8/14: Florida Gators 2010 fall scrimmage updates

The 2010 version of the Florida Gators has been participating fall practice for just about a week and, while the activities were closed to both the media and public, some notable things did occur during Saturday’s scrimmage. OGGOA has compiled some of the key details learned throughout the day.

INJURY UPDATES

Redshirt junior running back Chris Rainey (accelerated heartbeat) may have returned to practice Friday, but he was held out of contact drills once again Saturday. With Sunday off, he will probably resume those exercises on Monday. Senior linebacker Brandon Hicks (dehydration) did not return to practice and is still recovering. He will also likely be back Monday.

Other players held out of Saturday’s scrimmage include left tackles sophomore Xavier Nixon (minor injuries) and redshirt sophomore Matt Patchan (wrist). The duo, who are competing for the starting job, were replaced by redshirt senior right tackle Marcus Gilbert, though redshirt senior left guard Carl Johnson saw some action there also.

POSITION BATTLES

Nothing new on starting middle linebacker (still a competition between sophomore Jon Bostic and redshirt freshman Jelani Jenkins), but defensive coordinator Teryl Austin told reporters Saturday that (as expected) redshirt sophomore Jeremy Brown and senior Moses Jenkins separated themselves from the freshmen in the race for starting cornerback. Freshmen Trey Burton and Tyler Murphy continue to compete for back-up quarterback behind redshirt junior starter John Brantley.

“I THOUGHT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT HYBRID ANIMALS”

Always searching for roster flexibility, the Gators have been experimenting with using redshirt sophomore wide receiver Omarius Hines at tight end. Hines has bulked up a bit (up to 222 lbs.) and has good size for the position but is still primarily a receiver. Similarly, redshirt freshman TE Jordan Reed is still playing Wildcat quarterback – especially on goal line formations. And though Murphy will likely convert to receiver once five-star QB recruit Jeff Driskel (Oviedo, FL) joins the program in 2011, he has not been working out at that position as of yet.

WIDE RECEIVERS STAND OUT

WR coach Zach Azzanni raved about freshman Quinton Dunbar’s performance Saturday, noting that “He jumped over the top of our corner and made a heck of a touchdown catch. He has a lot of natural talent,” according to the Palm Beach Post’s Jason Lieser. Dunbar apparently took advantage of freshman cornerback Josh Shaw on this play, but junior CB Janoris Jenkins admitted that the secondary as a whole did not grab a single interception all day mostly because of Brantley’s accuracy.

There was also a lot of talk about redshirt senior WR Carl Moore being perhaps the most consistent pass catcher of fall practice thus far…and no one should be surprised (in our opinion) that redshirt sophomore Frankie Hammond, Jr. is reportedly working his tail off to make the team and earn the respect of both his peers and coaches.

QUOTES

Brantley on his pass catchers: “Our receivers have come a long way. They’ve been catching the ball really well. [They are] running fast, running great routes. It’s been hot out there and they just keep going. That’s what I like to see. They just keep going.”

QB coach Scot Loeffler on Brantley: “He’s doing a much better job of leadership and taking command of the offense. It’s his time to step up and be the leader and he’s taking that challenge on and doing a much better job with it. I thought Johnny did a fairly good job today of going to the right place with the ball. We’ve just got to make plays when plays present themselves and when the play is not there obviously protect the football. That’s our plan to win around here. We need to protect the football and make sure we do a great job helping our team continue to win.”

Austin on Jenkins’ corner play: “He did some good things out there. Sometimes as a corner you don’t get a lot of looks, but when the play does come your way, are you in position to make the play and you make the play, and he did that [Saturday].”

Brown on finally being healthy: “This is as excited as I’ve ever been here. I’m just taking it all in. I’ve been away from the game so long, you just want to help out. I spent two years not playing at all, not even practicing, so the opportunity just to go out there and contribute just brightens my day.”

Thanks to the News-Press, Miami Herald and Palm Beach Post for the above quotations.

8/13: Florida Gators 2010 fall practice updates

The 2010 version of the Florida Gators has been participating fall practice for just about a week and, while the activities were closed to both the media and public, some notable things did occur during the morning session. OGGOA has compiled some of the key details learned throughout the day.

DEHYDRATION CONCERNS

The University of Florida announced Friday afternoon that senior linebacker Brandon Hicks left morning practice and was rushed to a hospital to be treated for dehydration. A team spokesperson said Hicks is “doing fine” and is expected to fully recover.

