather had a deep bone bruise and may be able to return for the Arizona game on Wednesday.

» Despite it being a close game throughout, the Gators fell to the Orange 72-68 on the road in Syracuse, NY. Junior G Kenny Boynton started slow but finished with 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting.

» Following Florida’s loss to Syracuse, Donovan pointed to turnovers, poor rebounding and players missing in action as the reasons why UF struggled. Redshirt junior G Mike Rosario was benched during the contest because Donovan was not pleased with where his head was at heading into and during the game.

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DE Lynden Trail: “It was time for me to go.”

Redshirt freshman defensive end Lynden Trail has been on quite a journey during his time with the Florida Gators.

From doing whatever he could to keep the highly touted 2010 recruiting class together to marrying his wife to putting smiles on fans’ faces with his planking pictures over the summer, Trail has accomplished a lot during his time in the orange and blue.

In fact, he’s done everything except actually step on the field and play football for the Gators.

On Monday, Trail decided to transfer from Florida, a school that he remains passionate about and plans to continue following no matter where he winds up. He will remain to be a fan of the Gators but realized that his time was up in Gainesville, FL.

“I just spoke with my mother for a minute about it and told [the coaches] today. The coaching staff handled it very professionally, and I did it on my end as well,” he explained to OGGOA Monday. “They told me they loved me. I told them I loved them, too. I just told them I thought this decision is what was best for me, and they respected everything.

“When I spoke with my mother, the thing she wanted to know was why was I not at least on the sideline with the team. These were questions I couldn’t answer. They were left up to the coaching staff. I respect every decision that they made and have been positive about a lot of things throughout this journey here with Gator Nation. I just kept hoping and praying and things just did not work out the way I wanted them to.”

Head coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn each said this year that Trail was not playing well enough in practice to play let alone dress for the team.

Trail himself confirmed that the coaches told him this but maintained that he was playing to the best of his ability and trying his hardest to improve with each practice.

After redshirting his first year and not playing a down in his second season with the team, he knew it was time to take the next step in his life.

“My mother has always taught me to plan for the future,” Trail said. “I’m just trying to make the best move for me and my wife right now because my family is depending on me to come out with a degree or come out with a NFL contract. To stay in one spot and not make progress, I had to do what I had to do.”

Trail does not know where he is headed for the next chapter of his life but is not going to picky. He chose to stay in-state when committing to Florida but will be happy to go to whatever school provides him with the best opportunity going forward.

“Coming out of high school I always felt like I had to stay in Florida. As of right now, my mindset is that I just have to go somewhere that’s going to let me play, give me an opportunity to show them what I can do and get some film,” he said.

He could not speak to the specific reasons why nine other players in addition to him have transferred this season but said a lot of it probably has to do with mental makeup.

“I feel like, coming in, there are a lot of four and five star recruits, therefore everybody is highly recruited. In high school, they have this persona of being the big man on campus,” he explained. “Due to the fact that everybody probably wasn’t getting the attention that they wanted or needed, it probably played a big issue in a lot of things. The level of competition is great, but at the same time, many feel that they should be starting or at least playing, and that can play with an athlete’s mind.”

Though Trail was not sure the exact reasons why fellow redshirt freshman safety Joshua Shaw also decided to transfer Monday, he guessed that it had to do with his distance from home and the fact that he was not too pleased with his spot in the rotation at safety.

He may no longer be wearing orange and blue in 2012, but he was adamant that the colors will continue to course through his veins no matter where he winds up.

“I still love Gator Nation. I still love all my teammates that are here, and I will keep in contact with a lot of them. I will still keep in contact with a lot of Gator fans, who I now consider Gator friends,” Trail said passionately.

“I do want them to know that I’m not leaving because I don’t like the school. I’m leaving because my time is up and I’m just looking for a better opportunity. Overall it was time for me to go somewhere else where I can get an opportunity to step on the field.

“I still love Gator Nation.”

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S Shaw, DE Trail to transfer from Florida Gators

Two more Florida Gators football players – redshirt freshmen safety Joshua Shaw and defensive end Lynden Trail have decided to leave the program, The Gainesville Sun’s Pat Dooley confirmed Tuesday.

Both four-star recruits from Florida’s heralded 2010 recruiting class, Shaw and Trail are the 10th and 11 players to depart since head coach Will Muschamp took over.

“We wish Lynden and Josh the best of luck in the future and we certainly appreciate their contributions to the football program,” Muschamp said in a school release.

Shaw registered 22 tackles (one for loss) and a pass breakup in 10 games this year, while Trail never saw the field and did not even dress for the vast majority of contests.

“I have enjoyed my time at Florida but I feel like I need to be closer to my family right now,” Shaw said in the same school release. “This is not a football decision, this is a family decision. I need to be with my family.”

Each player came into the program with a previous relationship. Shaw (Palmdale, CA) was close to and from the same state as sophomore defensive end Ronald Powell (Moreno Valley, CA), and Trail attended the same high school as redshirt freshman wide receiver Quinton Dunbar (Booker T. Washington).

“I have decided that I would like to pursue opportunities elsewhere,” Trail said. “I want to thank the fans and Gator Nation for their support. I’ll always be a Gator at heart.”

Trail also wrote about his decision on his Twitter account Tuesday.

GATORNATION I LOVE YALL AND LOVED ALL YALL SUPPORT I LOVED THE COACHES MY TEAMMATES AND THE STUDENTS HERE ONCE A GATOR ALWAYS A GATOR <3

[and]

I have nothing negative to say about UF I LOVE THE PROGRAM THE STUDENTS THE FRIENDS I MADE AND OVERALL THE FANS #GATORNATION

The duo join DE Chris Martin, WR Chris Dunkley, WR Javares McRoy, running back Mike Blakely, tight end Michael McFarland, linebacker Dee Finely, TE Gerald Christian and WR Robert Clark as players who transferred this season. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins was dismissed from the team following two marijuana arrests in less than 90 days.

Additionally, redshirt junior offensive lineman Daivd Young announced that he plans to graduate and will not participate in his final year of eligibility. Young saw action in all 12 games so far this season.

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