Three drafted Gators shun MLB for 2011-12

Eleven Florida Gators baseball players were selected in the 2011 MLB Draft in June, a school record for the University of Florida. Three of those 11 players – outfielders Preston Tucker and Tyler Thompson as well as right-handed pitcher Greg Larson – have returned for their senior seasons and a shot at the College World Series.

Tucker was picked with the No. 498 overall pick in the 16th round by the Colorado Rockies, Thompson was chosen at the 1,387th spot in the 46th round by the Washington Nationals, and Larson was a 29th round selection (No. 885) by the Los Angeles Angels.

The following now former Gators accepted their deals and left the team:

Junior LHP Nick Maronde – Round 4, Pick 104 – Los Angeles Angels
Junior RHP Anthony DeSclafani – Round 6, Pick 199 – Toronto Blue Jays
Junior LHP Alex Panteliodis – Round 9, Pick 282 – New York Mets
Junior RHP Tommy Toledo – Round 11, Pick 341 – Milwaukee Brewers
Senior 2B (SS) Josh Adams – Round 13, Pick 403 – Florida Marlins
Junior C Ben McMahan – Round 23, Pick 701 – Milwaukee Brewers
Senior RHP Matt Campbell – Round 24, Pick 751 – Philadelphia Phillies
Senior OF Bryson Smith – Round 34, Pick 1,045 – Cincinnati Reds

Additionally, four of Florida’s 2011 high school signees were picked in the first four rounds of the event including two on the first day, which consisted of picks No. 1-60. Though there were indications some might pass on the money and end up playing for UF in 2012, all four players were signed by their respective clubs.

RHP Michael Kelly – Round 2, Pick 48 – San Diego Padres
RHP Hudson Boyd – Round 2, Pick 55 – Minnesota Twins
1B Daniel Vogelbach – Round 3, Pick 68 – Chicago Cubs
RHP Kyle Smith – Round 4, Pick 126 – Kansas City Royals

That leaves the Gators with a eight-person 2011 signing class, which includes four players who were drafted in June but chose not to take their deals.

INF Casey Turgeon – Round 22, Pick 672 – New York Mets
INF Joshua Tobias – Round 31, Pick 937 – Washington Nationals
RHP John Magliozzi – Round 35, Pick 1,080 – Tampa Bay Rays
RHP/OF Ryan Harris – Round 37, Pick 1,139 – New York Yankees
C Brandon Sedell
RHP/3B Justin Shafer
LHP Corey Stump
3B/OF Sean Trent

FOUR (Video) BITS: Wambach’s edge, Madison’s chomp, Tebow’s pass, Cooper’s catch

1 » Former Florida Gators and current U.S. Women’s National Team striker Abby Wambach recently allowed Gatorade to film an Inside the Edge segment with her as she trained for and played in a Women’s Professional Soccer game with the magicJack. Wambach, who is a starter and the temporary coach for the team, went through her daily regimen and spoke about what it takes to prepare day-in and day-out. Check it out:

2 » Promoting a the new movie Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, 11-year-old actress Bailee Madison proved she may be the cutest Florida fan in Hollywood after she performed the Gator Chomp while telling a story during an interview with the unfunny, bit-stealing host. In order to reduce your pain in watching a Leno interview, OGGOA was able to cut the segment down to just a few seconds. Thanks to reader Craig S. for the heads-up (especially considering this television program is prohibited from being watched at OGGOA headquarters).

Check out two more video BITS of Tebow and Cooper…after the break
Continue Reading » FOUR (Video) BITS: Wambach’s edge, Madison’s chomp, Tebow’s pass, Cooper’s catch

Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Preseason 1/4

With the 2011 NFL preseason officially underway, a number of Florida Gators participated in Week 1 action, some of whom had an impact on their team’s performance. OGGOA has checked and re-checked the box scores to bring you a summary of what these Gators accomplished during the first exhibition week of the 2011 campaign.

