Elam, Patton arrested for possession of alcohol

Florida Gators freshmen safety Matt Elam and wide receiver Solomon Patton were each arrested over the summer for possession of alcohol by a minor (person under the age of 21), according to the Miami Herald.

The Herald reports that Elam was “arrested for allegedly possessing a can of carbonated malt liquor in the parking lot of a bank on NW 1st Street in Gainesville,” while Patton was “arrested at Plasma Lounge in downtown Gainesville and charged with a second-degree misdemeanor for allegedly possessing a drink containing vodka.”

Elam pleaded no contest to the charge on July 21 and was ordered to pay a fine of $121-184 by Alachua County court; Patton’s prosecution was deferred on Aug. 18 by request and will likely result in his record being wiped clean after he completes community service.

Though, according to co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chuck Heater, Elam will not be suspended for the Sept. 4 opener against Miami (OH), Patton’s status has yet to be decided. Elam is expected to see significant playing time this season while Patton’s role is that of a back-up.

On June 14, a source close to the team told OGGOA that head coach Urban Meyer and his coaching staff held an emergency meeting with players to inform them that, more than ever, accountability and responsibility were important to the program this offseason. This occurred after redshirt sophomore WR Frankie Hammond, Jr. was arrested for DUI. The Gators adopted an “if one falls, all fall” mentality that was taught in practical application immediately after the impassioned meeting.

OGGOA will update this story as more information is made available.

Danny Wuerffel to guest blog for ONLY GATORS

With the Florida Gators 2010-11 football season set to begin on Sept. 4, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive is making a concerted effort to provide our readers with additional perspective from someone who has plenty of experience inside the huddle at The Swamp. On Tuesday, former national champion and multiple award-winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel agreed to join OGGOA as a guest blogger for the entire month of September.

There are four games scheduled for Florida next month – Sept. 4 vs. Miami (OH), Sept. 11 vs. South Florida, Sept. 18 at Tennessee and Sept. 25 vs. Kentucky – and Wuerffel will be contributing his post-game thoughts and keeping readers abreast about how he thinks the team performed each Monday following the Gators game.

The 1996 winner of the Heisman Trophy, Johnny Unitas Award, Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, NCAA QB of the Year Award, Draddy Trophy and Davey O’Brien Award (also 1995), Wuerffel has a unique perspective as a four-year player at Florida who passed for 10,875 yards and 114 touchdowns in his Florida career.

A first-team All-America selection in 1995 and 1996, many of Wuerffel’s numbers remain the best in Southeastern Conference history and the second-best in national history. In 1995, his efficiency of 178.4 set a single-season collegiate record, and in his Heisman year of 1996, his 3,625 yards (SEC record), 39 TDs (led nation, SEC record) and efficiency rating of 170.6 made him the first QB to ever post a rating of 170 or more in back-to-back years. Wuerffel led the Gators in passing in each of his four seasons (1993-96) and still holds Florida records for most career passing touchdowns and most passing touchdowns in a season (in which he also holds second place). In fact, one out of every 9.74 passes Wuerffel threw in his career would be scored for a touchdown.

Enshrined in the team’s Ring of Honor in 2006 and set to be immortalized in a statue outside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in 2010, Wuerffel is now the executive director of Desire Street Ministries, which works to revitalize impoverished neighborhoods through spiritual and community development.

Keep a look out for his contributions exclusively here on OGGOA as the season begins!

OGGOA RELATED: Exclusive interview with Danny Wuerffel

SIX BITS: Meyer, Fricke, Murphy, James, Patriots

1 » On the heels of FOX Sports’ piece about Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer on Tuesday comes another from the New York Times’ Pete Thamel, who notes that Meyer has a new perspective on his coaching career these days. In fact, it even led him to discard his Blackberry for a time being in place of an “older model with no Internet connection. He programmed seven numbers in it – for his four immediate family members, his two sisters and his father. No one else knew the number.” His wife, Shelley Meyer, is happy with his progress and health now. “As scary and hard as it was on the family and the team, so much good has come out of it,” she said. “The way he is now, he could go 10 more years.” Even strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti noticed something wrong with Meyer’s weight – by looking at his butt. “When he’d walk, his pants would sag halfway down,” Marotti said. “He looked like one of our players. He completely lost his entire rear end.”

2 » A university spokesperson announced Thursday that senior Florida basketball guard Hudson Fricke has decided to transfer to Milligan College. A walk-on who only played 22 minutes in three years, Fricke’s only points came on four free throws during the 2007-08 season. OGGOA wishes him the best of luck with his new team.

