FOUR BITS: Trattou, Gaffney, Lochte, Tennessee

1 » Junior running back Jeff Demps ran rampant over the South Florida Bulls. Senior safety Ahmad Black flew back-and-forth in the secondary making hits an intercepting balls out of the sky. But a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown by senior defensive end Justin Trattou may very well have been the play of the game – or at least the play of his career. “It is definitely up there with my biggest plays,” he told The Gainesville Sun. “It is my first touchdown as a Gator. It’s a great feeling. […] I saw a lot of green in front of me and I was not going to let anyone catch me from behind, that is for sure. I didn’t get caught last year [against South Carolina] either, I tripped over my own guy.” Classmate, linemate and friend Duke Lemmens was just as excited. “Anytime one of us bigger guys gets in the end zone – it is awesome,” Lemmens said. “I got almost as tired running all the way down to celebrate with him as I did the whole game.”

2 » Trading star WR Brandon Marshall, the Denver Broncos had some shuffling to do at the receiver position this offseason. Head coach Josh McDaniels drafted one in the first round but mostly stuck with guys already on the team to fill in the blanks – and that includes former Gators WR Jabar Gaffney, who enters the 2010 season after a career-year in both receptions (54) and receiving yards (732). Scoring a touchdown in his team’s first game of the season last Sunday, Gaffney is feeling at home in Denver and ready to become a big-time producer. “I know what I can do, and my teammates and my coaches, they all have confidence in me,” Gaffney said recently.

3 » Michael Phelps may get the recognition, but as far as the title of best swimmer in the world is concerned, that distinction currently belongs to former Florida student-athlete Ryan Lochte, just ask longtime coach of Phelps, Bob Bowman. “Obviously, Ryan Lochte is the best swimmer in the world this year. No question,” he told the Associated Press. “That will be a huge challenge for Michael going forward..

4 » With the Gators heading to Knoxville, TN, on Saturday, fans of the Tennessee Volunteers used the opportunity to take a shot at Florida by releasing “(352): Time to Die” shirts, making fun of the arrest of redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Rainey this week. While jokes and mockery are fine, especially in the Southeastern Conference, perhaps doing so while referencing a third-degree felony aggravated stalking charge is a bit distasteful, no? This isn’t exactly former guard Lee Humphrey falling of his scooter or a misdemeanor alcohol offense (which we’ll take a look at later).

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FOUR BITS: Wilbekin, Mullen, Tebow’s jersey

1 » In a special to ESPN, Matt Winkeljohn takes a closer look at high school juniors Scottie Wilbekin and Matt Carlino skipping their senior seasons to (hopefully) join the Florida Gators and UCLA Bruins, respectively. Most importantly, Wilbekin’s father said that there is a “99 percent chance” of everything working out so he can enroll in the University of Florida next year. Nevertheless there is still “a lot [that] has to happen on our part” for it all to go down, according to Svend Wilbekin, including his son taking all necessary classes and receiving a high enough SAT score.

2 » After an hour interview with him on the radio, Alabama sports talk show host Paul Finebaum has declared former Gators offensive coordinator and current Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen “the future of college football.” What is interesting is that Finebaum cites Mullen’s youth, beautiful wife, attitude, demeanor and politics as the main reasons he will be a success rather than, you know, his football acumen. “He left me with my eyes wide open and shaking my head with admiration and respect,” Finebaum wrote. OGGOA wonders if he would have felt the same way if Mullen ended up becoming the top guy at Florida.

3 » Former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow’s No. 15 Denver Broncos jersey is flying off the shelves both in Denver, CO, and nationally. The jerseys are going so fast that, according to a Champs Sports outlet employee who spoke with Denver News, they are being put on display immediately when they arrive without price tags ($80 per) for expediting purposes. Stores are being so careful that Tebow’s jerseys – unlike others on the racks – are being attached with a heavy cable as to prevent shoplifting.

4 » Fans do not need to shoplift Tebow’s jersey in order to save a few bucks on it. They can just dust off the jersey of former Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall (or purchase a new one for half-price or as little as $10) and bring it to embroiderer Daniella Grieve, who is removing Marshall’s name and replacing it with Tebow’s for customers. “[This idea] could turn into something big, and if not we have Tebow jerseys for our two little boys,” Grieve told CBS4 in Denver.

» Of course, if you wish to purchase Tebow’s real NFL jersey, you can grab it directly through OGGOA’s store! You can also visit our Gators-specific store here!

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Gators QB Tim Tebow a first round pick; Broncos select him No. 25 overall in 2010 NFL Draft

Round 1 – No. 25
Tim Tebow, QB
Denver Broncos

Height: 6’3″ – Weight: 236 lbs.
Age: 22 – Class: Senior

For the first time since 1989, three former University of Florida student-athletes were picked in the first round of a NFL Draft. Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow completed the trifecta for the 2010 NFL Draft, being chosen by the Denver Broncos with the No. 25 overall selection.

Tebow becomes the fourth Florida quarterback drafted in the first round and the first since Rex Grossman was picked by the Chicago Bears in 2003. Denver made four trades in the draft before eventually winding up with the opportunity to select the Heisman Trophy winning signal caller.