QB REX GROSSMAN, Washington Redskins: 19/26 for 207 yards and a touchdown (QB Rating: 109.0)

FS MAJOR WRIGHT, Chicago Bears: Team-high five solo tackles
QB TIM TEBOW, Denver Broncos: 6/7 for 91 yards (QB Rating: 118.8), two rushes for 15 yards (long: 13)
TE AARON HERNANDEZ, New England Patriots: Six rec. for 68 yards (long: 20)

LB MIKE PETERSON, Atlanta Falcons: Three tackles (two solo, one for loss)
LB ANDRA DAVIS, Buffalo Bills: Two solo tackles
WR DAVID NELSON, Buffalo Bills: Target
OL JASON WATKINS, Buffalo Bills: Played as a reserve
S REGGIE NELSON, Cincinnati Bengals: Solo tackle for loss
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Solo tackle
OT PHIL TRAUTWEIN, Cleveland Browns: Played as a reserve
DE DERRICK HARVEY, Denver Broncos: Played as a reserve
DT MARCUS THOMAS, Denver Broncos: Two tackles (one solo)
DL JEREMY MINCEY, Jacksonville Jaguars: Three tackles (one solo)
LB BRANDON SILER, Kansas City Chiefs: Solo tackle
WR PERCY HARVIN, Minnesota Vikings: Reception for three yards
LB JERMAINE CUNNINGHAM, New England Patriots: Two tackles (one solo), sack
DE ALEX BROWN, New Orleans Saints: Started at defensive end
G COOPER CARLISLE, Oakland Raiders: – Started at right guard
WR CHAD JACKSON, Oakland Raiders: Four targets, one kick return for 17 yards
DE JARVIS MOSS, Oakland Raiders: Three tackles (two solo)
WR RILEY COOPER, Philadelphia Eagles: Reception for 42 yards

C MAURKICE POUNCEY, Pittsburgh Steelers: Started at center
DE RAY MCDONALD, San Francisco 49ers: Started at defensive end
FB EARNEST GRAHAM, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Reception for 13 yards
WR JABAR GAFFNEY, Washington Redskins: Five rec. for 38 yards (long: 12)

C MIKE POUNCEY, Miami Dolphins: Started at center
OT MARCUS GILBERT, Pittsburgh Steelers: Played as a reserve
SS AHMAD BLACK, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Suffered a high-ankle sprain
OG MAURICE HURT, Washington Redskins: Played as a reserve

LB DUKE LEMMENS, Arizona Cardinals: Two solo tackles
DT TERRON SANDERS, Baltimore Ravens: Played as a reserve, waived on Monday
LB BRANDON HICKS, Buffalo Bills: Two solo tackles
LB A.J. JONES, Denver Broncos: Played as a reserve
DE JUSTIN TRATTOU, New York Giants: Three tackles (two solo)
P CHAS HENRY, Philadelphia Eagles: Four punts for 152 yards (long: 52, avg.: 38.0)

WR ANDRE CALDWELL, Cincinnati Bengals: Abdominal pull
DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals: Knee
LB BRANDON SPIKES, New England Patriots: Undisclosed
WR LOUIS MURPHY, Oakland Raiders: Hamstring

The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (29-20)

With under 20 days to go until the Florida Gators‘ 2011-12 football season gets underway, the eighth part of OGGOA‘s new series, The Countdown, takes a look at those players expected to contribute on the field wearing jersey numbers ranging from 29-20.

28 – Jeff Demps (Winter Garden, FL)
Senior running back
5’7” 191 lbs.

Quick Bio: Arguably the fastest student-athlete in the country, Demps left South Lake High School as a four-star recruit and is a social & behavioral sciences major in his final year at the University of Florida. He played in all 28 games (drawing 17 starts) during his first two years with the Gators, scoring seven touchdowns on the ground each season and rushing for a total of 1,350 yards.

2010 Season: Demps was never the same after spraining his left foot while carrying the ball a career-high 26 times against Tennessee in the third week of the season. Through that game he had accumulated 310 rushing yards but only amassed 241 the remainder of the season, missing three games completely and carrying the ball fewer than 10 times in six of the seven contests he participated in. Demps still finished the season with a team-high 927 all-purpose yards.

2011 Outlook: Seriously considering not returning to the team in order to pursue a full-time career as a sprinter, Demps ultimately decided to rejoin the squad for his final season. He will be the starting running back again but should have his burden eased a bit by redshirt junior Chris Rainey returning to the backfield. “Both Jeff and Chris have been very impressive,” head coach Will Muschamp said. “We do a nice job on the perimeter blocking with our wideouts. We create some one-on-ones with people who aren’t used to tackling as much as far as corners and secondary people. When those guys get the ball on the edge, they’re fun to watch.” Though he hoped to accomplish the feat in 2010, Demps could eclipse 1,000 yards rushing for the first time in his career; the feat has not been accomplished by a Florida running back since 2004 (Ciatrick Fason).

26 – De’Ante Saunders (DeLand, FL)
Freshman cornerback
5’8” 192 lbs.

