Cooper says white helmets will be shelved

As part of Nike‘s roll-out of their Pro Combat line of football gear, the Florida Gators sported new uniforms during the final home game of the season against the Florida State Seminoles. Senior wide receiver Riley Cooper said the players liked the look of the white “F” helmets so much that they elected to wear them for the 2009 SEC Championship against the Alabama Crimson Tide. “They look cool,” Cooper said. “We all liked how they looked.”

Head coach Urban Meyer seems to have a superstition with uniforms, shelving certain color combinations and utilizing others more often when the team has success wearing them. Such is the reason, OGGOA believes, that fans no longer see the white jersey-orange pants combination and often see the all-blue and all-white uniform choices. Even the white jersey-blue pants uniform has become a rarity, though the blue jersey-white pants combination is used often.

Though the Nike Pro Combat uniforms were only a one-time promotional ploy, the Gators’ sporting the white “F” helmets for a second straight game led many fans to worry they might end up replacing the good ol’ orange helmets with the cursive “Gators” script.

Those fans should no longer be concerned with breaking tradition, according to Cooper. “It didn’t work out for us, so I don’t think we’ll wear those again,” he said. “I’m not wearing mine.” Not that Cooper would have a chance, seeing as Friday’s 2010 Sugar Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats is the last game of his college career.

While Florida’s 2010 uniforms will look the same as they have in the past, it is believed that the athletic department will use some of the Nike Pro Combat gear from a technical standpoint. Better gloves, lightweight, sweat-wicking fabrics and lighter shoes are all things that can give the Gators an advantage – especially in the smoldering Florida heat.

Nike’s Pro Combat uniforms are said to be 37% lighter than current designs and utilize a four-way stretch twill that does not hold sweat or water. Additional features include Nike’s Dri-FIT technology, evaporation and cooling zones, more padding zones and improved ventilation and breathability. Players also wore Nike Vapor Trail 2.0 gloves and Nike Zoom Air cleats that are lightweight and feature better cushioning in the heel.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

FOUR BITS: Gilyard, Daniels, Tebow, Saban

1 » Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Mardy Gilyard is the most explosive (and most vocal) member of his team. Though he may run his mouth on the sideline, in the huddle, on the line of scrimmage and after the play, one place Gilyard is not talking is his dreams – which have always included the Florida Gators in one way or another. Growing up in Bunnell, FL, Gilyard rooted for the Gators and always dreamed about either playing for or against Florida in a big game. “It’s always a real close game, going back and forth, and right before the end of the game I wake up,” he said. “So I’m anxious to see how it’s going to go.” ESPN’s Brian Bennett has written a great piece on Gilyard and the trials and tribulations he has experienced throughout his life.

2 » Another Bearcats player who has overcome adversity and won over the media with his charisma is defensive tackle Alex Daniels. Calling Friday’s 2010 Sugar Bowl “my national championship game,” Daniels defied the odds by making it out of a bad neighborhood in Columbus, OH, and turning his life around as a football player. “I’m playing against Tim Tebow in the Sugar Bowl,” Daniels said. “It’s Florida, man, come on! This experience, to be in New Orleans – I have to embrace Bourbon Street, to see the Big Easy. I’m soaking it all in.”

3 » There is no question that Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow is going to go down as the greatest player in the history of the program. It should come as no surprise that he is considered by many to be possibly the best player in the history of the sport on a collegiate level. Those beliefs are exactly why other Southeastern Conference teams are foaming at the mouth for Tebow to call it a career on Friday. Chris Low of ESPN, the site’s SEC blogger who lives in Knoxville, TN, and covered the Tennessee Volunteers as a beat writer for 10 years, relates a quote that tells the story of a conference which decided that rather than try to beat Tebow, it would be best to wait him out. “The playing field’s going to be level for everybody else when Tebow is gone,” numerous people in the SEC told Low. But, of course, the story turns to question the future of the Florida program: “Life after Tebow [is] one big unknown for the Gators,” Low titles his piece.