Months of debate about whether or not he was worthy of a first round selection were only fueled Thursday by the Broncos’ decision. Now the story changes to whether or not Tebow will be able to live up to the slot in which he was picked.

Things got rolling between the two parties early in the process but intensified this Monday when general manager Brian Xanders and head coach Josh McDaniels visited Tebow for a private meeting in Gainesville, FL.

He will join former Florida wide receiver Jabar Gaffney and defensive linemen Jarvis Moss and Marcus Thomas who are already on Denver’s roster. The team, which happens to use orange and blue as its two primary colors, recently made the No. 15 jersey available after trading wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Miami Dolphins for two second round picks.

Should Tebow get a chance to play in week one of the 2010 NFL season, he will take the field at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in his hometown of Jacksonville, FL, against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Press Conference Transcript
“A lot of people said it was going to be a hard process or a long process and that it was going to be very frustrating for me but I loved it and I enjoyed the working process. All the critics and negativity only pushed me that much more and made me work that much harder and made me better. I think that was a positive thing for me, to be honest with you. I believed in myself and the people that were around me and supporting me. I thank my quarterback coaches for the work that they put in and trying to constantly get better. Not only get better but show that I was coachable, to be humble and learn to do what someone says and I think that is something that I tried to show and I think I showed that to Coach McDaniels and the staff there.”

Press Conference Transcript
Press Conference Video
Head coach Josh McDaniels: “The player obviously has all the traits that you’re looking for in terms of toughness and competitiveness. He’s intelligent and he’s won a lot of games. He’s a leader, he works hard and he’s got all the intangibles that you look for in a player at that position. He’s produced a lot of numbers and statistically – I’m not even going to talk about that because he’s one of the best in a long, long time. We need that player in that position to be a good player, a real good player. If we can make him a special player, that’s what we’re looking for. Now we have a deep group of quarterbacks and we expect the competition to be incredible. It hasn’t changed anything in terms of our depth chart right now. We’re looking for that position to be the best player on our team if we can make it that way. Competition is only going to make each one of those players better and that’s what we expect him to come in and provide us with.”

Head coach Urban Meyer: “I’m sure Tim and his family are glad the process is over. The Denver Broncos are getting a winner. Tim will show on the field what he is capable of doing and more than anything Tim has a competitive fire that will constantly push him to get better and do whatever he can to help his team win.”

– ESPN: The wait is worth it for Tebow
– ESPN: Josh McDaniels’ legacy is Tim Tebow
– SI: Tebow’s Mile High landing, a sour night for Clausen
– AP: Tebow taken in Round 1 by Broncos, joins QBs Orton, Quinn
– FOX: Round 1 shows character counts
– CBS: Broncos’ McDaniels can kiss job goodbye with Tebow pick
– CBS: Broncos will regret falling for Tebow’s good-guy reputation

– Denver Broncos: Broncos Pick Two in Primetime
– Denver Post: Broncos pick QB Tim Tebow at No. 25 in NFL draft
– Denver Post: By Josh, McD got it right
– Gainesville Sun: Broncos make first-round pick Tebow feel a mile high
– A lot of Gator fans just became Broncos fans


NFL Network interview with Tim Tebow

ESPN interview with Tim Tebow

Gainesville Sun interview with Tim Tebow

Broncos coach McDaniels’ press conference

OGGOA will continue updating this story.

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FOUR BITS: Marshall and Tebow, Leak, Cooper

1 » With the 2010 NFL Draft closing in, former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow is making his final in-house trip today to the Denver Broncos. Coming the same day as the team has traded wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Miami Dolphins, Tebow’s visit has raised questions about the possibility of Denver packaging some picks to move back into the first round and draft him. The Broncos now have the No. 11, No. 43 and No. 45 overall picks (as well as an extra second-rounder from Miami in 2011) and could very well take Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant early and Tebow later in this year’s first-round. Just food for thought. By the way, Marshall’s No. 15 is now vacant…and their uniforms are orange and blue. Just a thought.

2 » Speaking of Florida quarterbacks, the Palm Beach Post caught up with Montreal Alouettes back-up Chris Leak while he was in town for the 2010 Orange & Blue Debut last weekend. Leak spoke on a variety of subjects but, most importantly, touched on why he was there – to work with redshirt junior John Brantley on the player’s request. “I’m going to be a coach after I’m done playing, which is many, many years away from now,” Leak said. “Me and John have been talking for a while now. He wanted me to come out and watch him, and I just came out here to support him and watch him grow as a quarterback. He did an awesome job [Saturday]. His feet looked great, his decision-making is excellent, he really showed a lot today.”

3 » According to The Florida Times-Union, the Jacksonville Jaguars “have shown some interest” in former Gators wide receiver Riley Cooper, who could be a target for them in the second or third round (should he fall). Cooper would fit in nicely with Jacksonville, which needs a compliment for Mike Sims-Walker.

4 » Former Florida cornerback Lito Sheppard, most recently with the New York Jets after spending most of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, has scheduled a workout with the Detroit Lions for the next two days, according to Pro Football Talk.

Photo Credit: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

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