Quick Bio: An early enrollee, Saunders was a highly-recruited three-star prospect coming out of high school who participated in the Under Armour All-American Game.

2011 Outlook: A player who Muschamp said is “going to be a really good player for Florida” after the Orange & Blue Debut in April, Saunders is not likely to earn a starting role this year but could see significant playing time both on defense and special teams. After being cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession in May, he has quit smoking (according to his attorney Huntley Johnson) and was disciplined internally. Muschamp recently praised his work filling in at cornerback and hopes to see continued improvement this fall.

25 – Gideon Ajagbe (Coconut Grove, FL)
Redshirt freshman linebacker
6’3” 227 lbs.

Quick Bio/2010 Season: Earning a medical redshirt after tearing his rotator cuff in preseason camp last year, Ajagbe is a three-star recruit who is majoring in social & behavioral sciences and is hoping to see his first field time this year.

2011 Outlook: With very little depth at linebacker, Ajagbe is competing with a number of other youngsters for one of the starting outside roles. His athleticism has impressed coaches this offseason after a complete recovery from surgery slightly less than one year ago.

24 – Josh Evans (Irvington, NJ)
Junior safety
6’1” 199 lbs.

Quick Bio: One of only five true juniors on the roster, Evans has appeared in 21 games over two seasons and notched 20 tackles as well as one interception. He was a four-star recruit coming out of high school who chose Florida over Oklahoma (among others).

2010 Season: Appearing in all 13 of the Gators’ games one year ago, Evans also earned three starts including the Outback Bowl against Penn State. He collected a career-high four tackles in that contest and grabbed his first career interception against Vanderbilt just a few weeks earlier.

2011 Outlook: With both of Florida’s starting safeties no longer with the team, Evans moves into a permanent starting role in his third season alongside sophomore Matt Elam. Muschamp recently said he needs to get his assignments down and work a little more on communication, but noted before fall practice that he has “certainly been another guy that’s shown he can [make plays and be athletic].”

23 – Mike Gillislee (DeLand, FL)
Junior running back
5’11” 198 lbs.

Quick Bio: A four-star running back coming out of high school who was listed as the No. 7 player at his position by Rivals, Gillislee has participated in 25 of 27 games over his first two seasons and enters his true junior season still looking to the lion’s share of time in the backfield.

2010 Season: After carrying the ball 31 times for 267 yards and a touchdown during his freshman season, Gillislee toted the rock 58 times for 328 yards and seven scores last year. He scored two touchdowns each against Tennessee and Vanderbilt, notched a career-best and team-high 50-yard kickoff return and took snaps as a gunner on the kickoff and punt coverage units.

2011 Outlook: Stuck behind Demps and Rainey in the backfield, Gillislee will once again have to earn his playing time on offense. He hurt his foot in the spring but is practicing at full speed in the fall. Nevertheless, he is a step behind Demps and Rainey and will have to pick things up to put a dent into their game-by-game carries.

22 – Matt Elam (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
Sophomore safety
5’10” 206 lbs.

Quick Bio/2010 Season: A five-star prospect coming out of Dwyer High School now majoring in social & behavioral sciences, Elam played as a reserve safety and key special teams member in all 13 games as a freshman. He was on the starting unit for kickoff coverage and kickoff returns and registered 22 tackles (16 solo, 1.5 for a loss) while earning a sack, fumble recovery and pass deflection on the year.

2011 Outlook: Like Evans, Elam is penned in as a starting safety this year and will likely take over the “strong” spot previously occupied by Ahmad Black. He has been the most impressive and consistent member of the secondary in the offseason, drawing rave reviews from his coaches and teammates on both sides of the ball not only for his play but also his improved leadership. “I love being an underdog. It pushes me harder. The whole team knows we’re underdogs, and it makes us practice harder and stick together,” he said during Florida media day. “Being an underdog is very important to us. People don’t know what goes on around here. The coaches are great. We’re more as a team. We’re closer. And we’re the underdogs, so we’re working harder.”

21 – Jabari Gorman (Miami, FL)
Freshman safety
5’9” 183 lbs.

Quick Bio: A four-star recruit and the No. 10 safety in the nation coming out of high school, Gorman is a sports medicine major who was highly recruited but always wanted to play for the Gators.

2011 Outlook: Not a candidate to get significant playing time this year, Gorman could still see his fair share on special teams or if he impresses over the next two weeks. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Jelani Jenkins said he has “been coming through” for the secondary recently when asked to single out young players who have made an impact in his mind.

