OGGOA Caption Contest Result: Evans/Trattou

We received 87 submissions for our second-ever ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive caption contest and a winner has been chosen to receive a FREE Turlington Scarf courtesy of the generous folks at Dunlop McCandless.

Reader Daryl H. sent in the winning entry which we felt was the most creative in utilizing all of the aspects of the picture. He is also one of a dozen of you who did not submit a form of “Run Forest, Run” or something referencing the bathroom.

Josh Evans to Justin Trattou: “Dude, Tebow is back and he’s signing footballs. Hurry up and get in line!”

OGGOA has given away Florida Gators DVDs, a Game Day purse, T Bow Towels, Gillette Pro Fusion razors and other goodies over the first 12 months of our existence; there are a number of other giveaways coming up in the near future, so stay tuned!

Thank you to everyone who participated!

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2010-11 Florida Media Day: Players speak, too

Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan and a number of players represented the team at the 2010-11 Florida Media Day on Wednesday in Gainesville, FL. Read on for news and notes about the upcoming season, now from the players.

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ON THEIR MINDS

Though Donovan is trying to keep egos in check, that does not mean he wants his team to lower their expectations for the year as a whole. In fact, if you ask senior forward Chandler Parsons and junior point guard Erving Walker, nothing less than a national title is unacceptable.

“They asked me today, ‘What’s your goal?’ I said, ‘National championship.’ I don’t expect anything less,” Parsons said. “We want to win the SEC Tournament championship. That’s our goal. We want to be the best possible team that we can be. If that’s us getting to the Final Four, if that’s winning the national championship, we just want to continue to work hard every day and improve. [...] I think we have what it takes. We’re experienced, we have good guards, we have size, a great coach. I don’t see why not.”

“We don’t really talk about it that much but everybody knows, a goal is everybody wants to compete in a national championship,” Walker added. “But we all know, and I know Chandler knows, it’s a process. We can’t just jump to that. I feel like we can get there. I’d be lying to you if I told you I didn’t. But I know we’re not there yet, there’s no need to jump to March when we’re in October. It’s definitely nice to hear [the talk].”

BOYNTON: THE SHOOTER

Sophomore shooting guard Kenny Boynton improved significantly toward the end of last season but an albatross around his neck all year was his poor shooting percentage. He made a concerted effort to work on that this offseason.

“Last year I never knew when it was going to go in, I was just shooting it,” Boynton said. “Now I know when it’s off and how long it’s going, and I think it’s just a better shot now. I feel like in workouts I’ve been knocking down my midrange shot a lot. That was definitely a big thing I wanted to work at.”

Boynton now releases the ball “more in front of my head”. He has seen an increase in control and accuracy.

“I learned that you gotta put a lot of work into this,” he said. “It’s not just going and taking shots. It’s watching film, it’s studying the guys that you’re playing against. It’s mentally going into the game and being prepared, knowing that it’s more than just basketball.”

Read the rest of this recap of the players’ media availabilities…after the break!
Continue Reading » 2010-11 Florida Media Day: Players speak, too

2010-11 Florida Media Day: Billy Donovan speaks

Florida Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan and a number of players represented the team at the 2010-11 Florida Media Day on Wednesday in Gainesville, FL. Read on for news and notes about the upcoming season, first from Donovan.

DEPTH MEANS LESS IS MORE

It was obvious listening to Donovan speak Wednesday that he is excited about his team going into the season. With just a handful of weeks to go before Florida plays its first meaningful game, it is the Gators’ depth that he thinks will be integral to the team’s success. And because the team is so deep, Donovan hopes it will also be molded into an unselfish group, similar to the teams that produced back-to-back National Championships for him in 2006 and 2007.

