GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida freshmen Ronald Powell and Dominique Easley were back at practice Thursday, two days after skipping part of a session and setting off speculation they would transfer.
Coach Urban Meyer said Thursday that the highly touted defensive linemen are "all good."
"They're doing great," Meyer said. "Our freshman class is doing great. I keep hearing this and I keep hearing that. Everything's in good shape."
Meyer acknowledged that Powell and Easley missed part of practice Tuesday, but he refused to say why or whether they were excused.
Rumors swirled the last two days about their absence, with talk ranging from the players being upset about getting yelled at during practice to them asking for their release and planning to transfer.
"No. No, no, no, no, no. Never," Meyer said. "The transfer word never came out of their mouths. They're good."
Powell, a defensive end from Moreno Valley, Calif., was considered the nation's top recruit. Easley, a defensive tackle from New York, was another five-star prospect. Together, they helped give Florida what many considered the nation's top class.
Nonetheless, the class hasn't received rave reviews. Meyer expressed concern about his team Monday, in part because none of the freshmen has taken over a starting role during training camp.
Powell and Easley made it clear earlier this month that they planned to play significant snaps this fall. Easley even compared himself, Powell and fellow newcomer Sharrif Floyd to Miami's trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
That confidence seemingly didn't sit well with some of the upperclassmen.
"Everybody has to come in with that attitude," center Mike Pouncey said Tuesday. "At the end of the day, they're freshmen. They just need to shut their mouths and come play. They haven't done nothing on Saturday. Most of the fans don't even know who they are. Until they prove themselves, they need to sit back and let the older guys play."