As Florida picked up two big recruits, they also announced six players leaving the football program. Sophomore tight end Kent Taylor, redshirt freshmen safety/fullback Rhaheim Ledbetter and offensive lineman Quinteze Williams, freshman offensive lineman Trevon Young and quarterback Max Staver have decided to continue their career at other schools. Redshirt junior offensive lineman Ian Silberman also announced he will play his final season elsewhere after graduating on Saturday. Taylor reached out on Twitter to thank Florida:
I’m gonna miss my friends, my teammates, and gator fans, but you have to do what’s best for u, so thank you for 2 great years gatornation.
— Kent Taylor (@kenttaylor18) December 12, 2013
Silberman played the most out of the five former Gators. The 6’5″ 306 pounder started in seven games the past two season and played as a reserve in every game this season. Taylor, a 6’5″ 223 pound TE, was expected to make strong contributions in the passing game, but did not play this year. In 2012, he caught two passes, including a touchdown in the Sugar Bowl, while playing in six games. Ledbetter is the only of the freshman to see the field this year, playing on special teams. He played in the opener against Toledo and the final game against Florida State. Williams and Young didn’t see action in their Florida careers. Head coach Will Muschamp wished the group the best of luck:
“These young men felt it was in their best interest to look for an opportunity to play somewhere else. We wish all of them the best of luck.” – Will Muschamp on the players leaving the program.
The loss of the three offensive lineman and tight end becomes a little easier to bear with OT David Sharpe and WR/TE Moral Stephens announcing their commitment to UF Thursday. The moves make sense for both the players and the Gators. Silberman, Williams, Young, and Ledbetter were more than likely to be reserves during their Florida career, while Taylor came in with high expectations, rated by some as the number one TE recruit in the nation. His lack of ability to put on weight made him a fragile commodity that would have made him succeseptible to injuries. The transfers also mean Florida has a little more room to sign key players in the 2013 class.
Quarterback Max Staver has also decided to leave the program. The freshman did not see playing time this year. Staver reached out via Twitter:
Thank you to everyone for the experience down there and the support. I will miss my teammates, friends, and also the Gator fans. God Bless.
— Max Staver (@maxstaver) December 12, 2013
There is also speculation that QBs Tyler Murphy and Skyler Mornhinweg might also transfer. Both saw action on the field and started after Jeff Driskel went down with an injury against Tennessee. Murphy was also injured, which forced Mornhinweg into the starting lineup. The potential loss of these QBs is offset by incoming freshman QB Will Grier, who has a chance to start as a true freshman. However, depth at the quarterback position would obviously take a hit with only two scholarship QBs on the roster.