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Gators' tackle Matt Patchan and safety De'Ante Saunders transferring schools

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Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2012 8:11 pm

Gators redshirt junior offensive tackle Matt Patchan and sophomore safety De’Ante Saunders will transfer, coach Will Muschamp announced on Wednesday at his media availability in New Orleans.

"I really appreciate their time at Florida.” Muschamp said. “We wish them the best. I think they just needed a fresh start, both guys and both situations. That's all I've got to say about it."

Patchan, a five-star recruit in the class of 2008 according to Rivals.com, missed the entire 2012 regular season with a pectoral injury—the latest in a series of injuries he battled throughout his UF career.

In 2008, Patchan saw the field in 11 games as a freshman before missing the last three games of the season with a leg injury. He received a medical redshirt in 2009 for a knee injury and in 2010 because of a fractured wrist before playing 12 games in 2011 and making seven starts.

Saunders started in seven of the last eight games he played in this season but sat out Florida’s first two games of the season with what Muschamp said was a hamstring injury. He also missed the Gators last two games with an injury but Muschamp refused to disclose what it specifically was.

During his freshmen season in which he intercepted two passes and recorded 26 tackles, Saunders appeared in 12 games and started nine of them.

"He's one of our brothers and it's tough to see him leave the program,” senior linebacker Jon Bostic said of Saunders. “Though at the same time, this might be what's best for him personally."

Saunders had various disciplinary issues during his time in Gainesville. In May 2011, he was arrested for marijuana possession, and he was suspended for Florida’s game against Alabama in 2011 due to an unspecified violation of team rules.

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