Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Will Muschamp's debut season at Florida just keeps going from bad to worse.
The latest bad news in Gainesville: two more Gators have elected to transfer out of the program, bringing the total number of departures since Muschamp's hire last December to 11 and reducing the Gator roster for their upcoming bowl game to 68 players--17 fewer than the NCAA maximum of 85.
The players announcing their decision Tuesday were little-used redshirt freshmen Josh Shaw and Lynden Trail. A safety from Palmdale, Calif., Shaw played in 10 games this season but saw most of his snaps on special teams. A defensive end from Miami, Trail did not make an appearance this season.
Shaw said that his decision was "not a football decision, this is a family decision. I need to be with my family." He missed the Gators' Week 12 game against Furman to be with an ill grandfather in California.
“We wish Lynden and Josh the best of luck in the future and we certainly appreciate their contributions to the football program,” Muschamp said in a statement released by the program.
Despite both players being highly sought-after national recruits when they signed with Urban Meyer's staff in the spring of 2010, their minimal impact on the field in their two seasons in Gainesville suggests the Gators would be all right without them if they hadn't already suffered so much attrition since Muschamp's arrival. With a hole of 17 players already, more than 8 seniors due to leave the roster at the end of this season, and a cap of 25 players per class, Muschamp will have to find a stong handful of early-enrollees to get the 2012 roster up to normal SEC levels.
It won't come easy, but nothing about Muschamp's first year at the Gator helm has.