UF notebook: Dismissed player didn’t meet ‘Gator Standard,’ Mullen says

Florida defensive back John Huggins intercepts a Kyle Trask pass last Saturday and begins his 80-yard jog to the end zone in the Orange & Blue Game. Orange beat Blue 60-35. [Lauren Bacho/Gainesville Sun]

The decision to dismiss sophomore safety John Huggins from the Florida football team was made by the coaching staff, not the university, UF coach Dan Mullen said Monday.

“That was ours,” he said. “Not living up to what we expect of the Gator standard.”

Just a week ago, Mullen indicated that Huggins still might fit into UF’s plans at the star position in the secondary. Although the decision to dismiss seems somewhat sudden, it wasn’t, Mullen said.

“It was evolving,” he said. “There were things we were looking at him having to do. It was a constant process.”

Mullen on Banks

Huggins wasn’t the only player removed from the roster over the weekend. On Sunday, senior offensive lineman Noah Banks announced on Twitter that he was giving up football due to his ongoing battle with epilepsy.

Mullen said he did not anticipate Banks’ decision.

“No, you don’t know,” he said. “In the spring he didn’t go through anything trying to get himself healthy and then he came to us wanting to come back. He was excited to come back. I think it just took a toll on him and he just decided it wasn’t for his best, his health, for the long term and the future.”

Banks was having a solid camp and had worked his way into the playing rotation at offensive guard.

Improvement shown

The Gators second scrimmage of preseason camp was better than the first, Mullen said.

“The guys on the team took some steps forward,” Mullen said of Sunday night’s scrimmage. “I think it was just cleaner football from top to bottom. It makes it easier to coach off of. The key is making sure guys are getting ready, more into the game mentality. So, the scrimmage is better for being able to transition from one situation to the other.”

The Gators came out of the scrimmage with no significant injuries, and camp will be over in just three more days.

“It’s on us quick,” Mullen said. “I think we have really three more practices. Today will be helmets, Friday will be shorts and T-shirts, walk-through type practice. There are only three more practices and then game week, so we have to have a sense of urgency, making sure they’re ready to go play.

“Getting guys ready to play and staying healthy is obviously a huge part, especially with a long season this year with the three bye weeks. There will be that and there will be different opportunities for guys to stay healthy during the course of the season. But it’s spread out, so we just have to work to stay healthy and to see if the guys continually improve and take steps in the right direction.”

Freshmen into the fire

With a lack of depth at the cornerback spots, there’s a chance the three true freshmen corners — Kaiir Elam, Jaydon Hill and Chester Kimbrough — will see playing time in the opener against Miami.

“Oh, yeah. We expect them all to play,” Mullen said. “They’re learning, they’re getting a lot of reps, getting rotated in to different situations. Obviously, to get to see them get into the game when the season starts, it’ll be a little bit different than practice. But they’re going to get the opportunity to grow up right away this year. A bunch of freshmen will probably play and get opportunities this year.”

Humphries still idle

One freshman who won’t be playing early this season is defensive tackle Jaelin Humphries, who continues to rehab an injured knee.

“He’s still dealing with some medical issues, some injuries he came in with,” Mullen said. “So, he has not practiced yet. He’s on our training camp roster, but has not made it to a practice yet. Hopefully, he gets healthy in the next couple of weeks and keeps moving forward.”

Davis on the rise

Junior safety Shawn Davis had another big play in Sunday’s scrimmage and appears to be having a breakout camp.

“He’s worked. He’s taken a step forward,” Mullen said. “He got an explosive (play in the scrimmage). I think he’s gotten comfortable in the defense, making calls and getting himself in the right position to make plays. That’s a big positive.

“I love seeing the guys grow and develop. What you want to see is how they keep taking the next steps in their careers, which is what we want our guys to do. He’s had a pretty good camp. He’s certainly going to be in the rotation of guys playing.”


  1. Hey Daz and everyone for that matter – this is what I found out about Achilles tears. An Achilles tendon rupture is a complete or partial tear that occurs when the tendon is stretched beyond its capacity. Forceful jumping or pivoting, or sudden accelerations of running, can overstretch the tendon and cause a tear. An injury to the tendon can also result from falling or tripping. I don’t really see this issue as from lack of stretching, but more of over exertion that causes this injury. My knee injury was a result of pivoting and I must conclude that the weak link in joints are the cartilage and tendons. This topic made for some great research. GO GATORS!!!

    • “stretched beyond its capacity”.
      2 things happen when u dont stretch, the tendon gets shorter and the muscle gets shorter from exercise. Some people might describe it as tight. Now you go out and make a very athletic move that puts tremendous strain on that tendon and muscle or muscle group(such as the calf), because of the tremendous contraction of the muscle group. With the tendon already tight as well as the muscle group there isnt much give and the weak link breaks(tears). A well stretched tendon and muscle group can deal with alot more contraction than a tight one as occurs under an athletic move. This is especially prevalent in the long muscles like the calves or hamstring that can contract alot. Sometimes the muscle tears like the hamstring and sometimes the tendon tears like in the achilles.
      As i said before there isnt alot of stretching that can be done productively on the knee components(primarily ligaments[bone to bone] that get injured, ACL PCL MCL LCL) and of course there is absolutely zero effect on the meniscus. A tight ligament can be massaged to loosen it up. Had one that hurt me for a year until I decided to dig in there and find it. Took about 3 months of deep , pointed massage to be pain free.