The UCF Football team, fresh off a bowl game appearance and a turn-around 2016 campaign, have lost two important players before the 2017 season has even begun.
According to a report from the Orlando Sentinel, after taking a required NCAA drug test, junior wide receiver Tristan Payton and redshirt sophomore defensive back Nevelle Clarke were served a six-game suspension after testing positive for marijuana.
Payton, who was was a big play-maker for the Knights, including time spent in trick plays designed by coach Scott Frost, caught 12 passes for 132 yards and threw two passes for 96 yards, one of which found its way into the hands of redshirt junior Tre’ Quan Smith for a 72-yard touchdown pass.
Clarke, who was expected to fill in for graduates D.J. Killings and Shaquill Griffin in the cornerback position, made 15 total tackles in 10 games played.
Clarke and Payton were first required to take the drug test along with the rest of the team because the Knights had qualified and made it’s bowl game.
Both players are participating in spring practices, with UCF Football returning to the gridiron as of Tuesday.