Tim Tebow wins ESPY award for Best Moment

Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow may no longer be a member of the Denver Broncos but one of his last plays with the team earned him and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas an ESPY award on Wednesday in Los Angeles, CA.

Playing in the Wildcard Round of the 2012 NFL Playoffs, Denver and the Pittsburgh Steelers were tied at 23 heading into overtime with the Broncos receiving the ball. On the very first play from scrimmage, Tebow hit Thomas across the middle with a dart that the receiver would take the rest of the way for a game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass.

The ESPY for Best Moment is the third in Tebow’s young career but his first as a professional football player. He previously won Best Male College Athlete as a member of the Gators football team in both 2008 and 2009.

Florida was well-represented at the award show on Wednesday with three other nominees – U.S. Women’s National Team striker Abby Wambach for Best Female Athlete, junior catcher Mike Zunino for Best Male College Athlete and jumper Christian Taylor for Best Track & Field Athlete – though none of the three brought home the award in their respective category. Gators senior right fielder Preston Tucker was also in attendance to officially accept the 2012 Capital One Cup and guard Mike Miller found his way onstage to accept the award for Best Team.

A number of former Florida student-athletes congratulated Tebow for his award on Twitter after it was announced.

Jack Youngblood (@theblood85): Congrats @TimTebow on your @ESPYS award! Here’s to more “moments” like that one-JY

Marcus Gilbert (@MarcusGilbert88): Congrats to my boy @TimTebow even thought he won it against my #Steelers smh! Payback week 2 lol

Andre Caldwell (@Acaldwell17): How can you not like @TimTebow and the way he carry is his self.. It was a pleasure to play with Timmy

Brandon Spikes (@BrandonSpikes55): Tim Tebow is such a great player !!! #GrinchSmile

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

Gator Bites for Thursday, May 10

From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share – too much to fit into one of our truncated BITS segments. In these instances, or when stories fall through the cracks, we catch and wrap them all up with Gator Bites.

» Defensive lineman Brad Culpepper on Wednesday became the second former Florida Gators player in the last three weeks to join lawsuit against the NFL. Culpepper is the lead plaintiff one of two concussion lawsuits (Brad Culpepper et al v. NFL) filed by the Locks Law Firm against the NFL. “The lawsuits are identical to the other suits filed by Gene Locks, asserting counts of fraud, conspiracy to defraud, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, loss of consortium and seeking declaratory relief and medical monitoring,” according to Paul Anderson. Former Florida offensive tackle Lomas Brown is part of a separate suit against the NFL that cites the recent bounty scandal as evidence that the league did not properly protect its players from concussions.

» Former Gators running back Emmitt Smith admitted this week that, while he appears to be in perfect health now, he is worried that all of the hits he took over his football-playing career may come back to haunt him both physically and mentally in the future. “The evidence is starting to pile up. You are talking to a guy who carried the ball more than anybody in NFL history. So why wouldn’t I worry? I pray about it,” he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He also spoke about the tragic death of Junior Seau and reuniting with some of his former Dallas Cowboys teammates.

» Former Florida linebacker Dustin Doe has been re-signed by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL after appearing in just three games for the team last season. Doe registered two tackles each on defense and special teams in 2011 but spent the majority of the season on the practice squad. He is hoping to become a permanent member of the active roster this season as he attempts to continue his career.

» Speaking of players looking for new homes, it appears as if defensive tackle Marcus Thomas will be donning a different uniform in 2012. After spending the first six years of his career with the Denver Broncos, Thomas will be moving on to what he hopes are greener pastures, according to The Denver Post, which reports that it is unlikely Denver re-signs him this season. A selection in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft, Thomas has been a productive member of the Broncos throughout his career. However, Denver only wants to bring him back on a one-year deal while Thomas is looking for a multi-year agreement. The Post notes that at least two other teams are interested in Thomas’s services but will likely wait until after June 1 to sign him to a contract.

