Patric Young – Path to the 2014 NBA Draft: Visits with Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks

Through the 2014 NBA Draft on June 26 in New York, New York, Florida Gators center Patric Young will be keeping you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft with exclusive comprehensive blog entries here at OnlyGators.com.

The 11th player in school history to end his career with more than 1,300 points and 800 rebounds, Young averaged a career-high 11.0 points per game as a senior and also contributed 6.2 boards per contest last season. He is second all-time at Florida in games played (149), fifth in blocks (159) and dunks (142), eighth in minutes played (1,644), and ninth in field goal percentage (.577) and games started (107).

Young in 2013-14 claimed SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors for the first time but was also named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the third-straight season, becoming the first player in league history to accomplish that feat.

He checks in for the fifth time from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, having now completed five of his 14 total team visits scheduled ahead of the NBA Draft.

After my workout in Philadelphia last Sunday, I had my flight scheduled to get over to Chicago on Monday afternoon. It actually got canceled as we were on the plane, on the runway. Everyone was ready to go, but I had a bad feeling because I’ve had bad experiences with that airline before. Somehow, I knew there was going to be a problem.

That flight was scheduled for before noon, and I could not get on another until 8:30 p.m. I wound up chilling in the airport for nearly 10 hours, so to pass the time I watched Game of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy and a Justice League cartoon on Netflix [laughing]. Eventually I did get on the plane to go to Chicago.

While working out for the Bulls on Tuesday, I got the opportunity to meet Derek Rose – that was pretty cool seeing him – Tony Snell and some other players. I sat down with the entire staff including head coach Tom Thibodeau.

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FOUR BITS: Tebow, Miller, Graham, Beal

1 » Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has been added to the Gator Boosters, Inc. board of directors, according to the University of Florida. Tebow, on the board for a one-year stint, joins some notable Gators including Alex Brown, Lomas Brown, and his own father Bob Tebow on the 60-member board presided over President Bill Heavener and soon President-Elect Rex Farrior III. As explained on their website, Gator Boosters is dedicated to “educate our student-athletes” through scholarship funding and “constantly building, or improving our athletic facilities for Gator student-athltes to be given the opportunity to compete in the finest facilities.”

2 » Former Florida guard Mike Miller spoke with ESPN Radio‘s Ric Bucher immediately following his fantastic performance in Game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals on Thursday. You can listen to the interview by clicking here.

3 » Former Gators running back Earnest Graham has spent his entire NFL career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Florida in 2004. But with just six weeks until training camp, Graham remains unsigned and told the News-Press that he is mentally prepared for retirement should a team not pick him up soon. “Right now, honestly, I’m going to focus on being a free agent, but I definitely understand that it is likely that I may have already played my last game,” he said. Unfortunately for Graham, he did not even get to complete the 2011 season as he tore his Achilles and only wound up seeing action in seven games. Though that is not the way he wants to go out, Graham said he has his health back and would be able to perform like he has been the last few years if given an opportunity. “I feel fine,” he said. “I’m running around well. If training camp started today, I’d be able to do it.” Graham has run for 2,047 yards and 15 touchdowns while also catching 129 passes for 904 yards and one additional score over his eight-year playing career. His standout season came in 2007 when he rushed for career-highs of 898 yards and 10 touchdowns and caught 49 passes for 324 yards as the starting tailback for Tampa Bay.

4 » Gators freshman G Bradley Beal appeared on ROME on CBS Sports Network on Thursday to discuss the upcoming 2012 NBA Draft and his decision to leave Florida.

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Tim Tebow eats well, dines with Bill Belichick

Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has been the recipient of some nice meals recently. Just two days after sitting down with former Buffalo Bills quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, Tebow ate at a high-end restaurant in Boston, MA, with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and personnel director Nick Caserio, according to the Boston Herald.

Tebow, who told OGGOA Saturday that he is in the middle of private interviews and workouts but still has a few more to take care of before the 2010 NFL Draft begins on April 22, is shooting up draft boards after initial projections had him as a second-round pick.

He is working out for the Patriots Tuesday.

Bob Tebow, Tim’s father, made headlines recently by stating that his son would not fall past No. 15 overall in next month’s draft. While some remain skeptical that this proclamation will come to fruition, Tebow is getting a good deal of first-round attention.

Tebow has now spent two days with New England and was praised by Belichick just last week during the league meetings in Orlando, FL.

”He’s had a great career. There are a lot of positives. I’m sure he’s going to help a team,” Belichick said. “I think he performed very well in the offense he was in. I think he was outstanding. He’s already spent, I think, six weeks, or whatever it’s been, working on some other things and I think you can see the results of that working. He’s worked hard and made some changes, you can see those changes. I think he’ll continue to work.”

ESPN‘s Adam Schefter has reported that Tebow’s next two trips will be to the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns (not necessarily in that order). The Seattle Seahawks are also interested in bringing him in.

