Steele decides to transfer to Oregon

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Florida Gators defensive back Chris Steele chases a runner during the annual Orange and Blue Spring Football Game on Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville on April 13. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun/File]

It didn’t take former Florida cornerback Chris Steele long to settle on a new home.

He’s taking his five-star talent to Oregon, he announced on Twitter on Tuesday. The Ducks finished second behind Florida for Steele during the recruiting process, but the early enrollee put his name in the NCAA transfer portal last week and is now going to be playing closer to his California roots.

The Sun learned last week Steele made the decision to leave UF because the coaches would not move him to a new dorm room during the spring semester, away from fellow true freshman quarterback Jalon Jones, who was accused of sexual assault by two UF female students in April.

UPD did not pursue a case against Jones because the witnesses elected not to press charges. Steele, along with true freshman cornerback Jaydon Hill, was named in the police incident report, but both were cleared.

Steele is the third player who has dropped out of UF’s 2019 recruiting class, joining Jones and four-star linebacker Diwun Black, who will be enrolling in a junior college this summer due to academic deficiencies.

42 COMMENTS

  1. So ends the Steele saga. It will be interesting to see if the NCAA grants a waiver to allow him to play this year. My guess is that Steele and family have said the right things to give the NCAA cause to grant the waiver especially in the new era of college football free agency. I have been criticized for my take that Mullen and his assistants deserve blame for the situation and that they could have handled it better. While there are many such as what was said to the staff and when was it said, I stand by my belief that Mullen could have better managed the situation and the public’s perception of the situation. Whatever the true reason for Steele’s desire to transfer, reputation, homesickness or playing time, the public’s perception is that Steele was forced to witness hideous acts against women by another player and that the coaches/staff didn’t rectify the problem. This perception directly contradicts the family values espoused by Coach Mullen. The whole experience will be used against Coach Mullen and staff on the recruiting trail. I give Coach Mullen credit for flying out California to apologize to Steele and his family. Regardless, I trust that Mullen learned from the experience. He has shown the willingness to adapt to circumstances in the past. The loss of Steele is nothing compared to the potential loss in reputation.

    • I just think it was easy money for the Steele’s to justify the 1000s of miles East he landed, to which he was not prepared for, especially considering he didn’t go through his full senior year of high school. The blame game is always easy with hindsight…as I am sure “I don’t like this guy” has come up before at (insert college) USA. That said, give him the immediate waiver to play…time to move on.

    • From what was reported in the police report, I’m not so sure he really considered what he witnessed as hideous. The report says Jones and the girl were acting consensual and when Steele and Hill walked in and began laughing that’s when the girl said stop and pushed him off of her. Obviously she stopped cause she was embarrassed. In the second more serious incident, Steele wasn’t even mentioned as a witness. The report says Jones continued doing stuff to the victim even though she repeatedly said to stop and it wasn’t until Hill heard the incident that Jones stopped and let her leave. This is the problem, people are turning this story into something way more than it was. Crazy thing is, if you look at the twitter interactions between Steele and Jones, you’d have no idea they didn’t like each other. Some people are going to believe what they want to believe though and continue to blame Mullen. It’s just unfortunate that he can’t defend himself and we only get one side of the story. Like Smith said, time to move on and start repairing the image of the program.

      • Joe,

        One could also say that some people continue to wear their orange colored glasses and ignore public perception of the situation. My point is that regardless of the truth that we will never know, the situation could have been bettered managed by the staff by getting ahead of it. While I understand that Mullen is limited in what he can say about student athletes, he can talk in generalities about the standards for players. Mullen, Stricklin and the rest of the staff are always talking about the Gator brand. Whatever you believe the incident tarnished the brand.

        “Brands are mostly defined by perceptions”
        ― Bernard Kelvin Clive.

