TWO BITS: Josh Haden to UF, point guard recruits

1 » OGGOA tweeted Monday that running back Josh Haden, the brother of former Florida Gators cornerback Joe and current safety Jordan, was deciding between UF and the Louisville Cardinals for football playing purposes after choosing to transfer from Boston College Eagles. Joseph Goodman of The Miami Herald has pointed us to this NFL.com video, in which Joe Haden insinuates the decision has already been made. “I have a little brother. He’s a running back at Boston College. He’s transferring now to, probably, Florida,” Joe says. First Draft: Joe Haden (Video)

*NOTE: There is no confirmation of Haden’s decision and Joe could simply be stating where he believes his brother is leaning at the present.

2 » Also piquing OGGOA’s interest this afternoon is a column by The Gainesville Sun’s Kevin Brockway focusing on who the Florida basketball program is going after now that they have turned their attention away from five-star guard Brandon Knight (Fort Lauderdale, FL). Unexpectedly, Brockway does not mention four-star Ray McCallum (Detroit, MI), but rather says the Gators are focusing on three-stars Brandon Young (Baltimore, MD), Chris Denson (Columbus, GA) and Will Yeguete (Melbourne, FL).

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TWO (Video) BITS: Gators’ Noah, Young dunking

1 » After looking for this for a few days, OGGOA finally found the video of Chicago Bulls forward/center Joakim Noah throwing it down big-time over Jason Maxiell of the Detroit Pistons from a few nights ago.

2 » Though he failed to win the competition, Florida Gators four-star 2010 forward commitment Patric Young (Jacksonville, FL) competed in the McDonald’s All-American Powerade Jam Fest (No. 21). Video of his dunks can be found below:

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SIX BITS: Knight, NCAAs, baseball, softball, tennis

1 » Five-star 2011 guard recruit Brandon Knight (Fort Lauderdale, FL) looked to be heading anywhere but the University of Florida, after a report surfaced last week that the Florida Gators have decided to stop pursuing him and move on. Whether you believe that to be the case or you think Knight has already made up his mind to play for the Kentucky Wildcats is no matter – Knight has told The Miami Herald that he has not made a decision yet. “I still have an offer [from Florida],” Knight said. “They’re not not recruiting me. They’re just trying to make sure they get a point guard before the signing period is over. […] I don’t feel anything wrong with [that decision]. It’s smart. As a head coach, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket and not end up with anything. They just don’t feel as strongly as they did before. Since they’re the hometown school, they thought I would have signed early or something of that nature. I’m not exactly sure.”

2 » Though Gators men’s swimming failed to match the women’s team with a 2010 National Championship, the team did finish in fifth at this year’s event and is the backbone of the 2010 Division I National Men’s Swimmer of the Year, junior Conor Dwyer. The Texas Longhorns ended up winning the event even as 11 Florida swimmers earned 38 All-America performances while simultaneously shattering two school records. Dwyer picked up seven honors of his own along with two national titles in the 500- and 200-yard freestyles. Read more about the event.

3 » No. 2/5 Florida baseball (18-5, 4-2 SEC) succeeded in ending its two-game road losing streak with a dominating 13-1 victory Sunday against the No. 17/19 Ole Miss Rebels (19-6, 4-2 SEC). After falling 3-2 in a tight first game and being trounced in the second game 15-3, the Gators rebounded with three RBI apiece from freshman catcher Austin Maddox (2-4, two runs) and sophomore outfielder Daniel Pigott (1-4) as well as 5.1 solid innings from freshman starter Brian Johnson (2-1). Johnson did not allow a single earned run in the outing.

Catch up on No. 6/13 softball, No. 4 women’s tennis and No. 6 men’s tennis!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Knight, NCAAs, baseball, softball, tennis

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TWO BITS: Tebow on the clock, weekend visitors

1 » ESPN and analysts Mel Kiper, Jr., Trent Dilfer and Chris Mortensen put former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow “On the Clock” before the 2010 NFL Draft:

2 » Florida football is set to have a bunch of big-name 2011 recruits on hand during spring practice this weekend. Rivals’ Mark Wheeler reports that athlete Sammy Watkins (Cape Coral, FL) [brother of four-star cornerback Jaylen Watkins], offensive linemen brothers Nathan and John Theus (Jacksonville, FL), defensive tackle Joel Hale (Greenwood, IN), offensive tackle Trip Thurman (Dover, DE) and quarterback Kevin Hogan (Washington, D.C.) will all be in attendance between Friday and Monday. The Gators’ biggest recruiting weekend of the spring will take place on April 10 during the Orange & Blue Debut spring game.

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Florida football’s five positions of need for 2010

With the Florida Gators’ first Junior Day of the 2011 session in the books and recruiting for the next term already underway, OGGOA recruiting contributor Zach Abolverdi takes a look at what will be the top five needs for the team next offseason.

Check out the Gators’ top five positions of need for 2011 after the jump!
Continue Reading » Florida football’s five positions of need for 2010

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FOUR BITS: Smith & Perry, baseball, WNIT berth

1 » As OGGOA reported via Twitter over the weekend, former Florida Gators and NFL star running back Emmitt Smith has announced that he asked Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to induct him into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, Smith was not worrying about his acceptance speech over the weekend, as he teamed with other former Gators and celebrities including head coach Urban Meyer to raise money for his former fullback and still close friend Darryl Perry‘s charity – Miracle of Life Foundation. “Darryl led me back then and he leads me now,” Smith told the Orlando Sentinel. “Except now he leads me with his heart.”

