Notebook: UF suspends Dunker
Published: Friday, January 18, 2013 at 4:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 18, 2013 at 4:12 p.m.
As a result of his arrest Wednesday on a charge of grand theft of a motor vehicle, redshirt freshman offensive guard Jessamen Dunker has been suspended from the team indefinitely, Florida coach Will Muschamp said Friday.
“I met with Jessamen Dunker this morning and I suspended him from all team activities until we get more information,” Muschamp said. “I have been on the road. I just met face-to-face with him for the first time for about 15 minutes.
“Once we get a little more information, we’ll move forward, but he’s suspended from the team at this time. We’ll address that further when I know more.”
Dunker was arrested for driving a scooter on campus that had been reported stolen. His attorney, Huntley Johnson, said Dunker claims he bought the scooter for $600. Dunker also was cited for driving with a suspended license.
The State Attorney’s Office will investigate the case and then decide what charges, if any, will be brought against Dunker.
More roster attrition
The recent exodus of players from the roster continues. Muschamp announced that three more players are no longer on the team — senior defensive end Kedric Johnson, senior wide receiver Stephen Alli and sophomore offensive lineman Tommy Jordan.
“Kedric Johnson and Stephen Alli will graduate this spring and move on,” Muschamp said. “Kedric may play somewhere (else) next fall. I need to continue to talk to him about that. Stephen Alli is going to go to graduate school, possibly here at Florida and may help out in the operations or in the weight room.
“Tommy Jordan has applied for a medical exemption with his shoulder. He had a bad shoulder coming in, and, obviously, playing offensive line in the SEC isn’t great for a bad shoulder. We appreciate those guys’ contributions.”
If the NCAA grants Jordan a medical hardship, he will be able to remain on scholarship and his scholarship will not count against UF’s overall total.
Due to all the recent attrition through graduation, transfers and players leaving early for the NFL, the Gators now will be able to sign as many as 33 players in this recruiting class.
Muschamp said three players — offensive guard Jon Halapio, offensive tackle Chaz Green and outside linebacker Neiron Ball — all have undergone minor arthroscopic surgery recently but should be able to participate in spring drills to some extent.
“Jon had a scope on his knee. Chaz had a scope on his ankle. Neiron had a scope on his ankle,” Muschamp said. “We expect all three of those to participate at some point this spring. I don’t know when that will happen.”
Muschamp said punter Kyle Christy underwent shoulder surgery for an injury that he played with all of last season.
“Kyle Christy had to tie his shoulder tighter, an injury he had going into the season,” Muschamp said. “He punted pretty well with it. I don’t know why he needed to have surgery, but they felt he needed it.”
Muschamp said wide receiver Solomon Patton, who sustained a broken arm in the Georgia game, has been cleared for non-contact work in the spring.
“I don’t think he will be in any contact, but he’s doing really well,” Muschamp said.
No new hire yet
Muschamp said he is not quite ready to fill the one vacancy on his coaching staff, or decide what position group the new assistant will coach.
“I have some ideas about the next hire,” he said. “When I know something, I’ll let you know. We can go different routes here, but I’m not going to discuss those as far as what we’re doing, but I feel comfortable about our staff and what we’re doing.”
UF announced Thursday that new defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin would continue to coach the linebackers, but would no longer coordinate the special teams. Muschamp said Friday there’s a chance Durkin could end up coaching defensive ends instead of linebackers.
Muschamp also said there is a chance someone on the staff now could assume the role of special teams coordinator.
Penalties remain an issue
After committing a rash of penalties, many of them major, in the Sugar Bowl, it’s an area the Gators will need to continue to work on as they move forward into 2013.
“We need to improve in penalties,” Muschamp said. “Again, we’re going to exercise everything we can do to improve that part of what we can do. We need to make some strides there. We’ll try to do a better job.”
Muschamp was asked if his players lost their composure in the Sugar Bowl. The Gators were hit with two 15-yard penalties after failing to recover an onside kick at the start of the second half.
“I think one particular play, we lost composure,” he said. “Certainly, that’s something we’re not going to tolerate here. That’s something we’ll address, and we’ll move forward. We need to improve that part of our football team.”
Seniors Josh Evans (safety), Omar Hunter (defensive tackle) and Caleb Sturgis (kicker) will all participate in senior all-star games today. Evans and Sturgis will take part in the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, while Hunter will play in the inaugural Raycom College Football All-Star Classic in Montgomery, Ala.
The East-West Shrine Game will be on the NFL Network starting at 4 p.m., while CBS Sports Network will televise the Raycom College Football All-Star Classic at 3 p.m.
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