Two former Gators selected in 2011 UFL Draft

The 2011 NFL Draft came and went last weekend with four former Florida Gators selected during the three-day event.

Center Mike Pouncey was chosen by the Miami Dolphins in the first round, tackle Marcus Gilbert was picked in the second round and is headed to join Pouncey’s brother with the Pittsburgh Steelers, safety Ahmad Black had to wait until the fifth round to be selected by his childhood favorite Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Washington Redskins gave guard Maurice Hurt a chance in the seventh round.

The United Football League held its third draft on Monday with two former Florida players earning unique opportunities.

Cornerback Reynaldo Hill, a four-year NFL veteran (Tennessee Titans, 2005-08), was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the first round by the Omaha Nighthawks. Hill was a seventh round pick by Tennessee in 2005 but has been out of the league for years.

Defensive tackle Ian Scott, a seven-year veteran and fourth round pick by the Chicago Bears in the 2003 NFL Draft, was chosen No. 30 overall in the sixth round by the Virginia Destroyers and head coach Marty Schottenheimer. After playing for Chicago (2003-06), Scott had a short stint with the Philadelphia Eagles (2007) before finishing his career with the San Diego Chargers (2008-09).

The duo join former Gators guard Tavares Washington in the UFL; Washington has played the last two seasons for the Las Vegas Locomotives.

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San Diego cuts former Florida DT Ian Scott

The San Diego Chargers released former Florida Gators defensive tackle Ian Scott on Monday. Scott, who started seven games in 12 appearances for the Chargers last season, was expected to remain the team’s starter going into 2010.

San Diego selected Cam Thomas of North Carolina in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft and appear to believe he will be able to take Scott’s place on the defensive line right away.

Scott, 28, will likely be picked up by another team soon. He was originally drafted by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 2003 draft and has also played for Philadelphia and Carolina.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

OGGOA RELATED: Saints unexpectedly release DE Bobby McCray

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Major upgrade for Bears as Wright is only Gators’ player taken in third round of 2010 NFL Draft

Round 3 – No. 75
Major Wright, S
Chicago Bears

Height: 5’11” – Weight: 206 lbs.
Age: 21 – Class: Junior

The Chicago Bears waited patiently for almost two full days before making their first selection of the 2010 NFL Draft, using the No. 75 overall pick in the third round to select former Florida Gators safety Major Wright.

He was the first Florida player at his position to be drafted since Reggie Nelson (No. 21, Jacksonville Jaguars – 2007) and goes to a team which hopes he can step in and play right away.

“You hate to talk about rookies being one of the starters right away,” Chicago head coach Lovie Smith said when discussing Wright, “but […] he’s our first pick. We’re expecting big things from him.”

Wright was explosive for the Gators in 2008 but experienced reduced playing time in 2009 when the team decided to utilize three safeties. His decision to declare for the draft was seen as a mistake by many in Gator Nation, but his stock rose with each passing event as he was impressive at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine and Florida’s Pro Day.

He is the first Gators player to be selected by the Bears since the team took three former University of Florida student-athletes in 2003: quarterback Rex Grossman (first round), defensive tackle Ian Scott and safety Todd Johnson (both fourth round).

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FOUR BITS: McCray, NFL Playoffs, Lee, Hernandez

1 » Former Florida Gators defensive end Bobby McCray, now with the New Orleans Saints, laid out Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner during the second round of the NFL Playoffs on Saturday. OGGOA has the video.

2 » Plenty of former Gators will be in action Sunday as the second round of the NFL Playoffs continue. Linebacker Brandon Siler and defensive tackle Ian Scott will be lining up for the San Diego Chargers, New York Jets‘ cornerback Lito Sheppard will be trying to shut down the Chargers’ deep threats and wide receiver Percy Harvin will see action in the early game as one of Brett Favre‘s top targets on the Minnesota Vikings against the Dallas Cowboys.

