Trevon Grimes, Zachary Carter commit to playing for Florida Gators in 2020 season

By Adam Silverstein
August 21, 2020
Trevon Grimes, Zachary Carter commit to playing for Florida Gators in 2020 season
Football

Image Credit: UAA Communications

With the Florida Gators beginning practice ahead of the 2020 college football season on Monday, a number of players were nowhere to be found on the field. After head coach Dan Mullen announced during his post-practice media availability that a handful of athletes did not attend practice, it was determined that three starting wide receivers and a defensive lineman did not dress.

Mullen confirmed there were absences but did not get into specifics, saying he would let players — or even coaches — announce decisions on their own. Nearly 50 Power Five players have opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there was thought that the Gators would be without some of its best athletes given the situation.

Two of those absent players — senior WR Trevon Grimes and redshirt junior DL Zachary Carter — have since come out and committed to play for Florida this year.

“Ole Miss Week 1,” Grimes tweeted at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday. A few hours later, replying to a follower who said it sounds like Grimes was playing this season, he confirmed as much. “Not sound .. I will.”

Carter on Thursday provided a full statement about his decision. He wrote: “Been in deep thought lately since COVID-19 had my dad at his lowest in July & August. Then on August 3rd, my mom’s friend of 29 years died of COVID-19. She was a true Gator fan who came to a lot of my games. Looking forward to ballin out in honor of all COVID-19 fighters and victims. Go Gators!”

After it was determined they were absent on Monday, Grimes and Carter both spoke out about not having made any formal decisions. The other players not in attendance — senior WR Kadarius Toney and redshirt sophomore WR Jacob Copeland — have neither spoken about their absences nor made any formal decisions.

Both Toney and Copeland tweeted about the possibility of not playing this season back on Aug. 3.

The 2020 season begins for the SEC in 36 days.

“We had a couple guys not practice today, but we’ll see how that goes moving forward,” Mullen said Monday. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you have guys opt out. I’m going to support them fully. Really wouldn’t be surprised if we had coaches opt out, to be honest with you. Coaches are at such high risk because of the age group that they’re in. But we’ll figure it out.”

Among those 50 Power Five opt outs are numerous players whose conferences (Big Ten, Pac-12) ultimately decided to cancel their fall seasons with hopes of playing in spring 2021. The SEC continues to push toward playing this fall, though it has bumped back its planned start date to the traditional Week 4 on Sept. 26 and has gone to a 10-game, conference-only schedule.

Mullen announced Monday that Florida players will be tested three times per week. The SEC previously announced a mandatory twice-per-week testing protocol as the conference investigated a third, hopefully more rapid, test closer to game kickoffs. The NCAA’s minimum guideline is one test per week within 72 hours before kickoff.

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