Marcus Stokes is still out there, and still looking for a college football home.
That’s a sentence that, just a couple months ago, didn’t seem like it could be written mid-January, but a lot has happened in that time.
Stokes, you may remember, is the strong-armed 2023 quarterback from Florida’s Ponte Vedra Nease who was once a Penn State commit. But he backed out of that commitment last July and followed up by giving his pledge to Florida.
If Nittany Lions fans are wondering just what happened to the kid with so much upside since … well, it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride for “Joker,” and he is still without a college football home. But his name was kicked up on social media Wednesday when reports emerged that another former Penn State quarterback target, five-star Jaden Rashada, is trying to get out of the letter of intent that he signed with the Gators.
That would leave Florida without a quarterback in its class.
And that led fans back to Stokes, whom the Gators pulled its offer from back in November. If you missed it, the Gators made that move after Stokes posted a video to social media that showed him rapping a song that included a racial slur.
“I was in my car listening to rap music, rapping along to the words and posted a video of it on social media,” he wrote on Twitter following the uproar. “I deeply apologize for the words in the song that I chose to say. It was hurtful and offensive to many people, and I regret that.”
Stokes said he fully accepted the consequences for his actions, and wrote, “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,” he wrote. “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.”
At least one reporter late last month openly wondered if Penn State might be willing to welcome Stokes back into the fold, and his coach, Collin Drafts, posted back on Dec. 23 highlighting Stokes’ talent and asking schools to take a look.
“Now that early signing day is over, one of the nation’s top HS QBs is still available in @marcusstokes06,” he wrote. “6,216 total yards and 58 TDs as a (two-year) starter. Elite pocket presence/throwing off platform. True dual-threat ability. Arm talent to push the ball down field. High FB IQ.”
With Rashada wanting out, some folks on Twitter, wonder if the Gators might also be willing to run-it-back with a Stokes commitment.
“They’re about to call Marcus Stokes back like ‘you learn your lesson?” one person tweeted. “If so, we’re prepared to offer your scholarship back.”
“Better call Marcus Stokes back,” another person tweeted.
Stokes passed for 1,778 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior, and ran for another 580 yards and 13 touchdowns. He is a talented player, but there are questions to answer.
It will be interesting to see if or when he gets a shot and where that shot comes from.