FOUR BITS: Gilyard, Daniels, Tebow, Saban

By Adam Silverstein
December 29, 2009

1 » Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Mardy Gilyard is the most explosive (and most vocal) member of his team. Though he may run his mouth on the sideline, in the huddle, on the line of scrimmage and after the play, one place Gilyard is not talking is his dreams – which have always included the Florida Gators in one way or another. Growing up in Bunnell, FL, Gilyard rooted for the Gators and always dreamed about either playing for or against Florida in a big game. “It’s always a real close game, going back and forth, and right before the end of the game I wake up,” he said. “So I’m anxious to see how it’s going to go.” ESPN’s Brian Bennett has written a great piece on Gilyard and the trials and tribulations he has experienced throughout his life.

2 » Another Bearcats player who has overcome adversity and won over the media with his charisma is defensive tackle Alex Daniels. Calling Friday’s 2010 Sugar Bowl “my national championship game,” Daniels defied the odds by making it out of a bad neighborhood in Columbus, OH, and turning his life around as a football player. “I’m playing against Tim Tebow in the Sugar Bowl,” Daniels said. “It’s Florida, man, come on! This experience, to be in New Orleans – I have to embrace Bourbon Street, to see the Big Easy. I’m soaking it all in.”

3 » There is no question that Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow is going to go down as the greatest player in the history of the program. It should come as no surprise that he is considered by many to be possibly the best player in the history of the sport on a collegiate level. Those beliefs are exactly why other Southeastern Conference teams are foaming at the mouth for Tebow to call it a career on Friday. Chris Low of ESPN, the site’s SEC blogger who lives in Knoxville, TN, and covered the Tennessee Volunteers as a beat writer for 10 years, relates a quote that tells the story of a conference which decided that rather than try to beat Tebow, it would be best to wait him out. “The playing field’s going to be level for everybody else when Tebow is gone,” numerous people in the SEC told Low. But, of course, the story turns to question the future of the Florida program: “Life after Tebow [is] one big unknown for the Gators,” Low titles his piece.

4 » Gators head coach Urban Meyer‘s name is popping up every time a reporter speaks to a head coach these days whether said coach is leading a college football team or not. It should then come as no surprise that Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban was asked about Meyer’s situation on Monday. “I think college football is a lot better off with people like Urban Meyer in our profession,” Saban said. “He’s a true professional in what he does. He’s done a fantastic job every place he’s been. He does it with a lot of dig­nity and class and profes­sionalism. We not only have a lot of respect for him as a person, but also the wonderful job that he’s done everywhere he’s been, especially at the University of Florida.” Tight end Colin Peek echoed Saban’s sentiments. “I think it’s very sad to see a coach in his prime have to deal with a situation like that,” Peek said. “I thought it was going to be cool to have this rivalry of Florida vs. Alabama hopefully every year in the SEC Championship. I have so much respect for the man and the program that he’s built.”

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