Florida cornerback Jalen Tabor, one of the top prospects in college football, and tight end C'yontai Lewis were suspended Wednesday by UF coach Jim McElwain.
Tabor, a junior and preseason All-SEC selection, and Lewis are suspended from practice and team activities as well as the Gators' Sept. 3 season opener against UMass. The two were involved in an altercation at practice Tuesday, requiring multiple players to separate them, according to ESPN. Later on Wednesday, this tweet was posted to Tabor's account:
McElwain did not disclose specifics about the cause of the suspensions.
"Both C'yontai and Jalen will not be involved with the team or practice due to behavior that is not acceptable," McElwain stated in a release from the school. "By no means are these bad guys and yet consequences have been handed down. We will not look the other way when it comes to breaking of team policies. I want to echo what I said earlier, these are both fine young men who will learn and be stronger from their actions. They will also be suspended for the first game. There are life lessons in everything we do. We will be better because of it and no one person is bigger than the Florida Gators."
If Tabor opts to enter the 2017 NFL Draft as an underclassman, he'll have some explaining to do in interviews with NFL clubs regarding the suspension. For underclassmen, those interviews typically begin with the NFL Scouting Combine in February (select seniors begin interviewing a month earlier at the Reese's Senior Bowl).
While a one-game suspension by itself can, depending on its circumstances, be a relatively minor concern for NFL teams, a track record of disciplinary problems can have a much greater impact a prospect's draft status. Tabor was also suspended for Florida's game against rival Tennessee last year, and was cited for marijuana possession in 2014, a few months after signing with the Gators.
Tabor intercepted four passes and broke up 14 more for UF last year. While his coverage skills are outstanding, his play in run support needs significant improvement.