It did not take long for Chris Steele to turn the page.
Steele, a five-star defensive back who spent spring practice at Florida, put his name in the transfer portal last week. Less than a week later, Steele announced that he will continue his college football career at Oregon.
I now know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have everything I’ve ever wanted. I have learned the secret of being content. In any and every situation, I can do all things through GOD who gives me strength...Ready to get to Eugene and ball! #LongLiveBigBruce🖤🦆 pic.twitter.com/QIomrC5L1w
— 🌹🖤 (@KinggChris7) May 14, 2019
Steele was ranked by Rivals as a five-star recruit and the 19th-best prospect in the 2019 class. A California native, Steele signed with Florida and enrolled in January, allowing him to participate in spring practice and play in the spring game for the Gators. Four months later, however, he has opted to transfer to Oregon — a program that was there all the way to the end of his recruiting process.
Steele, who worked with the starters during his time with the Gators, reportedly transferred because of the way Florida dealt with one of his teammates.
According to multiple outlets, Steele was “uncomfortable” sharing a room with quarterback Jalon Jones, another early enrollee. He made that known to the UF staff, but there were no plans to separate the two until the summer, according to the Gainesville Sun.
Steele’s request to change rooms reportedly came before Jones was accused of sexually assaulting two female Florida students on April 6. Jones was not charged with a crime but has since left Gainesville. Steele was named in the police report as a witness but not accused of any wrongdoing.
Steele seemed to confirm those media accounts with his activity on Twitter, including a retweet of the below tweet from Brenda Tracy, an advocate for sexual assault victims.
If you’re on here talking about “there’s got to be more to the story” about @KinggChris7
Asking to be moved from the same room as a guy who is accused of sexually assaulting 2 girls - and having that request ignored by your coach is a VALID reason to transfer. Period.
— Brenda Tracy (@brendatracy24) May 9, 2019
Now the question is whether or not Steele will be immediately eligible to suit up for the Ducks in 2019. The NCAA’s rulings in immediate eligibility cases this offseason have been rather unpredictable.
Nonetheless, Steele is a big addition for Oregon, a program collecting high-level talent under Mario Cristobal. The Ducks had the seventh-best 2019 class, according to Rivals.com’s team rankings, led by five-star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, the No. 6 overall prospect in the country.
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