1 » Former Florida Gators wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, currently employed by the Washington Redskins but in danger of being cut before the season, told ESPN’s Josina Anderson on Wednesday that head coach Mike Shanahan specifically told him not to report to camp and to see if his agent can find another team for him prior to the draft. “I talked to Mike Shanahan myself. He is the one that told me I don’t have to come up there until two weeks from now when they start installing the offense. So that is why I’m not at voluntary workouts,” he said. “I am working out in Florida now though. Shanahan told me that I can take this time and let my agent see if he can find a better situation for me. So they are pretty much telling me that myself or Santana Moss are going to have to go. I want people to know that I told Shanahan myself that I want to be a Redskin, but if I can’t then of course there are options I would like.”
2 » In the latest Rivals150 for the 2013 basketball recruiting class released on Monday, Florida gained a five-star commitment and top-10 overall prospect. Point guard Kasey Hill (Clermont, FL), listed as a four-star recruit and the No. 27 player overall a few weeks ago, has added another star to his designation and moved up 19 spots to No. 8 overall. Teammates with UF commitment and 2012 four-star shooting guard Michael Frazier (Clermont, FL) at both Montverde Academy and on the Florida Rams AAU team, Hill has been turning a lot of heads recently with his play.
3 » Speaking of basketball recruiting, the Gators are still waiting to hear a decision from five-star 2012 power forward Anthony Bennett (Henderson, NV), who is still meeting with coaches and taking visits before making a decision in early May. In the meantime, head coach Billy Donovan has been in hot pursuit of center Bradley Hayes (Jacksonville, FL). Unrated and raw, Hayes’s size (6’11”, 250 lbs.) and potential has intrigued Florida’s coach. The Gators have yet to offer him a scholarship as the team wants to hear a final decision before doing so, but it has been widely reported that Hayes likely favors staying in-state and playing for UF. He told SNY’s Adam Zagoria on Wednesday that Florida is in his final four along with Connecticut, Georgetown and Texas A&M. “I like their coach,” he said of the Gators. “I like coach straight up. He wants the best, and I want to be the best.” Donovan is set to watch Hayes play in Pittsburgh, PA over the weekend.
4 » South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier will be introducing a proposal at the upcoming Southeastern Conference spring meetings. According to SI.com’s Andy Staples, Spurrier plans to suggest that the SEC decide its division champions based on division record rather than conference record. “Your division champ should be decided on division games. Last year, it wasn’t fair for Tennessee and Florida,” he said. “They both played LSU and Alabama. Us and Georgia didn’t. So, us or Georgia almost had to win the division simply because of the schedule.” USC went undefeated in the SEC East in 2011. “It probably won’t pass because I made it,” he joked.
5 » Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer appeared on ESPN‘s SportsCenter on Wednesday and spoke candidly about New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow and defensively about the recent Sporting News article concerning his time at Florida. “I actually talked to Tim [Tuesday] night,” he said. “When Tim first came to us, Chris Leak was our quarterback. The ability to play two guys that are very different at what they do causes defense a lot of problems. Tim has a unique skill that not many people have. From everything he tells me, he can’t be more excited to be in New York, play for Coach [Rex] Ryan and be with Sanchez and the rest of those players. He’s about as positive as I’ve ever heard him in pro football.” He was not as forthcoming regarding the article that inferred the Gators were out-of-control. “I’m going to move on from that article. It was a three-month investigation that said that we treated players better than other players or something like that,” he quipped. “There’s probably a lot of truth to that – that we did. If you did go to class, you did really commit yourself to excellence. As every program that I’ve ever been a part of, I wouldn’t say preferential treatment, but you get a lot of access to things, you get to move off campus. I made that point – maybe less study hours. I was very proud of our time at Florida. There is not an article that’s going to tarnish what we did down there with our coaching staff and players.”
Meyer may not think his tenure ended poorly but Andy Marlette of the Pensacola News Journal conveys his own opinion in the cartoon below.
6 » Fashion photographer Arnaldo Anaya-Lucca recently tweeted a preview of his 2012 London Olympics campaign for Ralph Lauren featuring a pair of former Florida student-athletes – soccer player Heather Mitts and swimmer Ryan Lochte.