Gator Bites for Friday, August 20th

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.

» The University of Florida’s 2010-11 athletic season officially begins Friday as No. 11 Florida Gators soccer takes on the Miami Hurricanes at 7 p.m. at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Admission is free, and the match will air live on Sun Sports.

» New England Patriots rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez scored his first career professional touchdown on Thursday, catching a four-yard pass from quarterback Tom Brady in the second quarter of the team’s preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. Hernandez, who lead the team with four receptions and 46 yards, had to turn around to complete the reception in the back of the end zone. Also shining for the Patriots on Thursday was running back Fred Taylor (team-high 11 carries for 54 yards and a TD). Linebacker Brandon Spikes racked up three solo tackles, while defensive tackle Gerard Warren added one assisted.

Eight more Gator Bites on Tim Tebow, Major Wright, Cornelius Ingram, Maurkice Pouncey, Joe Haden, Chris Leak, Ryan Lochte and Urban Meyer…after the jump!
Continue Reading » Gator Bites for Friday, August 20th

Coxson second freshman to transfer in four days

Following in the footsteps of freshman safety Jordan Haden, who was granted a full release with no transfer exceptions by head coach Urban Meyer on on Aug. 16, wide receiver Adrian Coxson has also decided to leave the Florida Gators.

Citing home sickness as his chief reason, Coxson’s transfer has been agreed to by the University of Florida; he will be released from his scholarship effective immediately.

Early Thursday, freshman safety Matt Elam wrote the following innocuous message on his Twitter account: “I hate to see young men my age run away from something because it’s hard. Just destroying our class.”

A highly-rated four-star recruit from Maryland (like Haden) Coxson’s name had not been heard much in fall practice. The Gators signed four other WRs in their 2010 recruiting class including Chris Dunkley, Quinton Dunbar, Solomon Patton and Robert Clark and already have two-to-four committed for 2011 (depending on position choice).

UPDATE: Coxson will be transferring to Maryland, according to numerous media outlets.

OGGOA RELATED: Freshman S Jordan Haden looking to transfer

Percy Harvin rushed to hospital after collapsing

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin was rushed to the hospital during training camp on Thursday after vomiting and then collapsing while observing practice from the sidelines. The 2009 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year was noticeably trembling and fading in and out of consciousness as he was tended to on the field.

Harvin reportedly had one of his migraine headache episodes triggered by looking into the sky while fielding punts during a special teams drill earlier in practice. He went inside the facility to meet with Dr. Sheldon Burns who cleared him, allowing his return to the field. Once coming back, Harvin spoke with head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman for some time before bending over and then collapsing.

Meeting with the media after practice, head coach Brad Childress said Harvin was “trembling” as he lay on the field being tended to first by team staff and then the emergency medical technicians.

The Associated Press reports that “the ambulance did not leave right away after Harvin was loaded, and it left without sirens sounding or lights flashing.”

UPDATE: Childress: “Percy appreciates everyone’s concern. He is alert and resting comfortably, but will remain in the hospital overnight.”

Players react:

ESPN’s Rachel Nichols reports:

OGGOA will update this breaking story continuously as more information is made available. We wish Harvin our best and a speedy recovery.

Photo Credit: Unknown

SIX BITS: Tebow’s ribs, Super Tuesday, DL, Moss

1 » Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow left training camp with the Denver Broncos on Wednesday, apparently still feeling the effects of some of the hits he took in his first NFL game last week> “[Tebow] appeared to be holding his left side after going through some footwork drills early in the Broncos’ practice,” The Gainesville Sun’s Pat Dooley reports. “Tebow did not participate in sprints at the end of practice Tuesday [either]. He had previously won every post-practice conditioning sprint among offensive players in training camp.”

The Denver Post is calling Tebow’s ribs “bruised” and notes that teammates like Broncos linebacker Mario Haggan appreciated the effort. “That’s what you like about him,” Haggan said. “There was no choice to be made – you go for pay dirt.” One of his offensive linemen agree. “They always talk about the ‘welcome to the NFL’ hit. You’ve got to get your pads firmed up when you start off in the NFL. I think he had an opportunity to do that,” right tackle Ryan Harris said. One more? “[Tebow] has a warrior’s mentality,” safety Brian Dawkins said. “Which is good, but at the same time, being able to decipher when and when not to. Hopefully he won’t have to learn the hard, hard way.”

