Florida signee doesn’t make grade, released from scholarship

Florida players. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Florida’s 2019 football recruiting class has taken yet another hit.

The latest signee no longer with the class is four-star wide receiver Arjei Henderson, who did not meet UF’s academic standards and has been released from his National Letter of Intent, the school confirmed Friday.

He is the fifth prospect who is no longer part of the 2019 class, joining cornerback Chris Steele, quarterback Jalon Jones, linebacker Diwun Black and offensive lineman Deyavie Hammond. A sixth player is still trying to remain in the class and enroll at UF — offensive lineman Wardrick Wilson, who is from the Bahamas and is still going through the process of trying to obtain a visa.

Steele (Southern Cal) and Jones (Jackson State) transferred to other schools, while Black and Hammond failed to qualify academically and have enrolled in junior colleges. Black is at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.



  1. Will someone with knowledge of such matters please explain the problem with Wilson’s visa? My understanding is that he is from the Bahamas and played football in Miami. Didn’t he have to have a visa to play high school football? If he did, what is the problem with him getting a visa to attend a university? My God, we give out visas by the bushel basket to citizens from sworn enemy countries to come study in our universities and we can’t let a kid from a friendly country in? Utter stupidity.

      • Lets understand something too… every class will have it’s fair share of players who end up transferring, flunking out, suffering career-ending injuries, or just being buried on the depth chart and playing scout team all of their careers. Almost every single class at every single program has this, even the Clemsons, Bama’s, and UGA’s… it just came to us early in varying forms.

      • David…..really? You can’t be serious. Try the State Department first and move on to the Bahamas before you try laying this one at the feet of POTUS. Unless you claim he’s also responsible for the Korean War or some other nonsense, in which case go right ahead. I’d suggest doubling you meds first, tho.

          • So the both of you can live in denial all you wish. Doesn’t change the FACT that F-1 Student Visas are now harder to get with Trump’s policies in place. Pretend as you like that the changes in policy from the current administration are only going to keep out the rapists and criminals, it is a fictional world in which you live. Oh, that’s right, it is The State Department’s fault, never Trump’s. Never mind that The State Department is part of the Executive Branch (learned that in public school thanks) and in the DIRECT control of our Dear Leader.

          • David, see Ed’s memo above. So much as pertains both of us being in denial, neither one of us is even Egyptian.

      • Gee Dave, let me guess, you voted for Clinton, right? Am I close? And even though you have no idea who the democratic nominee will be, you’ll be voting for that person, am I close? You don’t like Trump. Got it. So somehow Trump is the reason UF is having a hard time getting this guy. Love it. Bet you think the Gettysburgh Address is where Lincoln lived.

        Logic. I hire for my company. I’m having zero problems with my H1Bs now, same us under previous. Whatever.

      • Passports and Visas can be declined or delayed for a number of bureaucratic or administrative reasons. I just renewed my passport and had to have the photo re-taken twice – once because the background was not bright white enough in the exposure, and once because I was smiling. The passport agency (USPS) clerk said that they get returned all the time because of minor glitches – confusion about fees, filing forms, and using a middle initial vs. a full middle name. It doesn’t take much. My guess is that this is an administrative issue and not a political one, although if one lacks a verifiable scapegoat then Trump is your default go-to guy! I tend to go more with the old Dana Carvey SNL Church Lady: ” Could it be SATAN???”

        • Trooper – I do not miss those days. When I was stationed in Italy, I had to travel all throughout the Med. and Africa. My passport had my full name, but the Italians that set up my travel tickets always used my middle initial and I would have a hell of a time making my flight. Between that and the lines waiting to go through the whole process at the airport, I no longer miss traveling…LOL. Thanks for bringing back that memory. GO GATORS!!!

    • Memo to myself: file all future posts by “David” under file 13. Anyone looking to blame a man that’s been in office less than 3 years on the MAJOR problems our Country faces and not the people that have been in elected offices for DECADES cant be believed 😎

      • Thanks guys (Todd, 6, Gelco, Ed, Sparky). It’s nice to know that I’m surrounded by a bit on sanity here on GatorSports. Reason and Sanity are a dying commodity in today’s world. Society is approaching chaos …. but to simply blame it on President Trump is foolish.

        • As much as David’s reflexive comment aggravated me, as a Conservative, Christian, Constitutionalist albeit Flatulent American, let’s not forget that he’s a brother Gator, and so is csmdew, and most of all let’s not slip back into the division and nonsense that plagued us last year.

          That said, David you’re still wrong as a left shoe, brother. 🤓

          • Well said G-6 (fyi I got out of Dallas late yesterday). Note to David: probably best to leave your politics out of this forum. You may not find a lot of fellow bleeding hearts (I’ll leave it at that) around here. One thing we can ALL agree on…GO GATORS!

          • No sweat….shoot for next Friday or any Friday.

            I’m trying to be more tolerant about mouse turds and not get sucked into pole vaulting over them, so I went back and read some of David’s otherwise excellent football posts — realizing that he’s a Gator first and foremost — and then thought to myself, “Damn, we’re about to start doing it all over again”. Hence, the olive branch. As ol’ Rog says, “And now we return you to Gator football……..”.