“Right now today we have depth. And when I say we have depth, we have bodies, we have numbers,” Donovan said. “Can [sophomore forward] Erik Murphy really carve out a role for himself? Can [senior F] Alex [Tyus]? Can our veteran guys? For us to be a better team, some of our veteran guys are gonna have to take less. And that’s what really made that 2006-2007 team special. Because you know what? [Joakim] Noah could’ve scored more points. [Al] Horford could’ve scored more points. [Corey] Brewer could’ve scored. They all could’ve scored more, but they understood that less was better for the team.

“We’re going to have to have some older guys understand that less is better for the team. It’s OK for them to have less provided that we can somehow find a way to utilize that depth. Who is going to emerge out of that younger group? Looking at it on paper, we have depth. But you don’t have depth if you don’t have guys that can get into a role.

“We had depth a couple years ago in our front court but none of those guys could emerge to take control of the role that was out there for them, and then we didn’t have depth. I’m hopeful these guys, just with their mentality and their attitude so far, will take that on and give us the depth that we think we have.”

TWO SENIORS STEPPING UP AS LEADERS

Florida brings back three seniors this year with Tyus, F Chandler Parsons and redshirt F/C Vernon Macklin all coming together to form as a solid frontcourt. However, Donovan expressed that it was Parsons and Macklin in particular who have really stepped up as leaders for this young team through the offseason.

“Verbally right now [Parsons] and Vern are doing a great job, but I think the verbal part only goes so far. When they get on the court their actions have got to back it up,” Donovan said. “Chandler and Vern in particular, those two guys, want kind of that responsibility. It’s good for both of those guys. Vernon probably in the beginning first half of the season was kinda feeling his way through and then he started to show signs of the reputation he had in high school. And then Chandler, coming off of his sophomore year, really felt like he had something to prove and kind of got through that a little bit.

“Both of those guys, to me, they’re in a little bit of a danger zone in the fact that they now gotta take that next step and not get complacent and get comfortable. They’re trying to do all the right things and I would say the best thing they’ve done is with some new faces in our program, they’ve really tried to incorporate the group and make it a team and they’re reaching out and doing some of that stuff. And up to this point in the time with Chandler and Vern I’ve been very, very happy with what they’re trying to do leadership-wise.”

Read the rest of this 3,000-word recap of Donovan’s presser…after the break!
Continue Reading » 2010-11 Florida Media Day: Billy Donovan speaks

10/13: Austin, Heater talk defensive improvement

Florida Gators defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Teryl Austin and co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chuck Heater spoke to the media Wednesday taking a look back on the tough loss to the LSU Tigers and ahead to the match-up against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at home on Saturday night.

WHAT’s UP WITH WILL HILL?

A five-star recruit coming out of high school, special teams dynamo and one of the reasons now-senior safety Ahmad Black was partially forced out of his starting job last year, junior S Will Hill missed the first two games of the 2010 season due to team discipline and has not been the same since. Heater says the Hill is struggling most with his tackling but that the staff remains confident he will turn things around.

“He’s had some missed tackles. That’s a situation you’re always coaching against on the back end because a missed tackle on the back end can become a problem in a hurry,” Heater said. “He’s not the only guy [doing that], but he’s a guy we’re trying to improve and he’s trying to improve and get where he wants to get to.”

ELAM’s CONCUSSION KEEPS HIM OUT

Speaking of the secondary, freshman S Matt Elam (who has been playing nickel cornerback this year) was concussed during the LSU game. He has yet to practice this week and could be held out of the Mississippi State game if he does not improve later in the week. “He’s getting close, missed a few days this week but he’s getting closer,” Heater told the media Wednesday. “He observed practice today. We’ll reevaluate tomorrow. They have a whole systematic approach to these things so I just defer to the trainers. I think he’s making progress. He’s certainly better than he was two days ago and he’s able to do more things today than he did yesterday, so he’s making progress.”

The Palm Beach Post’s Jason Lieser spoke with Elam’s high school coach, Jack Daniels, who said he has never had a concussion before.

