The University of Florida will enter the 2016 season without the player who may be the Gators’ best.
The Gators have suspended cornerback Jalen Tabor, along with tight end C’yontai Lewis, after the two had an altercation at a Florida practice.
“Both C’yontai and Jalen will not be involved with the team or practice due to behavior that is not acceptable,” coach Jim McElwain told the Gainesville Sun. “By no means are these bad guys, and yet consequences have been handed down. We will not look the other way when it comes to breaking of team policies.”
“I want to echo what I said earlier, these are both fine young men who will learn and be stronger from their actions. They will also be suspended for the first game. There are life lessons in everything we do. We will be better because of it and no one person is bigger than the Florida Gators.”
This is the second time the outspoken Tabor, an All-SEC selection, has been suspended for a game. The junior had to sit out the Tennessee game last season for an unspecified violation of team rules. Last season, Tabor made 40 tackles (21 solo, four for a loss), four interceptions (two returned for touchdowns), and 18 pass breakups.
Tabor’s suspension comes only days after McElwain talked about how much Tabor has matured over recent months.
“I love the guy,” McElwain said last Friday. “He’s a guy who cares. He’s a guy who has really invested in himself. I think he’s grown up immensely as far as how he’s going about his business.”
Lewis, a redshirt sophomore and a contender for No. 2 tight end, started one game last year and played in eight others, catching four passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns.