As Gator Country reported on Monday night, redshirt linebacker Dee Finley has decided to leave the UF football program. The school released a statement on Wednesday afternoon confirming the development.
“Dee has decided that he would like to pursue other opportunities,” said Florida head coach Will Muschamp in a release from the UF sports information department. “We wish him the best of luck and we appreciate his time at Florida.”
Finley, a 6-foot-2, 203-pound linebacker hailing from Auburn, Ala., was one of the top-rated prospects in the country when he originally signed with the Gators in the Class of 2008. A selection to the inaugural Under Armour All-America Game, Finley failed to qualify coming out of high school—just one of two prospects who inked a letter-of-intent with UF who did not make it through the NCAA Clearinghouse in Urban Meyer’s six years at the University of Florida. After a semester of prep school at the Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y., Finley enrolled at the University of Florida in January of 2009.
He recorded 12 tackles in 19 career games for the Gators.
“Although I’ve enjoyed my time here at Florida, I think it’s best for me to move on and get a fresh start somewhere else,” Finley said in the release. “I plan on finishing the semester here and concentrating on my academics.”
Finley had recorded five tackles (one for loss) in five games this season for Florida, while seeing most of his action on special teams for the Gators. He was suspended for the UAB game following his arrest on September 12. Charges resulting from traffic stop on campus (where Finley was riding on a scooter) included resisting arrest without violence (a misdemeanor) and a second offense of driving on a suspended license.
It is not immediately known where Finley will transfer, although it is thought he will move down to at least the NCAA FCS (formerly Division 1-AA) level, so as to not lose a year of eligibility. The University of North Alabama, a Division II school in Florence, Ala.—where former UF cornerback Janoris Jenkins transferred after being kicked off the team in April—could be a potential landing spot for Finley.
Continue to check back with Gator Country for more on this developing story.