WHAT WE'RE HEARING: Two Won't Be Back In August

The status of two University of Florida football players is up in the air and it is unlikely that the two will have any part of the 2005 football season.

Sources have verified to Gator Country that tight end Dane Guthrie is likely gone for good but that defensive tackle Michael Hill may be given a chance to earn his way back onto the team.

The 6-3, 257-pound Guthrie is a redshirt freshman tight end from Miami (FL) Killian. Apparently he has asked and received a release from the University of Florida. Gator Country sources have indicated that Guthrie is likely to transfer to Arizona State where former Gator assistant Bill Miller is the defensive coordinator. According to NCAA rules, if Guthrie transfers to a Division I program he will have to sit out a year which would leave him with three years of remaining eligibility.

Guthrie came to Florida rated as one of the top prep tight ends in the nation. He was running at first team in August of 2004 before injury torpedoed his season. Rather than waste a year of eligibility, the Florida staff elected to use the year for a redshirt. During the spring, Guthrie alternated with Tate Casey as the number one tight end.

The 6-2, 285 pound Hill, is a third year sophomore from Alabama. Highly recruited out of high school, Hill took a redshirt in 2003. A heat-related medical issue forced him to the sidelines, but he had a decent spring in 2004 and in August, worked his way into the rotation on the defensive line as a backup. Playing behind Marcus Thomas and Ray McDonald, Hill saw action in six games, good for 90 plays.

Gator Country's sources indicate that Hill has been suspended from the team indefinitely for undisclosed reasons. The sources have told Gator Country that Hill could have a chance to earn his way back onto the team at some point in the future. During the spring, Hill had productive practices that often earned the praise of defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison. He was expected to be part of Florida's seven-man rotation on the defensive line.

Immediately after spring practice concluded, defensive end Tranell Morant asked for a release from the Gator coaching staff. Morant, 6-5 and 276 pounds, came to Florida from Miami Braddock. After redshirting in 2003, Morant saw action for 242 plays as a backup defensive end in 2004. He registered 12 tackles. Morant is expected to transfer to Arizona State to play for Miller, who was instrumental in recruiting him to Florida and is familiar with his talent and work ethic.

Considering this is Coach Urban Meyer's first season at Florida, the attrition number of three players is relatively low. Typically, coaching changes in Division I football result in more movement as players have to adjust to new coaches, new rules and new expectations.

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