        • Making everything political is nonsense. Gotcherback Rog. Go Gators.
          One week.
          Next week at this exact time, I’m going to by updating an article here with my fellow Gators either elated or frustrated. Please please please be elated!!!!

  2. Grouping the commits together is misleading and not good journalism. Arjei Henderson, Diwun Black and Deyavie Hammond yes because they had similar academic issues.
    Steele I have an opinion on but like AH’s everyone has one and J. Jones became a liability.
    This article is misleading and comingling issues. Had it been written with no mention of Steele and J.Jones it would have been accurate and followed with the title.

    • Agreed. All different issues….

      I think the recent hire of Jon Herron was a good move and probably CDM addressing some of these issues. He probably agrees he has to shore up some of his processes. A solid leader definitely critiques his processes as this may be the one aspect he could shore up moving forward.

      • Let’s hope we can see the loss of players to grades in the rear view going forward. As for the losses of J Jones can’t have behavior like that though he wasn’t convicted of anything and Steele was homesick and I think all schools risk that with players from some distance away. As for the political stances. We all I think have one and that is a right and may not agree with one another on those fronts. But everyone here is a Gator fan (except the trolls) I’ve tried to keep it to football. I was gone last weekend and didn’t see this ’till the am. I enjoy reading posts from all, I find there are serious thoughts to go along with each individual who’s passion is Gator football.
        I agree let’s keep the focus on the game.

        • I think it’s ok to mention these players together, since they’re already linked in two ways: they’re all part of the same recruiting class, and they all will not be on the roster this season (Wilson potentially the exception). To me, the fact that the circumstances for each player’s absence is explained (at least somewhat) makes it ok to group them. On the other hand, if the article was edited to add the explanations after your initial post, then I’m on your side. It should’ve been made clear from the start as to why each one isn’t on campus.

          Also agree with you about enjoying all the posts. I don’t even mind an occasional foray into politics, since it spices things up a little. But now that the season is upon us, it should be much easier to stick to football.

  3. Would be amazing if 25% of the class never makes it to fall practice. That’s pretty high attrition. Maybe the class would have been looked at differently if we had only signed 18 players. Doesn’t include that we took a broken DT who may have a hard time getting fixed. When the classes are that small, you pretty much can’t miss on anybody. it’s a good thing we are getting transfers in.

  4. Our 2020 class is very important now to make up for all of these losses. For whatever reason, recruiting young men who will qualify is very important. A great 40 time doesn’t matter if the young man can’t get in to UF. Hope this 2020 class can cover all the misses from this last one. Looking forward to kickoff against the Canes. Go GATORS!

  5. David, sports trump politics. Find the appropriate forum to discuss those opinions and don’t spit into the wind.

    Gelco30, you might be a Steelers fan because you spelled Gettysburg with an H.

    Gator Ed, country as a single word should be lower case; however, the proper use of the apostrophe begs the question of where you were formally educated, since you opine that our country’s educational system fails to produce erudite individuals.

    Troop? Love the SNL reference but thank God for the two party system. Economy wise, it’s more difficult and even far more expensive to buy tickets to certain events than it is to get or renew a passport. Meet me in Miami for Super Bowl where tickets range from $2,500 – $3,000 and the average resale price, based on the Most Valuable Punter game in Atlanta was a mere $5,240. Bring family and friends! We will tailgate a imbibe some suds so we won’t have to buy $18.00 16 oz beers inside.

    Gator Ed, you were stationed in Italy. Try reading John Grisham’s novel, Playing for Pizza. Far from courtroom drama, it’s about the Cleveland Brown’s fictional QB. Rick Dockery is the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In the AFC Championship game, to the surprise and dismay of virtually everyone, Rick actually gets into the game. With a seventeen-point lead and just minutes to go, Rick provides what is arguably the worst single performance in the history of the NFL. Overnight, he becomes a national laughingstock—and is immediately cut by the Browns and shunned by all other teams. Dockery’s agent gets Rick a QB gig in Italy’s pro football league, where the main pay for players is some of the best sounding Italian dishes I have ever read. Don’t read if you’re hungry!

    Sparky, it’s best to ignore the obtuse.

    65, good post!

    D Smith and jjg8tor thank for bringing this thread back to football!

    Trust me. I am more than certain that if Henderson did not meet academic standards, he had every opportunity to do so with all the exam retakes, a quisi-amnesty homework make up plan, study groups, tutors, and academic coaches, not to mention counselors and what should be motivation spurred on by his recruiters. High schools do everything they can to reduce the number of F’s students put on their transcripts, especially to the point of failing to graduate. With this said, I have to question his character.

    CDM will win with the Boys of ol’ Florida he has, just like Coach Norman Dale did, when he went with four basketball players because the boy he benched did not earn the right to be put back into the game.

  6. The dividedness here on a supposedly sports discussion thread pretty much defines our country today.

    The 2019 class of recruits has self destructed & IMHO much of the blame must fall on our recruiters. Did they roll the dice a few times too many? Why is Florida not attractive enough to too many top tier prospects who can qualify academically ?? In general ..WTF is going on with our recruiting process ???

