Antonneous Clayton says he’s transferring

Florida defensive lineman Antonneous Clayton Sr. (77) runs a drill at Saturday's practice at practice at the Sanders Practice Fields. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Florida redshirt junior defensive end Antonneous Clayton Sr., the highest-rated prospect in the Gators’ 2016 recruiting class, has left the team. He announced on Twitter on Monday that he has decided to transfer to another school.

Clayton, a five-star prospect according to Rivals, never lived up to the expectations put on him in his three-plus years in Gainesville. In his first two years, he played in nine games as a reserve, totaling only 11 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.

He played in three games this past season, then made the decision to redshirt, hoping he would be ready to compete for a starting job at the rush end position this spring.



  1. From everything I’ve ever learned on here, this is impossible. Do you mean to tell me that a 5-Star recruit didn’t actually measure up? But we have a 3-Star running back who is said to be ready to break out this year?
    Naw…..can’t be…..I thought 5-Stars were ALWAYS the schiznitz…….and now you tell me this?

    Well, there goes another NC.

      • Naw…..and I wish this young man well. Just reacting to all the propaganda about how you have to have a butt load of 5-stars to compete for a national championship — which of course if true means that Clemson would still be without any and that UCF wouldn’t have been able to claim any either!

        Make the Gators Great Again (MGGA) and BOTC (Bring on The Chomp)! 👍👍👍👍👍

      • aint – Gator-6 doesn’t stir the pot, but I think he might smoke the pot…lmao. Using the word “schiznitz” is awesome Gator-6. I wish this young man nothing but the best as life has its twists, turns and curves. That opens up another spot for a draft pick…lol. GO GATORS!!!

          • Please clarify. Your wife prefers kissing you after you’ve had a lip full of Skoal but not after a cigar? I’ve got another question but caution forbids me asking.

          • I can answer both questions this way, Aintpc: The other day the lovely Gator-3 was standing at the top of the stairs, just as I was making my merry way up — not as quickly as I used to in the good old days, mind you, whenever the hell that was — and she calls out, “Hey Big Boy, you wanna come upstairs for some action?”.

            Says I, “Woman, make up your damn mind — I can’t do both!”.

            Badda bing badda boom. But does that answer your question? Besides, it’s not good for my self esteem anymore.

  2. He has Mac’s staff to start and somehow I think he wasn’t up to CDM’s standard of maximum effort. Too bad as he has great potential. Cas in point that having 5* doesn’t mean they are going to be the best. It means they have (by subjective opinion more potential.)

      • I agree but things may work out they happened when they did. I understand and agree with the discussion on more talented players yield championships but as mentioned by BG below that takes coaching, conditioning, and most of all leadership from the staff. etc. But because I believe the rating system is somewhat flawed there is more 5* talent below 5* than there are 5*. That is how Clemson has put themselves in the position they have. I think their staff rated the players and took those they could train and mold they way they wanted to. It took longer but Sweeney had one luxury many do not. Time to develop the program. They hadn’t been a powerhouse and gradual improvement was ok. In the SEC we want to win yesterday. More so at UF. The stars (pun intended) are beginning to align and CDM seems to have us pointed in the direction the last two were not capable of heading. Going to be fun watching. BRING ON THE CHOMP!!!

        • 65, the beauty of that statement about things working out like they did anyway…..priceless. No pain, no gain. I’d prefer no pain, no pain, but Lord, at least please don’t bless us with so much 7 year pain for at least another hundred years, OK? BOTC!

          • I know but if CDM hadn’t has the time to grow he may not have been ready. Though I think he would have. But he walked into an environment ripe and wanting success. While there’s a lot of pressure I actually think it makes things a little easier for the crew that has a clear plan that can be bought into. It started with the AD making a good call, and supporting his choice. The fans aka us were eager for someone with a plan, we were weary but wanted someone we could buy into. For or part we had two predecessors to learn what isn’t right. That is why I think CDM will succeed. Time was right, plan was right, willing to change to meet the time, modifies plan to suit talent, opponent, situation. Could have used a man like him in another time.

  3. Individually, any 5* player can fail to meet expectations and any 3* player can over-perform, especially OL and DL recruits. In aggregate, there are more 5* than 3* All Americans and among round 1-2 NFL drafted players. So, the rating system does work.

    Any 5* players that fell to McElwhiner and his clowns were flawed in some fashion. They most likely had very bad practice habits. That’s why the Sabans, Jimbos and Dabbos didn’t recruit them as hard as the Gators did.

    • Boy, if there’s three guys I never want to get in a pissin’ contest with, it’s you, Sly, and my urologist. That said, I have to ask that when a 3-star “over-performs”, how can he possibly be performing better than he’s capable of?

      I’m verclempt, so discuss among yourselves………😝

      • The only thing the star rating system, or NFL scouting for that matter, can’t peg is what’s in a man’s head and heart. That’s how some 3*s can and do perform better than expected by the services and some 5*s can really underperform.

