Florida coach Will Muschamp tells his players all the time, "Help me help you."
Apparently, sophomore linebacker Antonio Morrison is still struggling to get that message.
Morrison has been suspended from the team and will miss at least the first two games following his second arrest since the middle of the June. His latest brush with the law came early Sunday morning when he barked at a police dog during an investigation and then resisted arrest, according to a police report.
I think most people would agree that barking at a police dog is not exactly the most heinous of crimes, but the bigger issue here is that Morrison would even put himself in that position in the wee hours of the morning given his already precarious standing. He received deferred prosecution just last month on a battery charge after punching a bouncer at a nightclub.
Muschamp had yet to decide whether Morrison would miss any games following his first arrest and said he would be punished internally. This latest incident made it an easy decision for Muschamp, who's communicated very clearly to his players that his tolerance level for off-the-field nonsense is wearing thin.
Morrison was the thumper in the middle of that Florida defense, and with him out for at least the first two games, junior Michael Taylor moves to the forefront at middle linebacker against Toledo in the opener and then Miami on Sept. 7. Senior Darrin Kitchens will also be in play.
The Gators like their young talent at linebacker, especially with Morrison in the lineup. True freshman Daniel McMillian enrolled early and was very impressive this spring. But if you take Morrison out of the equation, the Gators' linebackers take on a whole different look.
Expect to see a lot of new faces there this fall.