OPINION: More players will leave the Florida program. Don’t panic.

Following the announcement of Cormani McClain’s commitment to Miami and their loss to Georgia, the Gators hoped to put their heads down and stay out of the national spotlight before their upcoming game against Texas A&M.

That would not be the case.

Earlier this week, head coach Billy Napier announced the dismissal of Brenton Cox Jr. from the Florida football team. Napier said it was for a “culmination of issues” and that the team would be better off without Cox going forward. Then, redshirt freshman Kamari Wilcoxson (not to be confused with Kamari Wilson, the five-star gem of Napier’s 2022 transition class) announced he would be entering the transfer portal.

When paired with the Georgia result and missing out on McClain, the optics surrounding the Florida program are not favorable. In reality, this was always going to happen.

Every program undergoes turnover when a new coach takes over. College football is unique because it’s the only sport where the head coach has complete control over every aspect of the program. Every single decision needs to be approved by the head coach. A meal isn’t served in the athlete dining hall without being signed off by the coach first.

Because of that, some players are going to be uneasy with the changes that a new coach brings in. And with the new one-time transfer and NIL rules, players have the option to find what works for them. That’s a good thing! When the program that those players committed to changes, and not by their choice, they should be able to find what works for them without punishment.

On the other side, Napier was hired to repair a Florida football program that was considered to be in disarray. Napier is going to have to make decisions that best represent his vision for what the Florida football program should be. Think of it as a controlled burn. It’s all part of the process that Napier told us was going to take time.

So don’t be shocked if you see a mass exodus of players enter the transfer portal. Napier has already said that they expect to be active in the portal this off-season, and that works both ways. I’m not going to panic when none of us know how bad the program actually was behind closed doors.

Only time will tell if these roster changes were the right decision. I’m more inclined to let it play out rather than make a declaration that the program is in shambles.


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