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UCF Football Dismisses 4 Defensive Starters, per source

All four Knights did not join the team for last Saturday’s road game at Houston.

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Central Florida
UCF linebacker Eric Mitchell is one of four Knights who have been dismissed by the football program, a source tells Black and Gold Banneret.
Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Four of the most experienced defensive players on the UCF Knights are no longer a part of the team.

A source tells Black and Gold Banneret that defensive tackle Kenny Turnier, linebacker Eric Mitchell, safety Antwan Collier and defensive end Randy Charlton have all been dismissed from the program.

Head coach Josh Heupel released a statement Wednesday afternoon acknowledging the departures but without specifically naming the players.

All four players plus senior cornerback Brandon Moore did not make the trip with the rest of the team to Houston for Saturday’s win against the Cougars, presumably because of their interactions with UCF police officers while Collier was being arrested last Thursday morning. Those interactions came to light via police body-cam footage that was published by on Saturday.

Charlton and Turnier hinted at their departures from the program in individual social media posts earlier Wednesday. Both apologized for their words toward police.

Turnier 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.

Mitchell started games in parts of three seasons during his four years on the field. He racked up 175 career tackles and is second on the team with 40 tackles this season.

Collier recorded 22 tackles and a fumble recovery. In 2019, he started all 13 games, with four interceptions and 74 tackles. He also made the game-ending interception in the 2018 Peach Bowl, which secured UCF’s undefeated season.

Charlton has played in 28 of a possible 32 games during his three seasons as a Knight. He recorded two sacks and four tackles for loss in five games this year.