Continue Reading » Gator Bites for Thursday, May 10

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

SIX BITS: Tebow, Jenkins, Brewer, Thomas

1 » Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow was named Wednesday to TIME Magazine’s 2012 list of The 100 Most Influential People in the World. Tebow can be found among names like President Barack Obama, Warren Buffett, Louis CK and New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, who penned a few paragraphs on Tebow.

Watching Tim Tebow play football, you can observe many things about his character. You see his fierce competitiveness, his strong work ethic and how he is a leader that his teammates trust and respect.

But it is the qualities that Tim, 24, embodies in his life off the field that truly set him apart. He is unashamed of his convictions and faith, and he lives a life that consistently reflects his values, day in and day out. Through his foundation, he constantly reaches out to people and communities in need of hope. He realizes what he has been blessed with and seeks to help those who are worse off. As athletes, we pour our hearts into winning games. Tim is a reminder that life is about much more than that.

2 » Denying reports that he continued smoking marijuana after being dismissed by Florida, cornerback Janoris Jenkins is emphatic that he has turned the corner in both his life and career. “I wasn’t smoking marijuana at North Alabama,” he told Scout.com’s Aaron Wilson. “If anybody wants to know, they can give my coaches a call. I wasn’t partying. They’ve been saying a lot of things about me that aren’t true without getting my side of the story. It’s been a humbling experience. You’ve got to be a man; you’ve got to be honest and straightforward. I’ve matured. My past is my past. People can judge me for how far I’ve come. I want to know why all of a sudden this is out there about me. Why didn’t it come out after the combine when I was straightforward with the scouts? The timing is very interesting to me.”

Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Tebow, Jenkins, Brewer, Thomas

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

FOUR Tebow BITS: Jets, Miller, video, ratings

1 » If one thing is certain in regards to quarterback Tim Tebow’s role with the New York Jets this season it is that he will not often be standing on the sideline with his helmet off. According to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, the Jets plan to use Tebow at a variety of positions during games including quarterback, running back, H-back, fullback and even as the “personal protector” on the punt team. Left guard Matt Slauson even told ESPNNewYork.com that it appears to him as if New York has created a clear set division in the offense. “It’s like we’re going to be two separate teams, but as far as I know, Mark [Sanchez] is still going to be our guy,” he said. The decision to play Tebow at so many positions could prove to be either a positive or major negative for the Jets. Though Tebow is willing and able to take hits, he has done so under certain circumstances knowing they were coming. Potentially putting him on special teams or having him run a route for a pass will open up New York’s backup quarterback to a bevy of additional opportunities for injury that most players at his position do not experience.

2 » Though some of his teammates may not have been 100 percent behind him, one Denver Broncos player who continues to have Tebow’s back is linebacker Von Miller. One of Tebow’s staunchest supporters, Miller told NFL Network that he expects his friend to win the starting job in New York. “I think it’s a mistake if you think he’s just going to come in and be a Wildcat quarterback,” he said. “I think that he’s going to compete for the starting position. The Tim Tebow that I know, he’s going to come in every day, he’s going to work hard, he’s going to be consistent. And who knows? He might end up the No. 1 quarterback for the Jets at the end of the season.” He also said that he is “unhappy” Denver got rid of Tebow just because they signed Peyton Manning as a free agent. “I think he’s a better quarterback than people give him credit for,” Miller added.

Continue Reading » FOUR Tebow BITS: Jets, Miller, video, ratings

Tags: , , , , ,

FOUR BITS: Alajajian, Spurrier, Tebow, Stewart

1 » Though junior Buck linebacker Ronald Powell’s injury was more serious and detrimental to the Florida Gators considering he is an entrenched starter on defense, the unit also lost another player to surgery recently. Florida announced Wednesday that senior defensive tackle Nick Alajajian had successful surgery on his right wrist on Tuesday. Alajajian, who moved over to defense after spending three years with the Gators as an offensive lineman, is expected to be healthy enough to return for fall camp.

