SIX BITS: Cassell, Elway, Tebow, Crowder, Haden

By Adam Silverstein
July 25, 2010

1 » On June 24, three-star linebacker recruit Rahim Cassell (Lakewood, CA) committed to the Florida Gators; unfortunately for him, the team did not recognize his verbal promise and did not count him as a member of its 2011 recruiting class. Friday, Cassell reiterated again to the Orlando Sentinel that he is committed to the Gators, stating that coaches simply wanted to see him perform in person before bringing him on board. However, there remain conflicting reports that Cassell is still not a part of the recruiting class – yet. So while his intentions are known, Florida’s are not. In all likelihood, the coaching staff is waiting to make sure they have a spot for him after higher ranked players decide where they will be attending school next year.

UPDATE: Cassell, for the third time now, claims that the coaches have accepted his commitment. He told the Sentinel that a phone call set for Sunday night may help clarify why there have been so many mixed messages.

2 » Legendary Denver Broncos Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway has been supportive of former Florida QB Tim Tebow ever since his team selected him with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. At a golf tournament on Thursday, Elway opened up more about Tebow. “The thing about Tebow is they’re focusing too much on his release,” Elway said. “As long as he can get it in a timely manner, I think he has plenty of arm there. […] He’s not going to change his release. He may get better. Obviously, by throwing you get more accurate and more accurate and you may shorten it up as time goes on but if it’s long and quick, that’s OK.”

Four more BITS on Tim Tebow, Channing Crowder, Joe Haden, Jabar Gaffney…and an extra BIT on recruit Curt Maggitt…after the break!

3 » Also talking about Tebow on Thursday was Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels, who was interviewed by CBS Sports. “He understands that he’s got a lot of improvements to make and a long way to go to be exactly what you want a NFL quarterback to be in terms of experience and all those things,” McDaniels said. “Tim’s got some unique skills and there’s certainly no boundary on what we may try to do with any of our skill players, and Tim may allow us to do some things a little differently.” Plenty more was said, and you can read it here if you so choose.

4 » Miami Dolphins LB Channing Crowder has had an up-and-down career in South Florida, but he is entering the 2010 season with a desire to return to his old, crazy and dominating ways. “I’ve got to be me,” Crowder told The Miami Herald. “It’s been too long since I’ve been myself on that field. […] I think this should be a big year for me. With the help they’ve brought in Karlos Dansby, with [defensive coordinator] Mike Nolan’s arrival, I want this to be the year that I go out there and do something special. […] I didn’t talk any (expletive) last year. Now, I’m going to play like I used to. I was trying to be a nice guy last year. Rah, rah, rah. Let’s be great. Not anymore.”

5 » With questions recently being raised about whether or not he can win a starting job with the Cleveland Browns this season, former Gators cornerback Joe Haden is out to prove his doubters wrong. “I just want to show the coaches I can play, honestly,” Haden said. “In training camp, I’m just going out there and trying to prove that I deserve to be here and deserve to play. Of course, I’d love to start. Being a football player, you want to be out there on the field. You want to be a starter.” Head coach Eric Mangini is impressed with Haden’s work ethic already. “I really like the way that he’s approached things,” Mangini said.

6 » When you think about a former Florida playmaker trying to contribute offensively in Denver these days, your thoughts immediate shift to Tebow; however, wide receiver Jabar Gaffney posted a career-high 732 yards last season for the Broncos and is looking to follow it up with another strong showing this year. “I’m looking at it the way I’ve always looked at it, going in like I was the No. 1,” Gaffney told The Denver Post. “Just waiting for my opportunity to make more catches, have more impact, more chances to make more plays. I’m a team-first guy; that’s what keeps me around. So you just embrace the opportunities you have. If it happens to be more catches, more opportunities, more balls coming your way, then you try to make the best of it and be ready for it.”

Extra BIT » Four-star defensive end Curt Maggitt (West Palm Beach, FL) has more offers than he can count and is being heavily pursued by a number of the Gators’ rivals. According to the Palm Beach Post, Maggitt has Florida slightly ahead of other schools in terms of where he is leaning. “I like them,” he said. “It’s a great school. I’m not really looking into it too much right now, but I like the Gators. The Gators have an advantage a little bit because I’ve been there so many times and I know the coaches so well.” There should be no doubt that safety Matt Elam, tight end Gerald Christian and wide receiver/kick returner Robert Clark – all former teammates of Maggitt at Dwyer High School – are in his ear, and he has already learned at least one thing from Elam. “I saw what Matt was doing and that’s what I’m trying to avoid,” Maggitt said. “I don’t want to commit early and then change my mind. I just want to pick one school that’s best for me.”

One Comment

  1. vsherrel says:

    Id say there is a zero percent chance this guy gets a scholarship offer. Sounds like he was “on the radar,” but his handling of the situation must be a huge red flag for the staff.

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