SPEEDSTER RETURNS

Redshirt junior running back Chris Rainey is fast, but an accelerated heart rate had kept him out of practice for a few days. After undergoing a non-invasive procedure and resting, Rainey returned to practice Friday but was held out of contract drills. He will get contact either Saturday during the Gators’ first scrimmage of the fall or when practice resumes on Monday.

CAST OFF

Seemingly always injured, redshirt sophomore offensive tackle Matt Patchan suffered a hairline fracture in his wrist a few practices ago and was scheduled to miss action for 10-14 days. Head coach Urban Meyer told reporters Friday that Patchan’s cast is coming off and he will begin working out again on Saturday.

Check out the rest of Friday’s morning practice notes…after the break!
Continue Reading » 8/13: Florida Gators 2010 fall practice updates

FOUR BITS: Harvin, Drayton, Ingram, den Dekker

1 » Bad news coming out of Minnesota Vikings training camp as the team has received a roster exception for former Florida Gators wide receiver Percy Harvin, indicating that the 2009 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year will not be returning to the team anytime soon. The specific exemption, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune is “left squad.” Harvin, who is in Minnesota, has been dealing with serious migraine headaches since his grandmother passed away a few weeks ago.

2 » Florida redshirt senior running back Emmanuel Moody was dismayed when running backs coach Stan Drayton and the program parted ways in 2007 but was even more excited to find out he had been rehired after last season. “I didn’t know how to handle it,” Moody said at Florida Media Day regarding Drayton’s departure. “He was a big reason I came to Florida because I wanted a relationship with my position coach and I wanted to be coached by a really good running backs coach.” Upon finding out Drayton was returning? “I was in my car when I found out. I was so excited and I think I actually did scream at the top of my lungs. […] I believe he’s the best coach in the nation at running back and he takes his job very seriously. I’ve learned so much in the four or five months he’s been [back] here.”

3 » Former Gators tight end Cornelius Ingram has not played a football game in exactly 954 days. Think he is excited to get back on the gridiron? “I definitely want to produce as much as possible when I’m out there,” Ingram told the Burlington County Times. “But just being out there is going to be an unbelievable feeling.” Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid is excited for Ingram too but does not want him to overexert himself. “He’s a competitive guy, and his juices will be flowing, but within reason,” Reid said. “He’s just got to play the game and concentrate on his assignments and catching the football and blocking and so on.”

4 » Florida outfielder Matt den Dekker, selected in the fifth round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the New York Mets, added a solid note to the beginning his minor league career Thursday with the Savannah Sand Gnats. Powering his way to three doubles on four plate appearances, den Dekker has a .470 batting average in four games with the club. He started out with the Gulf Coast Mets but was promoted after only five games.

Photo Credit: Unknown

Georgia hires Florida’s McGarity as next AD

A source inside the University of Florida‘s University Athletic Association has confirmed to OGGOA that Florida Gators executive senior associate director of athletics Greg McGarity has been tabbed as the Georgia Bulldogs’ next athletic director, is on the way to sign a contract and will be officially announced as such Friday.

McGarity, who had essentially been Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley’s right-hand man during his tenure at Florida, was hired in 1992 after graduating from Georgia. He was up for the Bulldogs’ AD job in 2003 and was widely believed to be the school’s top candidate to replace Damon Evans since July.

“I have been very fortunate to work alongside the very best in collegiate athletics at two outstanding institutions, the University of Georgia and the University of Florida, over the last three decades,” McGarity wrote in an application letter to Georgia’s associate vice president for human resources. “I know what it takes to lead and direct an athletic program at the highest level, and am ready to lead the University of Georgia Athletic Association into the future. I look forward to having the opportunity to compete for this position.”

He was such a popular candidate that U.S. Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA) went out of his way to write the school’s president to “enthusiastically recommend” McGarity. “He is ready to get back to his hometown and to serve his alma mater in this distinguished position,” Kingston wrote.

OGGOA wishes to extend our sincere congratulations to Mr. McGarity.

FOUR BITS: Tebow, hyperbaric, Pouncey, luck

1 » Considering how dominant former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has been in his career, many believe he should be the opening day starter for the Denver Broncos, too. While that notion has been poopooed by most everyone, The Denver Post’s Woody Paige makes a case for why that is exactly what should happen.

