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Twice-arrested 2018 signee leaves Florida ‘to better my opportunities’

This is... ummm... something.

Earlier this week, 2018 Florida signee Justin Watkins was arrested and booked into the Alachua County Jail Tuesday on four charges, including a pair of third-degree felonies (false imprisonment/kidnapping and domestic battery by strangulation) as well as two misdemeanors (first-degree battery). According to the police report, Watkins pinned his girlfriend to a bed, punched her with a closed fist and choked her three times.

That was Watkins’ second arrest in two months as he was charged with misdemeanor trespassing on school grounds after a verbal argument with an unidentified female turned violent as Watkins shattered the woman’s cellphone, kicked her vehicle and attempted to let the air out of her tires.

With his future in Gainesville very much up in the air -- he was indefinitely suspended from all team activities after the second arrest -- Watkins took to Twitter Friday morning to announce that he is leaving the University of Florida. “To better my opportunities,” the true freshman wrote with seemingly no sense of self-awareness whatsoever.

(Writer’s note: the tweet has since been deleted, but here’s a handy screen snap for reference.)



A four-star member of the Gators’ 2018 recruiting class, Watkins was rated as the No. 16 wide receiver in the country; the No. 20 player at any position in the state of Florida; and the No. 89 player overall on‘s composite board. Only three players in UF’s class signed this past February were rated higher than Watkins.

Watkins had recently enrolled in classes at UF.