From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share – too much to fit into one of our truncated BITS segments. In these instances, or when stories fall through the cracks, we try to catch them with Gator Bites. Enjoy.
» Remember back in April when Florida Gators forwards junior Erik Murphy and redshirt freshman Cody Larson were arrested for allegedly trying to break into a car? Since then the felony chargers were reduced to misdemeanors for both parties and Murphy accepted a plea deal that netted him fines, community service and a few other minor penalties. Larson’s situation, on the other hand, is not even close to resolved. The Gainesville Sun’s Kevin Brockway reports that he will have a Oct. 31 sentencing date to determine what legal action will be taken against him. He had previously entered a not guilty plea but could change it on the day of sentencing. As individual Florida basketball drills begin this week and practice starts on Oct. 15, according to Brockway, Larson’s status remains up in the air. The duo is currently indefinitely suspended from the team, though the expectation is that Murphy will be reinstated now that his legal situation is settled.
» Gators baseball received a commitment Wednesday evening as outfielder Max White chose to continue his career in Gainesville, FL. Also a left-handed pitcher, White is recovering from shoulder surgery and chose Florida over LSU, Central Florida, N.C. State, Maryland and North Florida, according to the Sun. “I have always wanted to play for Florida,” he told the paper. “To be in the situation where all of my hard work could possibly lead me to play for them — that is a great feeling. I just want to keep at it and I especially do not want them UF to see me slack off.”
» Florida head football coach Will Muschamp is known for his fiery demeanor on the sidelines. This fan video shot from the season opener against Florida Atlantic shows a mini-tantrum he threw during the game.
Read the rest of the Gator Bites (and watch four videos) after the break!
» After being let go in the final round of offseason cuts by the Philadelphia Eagles (the only team he has been signed to as a professional), former Gators tight end Cornelius Ingram found a spot on the practice squad with the Detroit Lions and could work his way onto the active roster if he remains healthy and can be productive in the passing game.
» Former Florida running back Emmitt Smith is out promoting his new book – Game On: Find Your Purpose – Pursue Your Dream – and will be signing autographs at the University of Florida Bookstore on Sept. 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The NFL’s all-time leading rusher and the best player at his position to ever suit up for the Gators, Smith was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and hopes his book teaches readers how to pursue their dreams.
» OGGOA reader Liam J. has been hard at work putting together some videos featuring outstanding plays from former Florida players in the NFL and NBA. Embedded below are both of them. Be sure to visit the YouTube page and leave him some comments.
» Last Friday, then-No. 13 Gators soccer attempted to rebound from their first loss of the season and did so in inspiring fashion. Florida (4-1) defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-2) 3-0 at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville. Freshman goalkeeper Taylor Burke notched three saves as junior midfielder/forward Erika Tymark led the way offensively with her second (33’) and third (67’) goals of the season. Tymrak also lent an assist on sophomore F Taylor Travis’s goal at 56’. UF moved up to No. 9 in the top 25 following the victory and will square off against No. 5 Florida State on Friday.
» OGGOA has been equally delinquent covering No. 9 Gators volleyball, which had an outstanding three-victory weekend at the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational in Gainesville before dropping their first contest of the season on Monday. Florida (6-1) topped the Jacksonville Dolphins (2-4) and Florida Atlantic Owls (0-2) on Friday, adding a win against the Clemson Tigers (4-2) on Saturday to start the season a perfect 18-0 in sets played. Then Monday and the No. 19 Iowa State Cyclones rolled around. The Gators dropped consecutive sets 25-19, 29-27 to the Cyclones before rallying back with a pair of 25-17, 25-18 victories. In the fifth and final set, Florida tied it up 12-12 but eventually fell 16-14 to lose their first match of the year. UF will participate in the NIKE Big Four Classic against Texas (Friday) and either Penn State or Stanford (Saturday).
» Former Gators defensive lineman Gerard Warren, a former No. 3 overall draft pick and 11-year NFL veteran who spent last season with the New England Patriots, was cut by the team earlier this week. There is a good chance, however, that New England will re-sign Warren after week one action when veteran contracts are no longer guaranteed. He performed admirably with the Patriots in 2010, registering 28 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 16 games (10 starts).
» Florida lacrosse, which won the ALC title, contended for a national title and ended the 2011 campaign 16-4 in just its second year of existence, earned the No. 2 spot from Lacrosse Magazine in its preseason rankings released Wednesday. A young team built from the ground up, the Gators will return all of their starters and begin playing again on Sept. 30, when their 2011 exhibition season starts. The 2012 regular season will begin in February and lasts through April with the postseason starting in May.
» Former Florida head football coach Urban Meyer will headline Florida Gulf Coast’s “Night at the Nest” Gala on Dec. 4 at Alico Arena. The largest fundraising event of the year for the university’s athletic program, it consists of cocktails, dinner, a live & silent auction and guest speaker with tables of 10 going for $10,000. Meyer’s daughter Gigi is a starting freshman setter on FGCU’s volleyball team, and he has been making it a point to get out to as many of her games as possible this year.
» A pair of Gators excelled in South Korea on Sunday, taking home the gold and bronze medals in the men’s triple jump at the IAAF World Championships. Junior Christian Taylor leapt 17.96m/58-11 to win the event, and former Florida jumper Will Claye finished third with a 17.50m/57-05 jump. You can watch their medal-winning jumps below: