Florida linebacker Jeremi Powell will not return to the Gators to use his redshirt senior season of eligibility in 2016, as first reported by Gator Country on Tuesday morning. Florida confirmed Powell's decision through its official website Tuesday afternoon.
Powell, a redshirt junior in 2015, could have almost certainly had two more seasons of eligibility with the Gators had he and the team wanted them, and had at minimum a redshirt senior season left to play. Powell was redshirted as a freshman in 2012, then had his 2013 season prematurely end after a torn ACL at Missouri. In 2014 and 2015, he totaled 17 tackles, largely tallied on special teams, and in his Florida career, he never had more than two tackles in a single game. Powell also had a tackle for loss against New Mexico State in 2015.
Despite having significant speed and quickness — traits that made him an asset on special teams — Powell lacked size, was unable to consistently crack Florida's linebacker rotation, and would not have been likely to contribute significantly on defense in 2016.
Powell did not travel with Florida to the Citrus Bowl, and had previously posted cryptic tweets possibly hinting at a departure from the team.
If I had a choice I wouldn't come back.— Jeremi Powell (@jpgator23) December 15, 2015
I hate when people aren't a man of their word. Lesson learned..— Jeremi Powell (@jpgator23) December 23, 2015
Whether those tweets actually have anything to do with Powell's decision is unclear — though they did help reveal how awful some people are.