3 » Barely missing a triple-double for the New York Knicks Saturday was former Florida forward/center David Lee. Finishing with 26 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists, Lee has been tearing it up in New York over the last two seasons. Lee is averaging career-highs in minutes (36.9), points (19.3), assists (3.3) and steals (1.1) this season while also grabbing 11.2 rebounds per game; he has all the makings of an NBA All-Star.

4 » The decision that former Gators tight end Aaron Hernandez made to declare for the 2010 NFL Draft may turn out to be a wise one. But one choice Hernandez made that is already paying dividends was that of attending Florida instead of the University of Connecticut. “I feel like it was the best decision I made,” Hernandez told the Hartford Courant. “It made me grow up a little bit, get away from family and friends. The coaches were great coaches and they were great people, and I just don’t think anything could have gone better.” When did Hernandez decide to leave school? “I kind of planned toward the middle of the season, because I felt like I wanted to move on and enter a new part of my life,” he said. “Really, as the season went on, I just wanted [it] more and more.”

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FOUR BITS: Cooper, shot put, Scott, swimming

1 » Former Florida Gators wide receiver Riley Cooper will join teammate quarterback Tim Tebow in Mobile, AL, on Jan. 30 after accepting an invitation to the 2010 Under Armour Senior Bowl. Cooper was Florida’s leading receiver in 2009 with 961 yards on 51 catches while also accounting for nine touchdowns. Senior Bowl practices throughout the week, as well as the game itself, will be televised by the NFL Network.

2 » Gators thrower Mariam Kevkhishvili, a three-time NCAA Champion, broke a Georgian national record and Florida indoor school record in the women’s shot put during the Kentucky Invitational on Saturday at E.J. Nutter Fieldhouse. In addition to Kevkhishvili’s astounding feat, other Gators achieved promising results at the event. Florida, in total, scored two NCAA automatic-qualifiers, accounted for four provisional-qualifying marks and won three events in 48 hours. Read more about the Gators track & field team’s accomplishments this weekend.

3 » One of the few remaining Gators in the NFL Playoffs, San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Ian Scott has gone through a tumultuous two seasons with the team having been signed, released and then re-signed by the Chargers in a 13-month period. In fact, he even considered moving his entire family back to Gainesville, FL, at one point. The Gainesville Sun’s John Patton caught up with Scott and put together a nice feature article on the former Florida standout.

4 » The No. 6 men’s and No. 7 women’s Gators swimming and diving teams (7-0, 2-0 SEC), (8-2, 2-1 SEC) were victorious after turning in 159-118 and 163-122 wins over the Florida Atlantic Owls Saturday at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Sebastien Rousseau led the way for the men with an NCAA provisional mark in the men’s 200-yard butterfly (1:47.97) while senior Liz Kemp stood as a beacon for the women by taking home the 1,000-yard freestyle title (10:05.29).

Extra Bit » If you thought former Tennessee Volunteers head coach Lane Kiffin‘s departure created a ruckus, check out this video of the school’s Sports Information Department trying to settle down the clearly ticked-off media…after the jump!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Cooper, shot put, Scott, swimming

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Florida Gators in the 2009 NFL Playoffs

With the regular season wrapping up Sunday night, the participants in the 2009 NFL Playoffs have now been determined. There are seven Florida Gators with roles on their squad’s active rosters among the 12 teams competing to appear in Super Bowl XLIV. OGGOA has put together a comprehensive list of these players.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators in the 2009 NFL Playoffs

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OGGOA Presents: Florida Gators All-Decade Team

The 2000s were quite a decade for University of Florida athletics. Florida Gators football and basketball were especially exceptional, combining for four National Championships (five appearances) and five Southeastern Conference Championships (six appearances) while earning five BCS bowl game and eight NCAA Tournament berths, respectively, over the last ten years. To end this decade of champions, OGGOA has compiled our own Gators All-Decade Team for each sport.

Continue Reading » OGGOA Presents: Florida Gators All-Decade Team

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