Gators add commit No. 9 in LB Rayshad Jackson

The second commitment of the Jim McElwain era made his intentions known on Sunday as three-star outside linebacker Rayshad Jackson (Miami, FL) pulled the trigger for the Florida Gators.

Jackson (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) was a target of new Gators linebackers coach Randy Shannon and a former lean to Arkansas, where Shannon coached before being hired by Florida.

The ninth member of the Gators’ pedestrian 2015 recruiting class, Jackson is also the ninth three-star prospect on Florida’s list.

His commitment was first reported by ESPN‘s Derek Tyson.

Fastbreak: Ole Miss edges Florida 72-71 in Oxford

A season on the brink may have very well reached it on Saturday evening as the Florida Gators (10-9, 3-3 SEC) gave up multiple leads and ultimately fell 72-71 to the Ole Miss Rebels (12-7, 3-3 SEC) at the Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford, Mississippi.

Florida has now lost three-straight games for the first time since the end of the 2011-12 regular season, and the Gators are on pass to miss both the NCAA Tournament and NIT.

“I thought this as a microcosm of how little room for error there is,” Donovan said. “That really just goes to show you how hard it will be for us unless we can really, really, really become a very, very disciplined, connected team, because we just break down.”

OnlyGators.com breaks down Saturday’s action with 10 quick-hitters:

It was over when: A 6-0 stretch for the Gators put them ahead of the Rebels 69-65 with 2:52 to play. However, Ole Miss ended its 4:08 field goal drought with a mid-range jumper at 1:54 on the clock and scored five-straight to retake the lead at 70-69 with 31 seconds left. Florida junior guard Michael Frazier II stepped up to make two free throws that pushed UF ahead 71-70 with 9.8 seconds remaining, but the Gators fouled on the other end and Jarvis Summers made two of his own to give the Rebels back a 72-21 lead with 3.5 seconds left. The final play of the game belonged to UF sophomore point guard Kasey Hill, who caught the ball in the backcourt and attempted to not only drive the length of the floor but finish with a reverse layup; he failed with the buzzer going off before the ball even left his hands.

“Kasey has got to recognize, three-and-a-half seconds, you got to get a shot up,” Donovan said. “You just got to stop and shoot the ball. He could have taken it to the free throw line and got that shot up. His speed got him to that point, which was good, but he obviously probably took it a bit too far.”

Significant stretches: Ole Miss took its first substantial lead of the game at 53-46 on the back of an explosive 13-0 run; the streak included three-straight triples for the Rebels and five consecutive missed shots by the Gators, all occurring in a span of less than three minutes. UF responded with an extended 11-4 stretch to tie the contest at 57 with 7:30 to play, and the team’s traded leads for the duration of the game.

Continue Reading » Fastbreak: Ole Miss edges Florida 72-71 in Oxford

Gameday: Florida Gators at Ole Miss Rebels – Donovan hopes humbled UF is ready to rebound

Location: Tad Smith Coliseum – Oxford, Mississippi [Capacity: 9,061]
Time: 6:00 p.m. EST

TV: SEC Network (Dave Neal, Joe Dean Jr.)
Streaming Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app

SiriusXM: 92/191 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

FLORIDA GATORS OLE MISS REBELS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Andy Kennedy
Record: 10-8 (3-2 SEC) Record: 11-7 (2-3 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern

Odds: Florida +3

ANOTHER TOUGH WEEK

Two poor performances. Two embarrassing losses. Two winning streaks ended. That’s what the last seven days have been like for Florida, which fell 73-61 on the road against Georgia last Saturday (ending a six-game series winning streak) before being stomped 79-61 at home by LSU (ending a 20-game SEC home winning streak) on Tuesday.

The Gators have proven to be an incredibly flawed and inconsistent team, one void of leadership and – more importantly – overall top-to-bottom talent. That is why Florida, if current trends continue, will not just miss the NCAA Tournament but also the NIT while posting the worst record of a Donovan-coached team since his second season at UF.

“I’m just trying to get these guys to understand that individually, on their own, we’re no good. We’re not talented enough, we’re not good enough,” Donovan said Friday. “Collectively as a group, the sum’s got to be greater than the parts. [I] got to get them to understand what ‘team’ actually is.

Continue Reading » Gameday: Florida Gators at Ole Miss Rebels – Donovan hopes humbled UF is ready to rebound

Greg Nord brings experience, passion to Florida

A 34-year coaching veteran who has led offensive and special teams units at six different stops, Greg Nord has seen it all when it comes to college football. He is used to change and more than ready to take on his next challenge as tight ends coach and special teams coordinator for the Florida Gators.

