From time to time, OnlyGators.com will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share – too much to fit into one of our truncated BITS segments. When stories like these fall through the cracks, we catch and wrap them all up with Gator Bites.
» The three Florida Gators participating in the 2014 Senior Bowl arrived over the weekend and got measured on Monday. Guard Jon Halapio checked in at 6’3-1/2” and 320 pounds, wide receiver Solomon Patton was the smallest player measured at 5’8-1/2” and 179 pounds, and cornerback Jaylen Watkins was listed at 5’11-3/8” and 194 pounds. Watkins will be updating OnlyGators.com on his status this Wednesday as he and his teammates prepare for the game on Saturday at 4 p.m. on NFL Network.
» Patton, a native of Mobile, AL, was not initially invited to the all-star game played in his hometown but rather received the opportunity to participate in the Senior Bowl last Tuesday after winning an MVP award at the inaugural Medal of Honor Bowl. He is not the only one excited. “It’s going to be great,” his father Solomon Patton, Sr., told AL.com. “It’s something we’ve dreamed about since he started playing football. It’s always been a dream of ours and his for him to make it back here [to play].” Patton also spoke about proving to scouts and team executives that he can play despite his relatively diminutive stature. “I might be small, but I can make big-time plays regardless of my size,” he said. “I’m just going to go in relaxed and od what I’ve been doing all year.”
» Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll on Monday said wide receiver Percy Harvin should be cleared to return to practice by Wednesday and ultimately compete in Super Bowl XLVIII. Harvin was held out of Sunday’s NFC Championship game due to lingering symptoms from a concussion he suffered two weekends ago. He has only played 39 total snaps in two games this season.
Check out NINE more Gators news bites…after the break!
» Three former Gators put together great performances on the hardwood Monday. Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal started things off with 22 points, a season-high nine rebounds and a career-high eight assists in his team’s 107-99 win over Philadelphia in the afternoon. Hours later, Houston Rockets F Chandler Parsons went off for a season-high 31 points (on 12-of-19 shooting) with 10 boards and seven dimes in a 126-113 victory against Portland. Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah capped the evening with 17 points, a season-high 21 rebounds and six assists as Chicago squeaked by the Los Angeles Lakers 102-100 in overtime.
» Washington on Monday officially announced the hiring of Ike Hilliard as wide receivers coach. The former Florida pass catcher will be in his second stint coaching the same position for Washington. It is his fourth NFL coaching job overall and his second time coaching with new Washington general Jay Gruden, who first hired Hilliard when Gruden was head coach of the UFL’s Orlando Tuskers.
» Another former UF wideout, Cris Collinsworth, has been added to NBC’s long list of correspondents for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Though no Gators are competing in the event, Collinsworth will be in Russia for NBC covering his fourth Olympics (1996 Atlanta, 2008 Beijing, 2010 Vancouver).
» Here’s Florida redshirt sophomore forward Dorian Finney-Smith failing to wake up after his team’s plane landed following Saturday’s 68-61 win at Auburn.
» Gators center Jonotthan Harrison did not receive a Senior Bowl invitation but instead participated in the 2014 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Saturday. His team won the game, so Harrison technically got to end his college career with a trophy in his hands.
» The U.S. Women’s National Team took home the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship, winning the event for the third time in a row. The Americans went 5-0 in the event, achieving a +19 goal differential…by scoring 19 goals and not allowing a single one to hit the back of the net. Florida sophomore forward Savannah Jordan was responsible for five of those goals, scoring in all three Group A matches as well as the semifinals and final. She scored the third-most goals in the event with the United States’ McKenzie Meehan and Mexico’s Tanya Samarzich each netting six.
» Florida senior center Patric Young can kind of sing. Sophomore F DeVon Walker on the other hand? He better stick to basketball.
» According to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, ABC/ESPN lead play-by-play man Brent Musburger, 75, is unlikely to remain in the same position next season but will have the opportunity to take another job with the network if so inclined. “Musburger has been offered the job of lead college football announcer for the upcoming SEC Network,” reports Deitsch, though “it is unclear whether Musburger will take that offer” because “he is unhappy with how the process is shaking out.”
» In similarly interesting broadcasting news, Tim Brando, who spent 18 years with CBS announced last week that he will not return to the network but does plan to continue his career elsewhere.