Florida tight end Colin Thompson, beset by injuries during his two years in Gainesville, will transfer from Florida, 247Sports reports, with Thompson visiting Penn State on Thursday ($).
Sean Fitz of 247Sports's Penn State site also reports that Thompson was released from his Florida scholarship in the spring.
Update: Florida provided this statement to 247Sports:
"We granted permission for schools to contact Colin," Florida sports information director Steve McClain said. "The SEC approved a medical exemption for him in May and we will share that information with the other institutions."
Thompson receiving a medical exemption from the SEC, which would have ended Thompson's playing career at Florida, and allow the Gators to not count him against scholarship totals, may change your view on whether or not this is a "transfer." For my money, it still counts.
The possibility of a transfer by Thompson had been rumored for months, with Florida observers doubting whether, after multiple foot and ankle injuries forced him to redshirt in 2012 and ended his season after three games and no catches in 2013, he would ever be healthy enough to contribute at tight end for the Gators. Thompson was removed from Florida's roster this spring, and did not participate in spring practices.
Thompson's transfer is yet another blow to a once-vaunted 2012 recruiting class. Of the 23 players Florida signed in the 2012 cycle, seven have transferred from Florida, with an eighth, Dante "Omari" Phillips, failing to qualify. Thompson and fellow tight end Kent Taylor were the top two tight ends in the class of 2012 by some estimates; they combined for two catches for five yards over their Florida careers, with Taylor recording both of them.
That's substantially worse than what Florida's converted defensive ends — Clay Burton and Tevin Westbrook — produced in 2013, when they combined for four catches for 42 yards. Combine the transfers from that 2012 class and the lack of production from returning players, though, and you have the clear reasons that Florida took three tight ends in its 2014 recruiting class (Deandre Goolsby, C'yontai Lewis, and hybrid tight end/wideout Moral Stephens) and landed Virginia transfer Jake McGee.
Thompson's always struck me as a good guy and hard worker cursed with feet that have betrayed him, and I wish him the best in his life beyond Florida, whether that be at Penn State, in football, or doing something completely different.