The start to the Gators camp is still coming up, but just like a year ago, there’s already another off field distraction before a game is played.
Incoming freshman WR/DB Justin Watkins was arrested by the Gainesville University Police on Tuesday afternoon on multiple felony counts involving a domestic situation.
BREAKING: #Gators freshman Justin Watkins in Alachua County Jail facing four charges (two felonies), including battery by strangulation. More coming shortly – https://t.co/8f9cuu2Hs3 pic.twitter.com/6DzPiO2aCN
— Thomas Goldkamp (@ThomasGoldkamp) July 24, 2018
Watkins, who as you can see from the photo is a former “Under Armour High School All American” receiver from Clermont, was taken into custody after authorities say that he committed multiple felonies on Friday in a domestic dispute.
WCJB-TV in Gainesville obtained the arrest report and gave more insight Tuesday evening. That report says that Watkins is alleged to have held down by the throat an unidentified female, slapped, punched and choked her on the night of July 20th. He’s currently being held in the Alachua County Jail without bond on third degree counts of domestic battery, kidnapping and attempted strangulation.
Gators coach Dan Mullen reacted quickly to suspend Watkins immediately and indefinitely from all football activities.
Former Coach Jim McElwain dealt with a multi-player suspension over a credit card fraud case to begin 2017. That included WR Antonio Callaway, who never saw the field again and turned pro. And, it included RB Jordan Scarlett, who has been re-instated for this season.
Back to the 5’11 170lbs. player from East Ridge High School. Watkins was in trouble in May, when he was arrested for trespassing at Vanguard High School in Ocala after chasing another female, smashing her phone and kicking her car.
The Gators did not discipline him at that time because he was not yet enrolled at the school. Although, Mullen told the media at that time he and the athletic department were monitoring Watkins legal problems.
It had been expected that Watkins was going to be converted to defensive back and be in the mix to be on the field with the first team at the beginning of their camp.
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