    To make lemonade out of lemons, no disrespect to the fine recruits we got … and retained … you need a decent amount of the fruit to make that drink. As for Wardrick Wilson, it’s a no brainer. It is obviously an attempt by Miami to skew next weeks game in their favor … but hopefully that conspiracy will fail. 🙂

    In Mullen I trust, as our long awaited football messiah … but I am dialing back my expectations for this season. As Florida’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, you are our only hope. Go Gators, today, tomorrow & forever.

    • Good post 1066….I would only quibble about the Mullen-as-Messiah part. He’s more of the Moses analog, leading us out of the desert for our version of 40 years, and into the promised land. And boy, that Moses guy sure had a chore sometimes getting all those cats onto the same sheet of music as it were. When I think of a football messiah, I always default to Urban Myer — and we all know how that turned out!

        • Somewhere around Ft Stockton, Texas the last time I saw it (assuming you’re headed East from California, formerly known as the left coast, but we don’t talk shyt like that no more so I won’t either). But if you’re headed West from Florida, formerly and still known as….well….Florida, I honestly don’t think you can get there from here.

          However, come to think of it, maybe the Moses analogy isn’t so good anyway, since old Moses himself never did make it to the promised land. But he did get his team there, so that’s got to count for something, 1066! Just ask Kinky Friedman, one of our Texas legends and good pal of Willie Nelson, who himself used to be a body double for Yassir Arafat until he died a few years ago (Yassir, not Willie, who can’t breathe but is still singing anyway last time I checked).

          • Think I know where that exit is … Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL.
            If not … then “In all kind’s of weather …” – U know the rest of that tired little ditty.

  7. It’s just so sad how politics is dragged into everything these days with Trump being the scapegoat. I stopped watching NFL when the taking of the knee became a thing. You can hardly attend concerts, or award functions without snarky comments directed at the President or other issues. It’s politics 24/7. Wouldn’t it nice if we just stuck to sports and all things Gators.
    I too disagree with David, but unlike the left that seeks to demonize anyone who has a different view, I’ll not stoop to that level. There is no question in my mind that there are those who’s agenda is to divide this country and sad to say they are succeeding. I would hope that we could grasp on to those things that unite us or that we agree with than that which divides. And so we can all grasp on to the main thing here and that is we are all Gators. Go Gators.

  8. Agree with johnp – but because he too, took a side, I have to take a knee with David. Say what you will … but only History will have the last word … and I fear it will not be kind. This thread is toxic. Gator1066 ‘OUT’ (fellow military Gators know what ‘OUT’ means – bye to U civilians).

    • Talk about pole vaulting over mouse turns — if you think this is toxic, 1066, you should have seen last year. This is no more than a minor dust up and we’re already making far too much out of it. For Christ’s sake, we’re all Gators! To hell with diversity, what about our unity? Now, I know what ‘OUT’ means, believe me, and it means (a) last transmission and you’re no longer on the net, or, (b) last transmission but monitoring the net. I hope it’s not (a), since you’re gonna miss some good ju-ju coming up, and you could be a pretty damn important part of it from the sounds of your other post. Therefore, I’ll take it as (b) and trust that you’ll weigh back in later. PLAIN TEXT, NO CEOI REQUIRED. — Gator-6, OVER.

      • Hell, I’m all for lightening up (NOT ground-to-cloud or vice-versa) but Dang, Arnold has got me a might skittish with his post about “operatives”. I just hope they ain’t the ones in the black helicopters. Is there such a cabal as the “Deep Website Moderators”?
        “Operators”? Yikes! Delete or eat this after you read it!!!

        • That’s funny! I’m sure more than a few of us thought the same thing, although my thoughts ran along more of a CIA-KGB nexus. (I’d tell you why, but then I’d have to kill you, Trooper, and I took an oath against GatorFratricide)

          Arnold has proven to be a good old boy though, so I guess we don’t have to worry about guys in black suits and sunglasses showing up in the middle of the night. That said, a guy named Leland left this site about a year ago for a hell of a lot less than this, being “trashed by the (site’s) operatives”, mainly because somebody, thinking far too much of his own self, was offended by his wit and sense of (harmless) humor. I for one was sad to see that, since Leland graduated from UF about 1953 and had about four other degrees from UF including a Phd. Personally, assuming that Arnold still has access to his email, I think he should be contacted and invited back.

  9. There is a chance that the changes in the “Public Charge” rule are causing delays or making a Visa impossible for Wardrick Wilson to obtain. I don’t know if he received any public assistance, but the change enables refusal to those considered likely to receive public assistance, a scholarship at a public university may count (“housing assistance” is broadly stated in the rule change). There is special consideration to be given for children, but if he is over 18, that would not apply. The rule change officially goes into effect Oct 15th, but I doubt that US immigration is worried about the NCAA football season, and may be just dragging their feet in order to deny the Visa after October 15th. There is a good article in the Caribbean News about this rule change, which would obviously apply to someone from the Bahamas.
    Our government is choosing to make both legal and undocumented immigration more difficult. However you feel about this, is how you feel, but it is a fact.