South Carolina quarterback Collin Hill (15) scrambles away from Florida linebacker Brenton Cox Jr. (1) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Napier Talks Brenton Cox Dismissal and Texas A&M

Gator football head coach Billy Napier talked the upcoming matchup against Texas A&M and the dismissal of linebacker Brenton Cox Jr. in his weekly press conference on Monday.

Brenton Cox Jr. Dismissed

At 11:30 a.m. Monday Zach Abolverdi of Gators Online on Twitter announced redshirt junior linebacker Brenton Cox Jr. was dismissed from the team.

Napier gave limited information on the cause for the dismissal, mainly focusing on how he felt it was time for the team to move on from Cox. He noted, being a football player at the University of Florida is a privilege but wanted to keep most of the details in-house.

In his three seasons playing for UF, Cox has amassed 53 solo tackles and 12.5 sacks. Despite Cox missing from the starting lineup in this weekend’s matchup against Texas A&M, Napier said he is confident sophomore Antwaun Powell-Ryland Jr. and redshirt sophomore Lloyd Summerall III will shine in Cox’ absence.

Looking Ahead to A&M

Napier said he has nothing but respect for the Jimbo Fisher-led Texas A&M program. He had the opportunity to work with Fisher at Florida State University in 2013 before his departure for a position at the University of Alabama.

Coach Napier acknowledged the talent in the Texas A&M program, including freshman quarterback Conner Weigman. In the Aggies’ matchup against the Ole Miss Rebels, Weigman threw for 338 yards and had four touchdowns.

Growth From Adversity

During the press conference Napier preached how struggle is healthy, and the team will continue to grow and improve as the season continues. Florida’s annual matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs in Jacksonville, Florida, seemed to highlight what improvements were necessary.

In their 42-20 loss to the Bulldogs, the Gators scored just two touchdowns compared to Georgia’s six. Offensive misfortune plagued the Gators. Four out of their five opening possessions were three-and-outs. In contrast, Georgia scored on back-to-back drives in the first quarter.

Napier attributed these struggles to a combination of issues, noting some communication and technique problems.

A Difficult SEC Schedule

Despite a difficult SEC schedule this season, Napier affirmed his team will continue to develop and be competitive against tough opponents.

The Gators will travel to College Station, Texas, to take on the Aggies this Saturday. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m.

About Scarlett Cooney

Scarlett Cooney is a third-year journalism student specializing in sports and media.

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