        • I’m not arguing that the brand hasn’t been tarnished. I hate to break it to you Mexi, but even if Mullen were able to speak about it, the public perception would remain the same. The haters would still push the same narrative. It’s not about wearing orange colored glasses either. It’s about looking at the actual facts, especially Steele’s dad’s tweets right in the middle of this whole situation. That alone should be able to shift the public perception, but it hasn’t. You claiming Mullen should’ve gotten ahead of it is where we’re disagreeing, cause when Steele’s dad is tweeting how great the school is treating his son and how awesome Mullen is a week after the sexual assault and a month after the request to move, then that tells me they were ok with waiting till the end of the semester and the situation wasn’t as dire as the Steele family allowed the media to portray it. I guess this is one thing will have to agree to disagree on.

        • MexiGator…That’s just it as far as perception…if it were FSU, Tennessee, or anywhere…I would be saying the same thing and have the same take. I call BS on it, and the proof is in the pudding, as it was a homesick guy who signed with Oregon asap.

          Negative recruiting is par for the course from rivals…

      • On twitter right now you can actually get updates on Mullen’s statements regarding this situation. He specifically says “There were a bunch of things that went into that decision to transfer, including a desire to head to the west coast.” He also said he followed school policy with everything. I’m sure people will still blame him for everything though.

  2. And perception is also made from rumors and hearsay. I haven’t seen one quote directly from Steele or his parents for exactly why he left UF. We just have people pointing out what has been reported. Even Steele’s tweet about where he is transferring to is just talk…no real story. The good thing is the 2 day news cycle will soon be gone on this and hopefully the next story about UF will be good news.

  3. While Tom said “Don’t Back Down,” he also knows when it’s “Time to Move On.”

    It’s time to move on, time to get going
    What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing
    But under my feet, baby, grass is growing
    It’s time to move on, it’s time to get going

    Broken skyline, movin’ through the airport
    He’s an honest defector
    Conscientious objector
    Now his own protector

    Broken skyline, which way to love land
    Which way to something better
    Which way to forgiveness
    Which way do I go?

    Sometime later, getting the words wrong
    Wasting the meaning and losing the rhyme
    Nauseous adrenaline
    Like breakin’ up a dogfight
    Like a deer in the headlights
    Frozen in real time
    I’m losing my mind

    It’s time to move on, time to get going
    What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing
    But under my feet, baby, grass is growing
    It’s time to move on, it’s time to get going

  4. MexiGator, I agree with you completely. Just curious, have any of you read the article about Jawaan Taylor, and more specifically his mother, Wendy, and the rest of his family. I suspect that most, if not all of you have. Yet, as of a few minutes ago, only 6 or 7 comments. WTF! I guess it’s not controversial enough to merit your “wisdom”. Sorry Gator fans, but I, for one, am quite disappointed.

    • Let’s see…..intact Christian family, father not only present but gainfully employed, also minister no less, kids educated and turn out to be good citizens with strong values……where’s the blood and gore? The pathos? The dirty little secret that in their spare time they eat human flesh? Naw, “Man Bites Dog” is a better story!

      Continue to lurk, Austin……you’re doing a service to remind us.

      • Oh my! It appears that I totally misjudged you Gator-6. I was even thinking that since we live so close, we might even get together some day. Listen “bud”, I really don’t know whether my feet stink, but I do love Jesus. I do not typically wear that on my sleeve, and I would hope no one would ever mock it. But now I have been challenged. Game on! I hope we can keep it cordial.

        • Hey, our faith travels are a personal thing and even though we are indeed called upon to evangelize, there are many ways to skin that cat without getting crazy or setting one’s hair on fire. There are a lot of us who feel the same way, to include a couple of fine guys who happen to be Muslims. Gators come in all stripes and sizes and in that sense we are all brothers. Brothers sometimes disagree and they sometimes fight — not that we haven’t in past instances taken things too far, but on the main most of us are guided by the fact that disagreement doesn’t mean disrespect. Case in point, and it’s pretty obvious, I’m out of sorts with Daz Wazzle right now — but I’ll get over it and it sure as hell doesn’t mean I don’t still value his opinions and I sure do still look forward to reading his posts. Or take David — I wish he didn’t come across as so damn pessimistic all the time, but while we take him to task for it sometimes, I personally get something to consider out of it nearly every time he starts typing.

