1 » The Florida Gators announced Tuesday that Ray Graves, a former head football coach and athletic director at the school who passed away in April at the age of 96, will be honored with a decal on the team’s helmets this season. The decal reads “RG: The Bull Gator,” referring to Graves’s nickname while he was coach of the Gators from 1960-69; he led Florida to a 70-3-4 (38-19-3 SEC) record with a 4-1 mark in bowl games and four top-20 national finishes. UF was Graves’s only head coaching job. He led Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Steve Spurrier and a future NFL Defensive Player of the Year, defensive end Jack Youngblood, while with the Gators. Graves was also Florida’s coach during the invention of Gatorade, and he remained UF’s athletic director until 1979 after serving in the role for 19 years.
In honor of the late Ray Graves, we will be wearing an RG decal on our helmets for the 2015 season. pic.twitter.com/aD5x5sFJJa
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) September 1, 2015
2 » The Gators also announced Tuesday that former All-American center Bill Carr will serve as the honorary Mr. Two Bits for Florida’s season opener against the New Mexico State Aggies on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m. Carr, who played under Graves and is now 69, was also an assistant coach for the Gators (1972-74) and served as the school’s athletic director (1979-86). Current Florida AD Jeremy Foley served as Carr’s assistant AD.
3 » Through the first round of 2015 NFL cuts, only one former Gators player, wide receiver Solomon Patton (Denver Broncos) has been released by his respective team. Considering there are 48 on rosters right now, some of which are unlikely to last the entire postseason, that is quite remarkable.
4 » Speaking of Florida players in the NFL, New England Patriots defensive tackle Dominique Easley has drawn a lot of praise from head coach Bill Belichick as of late. Easley, who was selected with the No. 29 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft but barely played last season while recovering from two knee surgeries he had while with the Gators, may be in line to start for the Patriots in 2015.
“He’s an explosive player that is very disruptive,” said Belichick of Easley on WEEI. “Really, I thought his best play in the game and one of the best plays that I’ve seen from our plays was when he tackled [Cam] Newton [for a sack]. That guy is hard to get on the ground, and he really didn’t have a good shot at him. … That was an impressive play. Dominique has had a really good training camp, and I think he had a good spring and it’s been good to see him play. he’s played to a good level.”