Erik Murphy – Path to 2013 NBA Draft: Las Vegas

Through the 2013 NBA Draft, which is set for June 27, former Florida Gators forward Erik Murphy, the team’s leading three-point shooter last season (.453), will be keeping you up-to-date on his Path to the Draft via a weekly blog entry here on OGGOA.

Between workouts in Las Vegas, NV on Thursday, which he is taking part in as preparation for next week’s 2013 NBA Combine, Murphy got in touch with OGGOA to discuss what he has been doing to get ready for the draft over the last month.

After the tournament, I took a little bit of time off, about a week and a half to just hang out, relax and unwind. I did not even meet with any agents during that time. Eventually I met with a couple people – B.J. Armstrong and Art Tellem (Wasserman Media Group), for example – with my dad, who came down, Coach [Billy] Donovan and others were there to help me. I was talking with Mark Bartelstein (Priority Sports and Entertainment) because he’s [the agent for Chandler Parsons, Bradley Beal and David Lee], but I just decided that Andy Miller (ASM Sports) was the best choice for me.

I just felt really comfortable with him. Going through the process of being with the agents, getting to know them a little more, it’s a partnership hopefully for a long time, so you want to be comfortable with the person. They’re all great and do what they do well; it was just a comfort level and getting along with him really well that made the decision pretty easy at the end.

Part of my conversation with Andy was laying out a plan for the entire process. Most of the guys Andy signs, as long as they find it agreeable, he sends them out to Las Vegas to train at Impact Basketball. I’ve actually been out here before when I was young, training for a couple weeks during the summer, but Impact is a different spot, of course. He basically set me up out here with Impact and [founder/president] Joe Abunassar.

I’ve just been out here for the last three weeks, except when I went back to school for graduation, working out every day, lifting, getting in really good shape and getting a good feel for what I’ll be doing during the combine. It’s a good idea to get comfortable with the process, get acclimated before the combine.

Continue Reading » Erik Murphy – Path to 2013 NBA Draft: Las Vegas

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FOUR NFL BITS: Tebow, Murphy, Reed, Evans

1 » Contrary to comments from the front office and coaching staff of the New York Jets indicating that quarterback Tim Tebow is currently in the team’s plans to be part of the competition at his position for 2013, ESPNNewYork.com reported Tuesday that “nothing has changed with regard to Tebow’s status on the team.” A league source tells Dan Graziano that “the Jets are holding out hope they can trade him and are in no rush to do so. They could stretch the process out to the draft, but failing a trade, the Jets will release him, the source said.”

2 » Wide receiver Louis Murphy is the only former Florida Gators free agent to sign with a team thus far in the 2013 offseason as the New York Giants decided to bring him on board with a one-year contract last week. Speaking with the SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday, general manager Jerry Reese raved about what Murphy brings to the table. “I think he’s going to add another dimension to our offense,” Reese said. “We have a scout named Jeremiah Davis and he talks about guys being a ‘knife.’ This guy is a ‘knife.’ This guy can take the top off your defense. He gives us a different dimension in our offense [...] a deep threat that we haven’t had. We haven’t had a guy who can run like this guy.” Murphy should enter the season as the Giants’ fourth or fifth receiver but may still see a good amount of time on the field next year.

3 » Greg Cosell, the senior producer for NFL Films, recently praised what he has seen from Gators tight end Jordan Reed. Cosell wrote on Twitter that he loved what he saw from Reed on tape and believes he has the chance to be the next successful ‘Joker’ tight end in the league, comparing him (as many other have done already) to New England Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez.

4 » Florida safety Josh Evans has private workouts scheduled with the Jets and Patriots, OGGOA learned on Wednesday. Evans, who turned heads with his performances at the 2013 NFL Combine and Pro Day, is beginning to draw some significant buzz in league circles. According to the National Football Post:

While Evans has been viewed as the “other safety” at Florida throughout the 2012 season and not regarded as a top prospect, sources at the Florida Pro Day told us that Evans had a strong all-around workout. Although not an explosive athlete, Evans was smooth throughout the positional drills staying over his feet and changing directions easily. One NFL person in attendance told us that it was clear to him that Evans is the more flexible and fluid athlete of the two safeties, Matt Elam being the other, and that he felt Evans was also better in coverage in games. Although his workout was impressive and we think he warrants being selected above Elam, the sources we spoke with said that while they agreed with our evaluation of Evans as a better prospect that Elam will still likely be selected first.

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Josh Evans – Path to the 2013 NFL Draft: Pro Day

Through the 2013 NFL Draft from April 25-27, Florida Gators safety and 2012 leading tackler Josh Evans will be keeping fans up-to-date on his Path to the Draft via a weekly blog entry exclusively here at OGGOA.

Evans’s fifth entry covers his second return to Gainesville, FL during the offseason, the Pro Day workout on Tuesday and what his plans are for the next three weeks as he continues to workout and meet with teams.

