Gator Bites for Wednesday, February 17

By Adam Silverstein
February 17, 2010

From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share with our readers. In those instances, we present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.

» Florida Gators associate athletics director Steve McClain spoke with The Florida Times-Union about head coach Urban Meyer’s leave of absence. He had this to say: “If you compare [what Meyer is doing now] to what he was usually doing, it was very different. He [has] made a lot of changes.”

» In a meeting with the media today, running backs coach Stan Drayton told reporters that redshirt sophomore Chris Rainey will be both a rusher and slot receiver next season. While this may seem like big news to some, it is important to realize that former kick returner Brandon James technically held this job last season and amassed a grand total of 24 catches for 215 yards. Obviously Rainey is more talented offensively, but the “change” in position is less important than an increase in production would be.

  • Expect redshirt junior RB Emmanuel Moody to see a big increase in carries.
  • Freshman RB Mike Gillislee could see more game action, too.

Plenty of additional news and notes are available after the break! Keep reading…

» Drayton also mentioned that he has been named the team’s recruiting coordinator for the 2011 cycle, something OGGOA had slated last week. He will be assigning himself to recruiting the prestigious Miami-Dade County.

» Speaking of coaching staff positions, new linebackers coach D.J. Durkin said he was not sure if he would be coaching every player at the position or just those on the outside. However, Durkin did note that he will be working on special teams with Meyer (as mentioned here on Jan. 14). Meyer has coached special teams alone since he was hired.

» Back to Drayton, who was asked about why he returned to the Gators after having a falling out with Meyer upon his departure in 2008. “We’re grown men,” Drayton said. “All that stuff was really blown out of proportion. The respect never was compromised that we had for each other…regardless of what you heard.”

» Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin indicated that interim head coach and offnesive coordinator Steve Addazio actually contacted him before National Signing Day about a potential opening on the staff. It appears as if Meyer and Addazio at least had some inkling that George Edwards would not be on the staff after Feb. 3. “[Addazio]’s still one of the best men you’ll ever meet,” Austin said. “He was a big reason [I came here]. When you have an opportunity to work with good people, and I know Steve’s a great person, it was a no-brainer.” (h/t to Miami Herald for the quote)

» ESPN NFL draft guru Mel Kiper once again went on the offensive against former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in a conference call with the media. Here are some disparaging comments Kiper made this time (he said more but was being repetitive).

  • “First round after the Senior Bowl may have gone out the window. I thought first round was a possibility maybe. I never thought Tim Tebow was an NFL quarterback. I’ve said that for three years now. And I told Tim that directly on two occasions. I think he’s an H-back.”
  • “I would have never set foot in Mobile, Alabama if I were Tim Tebow.”
  • “I’m on the record saying he made a mistake going to the Senior Bowl. […] I would not have gone to the Senior Bowl. I would not throw at the combine, I would wait until an individual workout. After that Cincinnati Bearcat game nobody would have seen me throw until the individual workout where I’m throwing to [Aaron] Hernandez and [Riley] Cooper and my environment.”
  • “I would draft him as an H-back in the 3rd or 4th round.”

» Version 2.0 of Kiper’s mock 2010 NFL Draft has three Gators going in the first round:

  • CB Joe Haden – No. 7 to Cleveland Browns
  • DE Carlos Dunlap – No. 17 to Tennessee Titans
  • C/G Maurkice Pouncey – No. 30 to Minnesota Vikings

» Kiper raved about Haden’s potential: “He’s a potential top five corner in the NFL. We don’t know if he’s going to be Darrelle Revis; Haden is going to go higher than Revis did. He is going to go higher than [Nnamdi] Asomugha — those are your only two shutdown corners in the league and they didn’t go in the top 10. Haden will go in the top 10 with the potential to be an elite corner. […] He can get you on the blitz, good tackler, outstanding in coverage, Joe Haden will be a real good pick. I think he’s the fifth-best player on the board. Maybe he could even be rated the fourth player on some team’s boards.”

» Florida tennis players Allie Will and Sekou Bangoura Jr. have been named SEC Freshman of the Week. Will went 7-1 combined in singles (4-0) and doubles last week while Bangoura went a combined 3-1.

3 Comments

  1. Mr2Bits says:

    Can’t wait to see how Kiper defends himself on here. Where is that old fool anyhow?

  2. SC Gator says:

    He’s busy hunting down some more grease for his hair…

  3. Mel Kiper, Jr. says:

    I’m right here 2Bits. What do I need to defend? Haven’t you learned by now that I can say anything I want with no accountability? I will be sitting on the set draft day, waiting to rag on the first team that is willing to give Tebow a chance.

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