University of Florida

This Miami Central alum’s status with the Florida Gators football team is still unclear

Florida’s defensive line coach seemed legitimately puzzled about Keivonnis Davis status going forward, although Davis did warm up at last week’s scrimmage.
Florida’s defensive line coach seemed legitimately puzzled about Keivonnis Davis status going forward, although Davis did warm up at last week’s scrimmage. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

He was an afterthought at Friday’s scrimmage.

Yes, he was there, suited up and stretching with his team, but Florida defensive lineman Keivonnis Davis chugged off to the side of the field and took a seat while his teammates took snaps between the hashes. He was still, it appeared, too hurt to play.

Davis, a Miami Central alumnus, was swept up with the tide of the credit card scandal that claimed the seasons of nine UF players in 2017. He was accused, according to a sworn complaint affidavit filed in September, of using a stolen credit card to add $800 to his UF bookstore account twice. He used the money to buy a MacBook Pro, Beats headphones and a bluetooth speaker, the document alleges.

Soon after the affidavit was filed, Davis was involved in a scooter accident. Then-coach Jim McElwain described him as having a “long road ahead” to get back onto the field.

It appears that with Florida’s spring game coming up April 14, Davis is able to at least stretch and do strength work. But his status moving forward is still murky.

“You know what, I’m not sure,” defensive line coach Sal Sunseri said Wednesday when asked about Davis. “I can’t tell you what his status is.”

Like some of his teammates — Jordan Scarlett, James Houston, Ventrell Miller and Rick Wells — who are back to practicing following the credit card scandal, Davis agreed to pre-trial intervention, which allowed him to avoid felony charges in exchange for meeting various conditions, including a specified number of community service hours and avoidance of illegal drugs. Davis’ agreement was signed Dec. 19.

But on March 20, a letter regarding his pre-trial intervention was filed by the Florida Department of Corrections, with a signature from Davis’ probation officer. The letter says Davis violated three parts of his intervention agreement.

The first is the service requirement. The letter alleges Davis was reminded Jan. 26 that he needed to complete 50 service hours. As of March 19, he’d completed none.

The second is a payment violation. Davis apparently owed, as of the letter’s filing, $139.62 for “court cost payments.” It’s unclear if Davis has paid off the debt since then.

The third is drug use. Davis was found with marijuana March 12, and the letter says he admitted to using it.

It’s unclear how much his injuries might have contributed to his shortcomings on the pre-trial intervention agreement, but it isn’t a problem for now. Davis’ probation officer concluded the letter by recommending he be allowed to continue with the agreement.

Davis made five starts for the Gators as a sophomore in 2016. He totaled 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks on the year.

He’s also one of three South Floridians on Florida’s defensive line, and while Sunseri had little to say about him, he had plenty to say about the others, starting with defensive tackle Tedarrell Slaton.

Slaton, a sophomore from American-Heritage Plantation, is a mountainous man who, at 6-4, 358 pounds, is UF’s heaviest player.

“I’m just going to be honest with you,” Sunseri said. “[Slaton’s] a big man. He’s strong and he’s got a build on him. I mean, he is pretty good.”

But he added Slaton needs to be more consistent and stop relying on his size and raw strength over technique and effort.

“He has some great intangibles that you just want to bottle and say we need it every play,” Sunseri said. “If we can get that consistency with that quickness, the speed and the athleticism on every play, boom it’s gonna be pretty good.”

Sunseri also spoke about redshirt senior defensive tackle Khairi Clark, who is expected to start at nose. Clark, a Chaminade-Madonna alumnus, has never really jumped off the stat sheet during his time at Florida, although he has been consistent. He started all 11 games in 2017.

Sunseri said he appreciates Clark’s veteran presence and knowledge of the game.

“Khairi’s gotten better, in my opinion,” he said, “because he’s taken off some weight, he’s put on some muscle, he’s moving quicker and he’s understanding what’s going on.”

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