20 – Valdez Showers (Madison Heights, MI)
Freshman defensive back
5’11” 198 lbs.

Quick Bio: A four-star prospect coming out of high school who is focused on both football and academics, Showers was the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Michigan and was also honored as The Detroit News’ Player of the Year.

2011 Outlook: Originally slated as a cornerback, Showers was moved to safety by Muschamp due to his size (5’11”) and is hoping to sneak his way into some playing time as Elam, Evans, sophomore Jaylen Watkins, redshirt freshman Joshua Shaw and sophomore Cody Riggs jockey for position.

THE COUNTDOWN: 99-90 | 89-80 | 79-70 | 69-60 | 59-50 | 49-40 |
39-30 | 29-20 | 19-10 | 9-1

SEC to Texas A&M: No thanks (for now)

Amid speculation that the Texas A&M Aggies had decided to join the Southeastern Conference and were simply waiting on approval from the league’s hierarchy, the SEC’s presidents and chancellors met on Sunday to discuss expansion and including Texas A&M in their league. University of Florida president and the chair of the SEC’s presidents and chancellors, Bernie Machen, released the following statement on behalf of the league at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon:

“The SEC Presidents and Chancellors met today and reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institutional alignment. We recognize, however, that future conditions may make it advantageous to expand the number of institutions in the league. We discussed criteria and process associated with expansion. No action was taken with respect to any institution including Texas A&M.”

The short version: We have decided not to take action to expand our conference at this time but reserve the right to do so in the future. Take care of the odds and ends on your end and we will start this process over from the beginning.

8/13: Muschamp on offensive line, returners, pass rush issues, mental mistakes and more

With the Florida Gators fully entrenched in fall practice and now working with coaches off the field and crowd noise pumped in, head coach Will Muschamp met with the media late Saturday night and provided updates on how the team is progressing on both sides of the ball heading into the 2011 season, which begins on Sept. 3.


Stuck with a depleted unit that is being rebuilt from the ground up, Muschamp, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and offensive line coach Frank Verducci are beginning to hone in on their rotation up front. Muschamp previously noted that he was looking for eight or nine players to bring in and out; Saturday he praised the unit for beginning to solidify and provided the following rough depth chart:

LT: Junior Xavier Nixon, redshirt sophomore Kyle Kohene
LG: Redshirt freshman Ian Silberman/redshirt senior James Wilson
C: Redshirt sophomore Jonotthan Harrison, redshirt junior Sam Robey
RG: Redshirt sophomore Jon Halapio
RT: Redshirt junior Matt Patchan/redshirt freshman Chaz Green

The left guard and right tackle spots are still being decided. Robey is taking reps as the back-up center but is also being worked at both guard spots. The same goes for redshirt sophomore Nick Alajajian and redshirt senior transfer Dan Wenger, both of whom are also playing all three positions. Green can play both tackle positions but is still fighting for the starting job on the right side, leaving Kohene to be the back-up for Nixon.

“You’d like to have a deeper group. We think the two freshmen are going to be good players – Tommy Jordan and Trip Thurman – very pleased with both of those young men,” Muschamp said. “Their movement, their toughness, what they bring to the table. We’re excited about that group, but you’d like have 18 instead of 13.”


Though the coaching staff has a good idea who will be returning kicks and punts this year, the positions have not officially been won yet. Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Andre Debose and sophomore WR Solomon Patton at the primary kick return men, but senior running back Jeff Demps has also been working at that position as well.

For punt returns, redshirt senior RB Chris Rainey (“He’s an electric guy with the ball in his hands.”) would be the starter if the season began today, but Patton, redshirt junior WR Frankie Hammond, Jr. and even redshirt sophomore tight end Jordan Reed have been fielding punts. The Reed experiment is going well so far. “We’ve put him back there and we feel comfortable about it,” Muschamp said. “He has great ball judgment and catches the ball extremely well.”

The coach is not hesitant to put Demps, Rainey, Reed or any other starter on special teams, noting (like head coach Urban Meyer before him) that he plans to let his playmakers see the field as much as possible. “We’re going to play our best players on special teams,” he said. “Injuries happen – that’s part of the game. We’re going to play our best players on special teams. I told the guys that from the day one meeting. Our best guys are playing. If it affords us to win a football game, then we’re going to do it and that’s part of the game.”


