Three-star OL Tommy Jordan chooses the Gators

The Florida Gators nabbed another commitment stemming from their camp last week as three-star offensive lineman Tommy Jordan (Ridgefield, CT) called head coach Urban Meyer and accepted a scholarship Monday morning, according to The Ridgefield Press.

“I pretty much knew what I needed to know about all the schools I was considering and I knew Florida’s the place I wanted to go,” Jordan told Rivals. “There’s no one better right now. The coaching staff is a great group of guys I would be honored to play for. This is just a great opportunity, it’s too good for me to pass up. I’m happy to get on board.”

Jordan is just another in the long line of recruits the Gators have pulled from the state of Connecticut since offensive coordinator Steve Addazio joined the program. A native of the state, he also helped Florida acquire New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, redshirt freshman TE Jordan Reed and freshman quarterback Tyler Murphy.

“Tommy visited Florida again this weekend and came back convinced that it was the school he wanted to attend,” Ridgefield High School head coach Kevin Callahan told the Press. “He’s always been a Florida fan, so it’s really exciting for him to be going there.”

One of the top players in the state, Jordan was not offered a scholarship by Connecticut; he chose Florida over Boston College and Rutgers, among other schools.

OGGOA RELATED: Gators grab commitment from four-star LB Shazier

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FOUR BITS: Young, Wright, K. Moore, Dorsey

1 » USA Basketball has released a profile piece on Florida Gators four-star power forward commitment Patric Young (Jacksonville, FL) completed as he joined the Men’s U-18 National Team for the 2010 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men from June 26-40. Among the topics covered, Young says that Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel is working him and the rest of the team hard, the experience will do him well for his freshman year at Florida, he has plans to study sports medicine, his family is huge Gators fans and he wants to do what he can to help end the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. “My parents put [giving back] into my head, I grew up with my own morals that I learned from them,” Young said. “I just applied it to my life and that’s just me.”

2 » Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo discussed how former Florida safety Major Wright has been progressing with his team thus far through mini camp; suffice to say, he is coming away impressed. “He’s billed as advertised. He’s a great kid who’s very competitive,” Angelo said. “He brings a lot of emotion and energy to the [secondary], which is great to see. He’s getting better with each practice. There’s going to be a learning curve at all positions for rookies, probably more so in the secondary because there’s much more going on at the safety position. But he’s doing a fine job. The coaches are very pleased with the way he’s progressing, particularly with his work habits. In terms of whether he’ll start this season, the players and coaches will determine that, but we’re very excited about seeing him in pads.”

3 » While some of the Gators’ more prominent stars over the years were unable to make a career for themselves in the NFL (see: quarterback Leak, Chris of the Montreal Alouettes), others have found slots on practice teams and in the back of rosters. Picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 9, 2009, as an insurance policy against a dwindling backfield, former Florida running back Kestahn Moore caught on and signed a deal with the team on Jan. 5. This offseason, Moore has been getting a lot of work in during practice – he has taken Wildcat formation snaps behind rookie wide receiver Dexter McCluster, run the ball as what many believe is the team’s third or fourth back and impressed coaches with what Chiefs writer Bob Gretz calls “a nice wiggle and burst.” As camp wrapped up on June 14, Gertz had this to say about Moore: “The first-year back out of Florida got a lot of opportunities with Jamaal Charles on the sidelines because of his shoulder surgery/recovery. There is no live action in these practices, so running backs can be hard to judge. But in every practice, Moore ripped off at least one impressive run with a burst of speed or moves. Moore has become a shadow of Thomas Jones and he’s trying to learn how to stay in the NFL from the 11-year veteran.”

4 » Safety Demar Dorsey, a five-star recruit who was previously committed to Florida before being forced to find a fit elsewhere, was released from his letter of intent with the Michigan Wolverines in early June for undisclosed reasons most likely relating to his past legal issues and was hoping to catch on with another program. As previously rumored and projected by OGGOA, he has officially landed with the Louisville Cardinals and two former Florida coaches – head coach Charlie Strong, and defensive coordinator and secondary coach Vance Bedford.