2 » ESPN announced its men’s college basketball Super Tuesday schedule for 2011 on Wednesday; Florida is set to begin the slate and will appear three times in four weeks: Jan. 11 at Tennessee (9 p.m.), Jan. 25 at Georgia (7 p.m.) and Feb. 1 vs. Vanderbilt (9 p.m.). The Gators also appeared in three Super Tuesday games last season and are already scheduled for four ESPN appearances (Nov. 16 vs. Ohio State – 6 p.m.).

Four more BITS about the defensive line, Jarvis Moss, Austin Rivers and Jenn Brown…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Tebow’s ribs, Super Tuesday, DL, Moss

Decision time: Waisome picks UF, Wilder to FSU

Two of the country’s top high school seniors announced their respective college choices on Wednesday, both deciding to attend a respective university that will put them in direct competition with each other. Four-star cornerback Nick Waisome (Groveland, FL) committed to the Florida Gators, while five-star running back James Wilder, Jr. (Tampa, FL) has decided to play for the Florida State Seminoles.

Waisome, who greatly impressed coaches and those in attendance with his combination of speed and technical proficiency at Florida’s Friday Night Lights camp on July 23, is one of the top 10 players at his position in the nation and noted that the school’s graduation rate and coaching philosophy were big motivators in his decision.

“It was the relationship with the coaches, some of the players, I like the atmosphere,” Waisome said on ESPNU. “The school is a fun place. And I just liked it overall. Great school. [They] win championships. [I'm] ready to play.”

He also discussed meeting with new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin during his last visit to the University of Florida. “It was a good experience, I got to talk to him one-on-one about some of the coaching factors he uses individually – what kind of schemes they run and stuff like that. I got a feel of how he coaches, and I feel I can be coached the same way.”

Also one of the top 25 recruits in the state of Florida, Waisome becomes the Gators’ 14th commitment for the 2011 recruiting cycle and is only the second CB to sign after four-star Louchiez Purifoy (Pensacola, FL) decided to join the team just before FNL.

Unlike Waisome, Wilder did not attend Florida’s camp and instead decided to visit Florida State in the later part of July. Though he was a strong Gators lean for quite some time, in the end Wilder felt that he has a greater chance to succeed as a RB – his position of choice – playing with the Seminoles.

Photo Credit: Scout.com

FOUR BITS: Meyer, Cooper, Whitson, Demps

1 » Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer, speaking at the 40th annual UF Joint Civic Club Luncheon alongside president Bernie Machen, paid tribute to longtime Gainesville, FL, police officer Johnny Hornes who died last week of cancer at 67. Speaking about Hornes, Meyer noted that he helped change his players’ perceptions of law enforcement and even taught redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey how to tie a neck tie. During the tribute, Machen happened to say something of note regarding Meyer’s future. “And after [the Meyers] finish working, they’re going to stay in Gainesville as members of the community. So they’ve chosen this as their home, and they’ve chosen you as their friends and neighbors, and I think we’re all better for that.”

2 » According to the Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News, former Gators wide receiver Riley Cooper has firmly taken control of the Philadelphia Eagles’ No. 4 receiving role from veteran Hank Baskett. He has been a standout during training camp and has performed well while some of the team’s starters have been out with a variety of injuries.

Three more BITS including thoughts from baseball star Whitson, an honor for Demps and a photo spread featuring a Florida cheerleader…after the break!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Meyer, Cooper, Whitson, Demps

’10 Gators to wear special uniforms at least once

For the second straight year, the Florida Gators have been chosen by Nike as one of 10 schools who will wear special uniforms for at least one game during the 2010-11 season. According to a Tuesday press release:

“The Nike Pro Combat System of Dress uniforms the schools will wear are engineered to provide superior protection and durability, while utilizing advanced fabrics and tooling that reduce weight. Nike worked diligently with each university to bring relevant elements of the school’s rich heritage into the futuristic elite fit uniform designs. The collaborations with the universities produced the highly customized uniforms that will be revealed just days prior to the start of the 2010 college football season.”