2 » South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier opened up to ESPN.com recently about a number of topics including his team’s game against Georgia being moved back four weeks (“I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.”), Nick Saban (“If he wants to be the greatest coach or one of the greatest coaches in college football, to me, he has to go somewhere besides Alabama and win, because they’ve always won there at Alabama.”) and how his career might come to an end (“When I leave, they’re not going to pay me $4 million because I had another five years on the deal and got fired. I ain’t going to be one of those guys.). But he also spoke about Florida and a conversation he had with head coach Will Muschamp upon him taking over the Gators in 2011.

“I told Will that he had one of the hardest jobs in America because of what’s happened down there prior to him coming. I don’t know that they have that much greater a team than most others in the SEC now. They’re pretty good. But it’s a tough job because of what Urban [Meyer] has done and prior history. Those fans are expecting 10 to 12 wins every year. Our fans are going to expect nine to 11, which is fair, and that’s good. I hope our players expect it, too.”

3 » Unlike a number of current and former Denver Broncos expressing their support and faith in quarterback Tim Tebow following his trade to the New York Jets, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (who had some of his best games with Tebow behind center) told 790 The Zone out of Atlanta, GA that he is not said to see him go elsewhere. “I ain’t going to say I was sad because the only thing they remember is that pass,” he said. “You gotta go back and look at the rest of the games. I wasn’t getting no balls and you had to make some of these plays where some players were open and he is not making the throws, but I don’t want to talk bad about Tim, but hey I am happy we got Peyton.” Thomas went on to praise Tebow for being a tireless worker and said there was no real tension in the locker room; he added that his former teammate has to learn how to read defenses better and recognize open receivers.

4 » Florida center and London, England native Azania Stewart was one of 20 players invited in April to a women’s basketball camp hosted by Great Britain that will help determine the 12 players that will represent the union in the 2012 London Olympics. Stewart has plenty of European basketball experience and that should give her chances of making the team a boost. Should she do so, Stewart would be the third Gators women’s basketball player in school history to represent her country in the Olympics following in the footsteps of Tammy Jackson (1992) and DeLisha Milton-Jones (2000, 2008).

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

TWO BITS: Futures of Tebow and Jenkins

1 » Former Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer said Thursday something that many fans of quarterback Tim Tebow demanded from the Denver Broncos throughout the 2011 season. Asked how the New York Jets should utilize Tebow while making an appearance on ESPN, Meyer said simply, “Let him play. Just let him play.” He went on to note that Denver did not do that with Tebow often enough last year and that the coaches were way too conservative with him overall. The Broncos’ coaching staff received plenty of praise for the way they “handled” Tebow but Meyer, like Tebow’s supporters, seemed to contend that they were hindering his effectiveness rather than giving him an opportunity to blossom. “When they had success I think they [let him play],” he said. “When you started seeing him throw against those easy coverages it was because they had to stop the run.”

2 » ESPN.com featured former Florida (more recently North Alabama) cornerback Janoris Jenkins on its front page for a good period of time Thursday afternoon. The front page display linked to a video of Mel Kiper, Jr. discussing Jenkins’s talents, an article about him walking a tightrope as he prepares for the 2012 NFL Draft and another listing him as the second-best playmaker at his position.

One portion of the former article, found below, was particularly interesting in regards to how Jenkins has since rebounded from the mistakes he made in Gainesville, FL.

Jenkins met with Muschamp while Cornelio and William listened to the coach’s reasoning for dismissing his star cornerback. The coach told Jenkins he had two options: enter the NFL supplemental draft or transfer.

[...]

During the four-hour ride back to Pahokee, Cornelio clarified things even more while William glared at his son.

“I told him he had three choices,” Cornelio said. “When he finished college, he was either going to the NFL, the Army or back to Pahokee to work with his father [driving a truck]. He had to decide. And to his credit, he needed about 30 seconds to make the right choice.”

“They basically told me that I had made my mistakes,” Jenkins said. “And now I had to figure out how to deal with them.”

William and Cornelio agreed that allowing Jenkins to enter the supplemental draft would be counterproductive. Along with losing money, Jenkins wouldn’t have paid a steep enough price for his mistakes.