Tebow is a winner. He won 85 percent of the games he started at Florida, 82 percent of the games he started at quarterback in high school and college and 84 percent of the games he participated in from his freshman year in high school (as a tight end) to his senior year in college. His teams have won 13 games four times, 12 once, 11 once and nine once. He was on two state prep champions and two BCS champions in eight seasons. He played three quarters of a game on a broken leg. […]

With the uncertainty of the offensive line, [Kyle] Orton can’t scramble out of trouble. Tebow has his entire career. Tebow can throw the short routes as well as Orton, and certainly can throw more accurately on the run. The Broncos utilize a plethora of plays based on Florida’s spread offense, and Tebow already has proven to the coach’s satisfaction that he can read defenses and check-down receivers. […]

As the starter, Tebow would give the franchise hope, national relevance and excitement unlike anything witnessed in Broncos Country since briefly in 2005 and consistently from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Tebow would give them and himself another winning season.

2 » In other Tebow news…it was revealed today that he has been using a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. TMZ reports that Tebow has actually been using the chamber for approximately six months and had one that was originally rented at his home in Florida sent to Denver before training camp to help him adjust to the high altitude.

Two more BITS on Maurkice Pouncey and the Florida Gators basketball team being a victim of circumstance…after the jump!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Tebow, hyperbaric, Pouncey, luck

SIX BITS: Stripes, Black, Sanders, Pats, Eagles

1 » During a post-practice media availability Thursday, defensive line coach Dan McCarney said that Florida Gators freshmen wide receiver Robert Clark (first) and linebackers Michael Taylor and Neiron Ball were the first three youngsters to have their black helmet stripes removed. This is a tradition each fall.

2 » Ever since he decided to stay for his senior season, safety Ahmad Black has been talking about becoming a better leader for his teammates. Black expanded on that sentiment during Florida Media Day on Tuesday, explaining how things have changed during his college career. “As a freshman, I thought it was going to be handed to me and it wasn’t,” he said. “I just had to learn to go hard and show that I really belong here. […] I am trying to step up. I have to. I am one of the few seniors that we have on defense and one of the guys that has been there for a while. It is my job to help these young guys and help them do what they are supposed to do.” Black also talked about asking now-New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes for advice. “Me and Spikes would be sitting down playing a video game, and I would ask him, ‘What do I have to do to get the guys to respect me? What do I have to do to get the guys to listen to me? Just him having a conversation with me helped me out.”

3 » Also of note post-practice was senior defensive tackle Terron Sanders’ admission that he was contacted either by an agent or a runner for an agent at the tail end of last season via multiple text messages to his cell phone. Sanders explained that he and the team “nipped that in the bud,” according to multiple reporters.

Three more BITS including Madden NFL 11 rankings and updates on Gators on the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Stripes, Black, Sanders, Pats, Eagles

FOUR BITS: Scouts, Lawrence, Johnson, Tebow

1 » When Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban decided to close off his team’s practices to NFL scouts, there was some outrage that he may have gone too far. The Tuscaloosa News qualified the action by stating that Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer had mandated the same thing. The only problem? He didn’t. Florida associate athletics director for communications Steve McClain pointed out Wednesday that the Gators have not changed their policy and scouts will still be allowed to attend during designated periods (usually during the regular season and select two-a-days). However, as noted before, Meyer has indeed closed practice to the media and fans in an effort to keep out questionable characters or “scumbags” as he so eloquently put it.

2 » On Aug. 5, Meyer announced that redshirt sophomore wide receiver T.J. Lawrence had requested and received a release from his University of Florida scholarship. Wednesday, Lawrence told The Lakeland Ledger that he has decided to transfer to the Florida A&M Rattlers. “It’s a big shocker because a lot of people wouldn’t expect Florida A&M University, but I’m going there to be a two-sport athlete,” Lawrence said. His main motivation for leaving UF was a lack of playing time.

3 » Interesting video from The Gainesville Sun of redshirt senior guard Carl Johnson interviewing freshman running back Mack Brown at Florida Media Day.

4 » Focus on the Family, the anti-abortion group that purchased a Super Bowl ad featuring former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother Pam Tebow, has decided to purchase statewide television advertisements during every Denver Broncos game for the upcoming season. Though the new ads will not feature or mention Tebow, the fact that the company is based in Colorado and already has the recognition of having previously worked with Tebow certainly served as a motivating factor in this decision.

Florida picks up commit No. 13 in OL Hounshell

Scout.com is reporting that three-star offensive lineman Chase Hounshell (Kirtland, OH) has given a verbal commitment to the Florida Gators.

Hounshell, who did not pick up a Florida offer until the beginning of August, had long been rumored to be heading to Boston College due to a budding relationship with the school’s coaching staff.

A standout who can play both sides of the ball, he committed to offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve Addazio on Wednesday.

At 6’6″ and over 260 lbs., Hounshell is the Gators’ 13th commitment for 2011 but only the team’s third offensive lineman. Florida is expected to lose four starters to graduation this season.

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

Photo Credit: Michigan Live

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