Alabama, Boise State, Miami (FL), Ohio State, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Texas Christian, Virginia Tech and Virginia are the other nine schools who will be participating in Nike’s promotional campaign.

The dates of the games in which the uniforms will be worn by the respective schools will be announced on Wed., Sept. 1. Last season, the Gators donned the Nike Pro Combat uniforms during their home finale against Florida State on Sat., Nov. 28, 2009.

OGGOA had an exclusive look at the 2009 version of the uniforms; however, the early announcement for 2010 may curb our ability to replicate the information we were able to attain last season.

OGGOA RELATED: Nov. 9 | Nov. 10 | Nov. 17 | Nov. 20 | Nov. 21


[Pictured: Florida's 2009 Nike Pro Combat Uniform]

8/18: Florida Gators 2010 fall practice updates

The 2010 version of the Florida Gators is in the midst of their second week of fall practice and, while the activities were once again closed to both the media and public, some notable things did occur Tuesday. OGGOA has compiled some of the key details.

STARTING OFFENSIVE LINE SET?

Stringing together an announcement from offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio that senior center Mike Pouncey, redshirt senior tackle Marcus Gilbert, and redshirt senior guards Carl Johnson and Maurice Hurt have all earned starting jobs on the OL with one from Pouncey stating that sophomore Xavier Nixon has won the starting left tackle job, the Gators front five may finally be set in stone. Nixon was competing with redshirt sophomore Matt Patchan for the role, even though the former started five games for Florida last season. It is important to note that there are sentiments that Nixon has yet to officially win his gig and redshirt junior G James Wilson may have the opportunity to beat out Hurt.

BROWN LOSES BLACK

Freshman running back Mack Brown became the 11th frosh to lose his black helmet stripe, getting it removed on Wednesday with the help of Pouncey. There are 15 more – notably defensive end Ronald Powell – still awaiting this ritual.

A few of you have asked me via Twitter (@onlygators) what exactly the “black stripe” is and what it means when it is removed. Here is a quick synopsis: As freshmen (or transfers), players have black stripes of tape placed on their helmets (front-to-back) indicating that they are new to the program; these are removed once each individual player proves that they deserve to be a Gator. This can occur by recommendation of a coach or fellow player. Head coach Urban Meyer spoke about it Tuesday: “It’s basically to de-recruit, to get rid of the nonsense, to make them understand that they’re not an outstanding freshman. They’re just another guy on the team trying to make their way. […] They walk up in front of the team, either in a team meeting or on the field and the young man stands up and sometimes gets very emotional because now he’s a Gator. His helmet’s like everybody else. It’s kind of cool.”

BACK TO THE FUTURE

After being monitored the last few practices while recovering from a hamstring injury, freshman wide receiver Chris Dunkley is back running at full speed, according to WR coach Zach Azzanni. However, perhaps contrary to what many expected coming out of National Signing Day, all indications are that freshman WR Quinton Dunbar is the more impressive and making the best case for playing time.

In other WR news… redshirt senior Carl Moore clarified to the media on Wednesday that, when he left practice for a few days in the spring, he was not considering leaving the team but was simply dealing with some personal issues. Since returning, Moore has solidified his spot as a starter and – like redshirt junior Deonte Thompson – is making strides every day during practice.

OTHER NOTES

» Redshirt freshman linebacker Jelani Jenkins is inching closer and closer each day to winning the starting role in the middle.

» Redshirt sophomore DE Earl Okine has been working at tight end the last few practices, according to Addazio. In fact, his position appears to have officially switched if you look at hiss GatorZone.com profile. Okine took limited snaps at TE in high school, catching 15 passes his senior year to go along with his 84 tackles and 11 sacks as a DE.

QUOTES [After the break...]
Continue Reading » 8/18: Florida Gators 2010 fall practice updates

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