Florida probably won’t need to be at full strength to win their season opener. Good thing, because they won’t be at full strength.
The Gators will be without receiver Latroy Pittman, safety Marcus Maye and defensive end Alex McCalister for the team’s first game of the season against New Mexico State. According to the school, the players have been suspended for a violation of athletic department policy. As of publication, no specific details were given to me; I’ll update this story if and when I get them.
Pittman figured to be a key reserve at wide receiver, though he is a special teams starter. The two defensive losses are more serious. McCalister was a lock to start on the defensive line as the end opposite Jonathan Bullard, and Maye is in the midst of an excellent fall camp that made him a sure bet to start at strong safety.
Then again, New Mexico State is not exactly the toughest team on Florida’s schedule. In fact, they may be the weakest. So these suspensions, while disappointing on a personal level, don’t hurt the team very much, if at all.