BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Florida Gators flew into Birmingham, Alabama on Tuesday afternoon but the team plane was a little light. Two seniors — Andre Debose and Darious Cummings — did not make the trip with their teammates for the final game of the 2014 season.
“We had two guys not make the trip with us,” interim head coach D.J. Durkin said. “Darious Cummings and Andre Debose. So those will be two guys who won’t be participating in the game.”
Debose, a sixth year senior, caught just one pass for -3 yards this season but gained 30 yards on two carries. Debose was the Gators’ return specialist this season, returning 23 punts for 323 yards and a touchdown as well as 21 kicks for 519 yards. Debose’s decision to not attend the bowl game was his alone. “Andre was kind of a decision he made and mutual agreement of, you know, he’s moving on with his career,” Durkin said.
Debose came to Gainesville as a highly touted wide receiver but injuries have derailed his career. He was granted a special waver to play this past season — his sixth in Gainesville.
“Andre, he’s been here six years and done a lot of great things for the Gators. And he and I have a good relationship,’ Durkin said. “We’ve been here you know. We joke he’s as old as some of the coaches and we’ve been here a long time together. You know sometimes things just work out that way and he’ll be just fine and so will the Gators.”
Cummings, a senior transfer from East Mississippi Community College, played in 22-of-23 games during his career at Florida. Cummings started 10 games this season, totaling 45 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, three sacks, six quarterback hurries, an interception and a forced fumble.
While the decision to not travel to Birmingham was Debose’s, that was not the case for Cummings, who was suspended due to a violation of team rules.
Earlier in the week the ECU Pirates announced that they will be without two starters of their own, starting nose tackle Terry Williams and safety Dominique Lennon, were ruled ineligible by head coach Ruffin McNeil.
Florida and ECU will square off at historic Legion Field this Saturday at noon ET on ESPN.