Freshman RB Blakely transferring from Florida

By Adam Silverstein
May 10, 2011

Florida Gators freshman running back Mike Blakely has decided to transfer, becoming the third offensive player to do so under new head coach Will Muschamp.

“Mike has come to the conclusion that the University of Florida is not where he wants to play football,” Muschamp said in a school release. “We wish him the best of luck.”

Blakely, who graduated from high school early and enrolled in January, did not practice in the spring after undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

“Everyone at Florida has been very supportive of me in my time here and I’m thankful for the experience that I had, but I’ve made a decision to continue my college football career somewhere else,’’ Blakely said in the same release.

His departure leaves the Gators with five scholarship running backs for next season including senior Jeff Demps, redshirt senior Chris Rainey, junior Mike Gillislee and sophomores Mack Brown and Trey Burton, according to the team roster.

UF initially beat out Auburn for Blakely’s commitment in October 2010.

“In my heart, I felt like I made the best decision,” he said after making his announcement.

Four Florida players have now left the program since Muschamp’s arrival.

Wide receivers redshirt freshman Chris Dunkley and freshman Javares McRoy both decided to transfer in April. Dunkley appears headed to South Florida, while McRoy will join his brother at Texas Tech.

Senior cornerback Janoris Jenkins was dismissed from the team on April 26 after being arrested for possession of marijuana for the second time in 90 days. He is considering a transfer as well but a destination is currently unknown.

Photo Credit: Thomas Bender/Sarasota Herald-Tribune


  1. g8ter27 says:

    What is going on here? Do you thiink the 2 backs we recruited this year are driving him out?

  2. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Farewell Mike. I hope you have good success wherever you go.

  3. David says:

    Mike has consistently posted on facebook about using drugs. Soo many people comment that he shouldnt be posting such things, etc …. I wonder if his immature actions had anything to do with it.

  4. phil says:

    I’ve never seen Mike post anything drug-related on FB. He seems like a nice guy but I think the two big backs, Matt Jones and Mike Davis, coming in next year are driving him out.

  5. SC Gator says:

    That might be it David. JJ’s booting sending the message for druggies to beware being caught.

  6. swifty_711 says:

    Jones and davis anyone. Hate to see him go but this is uf not really worried about the rb position. With rainey/demps slated to get at 75% of the carries. That leaves fewe for gillislee, burton, and brown. Plus jones and davis see above.

    • David says:

      I always find it amazing that a recruit would leave because someone else comes in. All these recruits think they are the best. If you think you are the best, you shouldnt be frightened by competition

    • Alex says:

      I agree, but it will be interesting to see how the workload goes. I bet as the season moves on we see Demps/Rainey getting fewer carries and coming in more as third-down guys, while gillislee or brown becomes the featured back.

  7. Alex says:

    Just remember that Muschamp’s out of the Saban coaching tree. It may have been suggested to this young man that he head out for greener pastures so that the coaching staff could offer his scholarship to one of their recruits in the upcoming season (Blakely originally committed to play in the spread).

    Not to mention, he would have been buried on the depth chart this year behind 4 returning RBs, and if the commitments stay firm we’ll have two bigger pro-style guys coming in next season as well. The writing was on the wall.

    If David’s right and he was doing stupid stuff, it’s good he’s not representing the university anymore. Of course, I hope he finds a home and success somewhere more to his liking.

  8. npgator says:

    They should send him the bill for his shoulder surgery since that no doubt was free as a scholarship football player.

  9. CeeThree says:

    seems like those post=spring meetings Muschamp had with each individual player were pretty straight forward. I wish Mike the best of luck, and am sorry it didn’t work out as he had hoped. I certainly hope Muschamp and this staff live up to their recruiting reputations, because man, we need some big time players. Go Gators!

    • David says:

      You’re right. Muschamp must have been very realistic about playing time. Maybe he told him he’d redshirt.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      What post spring meetings? after JJ did he sit down with each player and have a heart to hear to or something? I hadn’t heard about that. 4 top talented guys have left and several recruits switched direction that were also top recruits. People say “unersized” or “spread guys” but they weren’t rated specificaly on the system they played in but because of their talent, vision, football IQ, athletecism, etc. I hate to see any top talent go somewhere else. Ahmad Black was undersized and ended up being one of the best d backs UF has ever had.

      Coaching changes always have some turnover, but it is getting a bit disconcerting now, between recruits and current players leaving we are up to almost 10 which is very high for a turnover, usually lose about half that.

  10. John S. says:

    I’m sure this had to do with the current RB recruits, but still its sad to see him go, he’s got talent. Hopefully the coaches know what there doing, I hear UGA needs a running back.

