Florida withdraws Nease QB Marcus Stokes' scholarship offer after use of racial slur
Nease senior quarterback Marcus Stokes confirmed Sunday morning he had his scholarship offer revoked by the University of Florida's coaching staff after video surfaced on social media of him using a racial slur.
In a statement posted Sunday afternoon to Twitter, Stokes said he was singing along to a rap song in his car during the video that appeared online.
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"I deeply apologize for the words in the song that I chose to say," Stokes said. "It was hurtful and offensive to many people, and I regret that.
"I fully accept the consequences for my actions, and I respect the University of Florida's decision to withdraw my scholarship offer to play football. My intention was never to hurt anybody and I recognize that even when going along with a song, my words still carry a lot of weight. I will strive to be better and to become the best version of myself both on and off the field. I know that learning from my mistakes is a first important step."
Stokes flipped his commitment to Florida from Penn State on July 7, and he took an official visit the weekend of Oct. 14. Per 247Sports' rankings, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound dual-threat is the No. 14 quarterback prospect in the country and the No. 212 overall recruit.
More than a dozen Division I programs verbally offered Stokes after his monster junior season, one in which he helped Nease reach a regional final for the first time since 2008. He threw for 2,672 yards, rushed for 496 yards and accounted for 28 total touchdowns to earn All-Area honors.
As a senior, Stokes completed 54.6% of his throws for 1,867 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as the Panthers went 2-8 and missed the postseason.
Roderick Kearney, a Gators offensive line commit from Orange Park, said, "Prayers out to Marcus Stokes and his family on the rest of his education and college football decisions. Great kid with a lot of heart. As young men in this society, we must be careful with the things we do, say or post. Everything is under a microscope."
Florida has 22 athletes committed to its 2023 recruiting class, the first full cycle for head coach Billy Napier. The Gators recently flipped Pittsburg (Calif.) blue-chip QB recruit Jaden Rashada from Miami.