1 » The Florida Gators football team held its annual team banquet on Saturday. Awards were handed out for everything from on-field performance to working hard in practice and how courageous a particular player may have proven to be during the season. Below are the 2014 award winners along with some explanations and details.
Coaches’ Choice Awards
President’s Academic Award: Jeff Driskel, Mike Mcneely
* Third-straight year that McNeely won the award.
Gene Elleson Community Service Award: Max Garcia, Mark Herndon
* Second-straight year that Herndon won the award.
Iron Gator Strength and Conditioning Award: Clay Burton, Hunter Joyer, Max Garcia, Antonio Morrison
Chris Patrick Courage Award: Alex Anzalone, Gideon Ajagbe, Andre Debose, Chaz Green, Matt Jones, Antonio Morrison, Jeremi Powell
Most Valuable Offensive Scout Team Award: R.J. Raymond, Dakota Wilson |
Defensive: Ryan Parrish | Special Teams: Garrett Stephens, Roger Dixon
* Second-straight year that Parrish won the award.
Players’ Choice Awards
Rex Farrior Most Team Spirited Offense: Mack Brown, A.J. Mobley | Defense: Michael Taylor
* Second-straight year that Taylor won the award.
Greg See Tenacity Award Offense: Max Garcia, Matt Jones | Defense: Antonio Morrison
Most Valuable Player Offense: Max Garcia, Demarcus Robinson | Defense: Dante Fowler Jr. Special Teams: Andre Debose
* Second-straight year that Fowler won the award.
James W. Kynes Award (Best Mental/Physical Toughness): Antonio Morrison
* Presented to the “player who best exemplifies the mental and physical toughness and ‘iron-man’ determination.” The award is traditionally won by offensive linemen.
Ray Graves Award (Team MVP): Dante Fowler Jr.
* First time in the last four years that a defensive player won the award.
Fergie Ferguson Leadership Award: Max Garcia
* Presented to the “player who displays outstanding leadership, character and courage.”
Captains: Dante Fowler Jr., Max Garcia, Chaz Green, Antonio Morrison, Michael Taylor
2 » Tyson Chandler wanted to exert whatever advantage he could over Golden State Warriors center Marreese Speights on Saturday. Otherwise, he would have no good reason for swatting a perfectly good pass from Stephon Curry to Speights out of bounds, especially considering Curry was tossing Speights his lost shoe and not a basketball. Golden State head coach Steve Kerr looks just as confused as anyone, though he is absolutely pleased with Speights, who is averaging 10.9 points and 5.9 boards in 18.9 minutes per game this month.
3 » Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal converted one of the most impressive plays of this young NBA season, following through with a buzzer-beating, game-winning alley-oop layup with 0.08 seconds remaining in a game against Orlando. Beal is playing quite well since returning from injury, averaging 15.4 points, 3.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 32.9 minutes per game. He’s also shooting a career-highs of .454 from the field, .482 from beyond the arc and .793 from the charity stripe.
4 » Former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow will take on yet another challenge before the year is out when he serves as a color analyst for the 2014 Peach Bowl between No. 9 Ole Miss and No. 6 TCU on Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 12:30 p.m. Tebow will be one of four crew members calling the game; he’ll work alongside SEC Nation host Joe Tessitore (play by play), Brock Huard (analyst) and Shannon Spake (sideline). Tebow began working with ESPN ahead of last season’s national title game in a college football analyst role. He has shined as one of the three talking heads on the set of SEC Nation, SEC Network‘s College GameDay-esque show airing every Saturday during the regular season.
5 » Check out what former Florida QB Danny Wuerffel thinks about athletic director Jeremy Foley hiring Jim McElwain as the team’s new head coach. “I got a phone call from him shortly after he was hired. That meant a lot to me, and it impressed my friends, so it was great,” Wuerffel said.
6 » Former Florida shortstop Cole Figueroa was signed to a minor league contract by the New York Yankees on Monday. Figueroa, 27, hit .233 with six RBIs in limited action as a second baseman with the Tampa Bay Rays last season. A Golden Spikes Award finalist, Figueroa was a sixth-round draft selection in the 2008 MLB Draft but has yet to blossom as a professional.