  11. jay d says:

    Glad we lost another pre-madonna…god knows we have way too many on the team as is…I think it should be required that an athlete spends at least one full year at his chosen school before being granted a release….the more we let these kids do what they want…the higher their horse becomes…what a joke!…realistically this kid would have never made it at UF let alone get drafted…hope u are a good student at ur next school mike…cause ur gunna need that degree when college is over…

    • Goldengator says:

      Jay- I believe you meant prima-donna (means “first-lady” in Italian) not pre-Madonna. Unless you were trying to start a new chronological numbering system, maybe PM instead of BC (Before-Christ). LOL 😉

  12. JW says:

    Good luck to the young man. Hopefully, he’ll be a huge success at another school and in the NFL some day. And thank you for giving the University of Florida a try. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

  13. g8ter27 says:

    I dont know anything about this kid’s abilities but I think that being recruited for a spread offense and now seeing what is coming in behind you for a pro style offense is what the deciding factor was. Who knows, he could be another E. Smith one day..doubt it but who knows? Best of Luck Mike, stay off the weed!

  14. DenverGator says:

    Good luck to you Mike!

  15. Louis says:

    JW , you are a nice guy I can tell. But wishing him a huge sucess is BS. The last one we wished good luck went to Auburn won the statue. I dont want this guy to put up 204 agianst us in Atlanta some day. Screw him , he had is chance to sign at AU in February. We get to foot the bill on his bum shoulder too. BS

    • Ken (CA) says:

      well since he can’t go to another SEC school, unless we end up in the Peach bowl against him at some point, probably won’t see him in Atlanta!

  16. Nick says:

    IMHO it seems borderline delusional for anyone to suggest that Blakely transferred because he was scared to compete in the future against guys who are currently in their junior year of high school. People shouldn’t forget that Blakely was ranked in the top 5 of all RBs nationally, higher than both Davis and Jones, hell higher than anyone other than Wilder in the southeast. He would have been behind Rainey and Demps this season, but the following year would be better than any of the remaining backs on the roster and have a year of experience in the system over the two incoming freshman. Maybe he didn’t buy into Weis’s vision of the offense or maybe he didn’t get along or relate with Muschamp like he did with Meyer. But I don’t buy the “scared to compete” line for a minute.

  17. Obgator says:

    What’s a pre Madonna?

    I don’t think blakley was a primadonna. Probably just realistic about the depth chart in front and behind him. nothing wrong with him assessing his situation. Although I would’ve liked to see him stick it out and fight for a position, maybe it says something about the other backs or himself or the offensive philosophy.

  18. dp says:

    I don’t see why some are panicking over this. We already have a stockpile of backs for this year…this kid has a bum shoulder and plays a position where I would say uses the shoulder quite often…we are reeling in two beasts at the same position…the staff is basically saying, ” Listen Mike…it’s just not going to work here…you are not a ground and pound back…we are going to put your scholly to use on another need…good luck elsewhere….and you’re welcome for the free surgical procedure and rehab.” Just have some faith fellas in the new staff…they are hungry.
    Go Gators

  19. Gator John says:

    He was recruited by Meyer to play in a spread offense. When Muschamp came in, he stuck with his committment and came to UF. I Imagine after seeing the change to a pro-style offense, and the incoming “big” backs, he would be a player without a position in this team. I wish he would have just went ahead and changed his committment before taking up a scholarship in the last recruiting cycle, but it is what it is. He will benefit whatever team he ends up with.

  20. scooterp says:

    To suggest that Muschamp/Weis sat him down and told him leave because they want to use his scholly somewhere else – is non-sense. I think he saw the dynamics within the offense change over spring and didn’t feel comfortable with it and decided it wasn’t a good fit. I don’t have a problem with that. If anything, I appreciate him trying to stick it out during the coach change chaos over the winter. We had players bowing out right and left and many of you beating on the kid now, were in a state of panic 4 months ago. He gave it a shot and it didn’t work out – and despite what most people think – it takes more balls to admit this may have been a mistake and start over somewhere else than it is to stick around and fake it. I wish him well.

  21. Goldengator says:

    I didn’t like this kid after the Army Game and was trying to remember why until I found this gem. In regards to not getting any carries at the Army game, Mike said “I got to know some pretty cool guys, but other than that it was a regular ole’ week — a week I could have been spending with my family,” Blakely said. “To come out here like this, it’s probably the worst week of my life, honestly. I respect all of the soldiers and everything, but it wasn’t worth coming out here to not being with my family for a whole week.”

    To me that sounds like he either wasn’t working hard, was injured, or had a bad attitude as the reasons he didn’t get on the field. His comments prove his poor attitude and immaturity.

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