Gators lose two for season
It may be two weeks into the season, but Florida has already lost two starters – one for the season – as well as a potential future starter after just one game.
Head coach Will Muschamp announced Tuesday that freshman cornerback J.C. Jackson will miss the remainder of the 2014 campaign after re-aggravating a shoulder injury he brought with him to UF from high school.
“J.C. Jackson will have surgery on his shoulder next week, a labrum issue that had in high school that was repaired and continues to slip out,” Muschamp explained.
“He possibly could continue to push through the season, but we felt like at his young age, [it makes sense to] just try to get it fixed and move forward. A guy who was certainly was going to help on special teams and at corner [and] is going to be outstanding player. Disappointed for him, but we’ve got to move forward.”
Jackson was expected to compete for a starting job in the young Gators secondary this season. Instead, he joins redshirt senior tight end Jake McGee on the sideline. Unlike McGee, who has yet to decide whether to continue his college career or jump to the pros, Jackson will definitely take a redshirt for the 2014 season.
Florida will also be without junior starting left tackle D.J. Humphries for at least its next two games. Humphries, who chipped a bone in his ankle, is expected to return after UF’s first off week.
Demarcus Robinson: New, improved, matured
Plenty has contributed to the maturation of sophomore wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, who after finally being cleared of behavioral suspensions and off-the-field issues broke out on Saturday with team- and career-highs of six receptions and 123 yards (along with his first career touchdown). It appears as if it all started with Robinson finally becoming accustomed to his new surroundings.
“It’s very difficult being away from your family which you’ve been with for 19 years or 18 years. Being with your mom, being with somebody taking care of you and looking over you, then being on your own and making decision on your own that you’ve never had to make before. It was kind of difficult,” he admitted on Tuesday.
Others have stepped up to help Robinson learn to carry the burden of being on his own. Second-year cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, Robinson’s classmate and summer roommate, played a big role. Mature beyond his years, Hargreaves succeeded as a freshman where Robinson failed; he stayed out of trouble, in the coaches’ good graces – and most importantly – on the field.
“Very good guy. He helped me the most, I’d say, through my down time, through all the upsets and all the good times. He’s just been there. He’s a good teammate,” said Robinson of the impact Hargreaves has made on him.
Muschamp and offensive coordinator Kurt Roper have also been in Robinson’s corner. Muschamp has praised Robinson’s renewed dedication, often referring to him as a good guy at heart, while Roper’s new offense as raised Robinson’s spirits.
However, those connected to him at Florida were not the only ones helping Robinson out over the summer. On Tuesday, he explained that nine-year NFL veteran wideout Marcus Robinson – who just happens to be his uncle – worked with him throughout the summer on his route running and catch radius.
“He taught me a lot of things like catching, just small details like how to catch the ball when it’s above you, when it’s below you,” he said. “Just different small details that he teaches me.”
Roper, in particular, has noticed.
“The ball doesn’t have to be put right on his body for him to make a play. He’s got the ability to extend high, low, wide or whatever to make plays. He’s a guy that can truly make plays with his hands. He doesn’t need his body to make plays,” Roper commented. “He’s obviously a gifted, powerful, fast, long athlete.”
In the end, Robinson is responsible for his own success or failure, a concept the now seems to be able to wrap his head around.
“[I’m] just being more humble, more mature about things. Being more smart about my decisions and the choices that I make,” he said. “It’s OK to have a little swag…as long as you don’t do too much swagging.”
Not Only Gators: Adam Silverstein
Avid readers of this website may have noticed that our weekly content, such as the coaches’ press conferences, and news tidbits have been posted on a delayed schedule over the first two days of this week. Well, there’s a reason.
Just one month shy of five years from the day I resumed my sports journalism career by launching OnlyGators.com, I have started a brand new gig as an editor and producer for CBSSports.com. It is an incredible opportunity, one that I believe will be the beginning of many great things to come for me on both a personal and professional level.
The good news? OnlyGators.com will remain open, and I will continue running the website just as I have from day one. The content will stay fresh and unique with our standard mix of original reporting, news coverage, team coverage, commentary and aggregation. There will also be some big-time improvements and special surprises coming very soon, and I guarantee you will be thrilled when you see what I have in store for you.
bad not-so-good news? On a professional level, OnlyGators.com must become a second priority, which means an altered posting schedule as well as some yet-to-be-decided changes. Be assured that the quality and quantity of content here will not suffer, though there will certainly be an adjustment period as I work out my personal schedule.
Trust me, the best is yet to come for OnlyGators.com. I hope to be able to show you what I am alluding to either on or before our fifth anniversary on October 1.
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The Top 5 List
From the home office in Wahoo, Nebraska…
Best Howard Stern Show guests, all-time, unranked:
1. Joan Rivers
2. Chris Rock
3. Sam Kinison
4. Tracy Morgan
5. Pamela Anderson/Carmen Electra/Denise Richards/Jenna Jameson
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