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » 10/13: Austin, Heater talk defensive improvement

10/13: Florida coach Meyer’s SEC teleconference

OGGOA had the opportunity to participate in Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer’s Southeastern Conference teleconference on Wednesday (we will be doing so every week). Below are some notes from the event:

RAINEY IS BACK, WITH RESTRICTIONS

As OGGOA previously reported, redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey returned to the team for practice on Tuesday after being officially reinstated by Meyer following a month away from the field. However, he will not play until he meets a number of conditions set forth by the coaches and administration. Meyer spoke about the decision to bring Rainey back and gave a bit of insight into what he has to do.

“I met with a variety of people involved in the situation. I let everything happen and then I just thought it would be the best interest to get him around the team,” Meyer said of the process. “[He will play] if he fulfills everything he [has been given to do], to kind of make things not happen again. [...] I wasn’t going to let him practice until he fulfilled his obligations. He wasn’t back with the team until our first day of practice.”

Meyer said that athletic director Jeremy Foley and school president Bernie Machen were in “constant communication” with him about the situation. Rainey is “on scholarship, for now” after Meyer “met with professionals who deal with Chris.” He also indicated that someone associated with Florida met with the victim and relayed their opinions of the situation back to him.

“Chris has a history of opening his mouth and careless things come out of his mouth,” Meyer said. “Obviously this is the first time anything like this. Part of him getting back is correcting that issue. Second is community service. [...] Chris is not a violent person. At times he has said careless things. [...] We put a contract together and he just has to fulfill his obligations before he’s going to play.”

INJURY UPDATES PROMISING

Meyer noted that junior starting running back Jeff Demps is “feeling much better than last week” and called him Probable for Saturday’s game against Mississippi State. “He’s going to do some practice today, and they’re telling me he’s going to do some practice tomorrow,” he said.

Redshirt junior starting quarterback John Brantley “feels much better than he did a week ago” and is “practicing at full speed,” while redshirt freshman guard Jon Halapio was surprisingly called Probable by Meyer after having surgery on a broken finger on Sunday. He said Halapio is doing non-contact work right now but should be able to begin contract drills on Thursday.

MEYER QUOTES

Opening statement: “Obviously a tough home loss last week. We’re anxious to get going and get that out of our minds and face a very talented Mississippi State team.”

On opponents running the ball well on Florida: “Alabama we felt like we did well against the run. Last week we did not.”

On how important it is not to just defend the run against an offense like Mississippi State’s: “That’s the essence of that offense. It was no different than when Tim [Tebow] was playing here. That’s how you get the ability at times to score points in that offense, especially if you got talented receivers.”

On how the team is handling the back-to-back loss: “I like the way they’re handling it. They’re not handling it well.”

On how the Gators are able to recruit Connecticut: “I think the connections were coach [Steve] Addazio. That’s his home state. We don’t really use the Internet that much in recruiting. That’s how we got a hold of those guys.”

This post will be updated later Wednesday with more quotes.

OGGOA Caption Contest: Win a Gators scarf!

If you like FREE SWAG and think you have a good sense of humor – this is the contest for you! E-MAIL your funniest caption to the picture below to OGGOA at contest@onlygators.com and win a FREE Turlington Scarf courtsey of Dunlop McCandless! There will be ONE WINNER, but you are encouraged to submit multiple captions in order to increase your chances of winning.

Each Florida alligator scarf is created using the perfect blend of exceptionally soft cotton & acrylic yarns to give the comfort you’d expect, and the style you’ll enjoy. Excellent hand-knit craftsmanship provides a versatile design warm enough for the low Fall temperatures, while lightweight and breathable enough to accessorize your game day wardrobe during the warmer months as well. Available in alligator green, and the classic UF orange and blue, you’ll find this just what you need to match your game day attire!

OGGOA has given away Florida Gators DVDs, a Game Day purse, T Bow Towels, Gillette Pro Fusion razors and other goodies over the first 12 months of our existence; there are a number of other giveaways coming up in the near future, so stay tuned!

