1 » With renovations to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium almost consistently occurring since 2003, it was only a matter of time before the University of Florida also decided to make some changes inside the bowl. In June the Florida Gators completely removed the playing surface and installed a new field of Celebration Bermuda grass, a renovation that takes place once every 7-10 years, according to Florida’s senior associate athletics director of internal affairs Chip Howard. OGGOA learned late Tuesday evening that what is being painted on that new grass will also be changing. According to information obtained by this website, the Gators will be removing the block “F” from midfield and replacing it with a Gator Head, the school’s primary athletic logo. Additionally, Florida will replace the Gator Head logos that were previously found on the 35-yard lines with the slanted “F” that is steadily being used more and more including in the end zones.
UF has also begun the process of changing the font adorning The Swamp‘s famous orange walls (see the picture above from July 27). It is believed that all four will retain their respective sayings – “This is…The Swamp,” “This is…Gator Country,” “Home of the Florida Gators” – in the new lettering. Making adjustments to the walls and field are not new for the Gators. The block “F” at midfield at one time replaced the intertwined “UF” that is still used occasionally by the baseball team. The walls were previously painted blue with orange letters in a different font prior to being repainted orange with the lettering that many have grown used to over the last few decades. One of the walls also used to read “This is…Florida Field” before former head coach Steve Spurrier coined the term “The Swamp” in the 1990s and the school decided to make a change.
Read three more BITS of Gators news…after the break!
2 » After a long summer in which he was forced to stay home instead of enroll at UF like he had originally planned, five-star defensive end Jonathan Bullard (Shelby, NC) is on his way to Gainesville, FL to join the Florida football team, multiple sources told InsidetheGators.com this week. Bullard was scheduled to receive his official academic clearance from the NCAA on Tuesday so he could join the team immediately and work with the Gators during the first day of practice on Friday. The second-highest rated member of Florida’s 2012 recruiting class, Bullard plays a position in which the Gators are looking to build depth and find explosive talent. He could contribute right away if he is able to pick-up the defense quick enough.
3 » As the most prominent addition to Florida’s coaching staff, offensive coordinator Brent Pease has understandably received plenty of press this offseason – from former teammate and accomplished quarterback Warren Moon having plenty of kind things to say about him to the school’s website covering his recent African adventure. In the end what matters is whether or not Pease can coach offense at a top-tier Southeastern Conference program; that is something he tried to convey at a recent talk he had with members of the Titletown Gator Club. Among some of the tidbits he told those in attendance, Pease explained his decision to call plays from upstairs rather than on the field. “I want a sterile environment where I can really focus and see things,” he said.
4 » Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan sat down with Andy Katz last week for a one-on-one interview about the turnaround his program has had over the last two seasons. Below is a portion of that interview, which aired late Friday nigth on ESPN.