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Gators’ newest ballers pick uniform numbers

Athletes care about their uniform numbers, and now that Florida Gators basketball has begun meetings for the 2010-11 season, it was time for the team’s newest members to choose theirs. Below is the list, according to the University of Florida:

» No. 4 – Patric Young (Jacksonville, FL), four-star freshman power forward
» No. 24 – Casey Prather (Jackson, TN), four-star freshman forward
» No. 3 – Mike Rosario (Jersey City, NJ), four-star redshirt sophomore transfer guard
» No. 34 – Cody Larson (Sioux Falls, SD), three-star freshman power forward
» No. 15 – Will Yeguete (Melbourne, FL), three-star freshman power forward
» No. 5 – Scottie Wilbekin (Gainesville, FL), three-star freshman point guard

Rosario is ineligible for the 2010-11 season due to NCAA transfer rules; he will begin competing as a redshirt junior in 2011-12.

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FB Joyer becomes Gators’ sixth 2011 commit

Holding camp this week for some of the top high school players in the country and throughout the state of Florida, the Florida Gators were greeted with some great news shortly after one of their early week attendees returned home.

According to numerous sources, three-star fullback Hunter Joyer (Tampa, FL) committed to the Gators immediately after receiving a scholarship offer from head coach Urban Meyer once his time at the camp concluded.

“I’ve always wanted to be a Florida Gator,” Joyer told The Gainesville Sun. “I was just waiting for an opportunity. It was kind of unexpected and I was surprised [that Florida offered], but it was one of the best feelings I’ve had in my life.”

Joyer, who impressed coaches throughout the camp with his combination of size, speed and blocking ability, is listed as the No. 1 fullback in the country by Rivals. While in Gainesville, FL, he drew a lot of attention from coaches by proving his blocking prowess and ability to catch balls out of the backfield.

“It’s so close to home, it’s a great school and a great (football) program,” Joyer told The Tampa Tribune. “It’s just an all-around elite school and I feel like it’s hard to go wrong when you choose to go there.”

In addition to competing with the football team, he hopes to join UF’s track and field program to continue his success in shot put (after all, he is a state champion). Joyer also runs between a 4.5 and 4.6 in the 40-yard dash.

Photo Credit: The Tampa Tribune

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FOUR BITS: Young, Johnson, soccer, education

1 » Florida Gators four-star power forward commitment Patric Young has been selected to be a member of the USA Basketball Men’s U-18 National Team. Picked as one of 12 of the nation’s top players age 18 or younger, Young will be under the leadership of Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel while competing for the 2010 FIBA U18 Championship for Men from June 26-30 in San Antonio, TX.

2 » Also earning national recognition is Florida freshman pitcher/designated hitter Brian Johnson, who was invited to tryout for the 2010 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team from July 5-11 at the National Training Complex in Cary, NC. Johnson hopes to be one of 22 players selected for the final roster, which will compete until Aug. 7.

3 » Gators soccer released its 2010 schedule Wednesday, and the match-ups ahead for the women do not appear to be any easier than they have been in previous seasons. Florida is set to face nine teams who competed for the 2009 NCAA Championship – the ninth time in program history that their schedule is so top-heavy. The Gators will begin on Aug. 20 against Miami in Gainesville, FL, and will face notable teams of Florida State, Duke and North Carolina on the road before beginning their Southeastern Conference slate. In the middle of the season, Florida will play five consecutive road games; the team does not have a home stand longer than two games after Sept. 3.

4 » Seeing as most of OGGOA’s readers either attended the University of Florida, hoped to attend UF or have children at the school, it is important to note that the university was ranked No. 15 on Wednesday when U.S. News & World Report released their list of the top public institutions in the United States. No SEC schools finished ahead of Florida and, of course, they were tied with the University of Texas for the 15th slot. Other notable rankings include Georgia (21), Auburn (T39), Alabama (T43), Florida State (T48), Tennessee (T52), and LSU, Arkansas and Kentucky (all T64).

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FOUR BITS: Easley, Crowder, den Dekker, UCF

1 » When the New York Post asked Florida Gators five-star freshman defensive tackle Dominique Easley what his goals are when he heads to Gainesville, FL, next week, his response was straight-forward: “start right away and get to that BCS championship game.” Easley – who was honored with a student-athlete award on Monday after finishing high school with an 85 grade average while compiling 73 tackles and 16 sacks as a senior – says that he is excited for his future. “It’s getting crazy,” he said. “I’m going to be doing what I’ve been watching all my life.” Earning praise from his teachers, administrators, coaches and peers, Easley is on the fast track to success and may realize that as soon as Sept. 4 against Miami (OH).

