Antonio Morrison’s arrest last weekend is not a unique case.
Since Urban Meyer took over the program before the 2005 season, 44 Florida players have been arrested. That’s enough players to start on both sides of the ball and have players ready to come in reserve.
The long arm of the law knows no bounds. Players arrested vary in talent. Walk-ons have been nabbed, as have All-Americans.
We want to narrow down the list. Who cares that a walk-on linebacker was arrested for marijuana possession two years ago? We’re going to reduce the list to the best of the best at each position.
We bring you the Incarce-Gators.
Quarterback: Cam Newton. Newton was the backup quarterback in 2008 when he was arrested and charged with burglary, larceny and obstruction of justice after he stole another UF student’s laptop and threw it out of a window, according to police.
Newton received a pre-trial deferment and was sentenced to community service and probation, but Meyer suspended the quarterback for the 2008 season. Newton transferred to a junior college, finishing his Florida career with 40 passing yards.
Newton eventually transferred to Auburn, where he won a national title and the Heisman. Meanwhile, Florida was languishing in the John Brantley era, so you can thank Newton for that.
Running back: Chris Rainey. Before he electrified fans with long runs all over the field in 2011, he had a run-in with the law that older UF students might remember.
Rainey was arrested on aggravated stalking charges in September 2010 after texting his girlfriend that it was “time to die,” according to police.
Meyer suspended Rainey indefinitely, and the running back returned at the end of October after missing five games.
Rainey had a relatively quiet senior year off the field in 2011, but was entertaining on the gridiron. He racked up 1,451 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns. The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Rainey in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and he played his rookie season there.
Rainey is currently a free agent, as the Steelers cut him after he was arrested on simple battery charges on Jan. 10.
Wide Receiver: Riley Cooper. There were several eligible players who could have made the cut at receiver, but I picked Cooper due to the uniqueness of his citation.
Cooper was cited with a misdemeanor charge of resisting an officer and failure to comply with the police or fire department in February 2009, according to the Orlando Sentinel. That’s something different.
Cooper’s case was dismissed, and Meyer never revealed any action taken against him.
The current Philadelphia Eagles receiver finished his Gators career with 1,496 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Tight end: A.C. Leonard. Leonard is the first player who appears on this list who was arrested under Will Muschamp.
Leonard was arrested on simple domestic battery charges in February 2012 and was suspended from the team.
Leonard came to Florida and caught eight passes for 99 yards in his only season with the Gators. He left the program four months after his arrest and transferred to Tennessee State.
Offensive line: Jessamen Dunker. Like Cooper, Dunker makes the list due to his crime. However, Dunker’s crime is not noteworthy due to its oddity, but for its severity.
Dunker was arrested for felony grand theft auto on Jan. 16 after police said he possessed a stolen mo-ped and drove with a suspended license.
Dunker, a four-star recruit, never played a game for the Gators. He redshirted his freshman season and decided to transfer in April.
Defensive line: Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap was one of the bricks Meyer built his Florida dynasty on, but he had some trouble with the law in 2009.
Dunlap was arrested after he was found asleep behind the wheel at a green light, according to Alligator archives.
After police roused him, he was arrested for second-degree DUI — a misdemeanor.
Dunlap was sentenced to six months probation and 50 hours of community service, and Meyer suspended him for the 2009 Southeastern Conference Championship game.
Dunlap wrapped up his Florida career with 84 tackles and 19.5 sacks. He’s currently playing for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Linebacker: Antonio Morrison. The newest addition to the list of arrested Gators, Morrison was arrested for punching a bouncer at the Kava Lounge, according to police. Morrison was charged with simple battery.
According to a Gainesville Police Department report, Morrison said, “I am a UF football player. I’m Antonio,” to the bouncer, which paints an interesting mental picture.
Morrison, now a sophomore, started three games for Florida in 2012, making 34 tackles and recording one sack.
Muschamp has not made a public decision on what Morrison’s punishment will be.
Cornerback: Janoris Jenkins. Who else? Jenkins was arrested three times at Florida. The final arrest came in April 2011, when Jenkins was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana – the second such offense in three months.
Muschamp cut Jenkins from the team following his final arrest. Jenkins ended his Florida career with 121 tackles, 25 pass deflections and eight interceptions.
Jenkins played his final college season with Division II North Alabama and was selected with the 39th overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams.
Safety: Matt Elam. The recently departed Elam had a successful run with Florida, and few remember that he was arrested while Meyer was still coaching UF.
Elam was arrested for underage possession of alcohol in July 2010, when Elam was a freshman.
The safety pled no contest and did not miss a game.
Elam finished his Gators career with 168 tackles, five sacks and six interceptions. He was selected 32nd overall by the Baltimore Ravens in this year’s NFL Draft.
There you have it: the best of Florida’s troublesome players.
But it’s not all bad. Florida did not have a kicker or punter arrested in Meyer or Muschamp’s programs. Good job, special teams.
Contact Adam Lichtenstein at [email protected].
Ed. note: This article was corrected slightly to fix some non-factual spelling errors 6/20/13.