At 11:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, the 27-16 score went final in Gainesville: Florida had lost to Kentucky for the first time in 32 painstaking attempts by the Wildcats.
At 11:45 p.m. ET on Saturday, Florida running back Adarius Lemons had news:
Lemons announced his intent to transfer in somewhat icy terms, saying he was “going to miss some of the boys I’ve been playing with.” Some of them.
Four days after his announcement, the Tampa Bay Times interviewed Lemons, who told the newspaper that his mind was pretty made up about transferring before the Kentucky game:
He was planning on leaving soon after the Kentucky game (regardless of its outcome) but was “pretty much fed up” after the defeat.
He said his frustration spiked after the game, when he became disruptive while “expressing myself a little too much,” during [head coach Dan] Mullen’s address to the team. Lemons was asked to leave the locker room. Not long afterward, he tweeted his intention to transfer.
”I barely got touches that game,” Lemons said. “I’m outta here.”
Lemons also admitted to marijuana use in the interview, and that Dan Mullen told him to go to a rehab facility over the summer, or he’d lose his roster spot. The running back complied.
“I’m showing him genuine passion I really wanted to change myself,” Lemons told the newspaper. “I don’t know if he really even saw that.”
Lemons almost left the Gators after 2017, when he felt snubbed by Jim McElwain’s staff. As of a month ago, he was glad he’d hung around.
“My freshman year didn’t go the way I wanted it to, but I kind of hung in there a little bit and kind of stuck it out,” Lemons said. “At first I was like ‘Nah, I don’t think I want to be here’ because of the coaches we had and a lot of stuff going on. But I kind of stuck it out and did what I had to do. As you can see, there’s a whole new coaching staff here.”
Lemons, a 2016 high-three-star prospect, didn’t record a carry in the loss to Kentucky or the team’s win against Charleston Southern a week before that. He did have two kick returns on Saturday night before quickly turnaround around his transfer declaration.
He had 19 carries for 136 yards as a freshman.