Josh Evans – Path to the 2013 NFL Draft: Two weeks of training and a return to Gainesville

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 third entry covers his training regimen over the last two weeks, how he continues to prepare for the 2013 NFL Combine (which begins for him on Saturday), a trip he and Matt Elam took to Gainesville, FL last weekend and how Florida’s defense has prepared him for the next chapter in his playing career.

These last two weeks in training there has been a lot of focus on our 10- and 20-yard splits, seeing how we’ve improved from the start of camp and making some final adjustments to our body positioning. I’ve seen a lot of progress as far as where I was at the first week to where I’m at now. I’m getting off the line a lot quicker with much better form and it is showing up in the final times.

It’s crazy to see how much I’ve improved in the defensive back drills, cone drills, the figure-eight drills and the pro shuttle. Learning the new techniques and being taught how to explode out and plant my foot has really made a difference. In the past, I was just using my speed and talent to do a drill. Proper technique is much more important and can help get time down because you are being more productive in your movements.

It’s totally different doing these drills now then during the course of an offseason program or football practice. Sometimes you end up practicing a bad habit in college because you do it so fast that you don’t pay attention to technique. Repping it day by day has definitely helped me a lot with muscle memory, getting the steps down pat, counting the steps and knowing once I explode out of the gate how to cut and plant.

Last week we had some time to recuperate and get out strength back. The trainers gave our legs and bodies a bit of a break but still made sure we were giving it our all with what they assigned us. Every Wednesday we do warm up stretches and then yoga. I had never tried yoga before doing this training.

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Floyd, a top 10 talent, just scratching the surface

No Florida Gators football player eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft has received more buzz in recent days than defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.

Deciding to forego his final season of eligibility in order to enter the draft as a junior, Floyd was originally projected simply as a first-round pick but is now firmly cemented to go in the top half of of the first round and perhaps within the first five selections.

Most notably, Floyd’s rise has occurred simply from front office personnel, scouts and analysts watching film. The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine does not begin for another week and Florida’s Pro Day is scheduled for March 12.

OGGOA spoke with a pair of talent evaluators on Wednesday – ESPN insider Mel Kiper, Jr. and NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah – to gauge what makes Floyd so special and why he is already highly coveted this early in the process.

Kiper believes that Floyd stands out amongst a “flat-out loaded” group of defensive tackles that is looking like the deepest position in the draft.

“Sharrif Floyd is skyrocketing up the draft board,” Kiper said Wednesday.

Continue Reading » Floyd, a top 10 talent, just scratching the surface

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10 Florida Gators invited to 2013 NFL Combine

OGGOA has learned that 10 former Florida Gators players have been officially invited to participate 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.

The 10 former Gators student-athletes invited to the combine include:

Linebacker Jon Bostic – Group: 9 | Camp: LB04
Safety Matt Elam – Group 10 | Camp: DB12
Safety Josh Evans – Group 10 | Camp: DB13
Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd – Group: 7 | Camp: DL11
Running back Mike Gillislee – Group: 6 | Camp: RB13
Linebacker Jelani Jenkins – Group: 9 | Camp: LB12
Linebacker Lerentee McCray – Group: 9 | Camp: LB20
Offensive tackle Xavier Nixon – Group: 1 | Camp: OL41
Tight end Jordan Reed – Group: 3 | Camp: TE15
Kicker Caleb Sturgis – Group: 1 | Camp: PK12

Notable names left off the invite list include: wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr., WR/TE Omarius Hines, DT Omar Hunter and DT Earl Okine.

Read about each player’s day-to-day schedule in Indianapolis after the jump!
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Josh Evans – Path to the 2013 NFL Draft: Cutting dreadlocks and combine training continues

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 second entry is focused on his decision to cut his famous dreadlocks and what he has been doing in his training sessions over the last week as he continues to prepare for the 2013 NFL Combine. He also answered three fan questions.

A lot of fans have been asking me about why I decided to cut my dreadlocks, so I figured addressing that question would be a good way to start this entry. I had my dreads for about seven years, but it came down to a point where I felt like I did not want to be stereotyped as a typical guy from the urban part of New Jersey who had a label to him and a bad image. It was to prove a point that I was willing to take the next step as a player and not give anyone a reason to judge me based on my look.

