1 » Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jaylen Watkins and New England Patriots guard Jon Halapio, both third-day selections in the 2014 NFL Draft, signed rookie contracts with their respective teams on Monday. There is already talk that Watkins may be able to push for a starting cornerback job at some point this season, though Philadelphia’s plan right now is to work him out at corner, nickel and safety in order to figure out how he can contribute the most from the get-go. Halapio is expected to start out as a reserve in New England, which is trying to strengthen its offensive line this offseason. OnlyGators.com will post full stories on each signing once it is able to obtain the detailed contract information for the players.
2 » Eagle-eye social media user and Palm Beach Post Miami Dolphins beat writer Andrew Abramson noticed an interesting piece of memorabilia in what is presumably the home of Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey – a framed jersey of former Gators and Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. The picture below features Pouncey’s daughter and was posted on Instagram by the wife of Dolphins CB Brent Grimes. Considering Pouncey has made a number of questionable decisions over the past two years – posing with a “Free Hernandez” hat after the player was arrested on murder charges, not apologizing (like his brother did) for wearing said hat, joking during the draft on Twitter about the team’s black-eye-causing hazing scandal (in which he played a large role) – the fact that he has the jersey of a man accused of three murders hanging in his house obviously raises eyebrows. Pouncey is certainly allowed to put whatever he wishes in his home – and somewhat understandably continues to support his close friend even though the association got him subpoenaed and forced to testify in front of a grand jury – but there is no question this is yet another mark on Pouncey’s overall image.
3 » The American Lacrosse Conference, widely considered the second-best league in the nation, will close its doors at the end of this season as four teams (Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State) will be leaving to create an inaugural Big Ten conference with Maryland and Rutgers in 2015. The mass departure means that the league’s other three teams – Florida, Johns Hopkins and Vanderbilt – will all need to find new homes as well. According to Lacrosse Magazine, UF and VU will become affiliate members of the Big East (replacing RU and Louisville, the latter of which is leaving for the ACC), while Hopkins will be independent for at least one season. Florida lacrosse’s new conference foes will include Cincinnati, Connecticut, Georgetown, Marquette, Temple and Villanova. The Gators are 5-1 overall against those opponents and 4-2 all-time against the Commodores.
4 » On the May 8th edition of Comedy Central‘s The Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert filed an in-depth report on a political battle taking place in Florida’s 3rd congressional district, which consists of eight entire counties and parts of four others including Alachua (and therefore parts of Gainesville and Ocala). The piece is centered on Jake Rush, a former Alachua County sheriff deputy
who proudly displays a stuffed Albert doll in his office and Gainesville attorney. The segment was filmed in New York, New York, according to The Gainesville Sun, which noted in a previous report that an Albert stuffed animal was put in place by set designers. Be sure to watch the videos below in order.