The Florida Gators will be without their sixth-year senior return man Andre Debose for the upcoming Birmingham Bowl. According to interim head coach (and former DC) D.J. Durkin, the decision was a mutual agreement between the two parties to part ways.
"Andre, it was just kind of a decision he made, in mutual agreement," Durkin said. "He's moving on in his career."
Debose will end his career at Florida with four kickoff returns for touchdowns, just one shy of the SEC record.
It's a decision that's surely going to spark a few negative emotions from Gator fans (especially looking to blow off steam from last night's UF-FSU basketball game), but it's not as though the decision is COMPLETELY unwarranted. Debose has been injury plagued his entire collegiate career -- hence the six years of eligibility. Playing in the return game, one awkward hit in this bowl would end his NFL dream.
However, with a guy who's put as many miles into the Florida football program as Debose has, you'd think he'd want to finish his career healthy and with a win.
Regardless, this is his decision and his alone. Whatever happens from here on out, it's his to live with. I wish Debose nothing but the best, hope he stays healthy and gets the chance he's preparing for.
Debose won't be the only Gator to miss what would have been the final game of his Florida career: Senior defensive tackle Darious Cummings will miss the game thanks to a suspension for a violation of team rules. Cummings also missed Florida's season opener for a violation of team rules.