The Silver Lining for Wednesday, September 3

By Adam Silverstein
September 3, 2014

He comes from France

All four senior basketball players that left the Florida Gators last offseason have now found professional homes despite none being selected in the 2014 NBA Draft.

First was center Patric Young, who worked in the NBA Summer League with the New Orleans Pelicans (which guaranteed him a spot in training camp). By the time Summer League had commenced, Young agreed to a standard two-year, $1.35 million rookie contract with the franchise and is expected to be a contributor this season.

Point guard Scottie Wilbekin, who spent the Summer League playing for two different teams, was unable to find a home in the NBA but instead got a soft landing spot overseas. Wilbekin inked a contract with the Cairns Taipans of the Australian Basketball League and is already in Australia working out with his team.


Forward Casey Prather also saw some Summer League action but was not picked up by his team either. It took nearly a month for him to get another opportunity, but the Phoenix Suns last week invited him to join their training camp with an chance to earn a roster spot for the 2014-15 season.

To this point, F Will Yegeute has had a very quiet offseason…until Wednesday when STB Le Havre of the French Pro A league announced it has agreed to a one-year deal with Yegeute.

Born in Pessac, France, before moving with his family to Côte d’Ivoire, Yeguete now has the opportunity to return to his native country as a professional basketball player after four successful years at Florida.


Photo Credit: STBLeHavre.com

Early draft prospects

The 2015 NFL Draft is still eight months away, but with college football season starting last week, experts are already beginning to weigh in on the drafability of players throughout the country. Below are some preseason thoughts on a number of current Florida players from CBSSports.com’s Rob Rang and DraftInsider.net’s Tony Pauline as the Gators get set to play their first game of the season next Saturday.

Junior defensive end Dante Fowler, Jr.
Rang: “The value Fowler provides lies with his versatility. … Fowler’s light feet and fluid athleticism belie his powerful, compact frame and make him a tough matchup. … To take the next step, Fowler must continue to get stronger at the point of attack and show improved recognition, as too often he’d charge into the backfield only to allow the ball-carrier to slip past him.”
Pauline “The only Gator prospect who really excites me. An explosive college end, he’s a disruptive force who seemingly has enough speed and athleticism to get consideration as a 3-4 outside linebacker. I presently stamp him as a second rounder but Fowler could move into the top 32 if he continues to develop.”

Junior offensive tackle D.J. Humphries
Rang: “Humphries is already generating buzz in the scouting community as a blindside tackle with exciting upside. … Obviously, Humphries will have to show greater durability in 2014, but his talent is obvious. Highly athletic, Humphries is quick off the snap and shows impressive balance and lateral agility in pass protection. … With the expected weight and strength gain of another year in Florida’s conditioning program, Humphries should develop into an all-conference tackle and quite possibly a high NFL draft pick.”

Redshirt senior defensive tackle Leon Orr
Rang: “He has shown flashes of the form that led to his hype but has struggled with various ailments throughout his career and hasn’t yet put it all together. … Orr looks the part of an NFL defensive tackle, sporting a broad-shouldered frame, long arms and good overall musculature. Orr isn’t nearly as explosive off the snap as his lighter, quicker linemates but complements their burst with his size and strength, serving as a block-eater in this scheme. He has a tendency to raise his pads to high and allow opponents to drive him off the ball but can hold the point when he stays low.”

Redshirt senior OT Chaz Green
Rang: “While scouts will want to investigate Green’s troubling struggles with durability, he sports an athletic frame with long arms and light feet and could re-emerge as a legitimate draftable commodity with a return to health.”
Pauline: “Several scouts have given Green a draftable grade, albeit in the late rounds. The senior has the underlying skill to play on Sunday’s but has shown little consistency the past two seasons. He’s one of those players with the ability to jump up boards and catch people by surprise.”

Redshirt senior tight end Jake McGee
Rang: “McGee possesses a long, athletic frame and enough speed to challenge down the seam. He has good hand-eye coordination and can make the tough, contested grab but needs to add strength and experience as a blocker after much of his success at Virginia came while split out in the slot.”

Redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel
Rang: “Though he’s struggled with consistency and durability to this point, Driskel possess many of the attributes that fit in with the NFL — including courage in the pocket, a snappy release, good velocity and the athleticism to avoid pressure. … Driskel has been hit a lot at Florida and has developed happy feet as a result. He needs to show better spatial awareness and anticipation of defenders closing in but with two more years of eligibility remaining, Driskel still has time to develop his undeniable tools.”

Redshirt senior center Max Garcia
Rang: “Garcia’s broad, powerful frame gives him the appearance of a traditional guard than center but he plays with proper knee bend, has long arms … [showing] above-average balance for [his] size.”

Redshirt senior linebacker Neiron Ball
Pauline: “A linebacker who flashes skill in pursuit as well as the ability to make plays in space. Slightly undersized, Ball projects on the weak side at the next level.”

Not Only Gators: Offensive line friendship and restroom etiquette

On Tuesday, Florida offensive coordinator Kurt Roper related something funny once said to him once by former Tennessee head coach Phil Fulmer, who was explaining how offensive linemen need to be on the exact same page in order for a team to be successful.

“You really want those offensive linemen knowing their role, knowing where they fit. When they walk into a restroom and there’s five urinals, the center goes to the middle one, the right guard goes to the second one [from the right],” he explained.

The concept got me thinking about the importance of urinal etiquette and searching for an infographic I once saw that clearly illustrated exactly which urinal a man should choose based on a variety of different scenarios. Though I was unable to find that exact graphic, this one from ICanHasInternets.com certainly does the trick.

For what it’s worth, junior left tackle D.J. Humphries explained that the Gators’ offensive line has indeed formed a tight bond off the field and outside of the restroom.

“Most of the time we’ll come to somebody else’s house and watch film or something like that. We’ve been hanging out. We really like each other a lot. That’s the main thing. We all like being around each other. We all like just sitting in the O-line room, chilling and talking,” he said.

This Week’s Movie Trailer

Mortdecai:

The Top 5 List
From the home office in Wahoo, Nebraska…

Best “Rocky” films, ranked:
1. Rocky
2. Rocky II
3a. Rocky IV
3b. Rocky Balboa (VI)
5. Rocky III

Thanks for reading. Leave your comments below.

5 Comments

  1. Will W says:

    No Jonathan Bullard on NFL scouts radars?

  2. SW FL Joe says:

    Love the “Conehead” thing Yeguete has going on. Nice France reference too Adam. Maintain low tones.

  3. Robin says:

    Even THO I’m not a gator fan my gatorboys Patric, Scottie, Casey and Will they are trying to make it.

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