It’s unfair for guys to be judged on how they look or how they wear their hair. Take a guy like me. I come from a rough place, but I’ve never done anything [negative] for anyone to look at me in a bad way. If you look at the next guy from where I’m from, another African-American with dreads, he might be looked at initially as a drug dealer or some type of bad guy that gets in trouble. A lot of people get the wrong idea about people who look a certain way, so I just wanted to show that I’m different even though it should not matter when I’m being evaluated.

Last time I checked in was right after the East-West Shrine Game. When I got back to my place in South Florida, I immediately began training for the combine once again. Last week, some more defensive backs came in and made things even more competitive. Tyrann Mathieu of LSU and Branden Smith of Georgia just came in and being able to compete with those guys and work on certain drills with them allows you to see how you stack up with the competition.

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Josh Evans – Path to the 2013 NFL Draft: Combine training and East-West Shrine Game

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 first entry discusses what he has been doing since the end of the season including training in South Florida, preparing for the 2013 NFL Combine and competing in the 2013 East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 19. in St. Petersburg, FL

After the bowl game and everything, I actually went home to New Jersey for two days to spend time with my family before travelling to Boca Raton, FL to begin training with Tony Villani of XPE Sports. He’s a big name in this industry who trains the top defensive backs and some of the fastest guys at the combine.

There are a ton of other draft-eligible players working with me down here including Matt Elam, Rashard Hall (Clemson), Earl Wolff (N.C. State), Ray Ray Armstrong (Miami), Dee Milner (Alabama), Brandon McGee (Miami), Rod Sweeting (Georgia Tech) and plenty of other guys from great programs.

I’ve spent basically all of my time after the bowl game working down in Boca Raton, and I’ve already started learning a lot. Tony has been teaching me how to get more explosive on my starts, improve my leg work and get my core right. I’ve been seeing instant results as far as fixing my technique issues and learning how to push out better.

My first time running the 40-yard dash, the first week I arrived for the pre-test, I ran it in 4.49 seconds with the laser. That was my first time running it raw with no technique taught to me or anything. As far as the guys training down here, I actually ran the fastest time out of any of the safeties.

Tony has already helped me improve on that time but it is a work in progress. My goal is to get to 4.39 seconds, but he’s had guys improve even more than that down into the 4.2-second range. I’m trying to hit that number, and he’s showed statistics where his program has gotten players close to those numbers.

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FOUR BITS: Meyer-Tebow, Shrine Game, Brewer

1 » What exactly does now-Ohio State Buckeyes head coach think of what has happened to quarterback Tim Tebow’s NFL career? “It’s a great question,” he told USA TODAY’s Robert Klemko on Thursday. “I think that his coaching transition is a big part of it, with the guy that drafted him in the first round [Josh McDaniels] getting fired immediately. Then he goes to New York and that doesn’t work out the way he envisioned.” Meyer, who claims that he speaks to Tebow each week, said he is “like anyone else” and “just waiting to see what happens” with Tebow, though he is surprised that his career has not taken an upward trajectory. “He has a unique skill set. But I have faith in Tim, and I think it will work out,” he added.

2 » The 2013 East-West Shrine Game, featuring former Florida Gators kicker Caleb Sturgis (No. 17, East) and safety Josh Evans (No. 24, East) , is set for Saturday at 4 p.m. on NFL Network. The game will air live from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL and wraps up a week’s worth of practices that saw Evans and Sturgis working in front of a bevy of NFL scouts. Sturgis met with a number of teams throughout the week and showed off his strong leg, while Evans also got some onlookers and even impressed East team safeties coach Marlon McCree. According to, “McCree mentioned Evans’s name more than any other during the four days of practice.” Note: Linebacker Lerentee McCray was also invited to the game but chose not to attend at the last minute in order to rest and heal up before the 2013 NFL Combine.