He might be best versed in the secondary, but Muschamp knows that it all starts in the trenches (a mantra he has repeated throughout the offseason). With that said, he is none too pleased with the team’s lack of consistency getting the quarterback without having to blitz and hopes that improves in the near future. “We’ve got to get more consistent rushing. It’s just not consistently winning the one-on-ones. If you’re going to play coverage, the best pass defense in America is a pass rush,” he said. “You can’t do it with pressure all the time and create middle-field coverage and a lot of one-on-ones outside. You got to be smart in how you pressure, and you’ve got to be able to pressure with four guys. That’s something that, when we’ve been able to affect the quarterback, we’ve had four good ones rushing up front. Whoever got the one-on-one was going to win. That’s the best pass defense in America.”

As Florida continues to work to that end, Muschamp thinks senior defensive end William Green, redshirt junior DE Lerentee McCray and sophomore buck linebacker Ronald Powell have been solid thus far for the Gators.

Another thing Muschamp is wary of is overloading the team from a mental aspect. Already concerned with the mistakes being made during the first week of practice (“[I’m] pleased with our physical effort, not as pleased with our mental effort as much – a lot of mental mistakes and things we’ve got to get cleaned up.”), he is making a conscientious effort not to overload the team with too much too fast.

“That’s a fine line,” he said when asked if the 3-4 defense was being heavily installed. “You can’t do so much that your players are confused. We’re right now weeding things out on what we do to get our guys to play fast and get them ready for the season. What I don’t want to do during the season is install new stuff each week. That makes for a slow player on Saturday. We need to install for the season. We’ve game planned; we’ve looked at all our opponents so we have an idea within our scheme what we need to do to be successful. We’re trying to pare down right now where we are.”

Asked how he felt the team was progressing up to this point, Muschamp would neither say that the team was behind nor ahead of his projection. “We are where we are. It’s a little frustrating because we’re thin with our numbers – on both lines of scrimmage,” he said. “We’re pushing through that, and I think the guys have worked hard. Mentally we need to be sharper; we need to be mentally tougher in training camp. That’s where you build the toughness of your football team from that standpoint. Training camp is hard, it’s not easy, it’s not supposed to be easy.”


» On what the team has been doing recently in practice: “A lot of situational work in the last 4-5 practices – third down, coming out, a lot of special teams emphasis of different situations that are going to come up in different games, two minute situations, end of game, down a touchdown, down two scores, down three points – putting the offense and defense in those situations. We worked crowd noise for the first time tonight, worked a lot of up-tempo on both sides of the ball. I’ve been pleased with that. A lot of red zone work – we’ve been in the red zone the last four practices.”

» On units necessitating cohesion: “The offensive line position and secondary have got to be close knit as far as their communication and being on the same page for what we’re trying to do.”

» On Texas A&M possibly going to the SEC: “I’m trying to get pass rush. I could care less about what the Aggies are doing. I can certainly say that. I haven’t given it a whole lot of thought to be honest with you. Believe me, that decision is made way above my head, I can certainly tell you that.”

» On the team’s pass rush: “I’ve been thinking about that a lot more than I have the Ags, I can tell you that.”

» There are no other major injuries right now aside from that of freshman tight end A.C. Leonard (torn meniscus, 6-8 weeks). Muschamp said there are some bumps and bruises (hamstrings, shoulders, ankles) but “nobody will be out for any extended period of time to this point” while knocking on wood (his desk).

» Redshirting players is a decision the coaches will make a few games into the season. He said it is “too hard to project right now” with so many variables. The coaching staff has not yet discussed redshirts and it will not likely be a topic of conversation until after the team’s second scrimmage next Saturday (the first one is Monday).

» The back-up quarterbacks have not begun to separate themselves yet. “The scrimmage situation is a good evaluator for that,” Muschamp said. Over the course of the last four practices, the coaches have been off the field and letting the players play. Muschamp said the QBs have been identifying the mike linebacker well and communicating properly with their unit. “Obviously John [Brantley] has been way above the others, but I think all four at times have had nice moments.”

» As far as the secondary goes, Muschamp is emphasizing substitutions a lot for the nickel set and is pleased with the work of cornerbacks redshirt senior Moses Jenkins and freshmen De’Ante Saunders, Marcus Roberson and Louchiez Purifoy. He also singled at sophomore Matt Elam as the most consistent safety but said junior Josh Evans mentally needs to get his assignments down and work on communication. Muschamp praised sophomore Jaylen Watkins and redshirt freshman Joshua Shaw, adding that sophomore CB Cody Riggs will be getting some reps at safety after Monday’s scrimmage.

