FOUR BITS: Tebow and NFL, Haden, Dunlap, Elam

By Adam Silverstein
April 13, 2010

1 » Just keeping you informed: The NFL released Monday a list of 16 players who have confirmed invitations to the 2010 NFL Draft on April 22. Among them were Florida Gators cornerback Joe Haden but not quarterback Tim Tebow – who has yet to decide either way and has not provided the league with an answer as of press time. Tebow told OGGOA on March 27 that his family’s presence may be a deciding factor. “I don’t want to just celebrate that with people that I don’t really know and haven’t really been around just to be there in New York,” he said. “I want to be around my close friends and my family.”

2 » Speaking of Haden and Tebow, the latter’s presence at Florida certainly shaped the former’s college career and professional future – as the story goes. Because Tebow was cemented as the team’s quarterback, head coach Urban Meyer chose to move Haden to defense upon his arrival as a freshman. “At first, I just wanted to play,” Haden said. “I enrolled in the spring, so I had a lot of time to adjust. He moved me to corner, something I never did before, but I had coach [Chuck] Heater, and he said, ‘As long as you go hard, as long as you run as fast as you can, just tackle, toughness, you’ll be able to play.’ That’s what I did, and they let me start as a freshman.”

Where might Carlos Dunlap end up and is Matt Elam ready for major playing time?

3 » NESN has been profiling a number of players who the New England Patriots may be interested in selecting with their No. 22 overall pick. Gators defensive end Carlos Dunlap is one of those players and could go a long way to filling the void left by DE Richard Seymour after the team traded him to the Oakland Raiders last year. “Dunlap would have a pretty good chance to earn a starting job on the Patriots’ line, and he has the talent to make immediate contributions. If Dunlap’s head is right, he could be a star in the NFL, perhaps right away.” There is no doubt a vote of confidence from Meyer would go a long way in New England head coach Bill Belichick‘s book.

4 » Meyer has already penciled in five-star freshman safety Matt Elam as a starter in the team’s nickel and dime packages come this fall, but the youngster knows he has much to accomplish in order to earn that job when the time comes. “I’m working my tail off and I still have a lot of work to do,” Elam told The Gainesville Sun. “I still have to work hard to get in the mix, compete and get ready to play. […] [The Orange & Blue Debut was] just a little taste. When 90,000 [fans] kicks in, that’ll be the best feeling ever. It’ll be like Christmas when I was eight years old.”

2 Comments

  1. Mike says:

    Adam,

    Knowing that you’re a Yankee fan you should never acknowledge anything regarding NESN. Just label them as the other four letter network. Go Gators! Go Rays!

  2. Mike- Haha. It was tough to write.

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