FOUR BITS: Meyer’s text, Brown, Murphy, Barney

1 » Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer reached out to redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley’s father recently to let him know that his son has really impressed him. “I said, ‘Enjoy the ride. Your son has grown up to be a man,’” Meyer explained. “I hope I get that same text some day from someone. That’s really cool. It’s the truth. What he’s done here in the last year has been exactly what we needed to have happen, and that is he’s grown up. He’s the leader of this team, and he’s Johnny Brantley. That’s good enough for us.” John Brantley III, a former Florida quarterback himself, was certainly proud.

2 » Saturday’s game against the Miami (OH) RedHawks is big for a number of Gators but perhaps no one is relishing the moment more than redshirt sophomore cornerback Jeremy Brown. “Words can’t explain. It’s a very special moment for me and my family because two years ago, I ran out the tunnel and couldn’t play. I wasn’t officially a Gator. To be able to contribute is a special moment,” Brown said. “A lot of times I feel like some people take football and the opportunity to be at a prestigious program like Florida – they take it for granted. They take practice for granted. Workouts, things you get every day – they take stuff like that for granted. When you’re on the verge of not playing football gain, you learn to appreciate things a lot more. You learn to appreciate the uniform. I was close to losing everything.”

3 » Two Florida women were honored with Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors for their respective sports. Volleyball’s junior right-side/setter Kelly Murphy and soccer’s redshirt sophomore midfielder McKenzie Barney were each awarded Monday for their outstanding performances in their teams’ first week of 2010 action.

4 » Providing opportunities for kids to play organized sports, The C.I. Foundation (sponsored by Philadelphia Eagles tight end Cornelius Ingram) is attempting to raise money by giving way a fantastic seven-day, all-inclusive vacation (including airfare) to Sandals Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Their newest campaign, called “$10.00 for C.h.I.l.dren,” allows for fans and generous individuals to donate as little as $10 for the opportunity to win this fantastic trip. A winner will be announced on Sept. 15. For more information on how you can donate and enter, you can click right here.

Week 1: Florida Gators Monday media availability

Game week practice for the Florida Gators‘ 2010 season opener is officially underway and, with their first game coming on Saturday at 12 p.m. against the Miami (OH) RedHawks, coaches and players hit the stage on Monday for their first regular season media availability. OGGOA has compiled some of the key details.

OPENING GAME INJURIES

Senior defensive tackle Terron Sanders (knee), left tackles redshirt sophomore Matt Patchan (wrist) and sophomore Xavier Nixon (knee) will all be out of action for the Gators’ home opener on Saturday. Redshirt freshman tight end Jordan Reed, who is nursing a deep knee bruise, is questionable but not likely to play.

STARTING LINEBACKERS NAMED

Head coach Urban Meyer made it a point to single out redshirt senior linebacker A.J. Jones as the team’s only confirmed starter for Saturday. He did, however, say that two of senior Brandon Hicks, sophomore Jon Bostic and redshirt freshman Jelani Jenkins will fill in the other two spots in the starting unit with those chosen being the players whom play best during the next few days of practice. Whoever is the lone non-starter will still see plenty of time on the field.

WIDE RECEIVER ROTATION REVEALED

Junior wide receiver Denote Thompson and redshirt senior Carl Moore, as expected, are the team’s two primary starters with redshirt junior Chris Rainey taking over the slot receiver role. Meyer announced Monday that redshirt freshman Andre Debose would play the X position and back-up Thompson, while freshman standout Robert Clark – who really impressed during camp – will be the main reserve for Rainey.

FIRST DEPTH CHART RELEASED

OFFENSE
QB: John Brantley – Tyler Murphy / Trey Burton
RB: Jeff Demps / Emmanuel Moody – Mike Gillislee / Mack Brown
FB: T.J. Pridemore – Gerald Christian
WR1: Deonte Thompson – Andre Debose – Quinton Dunbar
WR2: Carl Moore – Justin Williams
WR-S: Chris Rainey – Robert Clark
TE: Omarius Hines – Trey Burton / Jordan Reed
LT: Marcus Gilbert – Kyle Koehne
LG: Carl Johnson – Jonotthan Harrison
C: Mike Pouncey – Sam Robey – Nick Alajajian
RG: James Wilson – Jon Halapio – David Young
RT: Maurice Hurt – Nick Alajajian