Best of luck to everyone!

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A.C. Leonard decommits, opens up recruitment

Four-star tight end recruit A.C. Leonard (Jacksonville, FL) decommitted from the Florida Gators on Wednesday and said the team no longer remains in the hunt for his services, according to Justin Wells of 247Sports. Leonard, who was Florida’s third-highest rated recruit for 2011, was also the Gators’ second commitment for that recruiting cycle.

Recently pursued heavily by the Alabama Crimson Tide, Leonard attended Florida’s 33-29 loss to LSU over the weekend during an unofficial visit to Gainesville, FL. He left Saturday’s game saying, “Yeah, I guess,” when asked by 247Sports if he was still committed to Florida. That has now obviously changed.

Leonard is now seriously considering Alabama, Miami and Nebraska but has listed his recruitment as “open” to everyone except Florida which “is out.” He originally committed to the Gators on Nov. 29, 2009.

An official visit to the Crimson Tide was called “a real eye opening experience for me” by Leonoard last week, according to BamaOnLine.com. “The whole experience was first-class,” he said just days after Alabama defeated Florida. “I talked to Coach [Nick] Saban Sunday morning at breakfast and he basically told me they really wanted me in Tuscaloosa. […] I really liked everything he had to say and the plan he would have.”

10/12: Addazio not bothered, Debose poised

Florida Gators offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio, assistant head coach and defensive line coach Dan McCarney, redshirt freshman wide receiver Andre Debose, redshirt senior running back Emmanuel Moody, redshirt freshman linebacker Jelani Jenkins and freshman quarterback Trey Burton spoke to the media Tuesday as the team took a final look back on its close loss to the LSU Tigers and ahead to its match-up against the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday.

BOOING DOESN’T BOTHER ADDAZIO

Addazio was booed during Florida’s final scoring drive on Saturday, something he has claims does not bother him. In fact, he has taken the incident in stride and understands what is expected of him and the offense.

“I really don’t pay much attention to any of that stuff,” he said on Tuesday. “You are locked into the game. What I really hear in that game is just the energy from the game. I’ve got so much going on; I’ve got headsets on. […] Hey, this is not a sport for the thin-skinned now. It’s a tough business and I think we’ve talked about this before here. You came here for a reason – [there are] high expectations, that’s why you’re here, that’s what it’s all about. You better embrace that. If you don’t embrace that, then you are at the wrong place.”

DEBOSE A READY FOR PRIME TIME PLAYER

Showing his playmaking ability with an 88-yard kickoff return and some other nice passing routes on Saturday, Debose has proven to coaches that he deserves more touches and should be a bigger part of the Gators offense. “He’s emerging as a guy that can make a play. You can see that. It’s really nice to see that. He’s a guy that can make plays,” noted Addazio. “[He’s improving because of] experience and getting on the field and doing it and gaining all that confidence and that trust. That’s what’s happening with him right now.”

The player agrees with his coach’s assessment. “[It was] just picking up the plays. Just feeling comfortable and making the coaches feel real comfortable with me and the ball and everything,” Debose said. “It was just the little things as far as reading coverages on the run and stuff that takes time and takes more game experience.”

POWELL MOVED TO LINEBACKER

One interesting tidbit coming out of the media availability Tuesday was McCarney confirming that five-star freshman defensive end Ronald Powell has been moved to the strong outside linebacker position for the remainder of the season. Powell, who also played tight end in high school, is more than athletic enough to play the position and coaches feel he is a better fit at linebacker right now. Expect him to head back to defensive end after the year is over.

POSSIBILITY OF A FAKE WAS BROUGHT UP

Asked whether or not the concept of a fake field goal was discussed with the field goal blocking unit prior to LSU running that exact play, Jenkins told the that it was part of the team’s conversation during the timeout. This confirms what a handful of other players said after the game.

QUOTES (After the break…)
Continue Reading » 10/12: Addazio not bothered, Debose poised

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