“We obviously thought he was coming back.”

Evidently there are so many early departures from Florida that Jim McElwain’s convinced there are kids leaving…

Jim McElwain talked departures on Monday — some clear-cut, one possibly not.

First, the UF coach elaborated on suspended quarterback Will Grier’s decision last weekend to transfer, saying the choice was completely of the redshirt freshman’s own volition. Then he announced running back Kelvin Taylor, defensive lineman Alex McCalister and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson have all decided to enter the NFL draft, joining defensive back Vernon Hargreaves.

… who actually haven’t made up their minds to do so yet.

Maybe he’s waiting for another vote by the seniors.  But I digress.

The strange decision is that of Will Grier.  He’d won the job as the starting quarterback this season, only to see that derailed by running afoul of NCAA drug policy. But whether he stays in Gainesville or goes, the six-game suspension he’s been ordered to serve follows him to any other D-1 program at which he enrolls.

It’s pretty clear from the tone of the linked piece that McElwain was surprised by Grier’s decision.  Now he’s left with the likelihood that the Gators will lose Grier, as well as their leading rusher and receiver, best defensive back, and one of their top pass rushers.  Not exactly a recipe for success.

Add that to the possibility Georgia, with its change in coaching staff, will consider the possibility of starting a true freshman quarterback next season, and it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Tennessee will be the preseason favorite to win the SEC East in 2016.  Dayum.

27 Comments

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27 responses to ““We obviously thought he was coming back.”

  1. Will (The Other One)

    If ol’ Butch can’t win the East and/or beat UF next season, he’s never going to do it. Unless a ton of juniors bolt, the Vols will return a ton.

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  2. Obviously a lot can change between now and then, but I think the Vols are the clear favorite even if those departures didn’t happen from UF.

    I was a little surprised about the Grier decision too, but I had also already been wondering how they were gonna handle that. They were either gonna be stuck with Treon for 6 games, or a true freshman, and those freshmen are gonna need all the practice reps they can get. So how much could you actually rep Grier in the preseason and the first half of the season? Every rep he gets is one less than the freshmen who you are likely depending on those first 6 weeks. So then how sharp would Grier even be when he came back?

    I saw some back and forth on Twitter and there was disagreement on whether he can serve the 6 games concurrently with sitting out the one year for transfer. Jon Solomon said he would have to sit out the transfer year, then still 6 games after that. But one of the other writers said UF had researched it and said he could do both at the same time. If he can serve concurrently, I don’t blame him for just wanting a fresh start. Next year is likely gonna be a bust for him regardless, so a fresh start could be good.

    But back to my original point, yeah, the Vols should be sitting pretty going into next year in the east, barring a disastrous offseason.

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    • IAmAChubbyMan

      I don’t believe for one second that Grier’s transfer was his choice. Makes no sense.

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      • I do. I read somewhere recently that he hasn’t even been practicing with the team since the suspension. Apparently he took it all pretty hard. The article was talking about he feels embarrassed walking around campus, sits in class with a hat pulled down low. I think he ultimately just really feels like a new start is in his best interests.

        Wouldn’t make sense for McElwain to run him off.

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      • Mike

        You would be correct, sir. (talking to IAmAChubbyMan). Lot’s of chatter about Grier lying about which PED he took. Among other things.

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  3. allen burke

    Please Tennessee can’t beat anyone that has talent, UGA had them beat with a pitiful qb and their top running back out of the game.

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  4. SouthernYank

    There’s a whole lot of subtraction happening at UF and to a lesser extent UGA, and very little subtraction going on at UT. It’s really as simple as that.

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  5. dawgfan

    UF had the best defense in the East thanks to CWM. However, UT had the best and most talented TEAM in the East this year. They just could not win the big games that mattered. Sound familiar?

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  6. MGW

    Why would Taylor or Robinson go early? They suck.

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    • Cousin Eddie

      Well if they were at the barn they wouldn’t be able to afford the pay cut but at uf why not chance it when you have been told all your life your the best evah.

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  7. PTC DAWG

    Been saying UF will regress next year…by at least 3 games. UT has to come to Athens….I say the east is wide open…6-2 wins it next year.

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  8. Jared S.

    A lot less separates Florida/UGA/Tennessee than most people think. Coaching, talent, whatever you want to name. The East could have been one by any of these three teams this year, and the same will be true next year.

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  9. 69Dawg

    When Butch was named UT coach I talked to a big U of Cincy fan. I thought he would be sad/mad they lost him. He said that Butch was a good recruiter but he sucked as a game day coach. After his first few seasons at UT I think he might be right.

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  10. Jared S.

    Speaking of departures….
    UGA RB Coach Thomas Brown is now joining Richt at Miami? WTF
    https://www.dawgnation.com/football/team-news/georgia-assistant-coach-headed-to-miami

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    • Debby Balcer

      Sad news. I hope we keep BMac and switch him back to coaching running backs

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    • lakedawg

      Bmac is gone to. To many stories of bad blood between he and Kirby on recruiting trail. Hope it is Miami not SC, do not want him recruiting Atl area for cocks.

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  11. Ultrageek

    Talk about your two-week notice! This has got to be the weirdest brew of coaching changes and allegiances ever … you got guys coaching teams for bowls that in a few short weeks will be their arch enemies on the recruiting trail. Feels like a twisted spy novel with double- and triple-agents everywhere.

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  12. Trbodawg

    I guess it shouldn’t, but it seems strange to me. Brown left Wisconsin to ‘come home’ to UGa, but dollars speak louder than home. Still, I wish him well, he was a DGD.

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  13. THE DOG MAN

    BUTCH is overrated as a coach but fits right in with those stinking HILLBILLIES.

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