“This isn’t a school that has had just one guy successful, two guys be successful. We’ve had a history here of being successful in all phases. You got three Heisman Trophies down in the trophy room that I’ve got a chance to walk past. You got three national championship trophies that I’ve walked past. You got guys all over the NFL, when they get introduced, [they say] ‘The University of Florida.’ They don’t say their high school, they’re proud, they say ‘The University of Florida.’ And that’s probably why I’m so excited about getting the chance to have a Gator on my sweater today,” he said during his introductory press conference a few weeks ago. “[The Southeastern Conference is] truly the best league in the country and [Florida is] one of the programs that’s recognized throughout the country that’s recognized as a place you want to be.”

His praise for the school and opportunity presented to him is matched only by his colleagues’ kind words. Offensive line coach Mike Summers, the lone coach retained off Will Muschamp’s final staff, was excited about having Nord on board, explaining how much he will be able to bring to the football program.

Continue Reading » Greg Nord brings experience, passion to Florida

FOUR BITS: Hinds, Senior Bowl, Horford, Lee

1 » According to CoachingSearch.com, the Florida Gators will add Justin Hinds to their coaching staff as a defensive graduate assistant. Hinds, who worked under defensive coordinator Geoff Collins at Mississippi State, had high praise for his boss during an October interview with ESPN.com.

Justin Hinds says there’s a genius to Collins’ eccentricity. Behind those wild blue eyes — the kind that stare at you with so much intensity they seem to shake — is a coach who knows how to fire up his players, and more important, gets them to understand what can be a complex system by boiling down the most intricate details into easily digestible parts.

“It’s like ‘A Beautiful Mind,'” Hinds says, gesturing toward a wall-to-wall white board filled with coverages and blitzes diagrammed on every available inch of space. “He’s a unique thinker.”

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Hinds, Senior Bowl, Horford, Lee

Florida swimmer Sinead Russell hospitalized with cerebral blood clot, released Wednesday

Florida Gators junior swimmer Sinead Russell was admitted to UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, late last week and subsequently diagnosed with cerebral venous thrombosis, a potentially life-threatening blood clot near the brain.

She was treated with care over the weekend and released into her family’s custody on Wednesday, according to her father, Cecil Russell.

“The next four weeks are critical,” he said in an e-mail to the Burlington Post on Wednesday. “No swimming, no exercises…she has to have complete rest.”

The Gators were unable to confirm Russell’s medical status, at the request of her family, but a spokesman did provide the following statement to OnlyGators.com:

“Sinead Russell was admitted into the hospital with an illness and continues to be evaluated by doctors. There is no timetable for her return to competition.”

Continue Reading » Florida swimmer Sinead Russell hospitalized with cerebral blood clot, released Wednesday

Watch: 30 for 30 Shorts – The Sweat Solution – the invention of Gatorade at Florida

ESPN released it’s latest entry in the 30 for 30 Shorts series on Wednesday, debuting The Sweat Solution, which takes a close look at the invention of Gatorade on the campus of the University of Florida.

Due to the extreme temperatures in Florida, Dr. Robert Cade and his team set out to create a solution for a dehydration problem that was plaguing University of Florida football players. After a few seasons of tests and experiments, their final product would change athletic performance forever.

In time for the 50th anniversary of its creation, “The Sweat Solution” features many of those who were involved in testing the original formula, including Dr. Cade’s wife, co-inventor Dana Shires, former players Steve Spurrier, Larry Smith, Jim Yarbrough, Coach Ray Graves and others.

Continue Reading » Watch: 30 for 30 Shorts – The Sweat Solution – the invention of Gatorade at Florida

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Florida Gators set to begin construction on $15 million indoor practice facility

Updated at 2 p.m.

The Florida Gators announced Wednesday that construction is set to begin on a $15 million indoor practice facility for the football team that will be “ready for use by early September.”

Florida scrapped its original plans to build a smaller, 70-yard facility, opting instead for a 120-yard “synthetic turf football field” inside a building that will also allow for “three camera platforms, satellite training-room facilities, equipment storage and restrooms.”

The construction project is so large, according to the school, that it will result in a new plaza being built, including a new entrance for the baseball stadium.

“This is something we have talked about internally for some time,” Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a release. “We have always been able to utilize the O’Connell Center as an indoor option for the football team, but with the renovation starting this spring, it will no longer be available.”

Continue Reading » Florida Gators set to begin construction on $15 million indoor practice facility

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