Del Rio giving up final year of eligibility

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Florida offensive lineman Antonio Riles, left, celebrates with quarterback Luke Del Rio after the game against Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., in September. (AP Photo/David Stephenson)

Whoever Florida’s new head coach turns out to be, he’s going to have one less quarterback to work with.

Luke Del Rio, who has endured multiple injuries and surgeries in his two seasons at UF, has decided to give up his final year of eligibility, he announced Wednesday on Twitter.

Here’s his tweet:

“Yes, I will be participating in Senior Day on Saturday. I am a redshirt senior but have a 6th year of eligibility which I am choosing to not use. Have enjoyed my unique college career and am excited for what’s next#GoGators#BeatEveryone”

Two other UF players with eligibility remaining — redshirt junior offensive guard Antonio Riles and true senior safety Marcell Harris, who missed this season with a ruptured achilles — also are listed by the school as participants in Senior Day on Saturday.

Del Rio has had bad luck with injuries throughout his career.

After earning the starting role heading into the 2016 season, he ended up starting only six games due to knee and shoulder injuries. He underwent surgery on both shoulders after the season and considered not returning in 2017.

After meeting with then coach Jim McElwain over the summer, Del Rio decided to continue his career. He battled for the No. 1 role throughout camp, but finished behind redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks.

Del Rio won the job back after rallying the Gators to a victory over Kentucky in the third game of the season, but then sustained a season-ending collarbone injury the following week in the first half against Vanderbilt.

Two Gators in Senior Bowl

Safety Duke Dawson and punter Johnny Townsend have accepted invitations to the Senior Bowl. The game will be played Jan. 27 in Mobile, Ala.

Dawson has intercepted three passes and recorded nine pass breakups this season. Townsend is averaging 47.93 yards per punt and has consistently flipped field position for the Gators.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Time for Luke to begin the process of becoming a football coach, like his dad. And he will likely become a good one. And, please, how is Duke Dawson classified as a safety to you, Robbie? He has played nickel and cornerback the last two seasons. He briefly played safety during his first couple of years under Muschamp, but that hardly classifies Dawson a safety.

  2. Much thanks to Luke Del Rio for giving his all as a Gator. We’re losing more than a player, also an assistant coach for the young guns.

    If he really wanted, he could come back and compete for the starting job yet again. Those who have not experienced an injury have no idea how hard and painful it can be to work your way back. No one should spend that much time in rehab. Thank you Luke!