1 » Chicago Bears linebacker Jon Bostic did not have the easiest rookie season as he was thrust into a starting role before he was truly ready for it due to an injury suffered by veteran D.J. Williams. Bostic showed his inexperience (on the NFL level) at middle linebacker and struggled at times during the season, so much so that with Williams set to return, Bostic was moved to strong side linebacker where he was set to compete for the starting gig this offseason. However, according to John Mullin of CSN Chicago, Bostic has been splitting time with Williams as the first-team middle linebacker during organized team activities and is “making a strong impression” in the early going. “Bostic has significantly raised the stakes [of the starting competition] despite training camp not starting until late July,” wrote Mullin. “Bostic is generally considered to have the most pure explosive, sudden speed of all the linebackers [on the roster].”
2 » Former Florida Gators forward Casey Prather spent Tuesday with the Charlotte Hornets with the incoming rookie taking part in a workout at the team facility just one day after doing the same for the Memphis Grizzlies. Prather, projected to either be a second-round selection in the 2014 NBA Draft or go undrafted, has also visited the Phoenix Suns (June 4), Miami Heat (May 29) and Philadelphia 76ers (May 25). “I just embrace the opportunity, embrace the process. I come from a good coaching background with Coach [Billy] Donovan. They always taught me to just stay in the moment and enjoy whatever you’re doing because … we’re fortunate to be int his situation,” Prather told the media after his workout in Charlotte.
I just look at it as another opportunity [to prove myself].”
3 » On the same day a full renovation of the Stephen C. O’Connell Center was approved, the University Athletic Association’s Board of Directors on Tuesday gave the thumbs up to kick off a planned $25 million redesign of Florida’s Office of Student Life. The facility, used daily by Gators student-athletes for education, nutrition and relaxation, will expand by 45,000 square feet to 80,000 square feet. It will feature brand new computer labs, tutoring rooms, auditoriums and offices for staff including nutritionists, trainers and sports medicine specialists. “Our goal, our dream, our vision is that this will be a facility that is second to none in the country,” athletic director Jeremy Foley told Florida’s school website. “We want it to be cutting edge, something where our student-athletes come here on recruiting trips and go, ‘Wow. They talk about this being a top-10 academic institution, look at this facility. It’s pretty evident that they are. … I think this facility will showcase our commitment [to the education of student-athletes].” The board approved $1.75 million for a fleshed-out design of the new OSL, the first step in a long process to get it built.
4 » The highlight of the Gainesville Regional, at least as far as Gators baseball was concerned, was Florida successfully pulling off the hidden ball trick during its opening game. Sophomore shortstop Richie Martin held the ball secretly in his glove while freshman right-handed pitcher Logan Shore delayed by re-tying his shoe, causing the base runner to get fidgety and leave the bag for a second. That is when Martin made the tag and recorded the out.