          Sorry you’re using the past tense about getting together and feel like you misjudged me, Austin, which is pretty hard to do anyway since I’m not smart enough to be either a bigot or complicated — just an over-promoted PFC who got a few breaks along the way and if anything am thanking God everyday that I was born in America. I can tell you though, nobody here is ever going to mock you and the only thing I’m challenging you to do is keep on doing what you seem to do best — which is remind us from time to time to look in the other direction too.

          Go Gators and beat those damn Longhorns to a pulp even if it isn’t until 2030….you can bet I’ll be there if I’m still suckin’ air, no matter if I’m on life support or not!

          • Lurk: “to read messages without contributing on an internet discussion forum”. I only recently learned that this was a definition of lurking in a modern day sense. I thought your point was that I should…go back out to pasture. I guess I should be more careful posting after a long day and probably one too many whiskeys (never said I am a saint). Please accept my apology.

          • Oh hell, Austin — nothing to apologize for or be embarrassed over, just a misunderstanding and I’ve sure had my fair share of those! Thankfully, on the last one Sparky called me out with great confusion over what I had just said, and upon re-examination I found that I had somehow reversed the entire point of the article.

            All of my sons live in Austin, although two have somehow gone native and become Marxists while nevertheless still endorsing free market enterprise and the benefits of capitalism — but I still love the little grinders anyway. I’m down there frequently, so I’ll send you a private message later so we can exchange contact info — I don’t drink anymore, but a good cigar as long as you don’t cheese me out to the lovely Gator-3 for it, and some good conversation would seem to be in order. Now if we could just get DallasGator to make the trip south….damn, we might just have the beginnings of…..dare I say it….a Texas Gator Club.

            Not that I would particularly be interested in joining any club that would have someone like me as a member, mind you……

  5. Sounds good. My wife tells me there is a Gator club here in Austin that gathers for game days, but if I am not at a game (we try to make two per year), I prefer to watch in the comfort of my living room without a lot of distractions. I am currently between projects, but it looks like the next one will be in Dallas. Anyway, you are welcome here any time.

  6. We haven’t been to Gainesville for a few years. We go to Jax almost every year and Nashville every other year (because we love the city, but omg that dang annoying horn may be worse than the MSU cow bells). Went to the debacle in Arlington the year before last. My wife is a 32-year American Airlines employee (Austin Admirals Club), so if we can’t fly direct we typically connect through Dallas. The last time we went to Gville I do believe we flew into Tampa.

    • I was planning on the O&B game last year, but a rather untoward medical event knocked me out of the trip. This year I told DallasGator to get ready to put the Beemer on I-10 for the road trip, thinking we might pick up BRGF in Baton Rouge……but alas, it wasn’t to be due to medical appointments I couldn’t reschedule. Maybe we start planning for next year — it would truly be a blast.

        • Fat chance on the lovely Gator-3 going, not interested one iota in football and doesn’t even try to understand it. Were she to relent and go, believe me, you would be treated to multiple choruses of, “I’m bored”, and her favorite, “Ick, ick, ick, you guys are piggy-wigs”. Don’t even get me started on how she feels about the greatest icon of the South, aside from R-a-C cola and Moon Pies — Krystal burgers. Otherwise she’s great, lots of fun, and I love her guts…..but what can I say? I married a yankee! DanF knows what I’m talking about, altho he had better sense than me and fell in love with at least a hybrid Gator.

          Forget Greece — take her to South Carolina and you still don’t need a passport. Not yet anyway.

        • Uhg, my boss and I were in Horn Lake, MS in February and he goaded me into eating at Krystal…never been a fan. I do like DQ burgers though. We went to Greece in November and it was awesome, but I would rather go to Florida any day (Ft Myers Beach to hang with the kiddos in June)!