Tags: , , ,

SIX BITS: Macklin, lacrosse, softball, Gilbert, Meyer

1 » Former Florida Gators forward/center Vernon Macklin was recently set down to the NBA Development League for no other reason than that the Detroit Pistons wanted to see him get some in-game action rather than sit stationary on the end of the team’s bench during NBA games. According to M Live, Macklin has been playing for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and has been dominating. In his first five games with the team, Macklin is averaging 16.6 points and 17.2 rebounds (10.6 on the defensive glass) in more than 36 minutes a game. He will remain with the team through April 7 before returning to the Pistons. “He’s playing with a lot of energy and effort. He’s gotten better each and every game,” Detroit coach Lawrence Frank said. “It’s great for him to get that experience. We see continued development. We see progress in Vernon.”

2 » No. 4 Florida lacrosse (11-2) hit two major milestones on Wednesday, recording their first-ever shutout while registering the highest goal total in school history in a 29-0 beat down of the Fresno State Bulldogs (2-6) at Donald R. Dizney Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Freshman midfielder Nicole Graziano scored a game-high and career-high six goals on seven shots, and freshman attacker Nora Barry joined her in dominating on offense with five goals on six shots. The duo also combined for six ground balls and six draw controls in the contest. Junior As Ashley Bruns and Gabi Wiegand combined for six goals and three assists with Bruns becoming the first player in team history to eclipse 200 career goals. In addition to scoring the most goal sand allowing the fewest in team history, the Gators set or tied a number of other records. Florida had the most points (41), assists (12) and draw controls (24) in team history, tied their records for shots (44), first-half points (17) and second-half points (12) and also committed a record five fouls, the fewest in team history. The Gators accomplished all of this without Juniors A Kitty Cullen and M Brittany Dashiell, two of the team’s leading scorers.

3 » Despite falling to a ranked opponent, No. 4 Florida softball (29-3) suffered a tough 4-1 defeat on Wednesday in Gainesville at the hands of the No. 21 South Florida Bulls (30-5). Freshman right-hander Lauren Haeger (9-2) tossed a complete game, allowing four runs (two earned) on eight hits along with five walks and four strikeouts. In addition to going up arguably the nation’s best pitcher in Sara Nevins, the Gators committed a pair of costly errors that put them in a 4-0 hole through three innings. A solo homer by Haeger (1-3, HR, RBI, R, BB) in the bottom of the fifth was the only run to cross the plate for Florida, which left eight base runners on including three in the bottom of the sixth and two in the bottom of the seventh with the game-tying run at the plate. UF defeated USF 3-2 in extra innings on Feb. 12 but will not have another chance to earn revenge.

4 » Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert will receive a bump in responsibility next season as head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed on Wednesday that he will help protect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s blind side as the team’s new left tackle. Gilbert, who played both left and right tackle in college, was drafted to eventually hold down the former role but was relegated to the latter position in 2011 due to experience and depth issues. “We fully expect him to [move],” Tomlin told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I probably had more concerns about him being the right tackle than I did him being at left tackle just because of his college experience.” Gilbert is the second Gators offensive lineman to recently be drafted and become an starter for Pittsburgh as center Maurkice Pouncey won his job out of training camp two seasons ago.

5 » Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer sat down for an interview this week with CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd to discuss a number of topics mostly concerning his return to the sidelines and how the Ohio State program is coming along heading into his first season at the helm. However, Meyer also touched on a few things at Florida including what he called an “awful” team that the Gators fielded for his first season in 2005. “We’re not a good team. As a matter of fact, we’re bad, a really bad football team – not aligned, selfish. We had some really good players on defense. On offense we’re a mess. Chris Leak wasn’t ready. Then we lose to South Carolina,” he recounted. “I remember walking to my radio show and there are some boos. The phone calls were absolutely brutal. I’m looking at [Mick Hubert] and I’m just getting greased. I’m thinking to myself, ‘What are you doing here?’” Meyer said the Florida State win really turned things around both on the field and off the field in recruiting. He also spoke about other issues he faced including “the Spurrier culture” in the SEC.