3 »’s Zach Harper recently blogged about “the art of the leak out” in the NBA and used strong>Denver Nuggets forward Corey Brewer as the paradigm for his post. “There are few players in the NBA as opportunistic on a change of possession as Brewer,” he wrote. “In a league full of specialists … the Nuggets’ six-year veteran might be the NBA’s first transition specialist.” He continued, “There are two reasons why Brewer is so good at scoring on leakouts in transition: technique and speed.” Harper then breaks down Brewer’s unique ability with numerous video examples of what he is able to do during games. He also notes that “28.1 percent of Brewer’s offensive possessions come in transition” and “30.3 percent of Brewer’s points come on the fast break,” calling him possibly “the fastest player in the league without the ball.”

4 » As recently noted by school beat writer Scott Carter on Twitter, former Florida forward Adam Allen and walk-on guard Kyle McClanahan are doing a great job leading their new team, the Rollins Tars, to a 12-2 start to their 2012-13 season. Allen, who plays through pain and following multiple knee surgeries that ended his Gators career, is third on the team with 9.8 points and fourth with 3.8 rebounds per game while averaging just 19.8 minutes per contest. McClanahan, on a scholarship at Rolins, is second on the Tars with both 14.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while playing a team-high 33.6 minutes per contest. Both players are shooting better than 46 percent from downtown this season.

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Safety Josh Evans to guest blog for OGGOA

With more than a dozen former Florida Gators football players in the process of training and preparing for the 2013 NFL Combine and upcoming 2013 NFL Draft in April, four-year safety Josh Evans has agreed to join ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive as a guest blogger to chronicle his entire process from now through the draft.

Evans will check in with OGGOA each week to discuss what he is up to in his quest to raise his stock and continue his football-playing career on the professional level.

Readers will be able to tag along as Evans participates in the 2013 East-West Shrine Game, trains for the combine, meets with individual teams interested in selecting him and is eventually drafted at some point from April 25-27.

Leaving Florida closing in on a degree in criminology, Evans led the team in tackles (83) last year, registering 4.5 for lost yardage including 2.5 quarterback sacks. His 34 assisted tackles were also most on the Gators, and he added notched three interceptions, three pass breakups and a quarterback hurry.

Evans is the sixth former Florida player to guest blog for OGGOA. Former offensive lineman Shannon Snell and catcher Teddy Foster continue to write about football and baseball, respectively. Previous contributors include quarterback Danny Wuerffel (football), guard Adam Allen (basketball) and forward Chandler Parsons (basketball), who previously blogged his path to the 2011 NBA Draft.

Keep a look out for his contributions exclusively here on OGGOA!

You can also follow Josh Evans on Twitter by clicking here.

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Florida RB Jeff Demps files paperwork with NFL

Former Florida Gators running back Jeff Demps, who decided on Jan. 12 to give up football in order to concentrate on his career as a sprinter, has “signed a standard representation agreement for football” and filed the necessary paperwork to play in the NFL according to reporter Ian Rapoport.

Just days after winning a silver medal as part of the first round team for the United States the Men’s 4×100 Meter Relay in the 2012 London Olympics, Demps has decided to go back to the sport that he once called his first love.

Demps, who was invited but did not choose to attend the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, was not selected in the 2012 NFL Draft even as a flier at the end of the third day. Due to these circumstances, he immediately becomes a free agent who can be signed by any team in the league that is interested in his services.

Though his size has always been an issue at 5’8” and 190 lbs., Demps’s straight-line speed is something that undoubtedly has teams drooling about his potential even if they decide he can only be used as a returner and occasional offensive player.

That is why his decision to give the NFL a shot is not much of a surprise, especially because he would always have enough time to change his mind again and get back into track shape a year or two before the 2016 Rio Olympics are set to begin.

As OGGOA wrote on Jan. 12:

When the Olympics are over, whether or not Demps brings home a medal, his playing experience with the Gators could always afford him an opportunity at one day playing in the NFL.


According to, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are “seriously interested” in signing Demps and were in contact with him before he was named as an injury replacement for Team USA in the Olympics.

In fact, the Bucs came close to signing Demps this summer when he failed to qualify for the Olympics. [...] Instead of signing with the Bucs in July, Demps wanted to focus on racing in the Olympics and then concentrate on football in August.

The site also reports that Demps, if signed by Tampa Bay, would be used “as a slot receiver and a running back on offense and as a kick returner on special teams.”

Photo Credit: John Raoux/Associated Press

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