I came back up to Gainesville late last week and the first thing I did was settle in to my place and meet up with a massage therapist to get my hamstring rubbed down. It’s just a strain. It’s something I felt during the combine. It’s kind of nagging, but it feels alright. Once I get to top speed, it is sometimes hard to maintain without it giving out. But I’m feeling better each day and we have a phenomenal training staff here at Florida so I know they’ll get me back to 100 percent in no time.

Over the weekend I also worked out a bit, did a few starts and warmed up, nothing too big because the Pro Day was in a couple of days. So I basically just worked on my flexibility and made sure I was good to go. I also met with San Francisco on Monday and had a great talk with them.

A lot of people noticed how I now have a yellow stripe in my hair. I got that done two days ago just to do something a bit different. I don’t plan to have it long, but I wanted to have it for Pro Day because I figured it would definitely help me stand out on the field.

As far as Pro Day goes, I was pretty comfortable the whole time. Any time you come back to your home field, The Swamp, there’s always that comfort you have being around your teammates and seeing the coaching staff you’ve dealt with for the last few years. I did not feel nervous; however, you still want to go out there and perform well in front of the head coaches, general managers and scouts. It was a pretty good day to get out there and run around, and I felt like all went well.

We were all concerned a bit when we first got out there saw it was raining because you don’t want to run on a wet field if you can help it. We try not to use excuses of course, but to be honest, the field was wet. The balls were even wet sometimes. We managed to overcome the obstacle and all performed well.

Continue Reading » Josh Evans – Path to the 2013 NFL Draft: Pro Day

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TWO BITS: Tebow’s future, Spikes’s agent

1 » The New York Jets reportedly spent plenty of time at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine looking for a trade partner so the team can finally split ties with quarterback Tim Tebow. However, in a conference call with season ticket holders on Monday, new general manager John Idzik made it sound as if Tebow may very well get an opportunity to compete for a job in training camp. “Tim, as you know, he’s currently on our roster. What we’re doing is we’re trying to increase competition at that position and positions across the board,” said Idzik, according to the New York Daily News. “So we’re going to let the competition play out. We’re going to see who we’re able to bring on board and let it play out this offseason and into training camp. So I think that’ll be healthy for all concerned, including Tim.”

Should the Jets cut Tebow, like many insiders believe the team plans to do if it does not find a suitor for him, more than $1.5 million of the $2.5 million in pay he is due for 2013 would be dead money against the salary cap. New York also spent fourth- and sixth-round draft choices and paid $2.5 million to Denver to acquire Tebow, assets that the team hopes not to waste on a failed trade. However, should the Jets keep Tebow and potentially cut him late in training camp, the team will only be doing his career an even greater disservice than it already has by avoiding playing him like he was the plague. With a new offensive coordinator (Marty Mornhinweg) in the fold, Tebow’s career with the Jets may not be over just yet, so stay tuned.

2 » New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes has signed with his third agency in as many seasons. According to the Boston Herald, Spikes has signed with Premier Sports & Entertainment and will be represented by Gary Uberstine and Eric Kaufman. With his rookie contract expiring and the 2014 offseason set to be a huge one for Spikes, linking up with an agency he trusts is of utmost importance heading into the process. Though New England will likely want to re-sign him, the Patriots are keen to offering backloaded contracts similar to the one that tight end Aaron Hernandez received prior to the 2012 season. Spikes, who has a great relationship with owner Robert Kraft, may want to avoid that and might feel like he will have better options on the open market. All of this remains to be seen, of course, and New England may even be interested in locking him up prior to the start of the 2013 season. Perhaps that is the reason Spikes felt he needed yet another agent change.

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Urban Meyer on Tim Tebow: “I think he’s going to win a Super Bowl.”

Tim Tebow detractors appear to be multiplying by the day, but his former head coach with the Florida Gators is most certainly not one of them.

In an interview with WOCA 1730 AM on Wednesday, Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer said that he still maintains a strong relationship with the New York Jets quarterback and believes in his abilities on the football field just as much as he did when he was coaching him in Gainesville, FL.

“I think I’m like every Gator fan and anybody that just appreciates great people and great warriors. There’s got to be a team – it all comes down to one team believing in a human being or believing in an athlete or a player. I think I got the same feeling as most everybody that watched him and grew up with him,” he said.

“All they need is to let him get his foot in the door and he’s going to win games, and I think he’s going to win a Super Bowl. I still believe that, probably because I spent as much or more time with him as any other coach. I have that much confidence in him.”

Meyer went on to describe their relationship, saying he and Tebow still converse “very frequently, once a week probably” though they have not spoken in the last few weeks.

The coach and former pupil went to lunch a few months ago when Meyer was in New Jersey recruiting the Tri-State Area. He felt Tebow was still in good spirits despite being traded from the Denver Broncos following the 2011 season and barely stepping foot on the field with the Jets in 2012.

“He’s a positive guy. He wants to win. He’s a winner. He’s always won. This losing thing doesn’t really sit well with him,” Meyer said. “He wants to be on a team that’s…he believes New York is committed to win. He has a lot of respect from Coach [Rex] Ryan. He’s a guy that’s pretty positive all the time, but I could see there was a little bit of worry in his face, concern.”

