It’s time for Florida coach Jim McElwain to get serious with WR Antonio Callaway

Florida may regret opening the 2017 schedule with a traditional power at a neutral site, as opposed to a sacrificial cupcake at The Swamp.

Receiver Antonio Callaway, arguably the only offensive weapon the Gators employ who can make enemy defensive coordinators sweat in the film room, was cited for marijuana possession recently by the Gainesville Police Department.

According to what has been reported, Callaway was the passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over for a routine seatbelt violation. He and the driver, a rather nefarious character named Kendrick Williams, were both caught with weed and admitted that the drugs were theirs. A court date has been set for June 6.

“We’ll get everything handled. I’m just really disappointed.” — Jim McElwain

according to the Tampa Bay Times. “I’m just really disappointed.”

This isn’t Callaway’s first offense, either. In January 2016, he and former Florida quarterback Treon Harris were accused of sexual assault by a fellow student and suspended from the football team during the school’s investigation.

While Callaway was ultimately cleared, the hearing officer assigned to the case, Jake Schickel, was a card-carrying Gators booster. The accuser, her attorney and some witnesses scheduled to testify were so incredulous that they boycotted the proceeding. From the outside, it stunk of preferential treatment for a star athlete.

When questioned by Schickel, Callaway admitted to being so high that he “had no interest in having sex with anyone.”

“Just really disappointed,” McElwain said. “And yet, at the same time, there’s another opportunity to learn. There’s another opportunity to educate. We’ll get it handled.”

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Luckily for Callaway, his previous admission of pot use wasn’t enough to trigger the university’s substance-abuse policy. The latest episode is technically his first violation. Common sense points to the contrary, of course.

Based on McElwain’s track record, Callaway is a candidate for a one-game suspension. Running backs Jordan Scarlett and Mark Thompson were each cited similarly and sat out a contest as punishment. Scarlett missed the bowl game against Michigan two years ago, while Thompson was scratched for the Georgia game last season.

The Gators face the aforementioned Wolverines Sept. 2 in Arlington. Even at full strength, they’ll have their hands full with Jim Harbaugh and Co.

Callaway’s first two seasons in orange and blue, UF started out with the likes of New Mexico State and Massachusetts. In those two openers, both at home, he caught a total of 11 passes for 98 yards and 1 touchdown.

Making matters worse, redshirt freshman quarterback Feleipe Franks will more than likely be making his first start. That assignment becomes all the more challenging if Callaway, clearly his primary target, is unavailable.

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