Florida Suspends Antonio Callaway, Six Others For Season Opener vs. MI

"We will use this as a learning opportunity and we will have some players step up as we move forward".

The others suspended were offensive tackle Kadeem Telfort, defensive linemen Richerd Desir-Jones, Keivonnis Davis and Jordan Smith, and linebackers James Houston and Ventrell Miller.

Callaway's suspension is the latest in a growing list of off-field issues for the junior - though past incidents have not resulted in suspensions.

Florida head coach Jim McElwain made the announcement Sunday in a statement. Last season, Callaway was the Gators' leader in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.

Callaway previously admitted to smoking marijuana on the night of his alleged sexual assault of a woman as part of a student conduct code hearing that ultimately found him not responsible for sexual assault. He pleaded no contest to possession of paraphernalia and accepted a fine. His unavailability will be a significant shot to Florida's depth up front. He is arguably Florida's top returning playmaker as he's been the team's leading receiver in each of the past two seasons. Telfort, a true freshman, has been considered a potential contributor. It wasn't guaranteed that either would receive extensive playing time beyond special teams - Miller is a summer enrollee and Houston is coming off a high school ACL injury - but having those couple extra bodies could have been beneficial. Fellow lineman Desir-Jones appeared in two games last season but has switched to defensive line this season. Redshirt junior Kavaris Harkless played in seven games as a reserve lineman in 2016, and Antonio Riles (recovering from a torn ACL) started six games at guard in 2015. He's also a threat on special teams as well.

Vanessa Coleman

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