Florida will add former Georgia Tech linebacker Anthony Harrell as a graduate transfer, as is being reported by 247Sports' Josh Newberg and as was tweeted by Harrell himself. Newberg reports that Harrell's father says he will be eligible immediately at Florida.
But there's more to the story, it seems.
Georgia Tech's official Twitter account sent this tweet late Friday afternoon:
Linebacker Anthony Harrell has been suspended indefinitely.— Ga Tech Football (@GeorgiaTechFB) June 26, 2015
But Harrell had a comeback for that announcement:
In that picture, Harrell writes "I will be attending and playing my 5th year of football at the University of Florida." The official Georgia Tech account has not addressed Harrell's suspension since, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Ken Sugiura reported Friday that Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson told the paper via text message that Harrell's suspension was for a violation of team rules.
Harrell should be eligible immediately as a graduate transfer, as long as he passes the SEC's muster. And he should: There's little doubt about whether a player who graduated from Georgia Tech with a business degree would qualify academically, and even though this cryptic suspension may impact efforts to get him cleared, it strains credulity to think Florida's notoriously thorough compliance department would clear the pursuit of a player who might produce a public blowup over eligibility.
If cleared, Harrell would bolster Florida's thin linebacker corps from the moment he puts on pads, even though he had just 16.5 tackles for the Yellow Jackets in 2015. The Gators had just three healthy returning linebackers after last season, thanks to injuries to Jarrad Davis, Antonio Morrison, and Jeremi Powell, and two of the "healthy" returnees were Alex Anzalone and Matt Rolin, each beset by injuries to some extent in his Florida career.
Harrell is a middle linebacker, too, so he could slot into the role that Morrison likely will not fill until he is fully recovered from the still-undisclosed injury suffered in Florida's Birmingham Bowl win over East Carolina, which could keep him out for weeks or months this fall. And while expecting more than capable play from a graduate transfer might be asking for too much, Harrell should at least be serviceable depth behind Davis, Florida's other candidate to start at middle linebacker in 2015.
And in the transitional first year of the Jim McElwain era, Florida could definitely use all the help (and depth) it can get.