FOUR BITS: Stamper’s impact, James wants revenge, women beat UAB, Grabher signs

By Adam Silverstein
November 25, 2009

1 » All it took was a short car ride from Gainesville, FL, to Jacksonville, FL to earn senior linebacker Ryan Stamper’s commitment to the Florida Gators. Stamper wasn’t even a consideration until head coach Urban Meyer got his hands on some game film. After a quick meeting with Stamper’s mother, who was all about her son staying close to home and playing for a man like Meyer, well, the rest is history. “I decided to come to Florida,” Stamper said. “Best decision I made in my life.” Nicknamed “Old Man Stamp” and “Dad” by his teammates, the monikers are more about respect than they are his lack of speed (off the field). “”He has game speed,” sophomore safety Will Hill said. “If you’re in the game, it’s a whole different mentality. If you just run the clock in the 40, yeah, he’s slow. But if there’s a ball on the field and he’s going after a player, he’s far from slow.” Defensive coordinator Charlie Strong recognizes Stamper’s impact on the team. “He takes his job very seriously,” Strong said. “He studies the game and is one of the most dependable guys on our defense. I would go as far as to say that of all our defensive players, he’s probably been the most consistent.” Maybe that’s why Meyer said Stamper could very well coach the Gators some day.

2 » While we are talking about recruitments, senior kick returner Brandon James has a story of his own. Growing up in St. Augustine, FL, James was a Florida State Seminoles fan and hoped throughout high school that his local team would recruit him. Now all James wants is to beat his former favorites for the fourth time in his Florida career. “Definitely there’s extra motivation, especially when you know you were good enough to play somewhere,” James said. “So when you play them, you just try to do your best and just try to make plays when you are on the field. I know every time I’ve played against them since I have been here, you come out with a little bit more extra juice and a little more fired up, ready to get at it. Through the years I’ve made a couple of plays against them so I’m sure Saturday I’ll be ready to go.’ Coach Meyer is real big on beating your rivals and to be undefeated against them is real big. It’s real big for me because after growing up with Florida State my team or whatever and not getting recruited by them and now, coming to college and being undefeated against them is real good.”

Two more BITS on a women’s basketball win and lacrosse signing after the jump…

3 » While swimming & diving and men’s basketball took their shots at FSU Tuesday night, the first game taking place of the day was actually women’s basketball (2-2) taking down the UAB Blazers (1-3) 75-39 in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The Gators women snapped a two-game skid, scoring 18 of its opening 21 points on 3s and nailing a home record 11 treys overall on the evening. Each of the 12 Florida players scored and five hit shots from beyond the arc. The Gators shot 56.5 percent from the floor and 52.4 percent from three-point range. Florida returns to action on Friday against the St. John’s Red Storm in the FIU Thanksgiving Classic at 7 p.m.

4 » Krista Grabher (Vero Beach, FL) signed a National Letter of Intent on Tuesday to play lacrosse for the University of Florida. A midfielder who recorded 52 goals and 49 assists last year, Grabher was also considering the University of Vermont and Ohio State University. “I already feel like a part of the team,” she said, after receiving a framed team photo with all of the current players’ signatures last week.

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