FOUR BITS: Dowling to WR? SEC award winners

1 » In a Q&A session on Rivals Thursday, recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg addressed the Florida Gators’ needs at wide receiver by mentioning that five-star safety Jonathan Dowling (Bradenton, FL) has requested that the catch instead of defend passes while wearing the Orange and Blue. Dowling, assumed to be playing free safety, is listed as an athlete by many recruiting services, could find a spot in Florida’s receiving corps, though he should also see an opportunity to get some time on the field in the secondary.

2 » Though he was not focused on former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Raheem Morris praised the signal caller and believes there will be plenty of teams interested in his services. “Teams will be fired up to get him,” Morris told The Tampa Tribune. “He’s won at every level. His teammates love him. They’ll let you know they love him. […] Those are the kind of guys you look for to involve in the character, leadership and also the winning of your football team.”

Two more BITS on Joe Haden and UF award-winners after the break!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Dowling to WR? SEC award winners

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TWO BITS: Schintzius recovers, Henderson out

1 » Former Florida Gators All-American center and NBA first-round draft pick Dwayne Schintzius‘ long battle with leukemia has hopefully come to an end. Schintzius, 41, is the Gators’ fifth all-time leading scorer (1,624 points); the team’s career blocks leader; the only player in SEC history with more than 1,000 points, 800 rebounds, 250 assists and 250 blocks; and a nine-year NBA veteran who was drafted No. 24 overall by the San Antonio Spurs in 1990. He received a bone marrow transplant on Jan. 12 from his brother Travis, and his family, friends and Gators fans prayed each day that his condition would improve. The Tampa Tribune, which spoke with Schintzius’ father, reports that he is in the process of making a full recovery and has even been released from the hospital. “The doctors are very optimistic,” Ken Schintzius said. “He has been declared leukemia-free. There’s a ways to go before he’s back where he was, but it’s moving in the right direction.”

2 » Though Florida was on his short long list heading into National Signing Day, it is unlikely that five-star 2010 offensive tackle recruit Seantrel Henderson would switch over to the Gators should he be displeased with the NCAA’s investigation into the USC Trojans. Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel confirms a previous OGGOA report that the Miami Hurricanes would be one of the frontrunners for his services.

Extra BIT » Former Florida forward/center Joakim Noah his being held out of action for three more weeks by the Chicago Bulls due to his nagging plantar fasciitis.

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FOUR BITS: Tebow; 40s; recruits Driskel, Gosha

1 » ESPN’s Bruce Feldman covered some of the most polarizing figures at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine in his most recent Insider blog. Topping the list, of course, is former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. “Tebow Talk will dominate the draft coverage right through late April,” Feldman writes. “Is he an every-down QB? How will he do at his Pro-Day on March 17 since he’s worked hard to shorten his previously slow and long delivery? Did his fast shuttle times and impressive vertical jump (38.5 inches, tied for best ever by a QB) actually give more juice to the camp that says he’s best suited to be an H-back or a fullback?”

2 » Covering another side of the controversy surrounding former Gators cornerback Joe Haden’s 4.57-second 40-yard dash time is Yahoo! Sports’ Dr. Saturday blog, which points out that Haden was listed as running a 4.33 during his time with Florida. Calling the board “fake” and ludicrous, writer Matt Hinton does make a good point: Haden’s listed time is faster than any single player actually ran in last year’s combine.

Two more Florida Gators football recruiting BITS are available after the break!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Tebow; 40s; recruits Driskel, Gosha

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FOUR BITS: Haden’s 40, golf, Prestwood, Floyd

1 » Former Florida Gators cornerback Joe Haden, unanimously considered the best player at his position available for the 2010 NFL Draft before the Scouting Combine, is being criticized by draftniks and supposedly sliding down boards because of his “slow” 4.57-second 40-yard dash. Comments from some like ESPN’s Todd McShay have Haden falling out of the top 10 (never mind the fact that he has a chance to improve it at Florida’s Pro Day on March 17). The time has even spurned beat writers for teams like the Atlanta Falcons to speculate that Haden could fall as low as No. 19. Others, like Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, put Haden’s time in perspective. It’s a bigger deal to those talking about it on television than it is to the NFL scouts hired and fired based on their ability to discern successes from busts.

