Florida Gators 2015 spring practice – McElwain infuriated over practice effort: ‘That irritates me’

Head coach Jim McElwain took the field with the Florida Gators for the ninth time on Monday as the 2015 spring practice session rolled along. After practice, he met with the media to discuss some of the early goings on with the team.

Infuriated over effort

McElwain indicated Monday during a media availability that he was none too pleased with how the Gators practiced earlier that afternoon, the first time he has shared such a sentiment this spring. Upon revisiting his own stance on said issue, McElwain pulled no punches in discussing his disappointment with the team, getting progressively louder and more angry as he made his point.

“The attention to detail and the focus was not what was needed to be successful, and it bothered me. It irritates me when we take a step back because everybody came here today to either get better or worse. You chose whatever your mindset was whenever you walked through that door. Our mindset was not to get better today. It was to endure the practice, and it really bothered me, and that’s unacceptable,” he said.

“You don’t do that and play championship football. It wasn’t good, and you can see I’m a little irritated by it – and rightfully so – because that hasn’t been our MO. They’ve, for the most part, really come and really focused on getting better. We didn’t do it today.”

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Undeterred by poop jokes or offensive changes, Florida running backs look to step up this spring

Florida Gators running back Adam Lane Jr. finally had his moment in the sun … in the final game of his second season with the team.

Lane, a redshirt freshman last season, did not play in 2013 and only saw action on special teams until the eighth game of the 2014 campaign. Though he got eight total carries as a reserve rusher during a three-week span prior to the end of the regular season, Lane did not truly get his opportunity until Florida faced East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl.

“I was really excited just to be on special teams, being out there just playing, just having somewhat of a role last year,” Lane admitted Wednesday. “At times you can get frustrated, but I knew that I could be patient and just play my role on the team and my opportunity would come eventually, and it did.”

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Florida picks up big commitment from four-star 2015 RB Jordan Scarlett

With National Signing Day approaching, the Florida Gators desperately needed to start landing some top-notch prospects and did just that on Monday when four-star running back Jordan Scarlett (Fort Lauderdale, FL) announced his verbal commitment to the program.

A one-time Florida Atlantic pledge who was committed to Miami as recently as Saturday, Scarlett (5-foot-11, 222 pounds) is ranked as the 12th best running back and No. 118 overall player in the nation per the 247Sports Composite.

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Skipper on Florida: “I was ready to walk here.”

More Florida Gators assistant features: Randy Shannon | Terrell Williams | Geoff Collins

The second-youngest member of head coach Jim McElwain’s recently-announced Florida Gators staff, running backs coach Tim Skipper, 36, has earned the nickname of “handy man” from McElwain due to his versatility.

Skipper is so trusted by McElwain that he was his assistant head coach at Colorado State, where he coached linebackers. Skipper has also coached defensive backs and coordinated defenses in college despite the fact that the rest of his family has made a name for themselves coaching running backs in the NFL.

Of course, Skipper has done that, too, most notably at Fresno State under McElwain, a stop where he recruited and coached up Ryan Mathews.

“He’s outstanding. Played for Coach [Pat] Hill as a linebacker, came back as a running backs coach, really wanted to go back and coach defense, begged him to stay on offense. You look at the production of the players he had at Fresno State, how he recruited to the position, what he did with those players, the guy is a phenomenal football coach,” said Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

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Florida Gators football odds and ends: injuries, departures and more

The Florida Gators (7-5) concluded their 2014 season on Saturday, earning a 28-20 win over the East Carolina Pirates in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl, a victory which marked the end of the four-year Will Muschamp era in Gainesville, Florida.

While the Gators have since announced a coaching staff and are prepared to move on under new head coach Jim McElwain, there are still some odds and ends to wrap up from the end of the 2014 campaign.

Bowl game injuries

A number of Florida players were hurt during the Birmingham Bowl but most appeared to be relatively minor injuries. That was not the case for junior linebacker Antonio Morrison, the first player since Ahmad Black in 2010 to record more than 100 tackles in a single season.

Morrison, who was considering leaving for the 2015 NFL Draft with a year of eligibility remaining, was on the field screaming in pain with what appeared to be a serious knee injury. He was carted off the field, and UF interim coach D.J. Durkin could offer nothing more than a general statement about Morrison’s injury after the game.

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Florida Gators hold on to top East Carolina 28-20 in 2015 Birmingham Bowl

As it often has for the program over the last four seasons, it took a defensive play to send the Florida Gators to victory in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl on Saturday afternoon at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

Florida (7-5) triumphed 28-20 over the East Carolina Pirates (8-5) despite being outscored in the second half and outgained 536-339 on the afternoon.

Gators sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III intercepted Pirates signal caller Shane Carden in the end zone with 1:20 remaining, ending ECU’s bid at a comeback victory while sending UF to its first bowl win since the 2011 season.

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11/4: Roper on Florida’s passing game, Driskel’s new role, receivers’ blocking

Florida Gators offensive coordinator Kurt Roper met with the media on Tuesday to provide some thoughts on his team’s recent upset victory and upcoming road game against the Vanderbilt Commodores, which is set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.

“WE’RE GONNA THROW IT MORE”

Head coach Will Muschamp told the media after Saturday’s win and again on Monday that there were additional passing plays scheduled to be run against Georgia, but Florida was so successful running the ball that the Gators did not want to take any chances and deviate from what was working.

Apparently, Muschamp told freshman quarterback Treon Harris the exact same thing immediately after the game. In the Vine below, via WCJB TV20‘s Zach Aldridge, Muschamp hugs Harris on the field and says, “We’re gonna throw it more.”

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10/8: Will Muschamp addresses recent incidents, Florida’s preparations for LSU

Updated/completed at 1:35 p.m.

Head coach Will Muschamp of the Florida Gators (3-1, 2-1 SEC) met with the media twice on Wednesday as his team continues its preparations for the LSU Tigers (4-2, 0-2 SEC). Florida is looking to defeat LSU for just the second time since 2010 as the Gators host the Tigers on Saturday night at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and air live nationally on the SEC Network.

Muschamp’s regularly-scheduled media appearance on Monday was postponed as freshman quarterback Treon Harris is currently under investigation for alleged sexual battery. He addressed that and a variety of other topics on Wednesday.

TREON HARRIS SITUATION

With his second-string quarterback, freshman Treon Harris, suspended indefinitely while under investigation for sexual battery, Muschamp declined to comment further on the situation. In fact, he indicated that he preferred to not even have a press conference this week but understood that he needed to in order to help the media do their jobs.

“The statement that the university released Monday, I think, was pretty self-explanatory. It is a very serious charge, and there has been no change in his status,” he said.

“You handle things in life and you move forward and that’s what we’re going to do [as a team]. I feel very comfortable with how we’ve approached this situation.”

Muschamp declined comment on any questions related to Harris.

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