        • No one claims the star system is a prefect predictor of individual talent. The point is that in the aggregate the star system does provide a predictor of the quality of talent available on any particular roster. It is a broad level analysis indicator/predictor. So of course, there will always be exceptions to this, with lower rated players performing better and with higher rated players performing below their projected talent level (UK, for example, always has one or two really good 3* players that are all SEC. But when was their last SEC championship?). As a broad level type of analysis the data tends to point towards overall talent and overall potential that is generally reliable. So when one looks at the top teams over the last decade, or at least teams that make the CFP, they tend to be a compilation of classes that ranked in the top classes over a string of years. You need consecutive top classes to be competitive. And you always need a few superstars that add the special magic that put your team over the top. Normally, these are 5 stars, sometimes though, they are not. The point is recruiting is a direct indicator of success. So it is a really big deal for Mullen to bring in top 10 classes consecutively (top 5 would be better!). Without that type of consistency UF still could win the CFP, but the evidence suggests that it is far far less likely. You have to have a few players like P. Harvin and B. Spikes, etc, to make it happen. Normally these are 5* according to most recruiting sites.

          • No argument here, Brian. The bone of contention has been, tho, that without gobs of 5* you can’t possibly win an NC. That is patently false; what is required is all the things you mentioned — particularly consistent Top tier recruiting classes whether or not they are in particular populated by 5* recruits.

          • You are spot on with that analysis Brian! It’s the aggregation of 4* and 5* talent year after year that provides a team the raw material for winning championships. Good coaching and player development does the rest.

            Ron Zook was an excellent recruiter, but a terrible head coach. His teams were loaded with 4* and 5* talent, but were never disciplined, nor consistent winners. Urban Meyer, a much better coach, took all that raw talent and won a NC in just 2 seasons, with all but 2 starters being Zook recruits.

            We already know CDM is an excellent coach. I just don’t believe McElwhiner left him enough raw talent to win a NC in his 2nd season at UF and the aggregate star rating of McElwhiner’s last two recruiting classes will prove my point.

  4. I wish this young player good fortune and thank him for coming here and working. Even if a player doesn’t shine on the field, his competing may help other players, which i think we have a few guys on the defensive line and perhaps our offensive tackle scheduled to go in the first round, may admit. i have never heard a bad word about him, perhaps people inferred something without firsthand knowledge. His time at UF was not a failure imo, and thus worthy of celebration. maybe Gainesville just wasnt right for him, i can understand that, it wouldnt be the first time.
    im not a huge fan of player ratings, which say more about the person doing the rating than the player themselves imo, i just say trust the coaches. the ratings are all the fans have for the most part and are more of a broad indicator than something precise, otherwise FSU would have done better recently.

  5. For all you fans who think a 5-star recruiting class is an automatic NC, please look at FSU’s 2016 class, which was Top 10 rated. Those are the players who got whipped at HOME by the Gators in 2018. Remember this: even Spurrier never won in Tallahassee (0-4-1) in his tenure. Yes, 5-stars help, but I think 5-star coaching is better. Who would have put Florida to finish in Top 10 nationally for the 2018 season debut of Mullen?

    • The way you win a national championship is by creating a perfect storm: consecutive top level recruiting classes, multiple years of consistent coaching, excellent strength/conditioning program, 2 years of high level player development. Is anyone saying that all you need is just a top recruiting class? No, you need all those things. You must have them ALL. FSU only had one of them.

      • Yes, yes, yes and YES! I would also add university administration commitment to top notch facilities and football staff investment to your “perfect storm.” We just saw that play out with Coach Todd Grantham spurning the NFL to stay at UF.

        FSU had highly rated recruiting talent in 2016, but it was unbalanced by position (no OL talent) and Jimbo Fisher was already losing interest in that program because the FSU administration was refusing to invest $$$ into football facilities and his staff.

        • Exactly, StLGator! A university administration that is committed to championships via salary and facilities support is essential. I always remember Urban Meyer talking about this. He was flawed in some ways, but he understood this aspect of the “perfect storm” all too well.

    • The reason UF did so well in 2018 is because Mullen provided several of these things on his own (coaching, an improved conditional program, improved development). We fell short at several spots, and this was directly related to our roster situation (take for example our porous secondary in the UGA game…this can be fixed with recruiting!). But he has to keep working to create his own perfect storm, and I hope he does! Go Gators!

  6. Well said Gator-6. We are on the same page, I think. You don’t need gobs of 5*, but I suggest you do need a few, at least. This is why Clemson has been able to defy the odds. They sprinkled in just enough of those special special players to make it happen. They had all the other things going for them we have mentioned, but you need a stick or two of dynamite sometimes to make the whole thing go kaboooom!

    • GB that is why we are closer than some think. Clemson face the fact the 5* pool was gobbled up by a few schools that have history. Got a few to join them and built the team around a plan and solid coaching and a sound program and a AD that was part of the process. Different style here but very similar plan. We were further along than when DS started.

      • I think that’s fairly accurate Gator65. We just need to beat Clemson at their own game by not letting them steal away our top talent. Hopefully we can keep Bowman. I fear this will turn into a repeat of the CJ Spiller situation…oh what might have been.