4 » Gators head coach Urban Meyer‘s name is popping up every time a reporter speaks to a head coach these days whether said coach is leading a college football team or not. It should then come as no surprise that Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban was asked about Meyer’s situation on Monday. “I think college football is a lot better off with people like Urban Meyer in our profession,” Saban said. “He’s a true professional in what he does. He’s done a fantastic job every place he’s been. He does it with a lot of dig­nity and class and profes­sionalism. We not only have a lot of respect for him as a person, but also the wonderful job that he’s done everywhere he’s been, especially at the University of Florida.” Tight end Colin Peek echoed Saban’s sentiments. “I think it’s very sad to see a coach in his prime have to deal with a situation like that,” Peek said. “I thought it was going to be cool to have this rivalry of Florida vs. Alabama hopefully every year in the SEC Championship. I have so much respect for the man and the program that he’s built.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Interim coach Addazio has full support of Gators

The prevailing sentiment from fans when offensive coordinator Steve Addazio’s name is brought up can best be summed up by a long groan. His offense is widely considered to be bland, unimaginative and ineffective. The Florida Gators decision to only utilize their running backs four times in the 2009 SEC Championship against the Alabama Crimson Tide seemed, plainly, absurd. Yet head coach Urban Meyer trusts no one on his staff more than Addazio and appointed him as “interim” coach in his stead, a decision that was met with elation by the team.

“I think [Addazio will] do a great job,” senior quarterback Tim Tebow said. “When Coach Meyer […] had Coach Addazio walk up in front of the team, it was one of the loudest ovations I’ve been a part of in my entire life.” Tebow said the ovation went on for “three or four minutes,” when Meyer made the announcement in the tarmac at the Gainesville Regional Airport Sunday morning. “That was one of the coolest parts of the last two days. Everyone is behind him. It’s a rallying cry to do well for Coach Addazio, too. Everyone is behind him 100 percent.”

Also on the Addazio bandwagon is junior center Maurkice Pouncey, who told the media on Monday that he is “one of the greatest coaches in history.” “He knows how to lead the team, get the team going,” Pouncey added. “He’s a father figure on the field and off the field. Great guy.”

Respect from the team for Addazio is plenty, but players also expect Meyer to be around quite often during his sabbatical of a to be determined length. “He’ll be around a lot,” Pouncey said. “That day-to-day job on him is tough.”

Maurkice’s brother Mike and junior running back Jeff Demps both told reporters that many more juniors would be declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft had Addazio not been named the interim coach. “It probably would have made the decision for a lot of the juniors who even had a thought about leaving because the program would have been totally changed,” Demps said. “A lot of guys probably didn’t want to go through that.”

Speaking with the media himself Monday, Addazio believes he can keep the ship headed in the right direction should Meyer not return in the short-term. “This has become one of the premier teams and programs in all of college football, and it’s been built on a great foundation with great players, coaches, administrative support and the best athletic director in America,” Addazio said. “All of those things are right there for us to keep this going as a great program, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sporting world reacts to Meyer’s resignation

Much has already been said about Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer’s resignation, and it has only been hours since he has decided to step down from the program. Many of Meyer’s players, former players, peers and friends have already released statements about their thoughts and feelings about the situation.

Check out the sporting world’s reaction to Meyer’s announcement after the jump!!!
Continue Reading » Sporting world reacts to Meyer’s resignation

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TWO BITS: Traffic issues, Dunkley’s decision

1 » Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel put together an excellent investigative piece on traffic citations and arrests accrued by the Florida Gators football team from 2006-09. In total, 251 citations were handed out including 21 misdemeanors/felonies. Twelve different Gators have acquired seven or more tickets with senior defensive end Jermaine Cunningham leading the pack with 14. “The number of tickets per college student is not an exact science,” Fowler contends, “but research indicates UF football players get pulled over at least twice the average amount for college-aged males in the country.” Florida players average 2.61 tickets each over their career while a normal student is given less than one, according to the University Police Department.

