UF notebook: Smith facing possible criminal charge

Florida defensive lineman Jordan Smith
Florida defensive lineman Jordan Smith, left, is now facing a possible criminal charge for possible credit card fraud. [file]

Redshirt freshman defensive end Jordan Smith, one of seven players suspended last Sunday for misuse of scholarship funds, is now facing a possible criminal charge for possible credit card fraud.
GPD spokesman Ben Tobias confirmed Friday that police did an open criminal investigation involving Smith on Thursday that has been forwarded to the detective division for follow-up. The other six suspended players are not part of the investigation.
Smith and the six others — wide receiver Antonio Callaway, defensive end Keivonnis Davis, defensive tackle Richerd Desir-Jones, offensive tackle Kadeem Telfort, linebacker James Houston and linebacker Ventrell Miller — were suspended from the opening game against Michigan last Sunday and also suspended from all team activities.
The suspensions are indefinite and will not end until certain monetary conditions are met by the players.
UF coach Jim McElwain said Friday he did not have any new information on Smith or any of the others.
“Well, him and the rest of the guys still aren’t with us until everything’s resolved,” McElwain said. “I haven’t gotten anything from the authorities. Until it’s resolved, that’s the way it is.”
Freshman WR emerging
True freshman wide receiver Daquon Green has seen some reps with the first-team offense this week and it’s looking more and more like he will contribute this season.
“Yeah, Daquon does a really good job at paying attention to detail and not making the same mistake twice,” junior quarterback Luke Del Rio said. “I think that’s big. You know you’re going to make mistakes, but continuing to correct them. If you keep making the same mistakes, then that’s when we kind of have to move on because you’re not picking it up. He’s a bright guy who’s practicing really hard, physical, and can help us win this year.”
McElwain is also impressed.
“Boy, he’s done a good job,” McElwain said. “Obviously, he swims a little bit on some of the things we’re asking him to do. But he’s a guy that, what I like, goes out and goes about his business. He’s got really good hands, and he’s got a big strong body. Some of the things that he’s done away from the ball has been really good.”
Del Rio motivated
Del Rio seems to have a chip on his shoulder over the fact that some are questioning his size (6-foot-1) and arm strength.
“I’ve never been 6-6. Obviously, it would be nice,” he said. “It makes seeing things a lot easier. My dad is 6-4, my sister is 6-0 and I’m like 6-1, so there’s nothing I can do about it. I just try to do the best to my ability and I found that quarterbacking is a lot more than just what you look like, how hard you can throw, how far you can throw.
“I’ve seen plenty of NFL guys that are huge and we see them throw 7-on-7 and we’re like, ‘Oh my God’, and then a little guy beats them out. Aaron Rodgers is 6-2, Drew Brees is like 6-0, Russell Wilson is like 5-10½. Yeah, there’s prototypical size, but there’s more than that.”
Del Rio, who is active on social media, has seen his arm strength questioned by fans and others. He said the under-throws last season were a result of his injured shoulder.
“My arm is 100-percent healthy,” he said. “And I found it pretty ridiculous that fans are saying I had a noodle arm when I was throwing the ball 80 yards in the first game. I’ve never had like a ridiculous arm, like Feleipe (Franks), who has a ridiculous arm. But I’ve always had a pretty adequate arm. I’ve been able to make every throw on time. It’s the first time in my life I’ve heard, ‘You don’t have a strong arm’. So, whatever.”
Black is back
Former strong safety Ahmad Black, who had a huge interception in the national title game in 2008, is back in school — and back with the football program. McElwain announced Friday that Black has joined his staff as a student coach.
“We have one addition to our team, which I’m really excited about,” McElwain said. “Former Gator Ahmad Black is back in school finishing his degree. He’s working with us as a student coach. It’s great. The other day we had about 150 former Gator players we invited to a practice and had a dinner afterwards where our guys were able to mingle with them.
“But it’s great to see Ahmad with us. He’s got a great smile, his energy obviously, a guy that knows what it is to win and the fact he’s coming back to get his degree, that really says so much. So we’re excited about having him back in the fold.”
Injury update
Several starters were held out of Friday’s closed scrimmage with minor injuries, including Martez Ivey (knee), Duke Dawson (leg) and linebacker Kylan Johnson (hamstring).
All of the scholarship tight ends also missed the scrimmage. DeAndre Goolsby is out of town attending his grandmother’s funeral, while C’yontai Lewis (unspecified), Moral Stephens (foot) and true freshmen Kemore Gamble (foot) were held out with minor injuries.
Johnson, the starting middle linebacker, has missed several practices.
“He ran finally (Thursday),” McElwain said. “He should be back next week, I’m guessing.”
Safety Nick Washington (unspecified), cornerback C.J. McWilliams (knee) and safety Quincy Lenton (shoulder) also missed the scrimmage and are day-to-day.
With all the tight ends missing, former wide receiver Khalif Jackson is getting a bunch of reps, along with walk-ons Ryan Ferguson and Brian Fallace.
“We’ve done some things also where we brought (walk-on linebacker) R.J. Raymond over a little bit in some of the goal stuff we do,” McElwain said. “It actually allows us to work red and purple and orange, so the different personnel groups. It’s actually kind of fun.”