Powell loses job as UF’s punt returner

Florida Gators wide receiver Brandon Powell catches a punt during the game against Texas A&M at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium last month. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Senior wide receiver Brandon Powell has lost his job as Florida’s starting punt returner after muffing a punt in back-to-back games against Missouri and South Carolina.

Sophomore wide receiver Freddie Swain, who replaced Powell after his muff this past Saturday in the loss to the Gamecocks, will return punts against UAB on Saturday. Wide receiver Dre Massey also could be an option.

“We’ll work (Swain), we’ll work Dre,” interim head coach Randy Shannon said Monday. “BP has a tendency to lean to the right instead of catching it forward. Two punts, he leaned to the right. He’s going to have to understand it this week, like anything else, he probably won’t be the punt returner. We’ll have to get somebody that’s going to give us a chance to catch the ball.”


  1. Powell has also dropped multiple passes this year, but he has not lost his WR job. Likely that is the case because no other receiver other than Cleveland (who the Florida QBs rarely throw the ball to) can catch the ball either, including Swain. But when you think about it, other than the two kickers and the running backs, who does do their job well on this team? And that includes most of the coaches.

    • Don’t let ole Ricky get to you he’s just disappointed like the rest of us at this stage. Although he does tend to be a little grating at times. I don’t think he does it on purpose though, it’s just his personality.

      • CO Jones. You do not know me or my personality. Just a big time Gators football fan and UF grad who does not like what has happened to the UF football program and how poorly coached the players have been, especially this year.

        • Pulling Powell is just an attempt by Shannon to show he wants the head coaching job. When new management comes in the first thing they want to do is make changes to the status quo. “Building for the future” is the statement Shannon is trying to make considering the next head ball coach will be saying the same thing. Shannon is trying to be the next head coach. At this point he has nothing to lose, except his job. His defense this year won’t save him or his job. Mullens will get rid of him. Ease up Ricky. When you start calling out players, you go too far there team mate. I don’t give a damn if you are a grad or not. It doesn’t make you a better fan.

          • We are on our way. We fired the coach. We have a new AD. A new coach is being hired. Pretty obvious stuff. I will choose to enjoy my last two home games of 2017 with family and friends and look to the future. While you lambast a bunch of kids playing football. Pretty obvious.

          • Poor Little Ricky. He just might take his ball and go home as people would dare question his opinions. Obviously Little Ricky has self esteem issues as he has to drone on and on and let us know all about his thoughts just to try and justify his existence. Go ahead and lambaste the players some more Little Ricky. And by the way, just how long did you defend McElwain as the head coach?

          • Programs. I have never personally lambasted or insulted any Florida player on here. I have given my personal opinions on their position skills and level of play (game execution), however. And so do the authors of these articles. I find no issue with doing so.

          • Again, Little Ricky. Just how long did you defend Mcelwain while simultaneously bitching how bad the players are? And by the way, are you asking my age in order to do something to me? What creepy actions you display by engaging with someone you think to be a minor…maybe you complain abut the collegiate athlete as you find them disgustingly old..

  2. I’m seriously asking this question for the good of the program: Due to the injuries and everything else, could UF just forfeit the final two games? There is not point in other guys getting hurt. Attendance will be below 50%. Stop these sunk costs and come back next year.

        • Are you on glue? Kelly coached the Oregon Ducks to BCS games in each of his four seasons as head coach; the 2010 Rose Bowl, 2011 BCS National Championship Game, 2012 Rose Bowl and 2013 Fiesta Bowl. They beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl and K State in the Fiesta Bowl. He was undefeated against the Duck’s biggest rivals. Problem is he’s on record as not liking to recruit.

          • I’m glad you know how to use Wikipedia, I thought Ohio st, was the top dog, I Arkanasa coach was Wisconsin coach when they played see how that turned out, K-state really, this is the SEC that cardio style offense worked in the pack 12 almost won him a nc, but Auburn was no power house defense team all they really had was Can Newton. Lets not forget Lsu, his offense will put up points like Auburn their advantage taking offenses don’t give defense time to set I consider it legal cheating. Strong defense team slows it down and that’s at least 4 SEC defenses.

  3. Novel concept – in order to return a punt it is helpful to be able to catch a punt. Our coaches have just now figured this out, this far into the season? No wonder our Special Teams have been so special! These coaching revelations sound more like Saturday Night Live skits with each passing day.

      • Collide(?) – Most of us come here to read articles about the football team and comment about the content or the implications of the articles. You, on the other hand, have apparently anointed yourself the judge and jury of the validity and viewpoints of all the other posters. You do so in a most juvenile and insulting way, much like the punk kid always chosen last (if at all) when teams were called on the elementary school playground. This fits the classic definition of a TROLL. This forum is supposed to be about the Gator football team, and not what your opinions are about the posters. I am not sure how you derived your ridiculous moniker, but I suspect it has something to do with the collision of your psychotherapy program and your toilet training. Please drag your diaper a** somewhere else and TROLL another forum for a while. As I am certain you have often found to be the case in your life – nobody cares what your annoying opinions are, only that you take them somewhere else.

          • Not looking for shots Troop. Just not sure why you and Gillmore are bashing the coaches and players. The biggest problems (Foley and BBQ Sauce guy) are gone. The remaining coaches are all interim. The players are kids playing a game. Their performance at this point is irrelevant. You really are the Interstate rubbernecker. Getting in the way of the rest of us moving right along.

  4. I wonder if having a full time ST coach would have figured out who is the best at catching and returning punts or kickoffs? We don’t have a coach who is good at teaching/developing any of our ST players with the exception of punting or kicking, the only positive aspects of ST’s.
    This phase of football helped UF win games during the SOS and Meyer tenures.

  5. I’m a big BP fan but he’s not comfortable returning punts. Perhaps a change in the ST coach will be needed as well. Very spoiled to have the kickers we have & then NO return game. I thought Lemmons was doing pretty well on kickoffs. Let him try punt return too. Go Gators!

    • Lemmons is averaging less than 20 yards a return with a long of 26. So he’s only returned 1 kickoff longer than the 25 yards he would have received if he just downed it in the endzone. Not saying he’s not a good returner but nobody is doing well with returns.

  6. He won’t be on the team next year and hasn’t been a “big” contributor in any season unless you think 387 receiving yards on 45 receptions as big contributions. If we are going to continue losing, we might as well be developing our future as opposed to playing players(Powell, Goolsby) who have no future at UF or in the pros. Throw him a few passes so he can get his 30 yards a game. We should be throwing the ball 50 times a game right now to try to develop a few players.

  7. Disagree. I think Chip Kelly, Scott Frost or Dan Mullen would all be excellent hires. Recruiting class looks very good to me still with several needs. Hope we can keep the current commits & close well with a new HC. Go Gators!