Florida dismissed redshirt junior defensive end Alex McCalister due to a violation of team rules, according to the Gainesville Sun.
McCalister might not have returned to the team anyway, as he had a decision to make about returning to school or leaving early to enter the NFL Draft. The defensive end hasn’t played since suffering a foot injury in the first half at South Carolina on November 14. Florida coach Jim McElwain had already ruled him out for when the team faces Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl on January 1 at 1 p.m (TV: ABC).
This season, McCalister was fifth on the team with 9.5 tackles for a loss. Despite missing four games this year, McCalister was tied with Jonathan Bullard for the team lead with 6.5 sacks. He led the team with seven quarterback hurries and added one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
At the defensive end position, the Gators will rely heavily on Bryan Cox, Jr. and CeCe Jefferson against Michigan. Justus Reed and Jordan Sherit will also see increased team, as will freshman Keivonnis Davis, who saw his first action of the season against Florida Atlantic on November 21. The same five players will be important to the position next season, assuming Cox decides to return to school and bypass early entry to the NFL Draft. Cox and Jefferson combined for 19 tackles for a loss and seven sacks this season.
Looking ahead to next season, the Gators also have commitments from Antonneous Clayton and Jordan Smith, a pair of four-star prospects that will have a chance to see immediate playing time. Smith is an early enrollee and is expected to be on campus in January.