DEFENSE
DE: Justin Trattou – Lerentee McCray / Dominique Easley
DT: Omar Hunter – Lawrence Marsh / Brandon Antwine
DT: Jaye Howard – Sharrif Floyd
DE: Duke Lemmens – William Green / Ronald Powell
SLB: A.J. Jones – Neiron Ball
MLB: Jon Bostic / Jelani Jenkins – Michael Taylor
WLB: Brandon Hicks – Lorenzo Edwards
CB1: Janoris Jenkins – Josh Shaw / Jaylen Watkins
CB2: Moses Jenkins / Jeremy Brown – Cody Riggs
FS: Will Hill – Josh Evans
SS: Ahmad Black – Matt Elam

SPECIAL TEAMS
K: Caleb Sturgis – Chas Henry
P: Chas Henry – David Lerner – Caleb Sturgis
LS: John Fairbanks (FG), Christopher Guido (P)
H: Chas Henry
KR: Jeff Demps – Chris Rainey / Mike Gillislee
PR: Chris Rainey – Janoris Jenkins

QUOTES and VIDEOS (after the break…)
Continue Reading » Week 1: Florida Gators Monday media availability

Show your Spirit and win a Gators handbag!

With the Florida Gators’ 2010-11 football season about to begin, OGGOA wanted to do something very special for our female readers (or male readers looking for a fantastic gift for their girlfriends). It was with that intent that we decided to partner up with Tracy Zych New York, which has just recently come out with a brand new line of beautiful and trendy designer Team Spirit Handbags – perfect for game days!

Offered right now for only two teams – Florida and Florida State – these luxury handbags come in 11 and seven styles, respectively, and retail from $145-$355! Utilizing a special buttery soft leather surrounded by bold hardware and modern designs, these handbags are sure to capture the hearts of women in Gainesville, FL, in no time at all. Be the first to sport your handbag to a game (or receive one as a gift from your boyfriend) and make your friends jealous by winning OGGOA‘s latest contest!

WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO?
We think it is important for you to show your Team Spirit, but we also want you to show your OGGOA Site Spirit, too. Between now and Sept. 12 (after the Gators’ second game of the season against South Florida), the reader who BEST and most UNIQUELY shows their OGGOA Site Spirit will win a Tracy Zych Team Spirit Handbag.

HOW DO I SHOW MY “SITE SPIRIT?”
That is up to you. Whether you want to paint a panel on the 34th Street wall, wear a custom-made OnlyGators.com t-shirt into The Swamp, cover the Turlington Plaza cork board with OGGOA flyers, hand out a flyer to everyone at your Gator Club watch party or do something else completely unique – as long as you are promoting OnlyGators.com and have proof (photos or videos) – you have a chance to win. [Keep it legal, folks.]

HOW DO I SUBMIT MY PROOF?
Make sure whatever you do contains “OnlyGators.com” and/or “OGGOA” (extra points for both) and send an e-mail to contest@onlygators.com with your pictures or video and a paragraph or two detailing exactly what you did. Whoever impresses us the most will win a Team Spirit Handbag shipped for free to your door – it is just that simple!

Should you not win the bag, Tracy Zych has provided OGGOA’s readers with a special 15%-off discount code – type in “onlygators” upon checking out online.

Gators’ rookies continue to roll in preseason

Four weeks of preseason action have now come to a conclusion, and the majority of the Florida Gators‘ 10 rookies have been regularly participating for their respective teams. OGGOA takes a look at how they have been performing thus far with only one more week to go before the 2010-11 NFL regular season begins.

QB TIM TEBOW, Denver Broncos
Game 3 Passing: 5-of-10 for 72 yards, one TD, one INT (14.4 avg., 67.5 QB rating)
Game 2: Did not play – ribs
Game 1 Passing: 8-of-13 for 105 yards (8.1 avg., 87.0 QB rating)
Game 1 Rushing: Two carries for 10 yards, one touchdown

CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns
Game 3 Defense: Five tackles (two solo), one pass defended
Game 3 Kick returning: one attempt for 12 yards
Game 2 Defense: Two tackles (one solo), two passes defended
Game 2 Kick returning: Two attempts for 43 yards (long 28)
Game 1 Defense: Three solo tackles, one pass defended
Game 1 Kick returning: One attempt for 34 yards

C MAURKICE POUNCEY, Pittsburgh Steelers
Game 3: Worked as first-team center
Game 2: Worked as first-team center
Game 1: Worked as first-team guard, second-team center

LB JERMAINE CUNNINGHAM, New England Patriots
Game 3: Did not play – undisclosed
Game 2: Did not play – undisclosed
Game 1: Did not play – concussion

DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals
Game 4 Defense: One tackle (one solo), two QB hits
Game 3 Defense: Four tackles (three solo), one sack, one Gator Chomp
Game 2 Defense: One tackle
Game 1 Defense: Did not play – concussion

LB BRANDON SPIKES, New England Patriots
Game 3 Defense: Seven tackles (five solo), one QB hit
Game 2 Defense: Three solo tackles
Game 1 Defense: Eight tackles (three solo) [team-high]

S MAJOR WRIGHT, Chicago Bears
Game 3: Did not play – finger
Game 2: Did not play – finger
Game 1 Defense: Seven tackles (six solo)

TE AARON HERNANDEZ, New England Patriots
Game 3: Did not play – undisclosed
Game 2 Receiving: Four receptions for 46 yards [team-highs], one touchdown
Game 1 Receiving: Three receptions for 26 yards (long 21)
Game 1 Rushing: One carry for six yards

WR RILEY COOPER, Philadelphia Eagles
Game 3 Receiving: Three receptions for 39 yards [T-team highs], one touchdown
Game 2 Receiving: Two receptions for 22 yards
Game 2 Special Teams: Two tackles
Game 1 Receiving: Three receptions for 61 yards (long 46) [team-high]

WR DAVID NELSON, Buffalo Bills
Game 3: Two receptions for 34 yards, one touchdown
Game 2: Did not play – ankle
Game 1 Receiving: Five receptions for 47 yards [team-highs], one touchdown

KR BRANDON JAMES, Indianapolis Colts
Game 3 Kick returning: Six attempts for 144 yards (avg. 24, long 34)
Game 3 Punt returning: Two attempts for six yards, one fumble
Game 2 Punt returning: Two attempts for 22 yards (long 19)
Game 1 Kick returning: Four attempts for 99 yards (avg. 24.8, long 28)
Game 1 Punt returning: One attempt for five yards
Game 1 Receiving: One reception for two yards

FOUR BITS: Harvin hopeful, Miami (FL / OH) notes

1 » Former Florida Gators wide receiver Percy Harvin returned to the field Saturday, catching two balls for 30 yards for the Minnesota Vikings. After the game, he told reporters that he was hopeful doctors have finally found what has been causing him severe migraine headaches for most of his life. “I did a test [Friday] night. They found some things that we think is the main cause of it,” Harvin said. “I know we said that a couple times, but I think this time we found what the main cause was. I’m not saying I won’t ever get a headache again, but hopefully we can slow it down a little bit.” He also spoke about the upcoming season. “I’ve got a lot of work to do as far as condition-wise,” he said, “but otherwise, it just felt good to get out there [Saturday] and have something to base my performance off of.”

2 » A new book named The Real U: 2001 to 2010: Inside the Eye of the Hurricane, which may be released in December, will allege that the University of Miami Hurricanes football team is guilty of numerous NCAA violations, according to the Miami Herald. The book is the work of Nevin Shapiro, a Miami booster who is “facing years in prison for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme,” reports the paper. Shapiro, who calls the publication “a tell-all book from the fan and booster perspective,” says it is aimed at making “the average fan aware of what really exists under [the Hurricanes] uniform. They might be great players, but they’re certainly not great people. I’m speaking of no less than 100 former players.” The book appears to be a revenge piece for Shapiro, who feels that players turned their back on him once they became professionals. The Herald lists linebacker Jon Beason, WR Devin Hester, safeties Antrel Rolle and Randy Phillips, and quarterbacks Robert Marve and Kyle Wright specifically as players who were close with Shapiro. Read the Herald’s entire story here.

3 » Interesting note about the Gators’ 2010 season opener: The Miami (OH) RedHawks were scheduled by request of former Florida head coach Ron Zook, who attended the school and hoped to play his alma mater in the future. According to the Palm Beach Post, the contract for the game was finalized in 2004, the year after Miami (OH) had just completed a 13-1 season and just a few months before Zook would be fired. “At the time the game was scheduled, Miami was looked at as a team that was headed in the same direction as Boise State,” head coach Mike Haywood said. “They were accepting all comers at that time. Unfortunately, things changed and took a different course. We’re trying to build it back to where it was at that time.”

