Antonio Callaway has been taking reps with the first-team offense during practice over the last three weeks.
Whether he plays with them during Florida’s season opener against Massachusetts on Sept. 3 remains to be seen.
Second-year UF coach Jim McElwain said Thursday that he has not heard from the university if Callaway — who was found not responsible in a Title IX hearing earlier this month for an alleged sexual assault — is eligible to play next weekend.
“We’re still working through some things,” McElwain said.
Callaway isn’t the only receiver whose status for the Sept. 3 opener remains up in the air.
McElwain did not say if freshmen Tyrie Cleveland and Rick Wells — who still face felony charges stemming from a summer incident involving BB guns and the destruction of campus property — would be available for the season opener. Both have also missed practice recently with hamstring injuries.
“Those two guys are obviously going through some things and dealing with some things,” McElwain said, “but they’ll be back.”
Eight Gators named preseason All-SEC
The Southeastern Conference released its Coaches’ Preseason All-SEC football teams on Thursday, with eight Gators making the cut.
Leading the pack for UF are senior linebacker Jarrad Davis and junior defensive back Jalen Tabor, the only two UF players who landed on the 28-member first-team.
Offensive lineman Martez Ivey, defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. and punter Johnny Townsend earned second-team recognition, while offensive lineman David Sharpe and defensive backs Marcus Maye and Quincy Wilson landed third-team preseason accolades.
SEC West powerhouses Alabama and LSU led the conference with 13 representatives on the three preseason teams, with the Crimson Tide boasting an SEC-best seven first-team members.
C.J. Worton will have to wait at least a couple more days before returning to the field.
McElwain said the junior wide receiver remains out of practice with a high ankle sprain.
“I’ve been a little nervous because obviously he’s been out for such a long time, yet the old, dreaded high-ankle sprain,” McElwain said. “… We never push anybody back before they’re ready, and that’d be the case there, and we miss him.”
While Worton continues to be sidelined, the Gators saw three players return to the practice field, including running back Jordan Cronkrite and offensive linemen Andrew Mike and Kavaris Harkless.
This and That
Tabor and tight end C’yontai Lewis returned to practice on Thursday. Both are still suspended for the season opener.
On Thursday, the Gators began their first day of game prep for the season opener against UMass. “There’s a lot of things that we’ll kind of do from a routine standpoint, work situations with the crowd noise to get our guys kind of used to that,” McElwain said.
UF's Antonio Callaway (81) returns a punt 85 yards for a touchdown during Florida's 29-15 loss to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game on Dec. 5, 2015, in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.