» Redshirt sophomore linebacker Dee Finely has been “solid” at his position but is also playing “outstanding” on special teams, according to Muschamp. He missed Saturday evening’s practice due to an undisclosed injury, but the team expects him to be back in action on Monday.

» Freshman safety Chris Johnson (5’9”, 205 lbs.) has been taking reps inside at linebacker for the last few days.

8/12: Brantley, Hammond, Dunbar talk offense

With the Florida Gators having completed their first two-a-day practice of the 2011 season, a number of prominent players from the offensive side of the ball met with the media on Friday to discuss how the team is progressing early on in camp.


The overriding sense on Friday is that Florida’s offense is a lot more fluid than it was at this time one year ago. Not only is redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley more confident in his abilities, his pass catchers are, too. And it doesn’t hurt that they are stepping up as well. “Coach [Aubrey] Hill has done a great job with them so far this camp,” Brantley said. “We’re seeing improvement every single day with route running. As long as they keep getting better everyday, we’ll be happy.”

Stepping out from among the pack is redshirt junior wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr., who head coach Will Muschamp and some of his teammates agree is the most consistent of the bunch. “[He’s] making plays, making the touch catches and making the easy catches that he’s supposed to make. And making people miss after those catches,” Brantley added. “You can tell that he’s been studying his playbook, and it’s been showing on the field.”

Hammond himself agrees with Brantley’s assessment. “[I’m] just getting down the plays,” he said. “It’s a new offense, so the biggest change is putting in the new offense and everybody getting up to speed and learning the new plays.”


Just like he did in spring ball, redshirt freshman WR Quinton Dunbar is coming on strong in the fall, proving he can be an electric and dependable target. “[He’s] just making plays when plays need to be made,” Brantley explained. “Anyone can catch the ball when no one’s around, but it’s what you do in traffic and on the go routes – if you can go up there over the cornerback. He’s just making plays.”

Dunbar himself said his connection with Brantley is strong and, while he is getting some praise, he appreciates being an under-the-radar player. “It means a lot to me because I’m just trying to help the team in any way,” he said. “So I go out there and work hard every day to get better.”


» Brantley said there is a pretty even distribution of practice snaps behind him for all three reserve quarterbacks. “They’re doing real good. Jacoby [Brissett]’s picked up on it real quick because he’s been here the shortest amount of time. Just like the receivers and just like everyone else, they’re getting better reach day.”

» Brantley also said that having some veterans on the offensive line is giving him some confidence and he is impressed in their production as well as that of senior running back Jeff Demps after running track this summer.

» Brantley on if the offense is game-ready: “We’re really close. These past three days have been really good for our offense. As long as we keep going, in this next week we’re going to be very game-ready.”

» Dunbar said he prefers the go routes and comebacks but says overall the wide receivers are running a wider variety of routes this year. “Vertical is a big part of this offense,” he said. “[Running] to set up the pass is a big emphasis.”

» Redshirt senior cornerback Moses Jenkins on what he’s up to: “I’m just trying to grind. I’m just going hard, studying my playbook, asking coaches more questions [about] film.”

» Jenkins on coming back from injury: “People don’t understand that when we’re out there playing, we don’t think about injuries. But when you get injured and you’re not playing, not playing hurts more. You’re watching your team win games and have fun and all of that.”

» Jenkins on the defense as a whole: “We’re going to be a lot tougher, a lot faster, a lot more physical. I can’t wait to get started.”

Former Gators punter Chandler dead at 76

An accomplished football player in both the college and professional ranks, former Florida Gators punter Don Chandler died Thursday in Tulsa, OK at the age of 76 after a long battle with cancer.

A 12-year NFL veteran who played in the first two Super Bowls after being the No. 57 overall pick in the fifth round of the 1956 NFL Draft, Chandler was a member of both the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers during his time in the league. He was named to the NFL’s 1960s All-Decade Team and has been honored in Hall of Fames by the Packers, University of Florida and state of Oklahoma. He is also on the Giants’ Wall of Fame.

Chandler not only punted 660 balls for 28,678 yards as a pro, he also went 94-for-161 as a field goal kicker and spent some time at halfback, too.

He played in the NFL’s first two overtime games, was Green Bay’s leading scorer every year he played for the team, holds the league’s record for most field goals in a Super Bowl (four, 1968), and at one time led the league in punting average (44.6 yards, 1957) and field goal percentage (67.9 percent, 1962).

With the Gators, Chandler was the nation’s leading punter in 1955 (44.5 yards) and is second in Florida record books for longest punt (76 yards).

OGGOA sends our condolences to the Chandler family.

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