In case you have not heard the news, the Gators dismissed DT Marcus Thomas from the team Saturday for what Urban Meyer reffered to as "failure to meet responsibilities and obligations."
I'm disappointed in this, not because the team is without one of their better defensive players, but because Marcus Thomas had great talent and never could find a way to stay out of trouble. It is really disappointing to see a guy who could have contributed so much to this football program time and time again break rules that resulted in suspensions and ultimately this dismissal. He was given a great opportunity to play on a national stage at the University of Florida, yet still could not follow the rules in place in order to stay on the team.
I do not believe I can comment on this situation any further, for I do not know the whole story and do not want to criticize a guy without knowing the facts. I'm not going to blindly judge a guy's character any further than saying it's a shame he could not do what was needed to stay in line and on the Gators football team.
A former coach of Thomas had this to say about the situation as to why Marcus was dismissed:
Moving on, what does this have to do with football? It's obvious. Marcus Thomas is a great defensive lineman, and there is no doubt the Gators front 7 will miss this guy greatly. In the games that Marcus Thomas was not included the Gators pass rush and run defense was not near as vicious, and his presence on the field was definitely noticeable. If he was not making the tackles or sacks, he was doing many things off the ball that significanlty helped, including plugging up running lanes and taking extra blockers to stop.
I still feel that this is a very good Gators defense, even without Marcus Thomas. I can't put a finger on how much they will miss Marcus Thomas (I would say quite a bit), but you never know how much team chemistry means. Perhaps not having the same off the field distractions will help this defense. It sure will be tough to replace him, but good players step up when it's needed the most. The Gators have good players on defense, and here's hoping they're up to that task.