2 » Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder, entering his sixth season in the NFL, is facing a bit of adversity this offseason after the team signed high-priced free agent LB Karlos Dansby and traded for back-up LB Tim Dobbins to compete with him for one of the inside positions. Though Crowder has not been a source of game-changing plays yet in the NFL, his consistent play and locker room presence is one of the driving forces of the team’s defense. Crowder sat down with the Sun-Sentinel for a wide-ranging interview which can be viewed below. As OGGOA has contended for years, Crowder is easily the best interview in the NFL. Enjoy.

3 » In college baseball, deciding to remain in school after being selected in the MLB Draft is an increasingly difficult decision – especially when the lure of money is being thrown around. But according to Gators senior outfielder Matt den Dekker, returning to school could not have gone any better. “This is definitely the best moment in my career,” den Dekker said after defeating Miami last week to advance to the 2010 NCAA College World Series. “Coming back was the best decision I could have made.” The choice also improved his draft stock, seeing as he moved up from a 16th-round pick in 2009 to the No. 152 overall pick just over a week ago as selected by the New York Mets.

4 » As OGGOA first reported via Twitter early Wednesday, Florida head basketball coach Billy Donovan and Central Florida Knights head coach Donnie Jones will be holding a joint press conference in Orlando, FL, on Thursday at 3 p.m. to officially announce the neutral-site game to be played at the brand new Amway Center on Dec. 1. The game will be the first college basketball contest played at the $480 million facility and will hold added significance on two levels for Donovan. Most notably, he will be going up against his former long-time assistant in Jones for the first time since he left the program for the top job at Marshall after the 2007 NCAA National Championship season. Donovan also will be coaching in the new home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, the team he once agreed to coach before backing out just days later and signing a new contract with Florida in 2007.

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Gators football nabs commitment from WR McRoy

According to The Lakeland Ledger, the Florida Gators added a fifth member to their 2011 recruiting class on Wednesday when four-star wide receiver Javares McRoy (Lakeland, FL) decided to leave his brother alone in Lubbock, TX, and switch his verbal commitment from the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

McRoy joins fellow four-star recruits quarterback Jeff Driskel (Oviedo, FL), defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan (Asheville, NC), and athletes A.C. Leonard (Jacksonville, FL) and De’Ante Saunders (Deland, FL) as the sole members of the program’s 2011 class.

“I just thought about where I really wanted to go and what best fit me and my running style, and UF fits my style,” McRoy told the paper on Thursday.

Ranked as the No. 11 receiver in the country and No. 148 recruit nationally by Rivals, he is not listed on ESPNU‘s projection of the top 150 prospects and is ranked as their 27th-best wideout available. McRoy will be a four-year starter for the Lakeland Dreadnaughts, a pipeline for the Gators recently, which provided Florida with centers Maurkice and Mike Pouncey, running back Chris Rainey and safety Ahmad Black.

ESPNU calls McRoy a “scatback/slot [receiver best utilized] in the spread offense and certainly the return game where he has some upside.” Additionally, “McRoy possesses just about physical trait you would like in a skilled athlete with the exception of height. He is a diminutive smurf with elite speed and quickness and because of his height coupled with his feet and hips he is also a candidate to end up at corner.”

McRoy told the Ledger that head coach Urban Meyer and running backs coach Stan Drayton plan to utilize him in the “Percy Position” (to be played by Rainey in 2010) and will no longer be recruiting rushers for the 2011 signing class.

He originally committed to Texas Tech in December 2009 to go to school with his brother and fellow pass-catcher Benjamin McRoy, a 2010 recruit.

Photo Credit: Lakeland High School via ESPN

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FOUR BITS: Tebow, Haslem, Nelson, Dorsey

1 » On Tuesday, OGGOA tweeted a picture of former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow handing a football off to a kid that got some of our female followers pretty riled up. It appears that picture was taken from a Broncos Bunch kids club event that Tebow participated in over the weekend. The Denver Broncos rookie threw passes to and took pictures with a bunch of children – not all of whom were Broncos fans. “Gator nation really is everywhere,” Tebow told CBS4 in Denver, CO. “It’s great to be out here and to play with these kids, to meet the parents and just be here in the stadium. It really is humbling to have people supporting me and to have fans. It really does mean a lot. […] It’s just an opportunity to come out here, throw balls, take some pictures, hang out with people, get a chance to make a kid smile or a family smile and – it’s more important than winning games, when you really look at it.”

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Three more BITS on the futures of Udonis Haslem, David Nelson and Demar Dorsey.
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Tebow, Haslem, Nelson, Dorsey

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