FOUR BITS: Pouncey, Black, Hill, soccer commits

By Adam Silverstein
March 1, 2011

1 » Florida Gators center Mike Pouncey has heard the doubters, but he is steadfast in believing a few things: (1) he’s better than his brother, (2) staying another year at UF had a positive affect on him and (3) he will be drafted higher than No. 18 overall [where the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Maurkice Pouncey in 2010]. “I think I block in the open field better, but like I said, we’re the same player,” Mike quipped during the media session at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine. He also told CBS’s Len Pasquarelli that not being picked before his brother would cause him great anxiety. “I won’t sleep, man, if I don’t go higher than he did,” he said. “I mean, I came back to [the Gators] for a reason. It’s not like we have a bet or anything. He keeps saying, like, ‘OK, you can go 19th [overall]. That would really be good.’ But I want to be higher, if possible. That would be good, too.” Pouncey also discussed his early season struggles. “There was a lot of [focus] on the bad shotgun snaps at the beginning of the year,” he noted. “But things got a lot better as the year went on. And people were looking at one or two snaps out of the 70 that I played, and making a judgment on them. Scouts, they’re looking at all 70 plays and grading them. Judge me on a whole game. I think I can play.”

2 » Florida safety Ahmad Black is sick of having his size criticized, especially when scouts only have positive things to say about all of his other attributes. Nevertheless, he has not let the insults get him down and continues to push ahead toward his goal of starting in an NFL secondary sooner than later. “It’s frustrating,” he said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. “At the end of the day, it’s about making plays, You’ve got the big guy that’s fast and can make plays and you just want to make more plays than that guy. I get to the ball, I’m fast. At the end of the day, I get what they’re saying. But can he make plays or can he not? That’s how I live. Teams may pass on me because of my size, but the team that picks me up will definitely have something good.”

3 » Black was not the only Gators safety to depart this season; junior Will Hill left a year early to pursue his dream of playing football professionally while providing for his family. Before the combine, Hill was the subject of a feature story by the Newark Star-Ledger. In it he noted that he was concerned with how teams perceived his character. “How are they going to judge me as a person, see me as a person?” Hill said. “Character issues are a big thing in the NFL and that can make or break you, so that’s the biggest pressure.” The writer speaks with a number of people close to Hill to get a fuller picture about the type of person he is both on and off the field. The paper also spoke with ESPN’s Todd McShay, who had this to say about Hill’s future:

“He’s going to be asked a lot of questions. He’s going to have to answer them sincerely and NFL teams are going to have to feel comfortable with him. When you’re one of the top 30, 40, 50 players, teams are going to overlook more than when it comes to guys who are somewhere in the 100s, 150-250 overall — it’s like anything in life. And with Will Hill, obviously, there are some of those questions.”

4 » Florida soccer, which finished the 2010 season ranked No. 12 in the country and No. 1 in the SEC, announced Monday that 13 players will be joining the team as part of the 2011 recruiting class. Joining the Gators in the fall are forwards Tessa Andujar (San Clemente, CA) and Jillian Graff (Medina, OH); defenders Savannah Berry (Encinitas, CA), Annie Bobbitt (Fleming Island, FL), Kim Sapienza (Gainesville, FL), Lauren Silver (Delray Beach, FL) and Taylor Thigpen (Jacksonville, FL); midfielders Lindsey Cooper (Seminole, FL), Katrina Gutsche (Valrico, FL), Jennifer Larrick (Westford, MA), Havana Solaun (Gainesville, FL) and Annie Speese (Augusta, GA); and goalkeeper Taylor Burke (Medina, OH). Cooper is the sister of former Gators star wide receiver Riley Cooper, and Burke signed her National Letter of Intent with the track & field team so she will not count against soccer’s scholarship limit. For more information on the newest Florida student-athletes, click here.

8 Comments

  1. Vsherrel says:

    Cocky, delusional, anxious, failure to take responsibility, and apparently the inability to count, are all qualities I would look for in a potential first round pick. “One or two bad snaps,” get real…Also, I don’t have a firm count, but I’d be willing to bet he snapped the ball more than 70 times. (although with so many 3 and outs, who knows) He even uses the number 70 twice.
    17 or better in the bag, especially after that sweet combine interview.
    Seriously, that reads worse than the Ryan Mallet interview that was all over the news.

    • Mr2Bits says:

      Seems like Pouncey got way too caught up in Adazzio’s mythical champions grading. He will be lucky to be drafted by the 3rd round and Will Hill will be lucky to be drafted at all. Pouncey absolutely ruined any 1st round chance he had by moving to center and the product he put on the field. It wasn’t just his snaps but his blocking abilities digressed as well. Seems as though his career, blocking abilities and our record all took a dump when he moved to that position. But hey….he was a weekly champion.

      • Pouncey will be a first-round pick…not sure what you’re talking about. He’s the No. 1 rated interior lineman.

        • Mr2Bits says:

          I was only exaggerating but he definitely shouldn’t be playing center anymore. Awesome guard, not so much at center.

          • We’ll see what professional NFL position coaches and scouts think. I agreed with that sentiment all season but plenty seem convinced otherwise.

          • Ken says:

            I think that was pretty much because of the shotgun, he was getting off the snap too quickly to execute his block. Without so much shotgun in the NFL that won’t be as much of an issue, and they have been very impressed with his athleticism to make some very difficult blocking schemes look easy. 1 year at center is hardly an indicator of his upside, but the fact that he could play left guard or center is huge for teams, as those are the 2 most important positions on the line.

    • This is pretty over-the-top…he’s doing press and trying to minimize his struggles earlier in the year.

  2. Nick says:

    Dear Gator fans,
    You are instantly way better off as a team with guys like Mike Pouncey gone. An ultra-cocky guy who didn’t back it up in his play on the field, pretty much the epitome of UF’s 2010 season. And it was pure comedy gold when he told the younger players during the midseason slump to “just shut up and play”, while mishandling 3 or 4 snaps himself a game. Runner up was when he fatefully said before the Noles game the season wouldn’t be a total loss as long as they beat those chumps down the road. How did that work out for ya champ? Draft status and “scouts” opinions aside, this guy isn’t fit to carry his brother’s jock strap. Hence all the position “changes”.

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