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Florida vs. Kentucky: Kelvin Taylor falls on Gators' depth chart

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Punishment for a foolish act, perhaps?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida released its depth chart ahead of the Gators' SEC opener with Kentucky on Monday, and the most talked-about player from the team's win over East Carolina on the weekend will assuredly be the most talked-about player for much of this week as a result: Running back Kelvin Taylor slides down at the position, behind freshmen Jordan Cronkrite and Jordan Scarlett.

Taylor, whose throat-slash gesture after a touchdown drew a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and prompted a sideline tirade from Jim McElwain, has led Florida in rushing in each of the first two games of the 2015 season. While it's logical to assume that Taylor's relegation to the back of the line in Florida's three-back rotation is a disciplinary measure, it's also true that he's third on the team in yards per carry at 4.54 yards per attempt, slightly behind both Cronkrite (5.07) and Scarlett (4.83).

I'd argue that Taylor being behind two other players makes him a third-stringer, but I can also understand the argument that he's a second-stringer behind two first-stringers, so I've adjusted the language in the headline and post accordingly.

Associated Press reporter Mark Long reported prior to the release of the depth chart that Taylor's father, former Florida running back Fred Taylor, said that his son had been "demoted" and would not start against Kentucky.

Offensive Depth Chart

Position First Team Second Team Third Team
Quarterback Will Grier OR Treon Harris
Running back Jordan Scarlett OR Jordan Cronkrite Kelvin Taylor
Outside receiver Ahmad Fulwood Demarcus Robinson Chris Thompson
Outside receiver Antonio Callaway Valdez Showers C.J. Worton
Slot receiver Brandon Powell Alvin Bailey
Tight end Jake McGee C'yontai Lewis DeAndre Goolsby
Left tackle David Sharpe Martez Ivey
Left guard Trip Thurman Travaris Dorsey
Center Cam Dillard Tyler Jordan
Right guard Antonio Riles Andrew Mike
Right tackle Mason Halter Fred Johnson

The OR at quarterback remains, with McElwain saying in his Monday press conference that he currently "foresees" both Will Grier and Treon Harris playing in Lexington.

Elsewhere on offense, not much has changed: Demarcus Robinson, Florida's leading receiver, is now second on the depth chart after slipping to third last week, reportedly because of missing a team dinner; Valdez Showers and C.J. Worton move from slot and the other outside receiver position, respectively, to slots behind true freshman Antonio Callaway; and, on, the offensive line, David Sharpe and Mason Halter swap starting spots at left and right tackle, while Martez Ivey loses the OR that came before his name on the pre-East Carolina depth chart.

Defensive Depth Chart

Position First Team Second Team Third Team
End Jonathan Bullard Cece Jefferson
Nose Joey Ivie Taven Bryan OR Khairi Clark
Tackle Caleb Brantley Jordan Sherit
RUSH Bryan Cox, Jr. Alex McCalister
SLB Alex Anzalone OR Jeremi Powell
MLB Antonio Morrison Alex Anzalone
WLB Jarrad Davis Daniel McMillian
CB Vernon Hargreaves III Deiondre Porter
CB Jalen Tabor OR Quincy Wilson
Safety Keanu Neal Marcell Harris
Safety Marcus Maye Nick Washington
Nickel Brian Poole Quincy Wilson

The changes on defense are even subtler: The only alterations are the addition of an OR for Jeremi Powell, the deletion of an OR for Marcell Harris, and the removal of Duke Dawson, listed as a third-teamer behind Marcus Maye and Nick Washington last week.

Special Teams Depth Chart

Position First Team Second Team
Kicker Austin Hardin Jorge Powell
Punter Johnny Townsend Austin Hardin
Kick returner Brandon Powell Antonio Callaway
Punt returner Antonio Callaway Brandon Powell
Holder Johnny Townsend Case Harrison
Long snapper Ryan Farr OR Jonathan Haney

Maybe the most welcome change for Florida fans on the entire depth chart comes on special teams: Vernon Hargreaves III, listed as Florida's starting punt returner and backup kick returner as of last week, is now nowhere to be found. Perhaps it's a sign that the Gators have decided that the injury risk return duties pose to Hargreaves — who missed Florida's game against East Carolina with a "leg" injury, and was described as "probably questionable" for Kentucky by McElwain on Monday — is too great to keep using him in those roles?