Recent word nationally (and out of New York) is that the Jets tried to find a trading partner for Tebow at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. If New York is unable to trade Tebow – a likely scenario because team sources have already let it be known that the player will be cut if a trade partner is not found – he is expected to be released when free agency begins in early March.

As far as Meyer is concerned, NFL teams should definitely be interested in Tebow as long as they are willing to give him a legitimate opportunity to succeed.

“You put Tim Tebow on a team with great players, he’s going to be a great quarterback,” Meyer said.

Photo Credit: John Raoux/Associated Press

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Josh Evans – Path to the 2013 NFL Draft: An amazing experience at the Scouting Combine

Through the 2013 NFL Draft from April 25-27, Florida Gators safety and 2012 leading tackler Josh Evans will be keeping fans up-to-date on his Path to the Draft via a weekly blog entry exclusively here at OGGOA.

Evans’s fourth entry covers his experience at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, IN and his plans over the next week as he gets ready to return to Gainesville, FL in order to prepare for Pro Day on March 12.

My overall experience at the combine over the last few days was amazing. It was an honor and a privilege, first of all, to be in this situation, so I totally took advantage of that. It pretty much was just getting adjusted to meeting all these NFL head coaches and general managers and being comfortable. They want to see how comfortable you are and how confident you are showing off your scheme and defense, being vocal and talking to someone. I felt like I did pretty well throughout the whole process during the four days and had some great interviews while I was there.

The interviews were broken up. I had a couple group interviews where I met with entire staffs and there were some teams where I just met with the position coach and they got a feel for me as far as being a defensive back, drawing up schemes and learning the schemes they run. I had great interviews with the Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Those interviews went real well, and it was great to talk to all of the coaches and front office executives.

Some of the schemes were similar – even with the Atlanta Falcons and the Arizona Cardinals when I met with the position coaches there – they all showed a lot of interest and liked the type of schemes we played at Florida.

Continue Reading » Josh Evans – Path to the 2013 NFL Draft: An amazing experience at the Scouting Combine

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SIX BITS: combine, Demps, Lee, Donovan, Lochte

1 » The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine is now in the books. Though not all of the 10 Florida Gators invited participated in the full event, a handful did and looked quite good while doing so. Below are links to OGGOA‘s combine wrap-ups. Click the appropriate link to see how your favorite former Florida player performed.

Safeties Matt Elam and Josh EvansTuesday | Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd; linebackers Jon Bostic, Jelani Jenkins and Lerentee McCrayMonday | Running back Mike GillisleeSunday | Offensive tackle Xavier Nixon, kicker Caleb Sturgis, tight end Jordan ReedSaturday

2 » New England Patriots running back and Olympic silver medalist sprinter Jeff Demps wants to return to the track but do so without giving up football. According to agent Daniel Rose of Gridiron Sports, who did not return a request for comment from OGGOA but did send a tweet about the subject on Tuesday, Demps truly hopes that New England gives him permission to pursue both of his passions. “Jeff Demps has no intentions of leaving football. He loves doing both football and track. Representing Team USA in track and field in the Olympics and playing NFL football are an honor and privilege and Jeff Demps loves both,” he wrote. NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport first reported the story and explained on NFL Network that “he plans to compete in an event in March and that calendar would run through August. They informed the Patriots of that this week. It’s possible the Patriots could work out a deal as Demps does want to play two sports. It’s a little too early to know a resolution on this but we do know he wants to play two sports.” Whether or not New England – or another NFL team – wants to give Demps that opportunity is an unknown at this point.

3 » While at NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston, TX a few weeks ago, Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee approached USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo about playing for Team USA in the upcoming 2014 FIBA World Cup and remaining on the team through the 2016 Rio Olympics. According to FOX Sports’ Chris Tomasson, Colangelo “said nothing is definite yet as far as Lee being among 20 to 24 players” invited to Las Vegas, NV for training camp from July 24-28. Chances are he will have that opportunity, however, as Lee trained with Team USA in preparation for the World Championships in 2010 and probably would have made the team if not for sustaining an injury that forced him to depart early.

Check out three more Gators news BITS…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: combine, Demps, Lee, Donovan, Lochte

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Florida Gators at the 2013 NFL Combine: Tuesday

For the fourth-straight year, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive continues our coverage of the 10 former Florida Gators participating in the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.

The event, which is held for six days from Feb. 20-26, consists of more than 300 players being put through a series of drills, tests and interviews while more than 600 NFL personnel in attendance (including coaching staffs, executives, player personnel and medical staffs) look on and evaluate each of them. It amounts to the final job interview these athletes will participate in before the 2013 NFL Draft commences on April 25.

Safeties Matt Elam (Group: 10 | Camp: DB12) and Josh Evans (Group: 10 | Camp: DB13) concluded their four days at the combine on Tuesday by competing in the full workout (results below).

2013 NFL Combine: Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday

Check out Tuesday’s results from the 2013 NFL Combine…after the break!
Continue Reading » Florida Gators at the 2013 NFL Combine: Tuesday

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