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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

UF starting fullback Eric Rutledge has been suspended for the Capital One Bowl, ending the senior's college football career.

A specific reason for the action was not given.

UF sports information director Zack Higbee confirmed the news Thursday morning, saying Rutledge did not meet the football team's "set of expectations and standards."

Suspicion grew surrounding Rutledge after he missed practice on Monday and was not seen with the team after Tuesday's practice, though several players were absent due to final exams.

Rutledge, a Gainesville native, did not receive a carry or a catch all season but still played a vital role as a lead blocker in a potent offense.

UF coach Urban Meyer praised Rutledge nearly every Monday as part of his "Champions Club," a weekly honor given to players who meet coaches' expectations in games.

The Gators have a few options in replacing him.

They could move starting running back Kestahn Moore into more of a blocking role and give backup Brandon James more carries.

Freshman tight end Aaron Hernandez or Jamaal Deveaux, a sophomore, could also fill Rutledge's spot.

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