3 » Recapping what coaches learned during Oakland Raiders training camp this offseason, Jerry McDonald of the Contra Costa Times notes that former Gators wide receiver Louis Murphy “is far and away the Raiders’ best and most dangerous receiver” even though he “still drops too many passes for a real level of comfort. Murphy, who caught 34 balls for 521 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie, was the team’s best WR and second-leading pass catcher in 2009-10.

4 » Tough night for former Florida kick returner Brandon James on Thursday. While returning a punt for the Indianapolis Colts, James muffed the catch, allowing the Green Bay to recover the ball in the endzone for a touchdown. Additionally, rookie cornerback Ray Fisher returned a kickoff 58 yards for a TD. With Devin Moore likely to be the team’s primary returner, there is a chance James loses his opportunity with the Colts.

5 » No. 9 Gators soccer (2-0) looks to stay undefeated Friday night as they take on the Florida Atlantic Owls (0-1) at 6 p.m. at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

6 » Conspicuous by their absences Thursday night were New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez and linebacker Jermaine Cunningham, neither of whom participated in the team’s third preseason game. Hernandez missed practice this week with an undisclosed injury, and Cunningham has yet to participate in a single NFL down this season. Both, however, are expected to see major playing time this year. Florida rookie LB Brandon Spikes, who did play, recorded seven tackles (five solo) and a quarterback hit.

Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

08/26: Florida Gators 2010 fall practice notes

The 2010 version of the Florida Gators is in the midst of their third week fall practice and, while the activities were once again closed to both the media and public, some notable things did occur at Thursday’s press conference courtesy of head coach Urban Meyer. OGGOA has compiled some of the key details.

There is a ton to read…and you can check it all out by clicking the link below.
Continue Reading » 08/26: Florida Gators 2010 fall practice notes

Florida basketball’s 2010-11 SEC schedule

The Southeastern Conference officially announced the Florida Gators basketball team’s 2010-11 conference schedule on Thursday.

Jan. 8 vs. Ole Miss (CSS)
Jan. 11 at Tennessee (ESPN)
Jan. 15 vs. South Carolina (SEC Network)
Jan. 20 at Auburn (ESPN/ESPN2)
Jan. 22 vs. Arkansas (FSN)
Jan. 25 at Georgia (ESPN/ESPN2)
Jan. 29 at Mississippi State (CBS)
Feb. 1 vs. Vanderbilt (ESPN)
Feb. 5 vs. Kentucky (ESPN)
Feb. 9 at South Carolina (SEC Network)
Feb. 12 vs. Tennessee (ESPN/ESPN2)
Feb. 20 at LSU (ESPN/ESPN2)
Feb. 24 vs. Georgia (ESPN/ESPN2)
Feb. 26 at Kentucky (CBS)
Mar. 1 vs. Alabama (ESPNU)
Mar. 5 at Vanderbilt (ESPN)
Mar. 10-13 – SEC Tournament (Atlanta, GA)

» And here is the out-of-conference slate:

Oct. 28 vs. Florida Tech (Gainesville, FL)
Nov. 3 vs. Georgetown College (Gainesville, FL)
Nov. 12 vs. UNC-Wilmington (Gainesville, FL)
Nov. 16 vs. Ohio State (Gainesville, FL)
Nov. 18 vs. North Carolina A&T (Gainesville, FL)
Nov. 21 vs. Morehead State (Gainesville, FL)
Nov. 23 vs. Florida Atlantic (Gainesville, FL)
Nov. 28 at Florida State (Tallahassee, FL)
Dec. 1 vs. Central Florida (Orlando, FL – Amway Center)
Dec. 5 vs. American (Washington, D.C.)
Dec. 9 vs. Kent State (Gainesville, FL)
Dec. 18 vs. Kansas State (Sunrise, FL – BankAtlantic Center)
Dec. 20 vs. Jacksonville (Gainesville, FL)
Dec. 22 vs. Radford (Gainesville, FL)
Dec. 28 vs. Fairfield (Gainesville, FL)
Dec. 31 vs. Xavier (Cincinnati, OH)
Jan 3 vs. Rhode Island (Gainesville, FL)

» NOTES
- Florida has 12 conference games on national television.
- The Gators will hold Senior Day on Mar. 1 vs. Alabama.
- Florida does not end the season against Kentucky for the first time since 1999.

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Florida’s inaugural Student Town Hall a success

Special thanks to OGGOA‘s two intrepid student correspondents Jordan Rothwell and Tiffany Bowers for their significant contributions to the below post.

Florida Gators football opened itself up Wednesday, allowing University of Florida students an opportunity to ask coaches, players and support staff a wide variety of both intriguing and silly questions at the inaugural Student Town Hall Meeting held at the Touchdown Terrace at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

With over 600 students in attendance, every seat in the house was filled and it was standing room (students were in front of the stadium as early as 4:30 p.m. waiting to get in when the gates opened at 7 p.m.).

