JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida withdrew its scholarship from Marcus Stokes, a high school student who plays football for Nease.
Stokes was committed to playing football for the Gators.
He earned his impeccable record and he's known as one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. He once told First Coast News that wanted to go to the University of Florida since he was in the 9th grade.
While he was committed to playing for Florida, big name universities were eyeing him. Schools such as Penn State, USF and Virginia Tech were recruiting the young athlete.
Stokes' actions, however, off the field cost him his scholarship.
Video surfaced online of him saying the "N" word. The video shows Stokes in a car and he can be heard saying "welcome back" following up with the slur. The video has since been removed from his social media, but the video is still being shared on Twitter. Stokes said he was in the car listening to rap music.
The student-athlete apologized for the words in the song he chose to say.
He posted a statement and apology on Twitter. It reads in part "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." One local football coach explained to First Coast News, years worth of hard work can be ruined with one post.
"You get six seconds to make a first impression," Coach Toriano Morgan said, who is also the head football coach for Edward Waters University. "And often times that first impression can come in multiple-different ways other than a physical hello."
Coach Morgan said Stokes actions is a prime example for players and recruits of what not to do. The HBCU football coach said he keeps players in check by reminding them their social media puts them in a fish bowl.
"Because ultimately you're going to represent that institution and the institution is going to represent you," Morgan said.
As for Stokes, the college football prospect said he's "working to become the best version of himself on and off the field."