Running back transferring from UF

Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 1:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 1:12 p.m.

Florida freshman running back Mike Blakely’s Gator career is over before it ever really began.

Blakely, a former Bradenton Manatee High School star, is transferring, UF coach Will Muschamp announced Tuesday.

Blakely (5-foot-9, 198 pounds) was an early enrollee, but did not participate in spring drills after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder in January.

"Mike has come to the conclusion that the University of Florida is not where he wants to play football,'' Muschamp said. "We wish him the best of luck.''

Blakely was one of the nation’s top running back prospects coming out of high school. He had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons at Manatee. rated him the country’s No. 6 player at his position. Blakely considered Auburn, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Southern Cal before committing to Florida.

“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.

There is no word yet on where Blakely will transfer. Per NCAA rules, he will have to sit out next season wherever he ends up.

Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps are the starters at running back, with Mike Gillislee and Mack Brown in reserve. Gillislee and Brown both sat out the spring recovering from injuries. Demps did not participate in spring drills in order to focus on track.

Blakely is the second member of the 2011 recruiting class to leave. Wide receiver Javares McRoy, also an early enrollee, recently transferred to Texas Tech, where he will have a chance to play with his older brother. Another wide receiver, redshirt freshman Chris Dunkley, also made the decision last month to transfer. He has been cleared to enroll at South Florida.

Dunkley was the fourth member of the 2010 recruiting class to leave the team. The others were wide receiver Adrian Coxson, safety Jonathan Dowling and safety Jordan Haden.

Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or Also check out Andreu's blog at

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