Dionte Mullins’ memorable one-handed touchdown grab in the 2016 Under Armour All-America Game thrilled University of Miami fans who knew he was committed to the Hurricanes and watched him throw up ‘the U’ after he scored.
But on Thursday, less than 15 months after the wide receiver arrived to the Coral Gables campus late to fall camp because of academic issues, UM announced he was no longer on the team.
UM’s one sentence announcement on Thursday evening: “The University of Miami announced Thursday that wide receiver Dionte Mullins is leaving the football program to pursue more playing time opportunities at another program.”
The young quarterback who threw that touchdown pass in the Under Armour game, Jack Allison, also left the Hurricanes before the season to transfer to West Virginia University.
Mullins, a sophomore listed as 5-10 and 200 pounds, had played in eight games this season, with four catches for 53 yards, a 13.2-yard-per-catch average. On Sunday, after UM’s late Saturday night victory over Virginia Tech, Mullins posted on Twitter: “It’s crazy how this man can’t give me no legit reason why he not playing me.’’
Another Mullins tweet after that: “When you tell a coach about himself, he tells you to leave.’’
Mullins missed all of his senior high school season in 2015 because he was academically ineligible. But he was still ranked as the 11th-best receiver, 19th best player in Florida and No. 92 in the ESPN300 ratings – and played in that Under Armour game after sitting out all those Gulliver games.
That day, according to the Miami Herald story, Mullins “reached back and snared a touchdown pass with one hand to make what most considered the most memorable play’’ of the game.
“I didn’t know I caught it,’’ Mullins said, “and I saw the ball in my hands and I just made sure I ran into the end zone. I shocked myself.’’
Last season, Mullins played sparingly. Coaches continually said he was a special talent, but needed to be more consistent in areas such as his work ethic.