From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share with our readers. In those instances, we present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.
» Former Florida Gators forward/center David Lee of the Golden State Warriors was the subject of a piece by Harvey Araton of The New York Times on Monday. Lee, who has spent his whole career with the New York Knicks after they drafted him coming out of college, has a special bond with the team and has been the face of the franchise over the last few years. Read about how he went out of his way to represent the team (even after being traded to Golden State) at a funeral for longtime NBA and Madison Square Garden security official Scott Jaffer and how he will always be remembered in New York for being such an upstanding person.
» Interviewed by the NFL Network about his throwing mechanics, San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers went through the motions with some of the studio analysts on Monday. Because of the subject matter, Rivers was asked about Denver Broncos rookie QB Tim Tebow’s motion, and the veteran offered advice and insight into what Tebow may and may not need to do going forward.
» Florida should be excited about 2011 five-star shooting guard commitment Brad Beal (St. Louis, MO) – he could be the best player the team has signed since guard Nick Calathes. Then again, with one of the top players in the country considering his future in a different sport, there is a slight cause for concern. With his father and two brothers all having played collegiate football, Beal tells USA Today that he is “still trying to decide” which sport to play. “My brothers, especially my younger brothers, want me to play football so we can be on the same team,” Beal said. “But my mom always tells me, ‘You don’t have the body for football, so you have to stick to basketball.’” Don’t get it twisted – his future is on the court – not the field. Having a former Gators star like Lee (who also graduated from Chaminade High School) in his ear certainly helps. “We don’t have that much in common because we play different positions,” Beal said. “He came back to visit the school, and I talk to him during lunch period. He gave me input on the game.”
» While Beal is deciding what sport to play, four-star cornerback Nick Waisome (Groveland, FL) is just trying to figure out what school to end. According to the Orlando Sentinel’s Chris Hays, Waisome now considers his final five to Florida, Florida State, LSU, Georgia and South Carolina; he plans to decide in August.
» Updating a previous item, four-star wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (Belle Glade, FL) still considers the Gators to be the leader for his services, even after having Miami Hurricanes commitment four-star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (Miami, FL) in his ear during the Nike 7-on-7 Championship last Saturday. “Florida is still in the lead,” Benjamin told SoFLAfootball.com. “I like Florida and what they showed me, how they would use me. I like Miami too and Florida State, so all the Florida teams, they’re really up there. But I like Florida.”
Three more BITES on Meyer, Smith and Werner…after the break!
blowhard columnist/radio personality Paul Finebaum interviewed Florida head football coach Urban Meyer last week. Skipping all of the backhanded compliments where he states Meyer surprised him with his “candor, attitude and outlook” (not like Finebaum gave him much of a chance by slandering him every opportunity he’s had over the last two years), the host does get an interesting quote out of him about whether or not he misses new USC Trojans head coach Lane Kiffin. “Oooh,” Meyer said. “I gotta not answer that or it’ll be on the front page of USA Today tomorrow. I have a lot of respect for the new guy at Tennessee. I never knew [Kiffin]. I don’t know much about him. But I have spoken to Coach [Derek] Dooley quite a bit, something I haven’t done with a Tennessee coach in a long while.”
» Former Gators running back Emmitt Smith, who happens be the NFL’s all-time leading rusher (among other accomplishments), told the Victoria Advocate that he believes his record will be challenged at some point. “I do believe it will be approached,” Smith said. “I would be naive to think that it could be not approached, because, hey, no one actually thought that Walter Payton’s record could be approached. […] I’m not going to sit here and tell you the record is not going to be approached or broken, but I do know this: It’s going to take an awful lot to get there, because I know what it took for me to get there. It’s not easy.”
» Bet you never thought you would see the name Dan Werner here again, did you? Wrong! According to the Asbury Park Press, Werner was back home in New Jersey playing in the Verison Fios Jersey Shore Basketball League when a reporter caught up with him. The former Florida forward explained that he is attempting to play basketball in Italy by receiving dual-citizenship, which will allow a club team to sign him without using up one of their slots reserved for Americans. “We’re still working on it,” Werner said. “We’re still trying to get a hold of one last document, my great-grandfather’s birth certificate. So, hopefully that works out and we can make it happen. There’s no offers on the table yet, but my agents are confident there will be.”
» Noted Canes fan and rap artist “Uncle Luke” Luther Campbell has some advice for Miami Heat players Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh: “Do not wear a Florida Gators hat. With all do respect to your new teammates Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller, you guys don’t want to be pulling a Tom Brady, who wore a Yankees cap in Boston. Sporting Gator gear in Miami will get you [bleeped] up by Hurricanes fans.”