Ex-East Lake High QB Pete DiNovo leaves UCF program

Former East Lake High standout Pete DiNovo joined UCF as a quarterback in 2013 but switched to receiver two years ago before going back to QB.
Former East Lake High standout Pete DiNovo joined UCF as a quarterback in 2013 but switched to receiver two years ago before going back to QB.
Published Aug. 15, 2017

Former East Lake High quarterback Pete DiNovo is no longer with UCF after missing recent practices, the Orlando Sentinel reported Tuesday.

"He's not with us, and he hasn't been at practice and all that, so we just focus on the guys that are here," Knights offensive coordinator Troy Walters told the Sentinel, adding he hasn't communicated with DiNovo and he wasn't sure why the redshirt senior was no longer attending practices.

The 6-foot-2, 202-pound DiNovo left East Lake as Pinellas County's all-time leading passer and was the Tampa Bay Times' 2012 All-Suncoast offensive player of the year.

As a redshirt freshman in 2014, he became the first UCF freshman quarterback to start a season opener since Daunte Culpepper in 1996. DiNovo was 3-of-8 for 18 yards in the opener against Penn State at Dublin, Ireland, but he played in only one game after that.

The Knights tinkered with moving him to receiver in 2015.

Senior offensive lineman Aaron Evans, who roomed with DiNovo this offseason, told the Sentinel he hasn't spoken with DiNovo about his motives for leaving practice but added, "I know he's going through some personal stuff, and he's addressing that. I just really wish him the best with his future endeavors. I know he'll be successful."

DiNovo is the third quarterback to leave UCF in the past year.

AUBURN QB/WR SET TO JOIN KIFFIN, FAU: Auburn quarterback-turned-receiver John Franklin is transferring. Coach Gus Malzahn said Franklin indicated he is looking "for the chance to play more and get closer to home."

Franklin, who is from Fort Lauderdale, has already graduated and could play immediately as a graduate transfer. He posted on Instagram that he will play his final season at Florida Atlantic and new coach Lane Kiffin.

"This wasn't an easy decision by any means, but its what's best for me and my family and right now. I'm doing what I need to do for the betterment of myself as a player, and a man," Franklin wrote.

Franklin started his career at Florida State, redshirting in 2013 and seeing limited action in 2014. He transferred to East Mississippi Community College where he rose to fame on the Netflix series Last Chance U that chronicled the football program. He then went to Auburn where he ran for 430 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 204 yards and a score last season. He was moved to receiver during the offseason.

CLEARWATER'S JONES OUT FOR VOLS: Tennessee freshman Jacquez Jones out of Clearwater High will miss the season with a knee injury. Coach Butch Jones said the 5-foot-10 receiver is expected back in the spring.

KANSAS: The university plans to honor former coach Mark Mangino, who was forced out amid allegations that he abused his players, and the rest of the 2007 team that won the Orange Bowl. The school said the team will be inducted into its Hall of Fame, along with former players Aqib Talib and Anthony Collins, during the Sept. 2 season opener. Talib and Collins both played in the NFL for the Bucs. Mangino led the long-suffering Jayhawks to a 12-1 record in 2007, a season capped by an Orange Bowl win over Virginia Tech. But Mangino was forced out in 2009, when allegations surfaced that he physically and verbally abused players.

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BASKETBALL: Duke has signed top high school prospect Marvin Bagley and says he will enroll for the fall semester. The school said he signed his financial aid agreement one day after a nationally televised ceremony during which he committed to the Blue Devils. The 6-11 Bagley was widely considered the top recruit of the 2018 recruiting class. He petitioned the NCAA last month to reclassify and become college eligible for the upcoming season.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.