Florida's front seven has taken a big hit.
Friday, coach Will Muschamp announced that redshirt freshman defensive end/linebacker Chris Martin is transferring from the program.
“Chris and his family have indicated that it might be best for him to be closer to home," Muschamp said. “We wish him nothing but the best of luck.”
Martin is now the fifth player to leave Florida's program this year. All-SEC cornerback Janoris Jenkins was dismissed from the team this spring, following his second arrest on misdemeanor marijuana charges in less than three months. Freshmen receivers Chris Dunkley and Javares McRoy both transferred, along with freshman running back Mike Blakely.
Martin, who played high school ball at Aurora, Colo., Grandview, originally signed with California, but transferred to Florida in July because he felt his heart was at Florida and there were too many distractions at Cal.
But Cal wasn't even Martin's first choice in recruiting. Martin, who was in and out of three different high schools, originally committed to Notre Dame in February of 2009, but later decommitted and was going to commit to Florida. He chose Cal in December after former Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong left to be the head coach at Louisville.
Now, Martin is on the move once again and will be looking for his fourth school to call home.
There’s no denying the ability Martin has on the field. During his redshirt year, Florida coaches and players raved about his play and how he was one of the most talented defensive players in practice. The 6-4, 250-pound athlete practiced at middle linebacker in the fall, but was moved outside this spring. He left spring as the backup to rising sophomore Ronald Powell at the hybrid Buck position.
While Martin had all the talent to excel in this league, issues off the field might have finally caught up with him. On Jan. 29, Martin was cited by Gainesville police for possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana. A source close to the situation told ESPN.com Friday night that Martin had multiple off-the-field issues that played a part in his decision to transfer.
Martin also had a history of being pretty outspoken on social media outlets.
Shortly after Jim Tressel's resignation at Ohio State, former Florida coach Urban Meyer released a statement stating that he wasn't interested in pursuing any coaching jobs this fall and that he was committed to his new as a college football analyst with ESPN.
After Meyer's statement came out, Martin took to Twitter on the account @cmart4634 to express his feelings about what Meyer said.
"Committed to espn? Lets see if the other analyst stress him out so bad he has to spend time with his family in COLUMBUS now.. #truthhurts," Martin tweeted.
Earlier this year, Martin wrote on his Facebook page that he was dismissed from the team. After a handful of people responded both on his Facebook page and on Internet message boards, he wrote that his status was an "early April Fools" joke and then offered up this gem to those who read his Facebook:
"FOR ALL YOU FACEBOOK STALKERS THAT POST OUR STUFF TO MESSAGE BOARDS...HERE IS THE FIGURATIVE FINGER FOR BEING NOSY."
Immaturity is something all college athletes struggle with, but more and more these off-field antics are shortening careers, but it seems like Martin is still figuring that out.
One thing is for certain, Martin is wasting some quality talent and with the current college football climate, coaches might think twice about getting involved with someone who has a knack for putting himself before his team.