It sure sounds like the UCF Knights will finish the rest of this football season without two starters on the defensive line.
Defensive end Randy Charlton and defensive tackle Kenny Turnier released statements on social media Wednesday apologizing for the words they used toward UCF police officers while Antwan Collier was being arrested Thursday morning. Each man also finished their respective note with words that read like a farewell to their teammates and UCF fans.
“I will always love Knight Nation and my brothers who are there,” Charlton wrote. “You guys are truly my family.”
Turnier presented a similar tone: “As for my teammates, I wish you nothing but the best and a successful season, the plays and memories we have will never leave me.”
“This will not be the end of my era and this will not shape the way I live my life. I will fight to become a better person for all of those who have stood by me. I truly do love my brothers and will forever love Knight Nation.”
A source tells Black and Gold Banneret that a formal statement regarding each player’s status with the program will be released later today.
Here are both statements from the players themselves in full, starting with Charlton’s:
To those who are with me this will not be the end of the road To the Knight Nation keep charging on pic.twitter.com/AtgfvYBqPl— ™️Bambino (@RandyL_Charlton) November 4, 2020
Both men were among a group of UCF football players who observed Collier’s arrest last week for felony carrying a concealed firearm and misdemeanor driving with a suspended license. UCFPD body-cam footage obtained by KnightNews.com shows instances in which the players shouted insults and spoke aggressively toward police. Turnier, Charlton, Collier as well as linebacker Eric Mitchell and cornerback Brandon Moore — both of whom were riding with Collier when he was pulled over and who also cursed at police, according to the UCFPD body-cam footage — did not accompany the team to Houston for last Saturday’s win over the Cougars.
Head coach Josh Heupel did not give a reason during his postgame press conference for why all five players missed the game. He released this statement Monday:
#UCF HC Josh Heupel issues statement, apologizing on behalf of the football program for the "completely inappropriate" actions of some of his players last Thursday morning.— Brian Murphy (@Spokes_Murphy) November 2, 2020
No word on the standing in the program of the five players involved who didn't travel for the Houston game. pic.twitter.com/r8Kt3Zhw3E
Turnier, a redshirt senior, currently leads the team with 7.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. He played in every game last season, logging six starts and 13.5 tackles for loss.
Charlton has played in 28 of a possible 32 games during his three seasons as a Knight. The junior has two sacks and four tackles for loss in five games this year.