Photo Credit: Associated Press

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Bills, Jim Kelly spend private time with Tim Tebow

As former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow told OGGOA Saturday, he has a handful of private interviews and workouts left on the docket before the 2010 NFL Draft begins on April 22. Following his autograph signing in South Florida, Tebow took off to upstate New York to meet with the Buffalo Bills.

The story coming out of Tebow’s trip is an apparent dinner meeting with former Bills quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, who has been an ardent supporter of the Heisman Trophy winner for about a year now.

Kelly’s wife Jill told the world about the meeting via her Twitter page, saying “JK is on his way home from having dinner with Tim Tebow. I can’t wait to get the full scoop! Can’t wait for draft day!” She also expressed that she was told not provide any additional details about the meeting.

It is a fair assumption that Tebow would not have been in Buffalo if not for the Bills requesting his presence (seeing as general manager Buddy Nix “really likes” him, according to Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King), but it is unknown whether his dinner with Kelly was set-up by the team (with perhaps some of the front office or coaching staff present) or a more private and personal meeting.

Kelly even called him “a class act and a great guy,” according to his wife’s posting.

Bob Tebow, Tim’s father, made headlines recently by stating that his son would not fall past No. 15 overall in next month’s draft. While some are skeptical that this proclamation will come to fruition (noting that all of the teams picking 10-15 do not need a signal caller), the Bills do have a dire need for one and pick No. 9 overall in the first round.

Whether or not they are interested in taking a “gamble” on Tebow early in the first round or are hoping he might be available in the second remains to be seen. What is becoming obvious is that Tebow has a lot of momentum going into the draft and could very well be selected earlier than most “experts” project.

Tebow has already met with a handful of teams (including the Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots) and has another handful of in-town and out-of-town appointments set up over the next few weeks.

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MEYER: If medically cleared, Tim Tebow will play

Speaking to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi moments ago on a report on College GameDay, No. 1 Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer was asked point-blank what decision he would make should doctors medically clear quarterback Tim Tebow to play in Saturday night’s game against No. 4 LSU Tigers.

“If Tim is ready to play, cleared to play, we’re going to play him,” Meyer said.

The University of Florida has a team of doctors in Baton Rouge, LA, who will put Tebow through a number of tests this afternoon before making a decision one way or another. A public announcement will not be made prior to 5 p.m. (EST) and most likely won’t be until closer to game time.

“I will be shocked if Tim Tebow does not play in this game tonight, and if he does not play well,” analyst Kirk Herbstreit said.

Should Tebow play, it is suggested he “not forsake his wrecking-ball running style for fear of concussions,” according to Pat Forde of ESPN who spoke with both ESPN analyst Merill Hoge and Bob Tebow, Tim’s father. “Being aggressive is safer than being passive,” Hoge said. “You’re more likely to get injured when you’re passive.”

“As the doctor explained to me, if he’s running and he braces for a hit, there’s less chance of being injured because he knows it’s coming and he’s braced for it,” Bob Tebow said. “It’s when you don’t see it and you’re not braced for it, that’s when you can get a concussion.”

There is one significant fact about concussions that is the sole decision-maker for me on this issue. As I told Newsday yesterday, once an athlete is fully recovered from a concussion, the risk is not different whether they return in 10 days, two weeks, six months or a year. The risk is not increased or decreased based on time. So as long as Tebow remains asymptomatic up until kickoff, I would put my money on him playing tonight in Death Valley.

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Gators waiting for flight, tests to clear Tebow

No. 1 Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer noted Thursday that team doctors are still deciding whether or not to clear quarterback Tim Tebow to play Saturday night against No. 4 LSU Tigers. According to Meyer, the specialists want to see how Tebow reacts to the team’s flight from Gainesville, FL to Baton Rouge, LA, on Friday.

In addition to surveying his reaction to the flight, doctors will have Tebow undergo numerous other tests after touch down in Louisiana. They will compare those test results to Tebow’s pre-concussion benchmarks for balance, equilibrium and memory. Should he pass every test (and most experts believe he will), Tebow will be medically cleared to play Saturday with the decision of whether or not he plays being left up up to Meyer.

Should Tebow play, it is suggested he “not forsake his wrecking-ball running style for fear of concussions,” according to Pat Forde of ESPN who spoke with both ESPN analyst Merill Hoge and Bob Tebow, Tim’s father. “Being aggressive is safer than being passive,” Hoge said. “You’re more likely to get injured when you’re passive.”

“As the doctor explained to me, if he’s running and he braces for a hit, there’s less chance of being injured because he knows it’s coming and he’s braced for it,” Bob Tebow said. “It’s when you don’t see it and you’re not braced for it, that’s when you can get a concussion.”

OGGOA will have further updates on the status of Tim Tebow as information is released.

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