2 » After postponing a series last week due to inclimate weather, No. 6/7 Florida baseball (12-3) snuck a game against Army Black Knights (5-4) into the schedule Monday night. Playing at home at McKethan Stadium, the Gators earned a 9-3 victory as sophomore starter Anthony DeSclafani tossed a season-high 5.2 innings. Sophomore designated hitter Preston Tucker went 1-5 with his first home run of the season and three RBI, while freshman first baseman Austin Maddox (2-5) drove in two runs and senior reliever Jeff Barfield (S2) picked up the save on 3.1 innings of work.

3 » Shut out of the NCAA Tournament after posting a 14-16 record on the season, the Gators women’s basketball team has been invited to compete in the 2010 Women’s National Invitation Tournament. Florida will host first-round action, facing the South Florida Bulls (15-15) on Thursday in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The Bulls are defending WNIT champions, defeating the Kansas Jayhawks 75-71 in the 2009 event.

4 » Former Ball State Cardinals head volleyball coach Dave Boos has been named assistant coach of Gators volleyball , head coach Mary Wise announced to the press on Monday. “I am very excited to join the Gator volleyball family,” Boos said in a release. “I’ve had the opportunity to coach with and against Coach Wise during my career and have the utmost respect for her and how she has built Florida volleyball. I am looking forward to working with one of the top coaching staffs in the country and assisting in the guidance of a tremendous group of student-athletes.”

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FOUR BITS: Toledo injured, baseball falls & more

1 » No. 6/7 Florida Gators baseball (11-3) was unsuccessful at completing a sweep of the Charleston Southern Buccaneers (6-10) over the weekend, falling 6-3 on Sunday at McKethan Stadium. CSU starter Tyler Thornburg (3-1) tossed a complete game with a career-high 11 strikeouts to put a halt to Florida’s five-game winning streak. Redshirt sophomore starter Tommy Toledo (2-1) left the game in the top of the fourth inning after a line drive from Buccaneers’ first baseman Derek Smith hit him square in the face. Toledo broke numerous facial bones for which he is undergoing surgery.

2 » After splitting a doubleheader, No. 4/11 Florida softball (18-3, 2-1 SEC) picked up the rubber match with a 5-3 win over the Ole Miss Rebels (16-10, 3-2 SEC) on Sunday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Junior Stephanie Brombacher (14-3) picked up the win with five strikeouts over five innings, and junior first baseman Megan Bush led the Gators going 2-2 with a run and three RBI. Freshman Ensley Gammel earned her first career save, and junior second baseman Aja Pachulba went 2-4 with two RBI.

3 » No. 7 men’s tennis (12-2, 4-0 SEC) and No. 5 women’s tennis (14-2, 4-0 SEC) were both victorious Sunday against the Alabama Crimson Tide (7-8, 1-3 SEC) and (6-7, 0-4 SEC), defeating them respectively 6-1 at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex and 4-0 on the road at the University of Alabama Tennis Stadium. The No. 16-ranked men’s doubles pair of redshirt senior Antoine Benneteau and Alexandre Lacroix continued their great season with an 8-3 win, and No. 6 Lacroix won his singles match 6-5, 5-6, 3-3 (ret.). On the women’s side, the No. 6 duo of senior Marrit Boonstra and freshman Allie Will won 9-7, while No. 11 Will (6-0, 6-1) and No. 15-ranked freshman Lauren Embree (6-2, 6-2) cruised to singles victories.

4 » Gators soccer announced Monday that 11 players have committed to the program for the 2010 fall season. For a full list of the commitments, you can visit GatorZone.

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FOUR BITS: Wonderlic, NFL Draft, Parsons, Knight

1 » Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow scored a 22 on his Wonderlic exam at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine, according to Edgar Thompson of the Palm Beach Post. By comparison, the average for a NFL QB is 24. Former Miami Dolphins QB and Hall of Famer Dan Marino posted a 13; Buffalo Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick scored a 48. OGGOA sees no need to expand further on this revelation.

2 » ESPN NFL Draft analysts and talking head Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay released their latest mock drafts Wednesday, and two former Gators continue to appear as potential first-round selections. McShay believes cornerback Joe Haden will be selected No. 7 overall by the Cleveland Browns, while Kiper counters that he will go No. 13 to the San Francisco 49ers. However, Kiper has center Maurkice Pouncey being taken at No. 24 by the Philadelphia Eagles, while McShay has him lasting until the end of the first round – going No. 31 to the Indianapolis Colts.

3 » Florida freshman guard Kenny Boynton and sophomore point guard Erving Walker were both recognized by the Southeastern Conference Tuesday for their contributions on the court this season. However, junior forward Chandler Parsons was snubbed by the conference – not that he cares. “Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me,” Parsons told The Florida Times-Union. “I haven’t even seen them, didn’t even know. As long as my team keeps winning and we get to where we want to, no individual accolades are needed for me. I didn’t get many in high school. I don’t expect any here.”

4 » Updating an item reported late Wednesday, five-star basketball recruit Brandon Knight (Fort Lauderdale, FL) has decided to remove Miami (FL) from his top five and replace them with Syracuse. Knight is also considering Florida, Kentucky, Kansas and Connecticut and will likely decide in just over a month’s time.

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