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The SEC's opening weekend is filled with marquee games against strong Power Five opponents. It's probably a good thing, then, that Florida opted to open against UMass because the Gators will be without one of their best players.

 

In a statement released Wednesday morning, coach Jim McElwain said junior cornerback Jalen Tabor and redshirt sophomore tight end C'yontai Lewis are not involved with team activities and suspended for the opener against the Minutemen for violating team policy.

A source told CBS Sports that an altercation between Tabor and Lewis was the cause for the suspension.

 

The biggest loss is Tabor, who anchors one of the better secondaries in college football.

 

Lewis is an emerging receiving option for the Gators, having scored two touchdowns last season. He was expected to see his playing time in crease in 2016.

 

McElwain has also announced that redshirt sophomore Luke Del Rio will be the Gators starting quarterback in their season opener against UMass on Sept. 3.

 

Del Rio had been battling with Purdue graduate transfer Austin Appleby and freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask for the starting job in camp. He will now work as the starter with the first team for the remainder of fall practice into the team's first game.

 

Del Rio will step into the void left by Will Grier and Treon Harris, the two quarterbacks that started games for the Gators in 2015. Both Grier and Harris transferred out of Gainesville, Florida, this offseason, Grier after being suspended a calendar year by the NCAA for use of a banned substance.

 

Del Rio was at Alabama in 2013 as a walk-on before transferring to Oregon State in 2014.

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