6 » While the Denver Broncos were in the process of signing quarterback Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow was in Tampa, FL helping open up the new D1 Sports Training facility while working out with, meeting and greeting children, teenagers and adults. Despite so much being on his mind about his NFL future, Tebow was obviously thinking about plenty of other things during this special occasion (photo gallery).

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

TWO BITS: Nike sues over Tebow, Hunter speaks

1 » Left with tens of thousands of blank jerseys for each NFL team, Reebok (the league’s former uniform and apparel partner) was prepared to scrap the jerseys before the 2012 season began as the NFL reached an agreement with Nike to take their place going forward. However, in a last-ditch effort to clear their stock and make a cash grab in the process, Reebok feverishly produced thousands of New York Jets jerseys with quarterback Tim Tebow‘s name and number on them after he was traded from the Denver Broncos last week. Reebok saw it as their last chance to clear some stock and not take a loss on the jerseys, but Nike saw it another way. According to CNBC‘s Darren Rovell, Nike has decided to sue Reebok for creating the jerseys and is seeking both damages and for the company to destroy any that remain on the market. “We have filed a complaint relating to unauthorized use of Tim Tebow’s name on New York Jets related apparel,” the company told Rovell in a statement. “Nike is authorized and licensed to use Tim Tebow’s name on products. We have no further comment at this stage.” Due to the NFL/NFLPA’s deal with Reebok expiring at the end of the league year, Nike contends that the company had no right to create any products with a player’s likeness. Nike is set to release their new NFL uniform designs at the beginning of April and put them on sale around the 2012 NFL Draft. It is expected that there will only be minor uniform changes in 2012 but that most teams will see some signifigant differences in 2013.

2 » Florida Gators redshirt senior defensive tackle Omar Hunter, one of the anchors on the defensive line this season, spoke on Tuesday about a number of issues concerning himself and the team. With so few healthy players at his position on the field, Hunter has been getting even more work in than usual but feels like it is paying off in the long run. “It’s very tough. We’re playing a lot more snaps than we normally have to in the rotation. It’s not as strong. But the guys we do have are going hard in practice and everyone is getting better,” he said. “Any time you have a chance to get more snaps, it’s always beneficial towards you. I feel like I’ve gotten a little bit better as far as some technique things I was struggling with last year as far as pass rushing. The more snaps I have to go against the ones on the offensive line have definitely benefitted me.” Hunter credited defensive coordinator Dan Quinn for his vast improvements on the field. “My fundamentals have shot through the roof with him. He’s very patient with me to say the least. We’ll stay after if I need extra film work, he’s always there for me,” he said.

Hunter also confirmed what head coach Will Muschamp said on Monday – junior Buck linebacker Ronald Powell has had a fantastic offseason and was the standout player at Saturday’s scrimmage. “He’s probably had the best offseason that I’ve seen from anyone since I’ve been here,” he said. “He’s worked so hard in the offseason and it’s really paying off for him right now. He’s more mature both on and off the field, on the field his pass rushing is unbelievable right now. He’s so stout against the run. He’s really looking good for us right now.” With Powell playing well and both redshirt senior defensive end/Sam linebacker Lerentee McCray and junior DT Dominique Easley coming back from injury, Hunter believes Florida’s defensive line has the chance to be one of the best the school has seen, even putting them up there with the guys from 2008.

» On redshirt senior tight end Omarius Hines’s work at running back: “Yeah, he’s big. He’s hard to tackle. He runs really hard – him and [Chris] ”Juice” Johnson. They’re both running very hard for us right now.”

» On redshirt senior guard James Wilson: “He looks better than ever. He looks like his shape is getting there. From the end of last year to now, I’d say he’s in the best shape he’s been in – he’s looking good.”

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

 Page 5 of 38  « First  ... « 3  4  5  6  7 » ...  Last »