1 » Three-star offensive lineman Richerd Desir-Jones is one of two players the Florida Gators acquired out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, last week. But while Desir-Jones may be the more unheralded of those prospects – compared to four-star running back Jordan Scarlett – that does not make his story any less special. Check out this feature on Desir-Jones and his family from NBC6 and do your best not to shed a tear. (h/t Thomas Goldkamp)
2 » The Odin Lloyd murder trial took an interesting turn this week when Judge E. Susan Garsh announced that Aaron Hernandez’s fiancée (and the mother of his two-year-old child), Shayanna Jenkins, would be immune from self-incrimination through truthful testimony, which means the Fifth Amendment will not apply when she is called. Jenkins, who has been seated behind Hernandez at recent court sessions, has some options when she gets brought up to the witness stand. She can testify honestly, refuse to answer questions (and immediately be held in contempt of court, likely facing a prison sentence of three to six months) or perjure herself on the stand. Should Jenkins be found guilty of perjury in the murder trial, she could be charged with a number of crimes including conspiracy and accessory after the fact, which would put her in jail for decades. She has already been hit with 29 perjury charges from her grand jury testimony, though those would likely be thrown out if she cooperates and the prosecution believes her account of the days surrounding Lloyd’s murder. Jenkins’s testimony is seen as a major event in the murder trial, one especially important to the prosecutions case as it argues that Hernandez directed her to remove a black bag from the residence (via her sister’s car) that potentially included the murder weapon, a blood-stained T-shirt and other incriminating items.
The Hernandez murder trial has suffered numerous delays over the last two weeks due to snow storms that hit Massachusetts. There have also been two jurors removed, leaving 16 left in court including 12 deciding Hernandez’s fate and four others serving as alternates. OnlyGators.com will continue providing periodic updates on the trial over the next few months.
3 » OnlyGators.com confirmed on Wednesday that Florida has added Jacksonville defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach James Rowe as a defensive graduate assistant. Rowe – who joined JU as a graduate assistant in 2012, was promoted to wide receivers coach in 2013 and then moved into an even more prominent role on the staff – will be working with his first FBS program now that he has joined the Gators. A former USF baseball player, Rowe began coaching in the high school ranks before getting his first college job with Bethel University.
4 » Former Gators defensive tackle Brad Culpepper is being sued by an insurance company after his appearance on Survivor. Members of the insurance company, which paid Culpepper $175,000 in worker’s compensation after he registered an 89 percent disability rating, saw his performance on the show and believes he is in much less permanent pain than he stated at the time of his claim, noting that he “willfully and deceptively provided false information” to doctors in order to get the payment. “Just because I chose to do things that are [difficult for] my body doesn’t mean I’m not in pain, and doesn’t mean I’m not impaired,” he told ABC News in an interview. “The whole lawsuit is ludicrous. I’ve worked too hard in my life to have this as a headline.” Culpepper followed up his Florida career with nine seasons in the NFL including six with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He started 83 of 131 games, registering 316 tackles, 34 sacks and six forced fumbles.