Saunders released from UF
Published: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 6:09 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 11:35 a.m.
De'Ante ‘Pop' Saunders' up-and-down Florida career is now over.
The sophomore safety told The Sun on Wednesday that he has been released from the UF football program.
“It happened a couple of days ago,” Saunders said. “It's been a long time coming.”
Saunders was suspended for a violation of team rules in November. He did not play in Florida's final two regular season games and was ruled out for the bowl game by UF coach Will Muschamp. Saunders also missed the first two games of 2012 for disciplinary reasons.
Saunders was arrested for marijuana possession in May 2011, and a separate issue caused him to be suspended for last year's game against Alabama.
“Nothing against Florida or coach Muschamp, but I just needed a fresh start,” Saunders said. “The top school I'm considering right now is Louisville.”
The 5-foot-9, 189-pounder started seven of his eight games played this season and finished with 18 tackles and an interception. He saw action in 12 games as a true freshman and started nine, recording 26 tackles and two picks.
Saunders was one of 19 members in Muschamp's first recruiting class and came in as a three-star prospect from DeLand. He's the sixth signee from the 2011 class that is no longer on Florida's roster.