Former Gators freshman Watkins pleads not guilty to 4 charges


Florida freshman Justin Watkins, who announced his intention to leave the program Friday, entered a written plea of not guilty for two misdemeanor battery charges and two third degree felonies involving a female victim, according to Alachua County Court Records. As a result, the case will likely head to trial.

Watkins, 19, signed with the Gators on National Signing Day in February, but found himself arrested for trespassing in May after a domestic dispute with a female victim.

Watkins was arrested once again Tuesday after a female victim, with whom he had a relationship, went to the University of Florida police department alleging Watkins choked, beat and assaulted her by throwing a hair brush and can of hair grease. He is facing four charges that include false imprisonment/kidnapping and domestic battery by strangulation. Both are third-degree felonies.

UF coach Dan Mullen suspended Watkins indefinitely from all team activities pending the outcome of the investigation.

He was released from the Alachua County jail Wednesday night on $40,000 bond.

Watkins, a former four-star prospect out of East Ridge High in Clermont, enrolled at Florida in June for the Summer B semester and was expected to contribute as a cornerback and on special teams.


    • I vote for the BBQ recipes first, and then move with a full stomach. Come to think of it, whatever happened to that physician who went by the name of, “Mac’s Stinkin’ BBQ Sauce”? Have missed his wit as of late.

  1. we won’t miss him until he wins he Heisman and leads Auburn to the National title. oh wait… that has already happened to us. If we had won a third in four years no one would carp about his issues.

    And do not give me the holier than thou B.S None of us are planning to give back the titles won with Hernandez on our team.

    Maybe he has an anger issue- – – maybe he is innocent…. maybe we do not have enough info to really judge.


    • Maybe he had a difficult upbringing or any number of other real reasons that help create violent and dangerous abusers. Still… this program needs a new direction… has been headed down the last few years and more of this only serves to further damage the brand. I hope he gets help somewhere else.

    • Talent SHOULD not “TRUMP” all other factors. This kid has been on campus less than two months and has been jailed twice already for violent acts? You are right about one thing MAYBE we don’t really know the whole story, but the part that we have heard, if true should be enough. This may be a hard lesson to learn for some others but he seems to be taking this in stride like its no big deal to him. That my friend is a BAD sign, and this kid needs some serious counseling about what you said may be anger issues. I really don’t KNOW what the actual problems are but they need to be addressed, or someone else’s daughter may get an even worst assault from this same guy that may think since he is a good athlete he is entitled to grab women by the PU….Y and NOTHING SHOULD BE SAID.

      • You’re absolutely correct Creek…..the problem is that without sufficient motivation on his part, all the counseling in the world, and all the psychotherapy too, for that matter, won’t have much chance. That’s the unknown in this case, now that we’ve settled down and are looking at what might be done. I’m not a psychotherapist by any stretch, but that’s the bug-a-boo in treatment or rehab.

  2. This has to be a first for UF.
    Never suited up for the Gators, two domestic abuse arrests before school starts in September.
    This was a Mullin recruit. They need to go back to the drawing board to weed out recruits this unstable.

    • It’s a Mullen recruit, yes, but it was always gonna be a bit of a risky class. He didn’t have time to build long relationships with these guys, and honestly, the first time he got into trouble was after he had signed. How was Mullen supposed to know that he was trouble if he had never had any trouble before? Do you ask recruits to honestly tell you, yes or no, have you ever harmed a woman? And then expect them to answer honestly?

      And as it goes, he’s saying he’s not guilty. The justice system will decide whether he is or not.

      • Predicting human behavior is not only hard, but if you weeded out potential problem kids, who would we realistically have left? And how do you determine potential problem kids? Watkins’ problems started the last two months with this one girl. How was Mullen going to know that back in February? And even if he suspected it, how far do you go in predicting the future? Some are obvious, no doubt. But most kids are in that limbo. And if you don’t recruit them, someone else will. And the irony is we , who have no psychological profiles on any of these kids ( and neither do the coaches ) get pissed if we miss on a kid and he instead went to FSU, Tenn or Georgia.I remember people freaking out when Nukeese Richardson went to Tenn the last minute. Then the kid decides to play Dillinger and all of a sudden everyone has a crystal ball.We started bad mouthing Tenn. I don’t remember anything about him that would make Urban Meyer think he would do that. There isn’t a school in America worth its weight in sports who doesn’t have problems with unruly kids. Some even have problems with coaches. People are different and society has changed. Respect is an afterthought these days.

  3. No excuses for what he did(if he did he’s only been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion) but i really wonder how many universities haven’t had these issues with student athletes, or with students period Easy to sit in the high perch and look down on others what about the person that stares back at you in the mirror?