VIDEO FOOTAGE: Marcus Stokes, one of the best high school football players in the country, had his Florida scholarship offer pulled this weekend after he was seen on video rapping the n-word KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Monday, November 21, 2022

VIDEO FOOTAGE: Marcus Stokes, one of the best high school football players in the country, had his Florida scholarship offer pulled this weekend after he was seen on video rapping the n-word

Nease senior quarterback Marcus Stokes confirmed Sunday morning he had his scholarship offer revoked by the University of Florida's coaching staff after video surfaced on social media of him using a racial slur.

In a statement posted Sunday afternoon to Twitter, Stokes said he was singing along to a rap song in his car during the video that appeared online.

"I fully accept the consequences for my actions, and I respect the University of Florida's decision to withdraw my scholarship offer to play football. My intention was never to hurt anybody and I recognize that even when going along with a song, my words still carry a lot of weight. I will strive to be better and to become the best version of myself both on and off the field. I know that learning from my mistakes is a first important step."

Stokes flipped his commitment to Florida from Penn State on July 7, and he took an official visit the weekend of Oct. 14. Per 247Sports' rankings, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound dual-threat is the No. 14 quarterback prospect in the country and the No. 212 overall recruit.

More than a dozen Division I programs verbally offered Stokes after his monster junior season, one in which he helped Nease reach a regional final for the first time since 2008. He threw for 2,672 yards, rushed for 496 yards and accounted for 28 total touchdowns to earn All-Area honors.

Fast forward to this past weekend and Rashada is now a Gator while Stokes is looking for a new team following a controversial video that came out with him rapping along and not censoring himself.

Billy Napier rescinded the offer for the four-star QB on Sunday. And as much as we have approved of Napier’s culture building tactics, this felt heavy handed and Marcus Stokes should still be a Florida Gators commit.

I’ve mentioned this a couple of times before, but in my personal life I teach high school English. One of the books we teach every year is “To Kill a Mockingbird.” In our buildup to the book, we have a very real discussion about the origins of certain words.

The word that Stokes used is rooted in hatred and was initially given life as a way to demean those that were black. In time, usage of the word has become complicated.

There are those that feel given word’s origin that no one should be using the word, and that’s a fair argument to have. Others feel given the free usage of the word in rap music that context matters and not every white guy saying it is saying it from a place of racism, and that’s fair too.

Obviously I’m not using the word because of its historical context. In working with high school students every day, it’s almost impossible for a 17 or 18-year old to have that nuanced perspective. The optics never work out well when caught film, but I do believe the context and intent here is different than say Riley Cooper.

Having a spot with Florida football is an honor and highly competitive though. My honest take is that once Jaden Rashada committed, Billy Napier got the QB he originally wanted and this incident gave them reason to send Stokes on his way. If Napier truly wanted Stokes to be a member of Florida football come August, there was a pathway to do that.

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