On hand were head coach Urban Meyer, offensive coordinator Steve Addazio, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti, director of player and community relations Terry Jackson, redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley, senior safety Ahmad Black and junior running back Jeff Demps.

Each student who attended received a 2008 National Championship DVD, Student Town Hall t-shirt and the opportunity to enjoy pizza and drinks as the event came to a close. Throughout the meeting, the team aired a number of highlight videos for the crowd including the recruiting video shown to some of the top high school players in the country when trying to get them to attend UF.

Read about everything that was said at the meeting…after the break!
Continue Reading » Florida’s inaugural Student Town Hall a success

FOUR BITS: Meyer, Shyatt, Pouncey, Loeffler

1 » In a piece published Thursday by FOX Sports, reporter Thayer Evans dives further into Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer’s attempts to regain his health and control of his football team. Among other notes, Evans reports that Meyer now uses his “lunch hour” each day to run and life weights. “It’s the first time he’s regularly exercised in years, but he’s so committed that he rescheduled his weekly media sessions during this season to 11:15 a.m. instead of noon like previous seasons,” the article states. There is plenty more (some of which you likely already know) on Meyer’s delegation techniques and other changes he is making to take care of himself.

2 » CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish had an opportunity to sit in on a two-day coaching clinic run by Florida assistant basketball coach Larry Shyatt, which featured a number of high-profile coaches and assistants “talking about a variety of subjects, exchanging ideas, discussing, debating,” etc. “This clinic is different,” Purdue head coach Matt Painter said. “It’s just an exchange of ideas – coaches passing knowledge back and forth and trying to help each other, and I think that’s what’s great. This is what you get in it for, to coach and have fun and get better and help other guys get better.”

Three more BITS on Pouncey, Loeffler and Demps…after the break.
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Meyer, Shyatt, Pouncey, Loeffler

The truth about freshmen Powell and Easley

There is no mutiny, there are no threats of transfer and no lockers were cleared out, but Florida Gators five-star freshmen defensive end Ronald Powell and defensive tackle Dominique Easley are each dealing with their own separate issues that came to a head Tuesday. Despite rumors and speculation stating the contrary, Powell and Easley did not rally together to combat rough treatment from veterans and neither wishes to leave the University of Florida, a source close to the program told OGGOA on Wednesday.

Powell, who head coach Urban Meyer said had a “great practice on Monday” and was seen working with the team on Wednesday, simply could not have missed multiple practices, as rumored elsewhere. He even dressed and participated in a portion of practice on Tuesday but did leave the field early after a growing sense of frustration overcame him, our source said.

The No. 1 overall recruit in the country coming out of high school, Powell is having some trouble coming to the realization that he is not the best player on the field each day and has a lot of work to do in order to reach his full potential. This happens often when a player is the best on his team – or perhaps the best in his state – in high school and joins a college program loaded with top talent.

As our source put it, every freshman on the team – at one time or another – has a moment where they get rattled; some deal with it internally or by talking to coaches, others act out and leave practice for a day to clear their heads. It is common and happens more often than you might believe.

Easley, on the other hand, is not dealing with that same frustration – at least not publicly; his problems are not “football-related.” In his case, a “personal issue” is causing him some trouble. He did indeed miss practice on Tuesday, but returned Wednesday and participated in full. Our source added that, due to privacy concerns, he would not get into specifics regarding Easley’s personal issue but did mention that it is something he has to “work out on his own.”

Both Powell and Easley met with coaches about their respective issues.

As far as the comments from senior center Mike Pouncey on Tuesday that the freshman class as a whole needs to “shut their mouths and come play,” that is indeed a sentiment felt throughout the program. There is a sense of entitlement being portrayed by the freshmen as a whole, but it is not something the veteran players or coaching staff have been surprised by. That issue is being dealt with on a day-to-day basis and is being slowly remedied as the youngsters continue to be integrated into the program.

When Florida closed practice to fans and the media a few weeks ago, the main reason stated was to keep out “bad guys” and ensure that the players were safe. Just as important in the decision making was Meyer’s desire to rid the team of the distractions, speculation and media pressure that it felt trying to defend its title last season. As our source put it, if you think Meyer was angry about Jeremy Fowler’s alleged misquote of now-redshirt junior wide receiver Deonte Thompson in the Orlando Sentinel last March, you have no idea how fuming mad he is about these false reports.

“He wants the person whose responsible’s head on a stick,” our source said.

Photo Credit: Heather Riggs/The Independent Florida Alligator

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