4 » Gators sophomore running back Mike Gillislee may be third on the team’s depth chart behind junior Jeff Demps and redshirt senior Emmanuel Moody, but RB coach Stan Drayton believes that he is easily the most powerful of the bunch and will be able to earn snaps this season. “When you’re talking about playing through contact – not necessarily making people miss – but playing through contact, Gillislee is probably the best of my group,” Drayton said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “That’s Mike’s M.O. […] I can see him being used anywhere on the field, including the goal line. He’s not going to be solely a goal line back. He’s got to be a back that’s competitive in all situations for us.”

Photo Credit: Unknown

8/28: Florida Gators 2010 fall scrimmage notes

The 2010 version of the Florida Gators concluded fall practice on Saturday with a scrimmage, and while the activities were once again closed to both the media and public, some notable things did occur. OGGOA has compiled some of the key details.

2010-11 SEASON CAPTAINS NAMED

Five Florida football players were voted as captains by their teammates Saturday, according to head coach Urban Meyer. Redshirt senior linebacker A.J. Jones and seniors safety Ahmad Black, center Mike Pouncey, defensive end Justin Trattou and DE Duke Lemmens were all announced as captains.

OPENING DAY STARTING LINES SET

In addition to naming captains, offensive coordinator Steve Addazio and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin announced their starting lines for the Gators’ home opener against the Miami (OH) RedHawks. On offense, from left to right, are senior Marcus Gilbert (LT), redshirt senior Carl Johnson (LG), Pouncey (C), junior James Wilson (RG), senior Maurice Hurt (RT). Gilbert is moving from RT to LT, Hurt is moving from RG to RT and Wilson is taking over at RG. This became necessary after both first-team LTs, sophomore Xavier Nixon (knee) and redshirt sophomore Matt Patchan (wrist), were ruled out for next Saturday due to their respective injuries.

Defensively, Trattou and Lemmens will start at the ends while redshirt sophomore Omar Hunter and redshirt junior Jaye Howard occupy the tackle positions. Austin did not name a starting middle linebacker or second cornerback.

QUOTES

Meyer on the 2010-11 offense: “It’s going to look different. [...] If you’d asked me in the middle of the summer, I couldn’t tell you. It’s going to look a little different. There are going to be some things we’ve not done, including even when Chris Leak was here. So, there will be some interesting things to look at. We’ve kind of got an idea who the playmakers are on offense. We have a good feel for what we are right now. Steve Addazio has done a really good job.”

Addazio on the 2010-11 offense: “Basically, who we are isn’t going to change. You’ll see these tweaks coming out. You’re going to see more stuff, without a doubt. But our goal here is to always take advantage of the guys we have. Different guys have different talents. That’s where you’ll see the little tweaks. You’ll see change. It’s about getting the ball in the hands of the playmakers, about doing what our players can do great. That’s what we’ve always been about. Fundamentally, that is so locked in. It could come in a two-back under center formation. It could come in a lot of shapes and forms. We’re going to really get that thing spread around.”

Addazio on his excitement about the offensive playmakers: “I just really like what [Chris] Rainey has done right now. He’s electric. We’re got Trey Burton popping around in a lot of different places right now. Omarius Hines, I think he’s really going to have a breakout year. Andre Debose is ready to make an impact. He’s ready to get out there and start to go. He’s a young guy, but he’s electric. He can make plays now. Robert Clark has made a bunch of plays in camp. He’s a tough guy, an athletic, tough guy. You just like him in there.”

Special thanks to The Gainesville Sun for the above quotations.

TWO BITS: Soccer wins again, Leak to start

1 » Moving up two spots after an opening week in which they went 2-0, No. 9 Florida Gators soccer (3-0) remained undefeated after taking down the Florida Atlantic Owls (0-2) 3-0 Friday night at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Redshirt sophomore midfielder McKenzie Barney (4’), junior MF/forward Tahnai Annis (7’) and sophomore F/MF Natalia Torosian (14’) all scored for the Gators within the first 14 minutes, forcing the Owls to concentrate on defense the remainder of the match. Florida looks to continue their winning streak on Sunday against San Diego State at home.

2 » Former Gators quarterback Chris Leak will be making his first CFL start next Friday, filling in for Montreal Alouettes starting quarterback Anthony Calvillo. For the first time in his career, Leak will be able to practice as the team’s starter for a week rather than be thrown into the game in a back-up role. “It’s good. It gives the coaches a chance to tweak things to my strengths and see what things we can do offensively to help us win the game,” Leak said in a media availability. “It’s going to be a fun week and we’re going to work hard and get the game plan in and just go out there and execute.”

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.

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