2 » Four-star wide receiver recruit Chris Dunkley (Pahokee, FL) has announced plans to make his college commitment official on Jan. 9 at the Under Armour All-American Game. Considered a heavy Florida lean, Dunkley recently cast some doubt on that assumption by saying that the Alabama Crimson Tide remain a contender for his services. Dunkley is believed to be the Gators’ No. 1 offensive recruiting target.

Tags: , , , ,

KR Brandon James ruled out for Sugar Bowl

Suffering a stress fracture in his right foot in the first half of the 2009 SEC Championship against the Alabama Crimson Tide, Florida Gators senior kick returner Brandon James did not return to the field after halftime. On Monday, head coach Urban Meyer said James had surgery on his foot and will miss the 2010 Sugar Bowl, effectively ending his Gators career. Running backs Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey, and possibly even cornerback Joe Haden, will take over the return duties in James’ stead.

One of the most decorated players in school history, James holds Florida records for total kickoff returns (career, season), kickoff return yardage (career, season), kickoff average yards per return (career, season), punt returns (career), punt return yardage (career, season, game), punt return touchdowns (career, season) and total kick return touchdowns (career, season). He also holds the top three spots in season kickoff return yardage, has the longest punt return in school history (83 yards) and is No. 2 all-time for the Gators in total yards gained (rushing, receiving, returning). In addition to his UF accolades, James holds all-time SEC records in total kick return yardage (combined kickoff and punt returns) and kickoff return yardage.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

FOUR BITS: Heisman, Tebow, Meyer, Strong

1 » The 2009 Heisman Trophy will be awarded Saturday at 8 p.m. live on ESPN from the Nokia Theater in Times Square. Finalists for the trophy include Stanford Cardinal running back Toby Gerhart, Alabama Crimson Tide RB Mark Ingram, Texas Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy, Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Florida Gators senior quarterback Tim Tebow. Tebow, the winner in 2007 and third-place finisher in 2008, is expected to finish fifth in the voting. OGGOA will not be covering the Heisman ceremony live on Saturday, though we will post a message about the winner on twitter soon after the ceremony.

2 » Tebow sat down with a number of reporters and beat writers on Friday in New York, allowing them to informally ask questions regarding a number of topics including his Heimsan ballot. Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald broke down Tebow’s thoughts on who should be the 2009 winner and came to the conclusion that he voted for Suh. (This would be the correct vote, in OGGOA‘s opinion.)

3 » Losing former offensive coordinator Dan Mullen to the Mississippi State Bulldogs and then former defensive coordinator Charlie Strong to the Louisville Cardinals in back-to-back seasons, Gators head coach Urban Meyer‘s greatest test my be perfecting his coaching turnover, writes Gene Frenette of The Florida Times-Union. Couple that with the loss of a large group of seniors and several big-name juniors, and Florida’s transition to 2010 will have to be seamless in order to keep them at the top.

4 » Speaking of Strong, the new Cardinals coach spent his first two nights in Louisville sleeping at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium as he got acquainted with the program and university. “It’s kind of a whirlwind,” Strong said. “There are a lot of things to be done. The best thing is just catch your breath and take your time and make sure I do the right things.” He even gained a commitment from quarterback recruit DeMarcus Smith, “arguably the state’s best junior” according to The Courier-Journal. Strong will leave the program at the end of the week and return to Gainesville, FL, to coach the Gators’ defense for the 2010 Sugar Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nine Gators named to All-SEC coaches’ team

Nine Florida Gators football players were named to the 2009 All-SEC team as voted by the league’s head coaches. Senior quarterback Tim Tebow was Florida’s only unanimous selection. Joining him on the first-team offense are juniors tight end Aaron Hernandez, offensive guard Mike Pouncey and center Maurkice Pouncey. For the defense, senior middle linebacker Brandon Spikes and juniors cornerback Joe Haden and Carlos Dunlap received first-team honors. Seniors DE Jermaine Cunningham and LB Ryan Stamper earned spots on the second team. The Gators tied the Alabama Crimson Tide who also had a league-high nine All-SEC selections.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 Page 20 of 26  « First  ... « 18  19  20  21  22 » ...  Last »