2 » Florida men’s and womens’ golf each competed at tournaments over the last few days; unfortunately, neither came out as victors. Though they jumped four spots in the final round, the men’s team finished the John Hayt Invitational with a seventh-place score of 899 (+35). The women tied for seventh in the Kinderlou Forest Challenge with a 913 (+37).

Two BITS of Florida Gators football recruiting news after the jump!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Haden’s 40, golf, Prestwood, Floyd

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SIX BITS: NCAA bubble, PGA, Brantley, Brown

1 » After a huge upset win over the No. 17 Tennessee Volunteers last Tuesday, the Florida Gators looked to be squarely in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. A few days later, the Gators found themselves back on the bubble falling to the Georgia Bulldogs on the road. ESPN’s Mark Schlabach looks at what happened and what the team needs to do from this point forward.

2 » Four former Florida golfers were at the top of the leaderboard going into the final round of the PGA‘s Waste Management Phoenix Open on Sunday. Mark Calcavecchia, Matt Every, Camilo Villegas and Chris Couch were all in the hunt for the tournament title, but each wound up falling short in the end. Couch finished T4 (-13), Villegas was T8 (-11) with Every and Calcavecchia shot a final-day 74 to fall to T43 (-7).

Four more BITS on Brantley, Brown, tennis and baseball…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: NCAA bubble, PGA, Brantley, Brown

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FOUR BITS: Tebow, Knight, lacrosse, Moreno

1 » Buffalo Bills head coach and former Florida Gators quarterback Chan Gailey, who incidentally hired defensive coordinator George Edwards away from his alma mater, spoke about QB Tim Tebow while at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, IN. “Habits are not changed over a short amount of time; habits are changed over long periods of time and many reps,” Gailedy told the Palm Beach Post. “If you’re going to change somebody, it will take time to do that. If he thinks it’s a weakness, and he thinks he needs to work on it, and he thinks he needs to change, that should help him be a stronger player down the line. If he didn’t think it was a wekness and he’s doing it for somebody else, then it’ll make him a weaker player.” Interesting perspective.

VIDEO » Tebow interviewed by Steve Mariucci and Mike Mayock of NFL Network Thurs.

Find out about Knight, UF lacrosse and trouble for Moreno after the jump!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Tebow, Knight, lacrosse, Moreno

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Gator Bites for Wednesday, February 24

From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share with our readers. In those instances, we present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.

» Arguably the greatest player in the history of Florida Gators baseball, free agent Brad Wilkerson has signed a minor-league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. He was a member of the 2010 UF Hall of Fame class, a part of the 1996 and 1998 College World Series teams, a two-time All-American, three-time All-SEC selection and the 1998 Collegiate Player of the Year. Wilkerson holds career records at Florida for batting average, RBIs, slugging percentage and walks. He played for four MLB teams from 2001-08 and won a gold medal with Team USA baseball at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

There are seven more Gator Bites for you to check out…after the jump!
Continue Reading » Gator Bites for Wednesday, February 24

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TWO BITS: Tebow hurts recruiting, Dunlap update

1 » As OGGOA wrote earlier today, former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has adjusted his throwing motion and will put it on display for NFL front offices at Florida’s Pro Day on March 17. In the Paul Finebaum model, Ray Melick of The Birmingham News cautions high school recruits that Tebow’s struggles should have big-time QB prospects shying away from the Gators. “There is a lesson here, however, for young quarterbacks who envision themselves having the chance to play in the NFL one day,” Melick contends. “Look around for a coach who runs an NFL-style offense, and coaches quarterbacks to play with NFL-style mechanics. […] If you were a young quarterback with NFL potential, would you want to play for [head coach Urban] Meyer right now?”

2 » The Orlando Sentinel’s Jeremy Fowler caught up with former Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap’s father and asked him how his son has been progressing in workouts leading up to the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine. Asked if Dunlap, Jr. was ready to prove everyone wrong, his father replied emphatically. “That’s putting It mildly,” he said. “He knows that all his training has led to this moment, this week. He’ll be ready.” Fowler tells us Dunlap’s goals are to do 25 reps of 225-pounds on the bench press and run a 4.6-second 40-yard dash.

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