Florida adds former Nebraska OL Tyler Moore

Former four-star 2011 recruit Tyler Moore (Clearwater, FL), an offensive lineman who was set to start at left tackle for the Nebraska Cornhuskers this season but instead decided to leave the program and skip the 2012 campaign due to being unhappy at the school, has chosen to transfer and play for the Florida Gators.

According to ESPN, which first reported the player’s decision on Thursday, Moore chose UF over Florida State as his next destination because of his “comfort level with the Florida coaches” including head coach Will Muschamp.

“I’ve never seen a staff work as hard as their staff,” his father Brian Moore told ESPN. “From Muschamp, to the strength coach [Jeff] Dillman, to the director of player personnel Jon Haskins, there was just a different energy at Florida.”

Since Moore left the Cornhuskers prior to the 2012 season and enrolled at a community college, he is able to take this year as a redshirt and will be eligible to play for the Gators beginning in 2013. Florida added Max Garcia (Norcross, GA) as a transfer from Maryland in the offseason, which means the Gators will have two brand new offensive linemen available to play at the start of next season.

Moore, the No. 67 overall player in the nation as ranked by Rivals in 2011, played in nine games and made four starts at right tackle as a freshman with Nebraska in 2011; Garcia made 12 starts at left tackle for Maryland as a sophomore that same year.

The Cornhuskers had Moore listed at 6’6″ and between 290-305 lbs. in their latest update to his profile. The team’s website notes that he is the “first true freshman offensive lineman in school history to start [a Nebraska] season opener” and has the “most starts by a true offensive lineman in school history.”

The Gators are set to lose two starting offensive linemen (and one reserve) to graduation this season though Florida has only one player at that position committed as a member of their 2013 recruiting class.

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9/17: Muschamp, players discuss Florida’s win

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to review his team’s dominant 37-20 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday in Knoxville, TN. He and some players also looked ahead to this week’s game as Florida hosts Kentucky on Saturday at 12:21 p.m. in Gainesville, FL.

INJURY UPDATES

Junior cornerback Cody Riggs (foot) and redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins (thumb) remain out with their respective injures though Muschamp expects to have an update on Jenkins (he may be able to play with a club on his hand if swelling goes down).

Muschamp also announced that junior defensive end Dominique Easley, who appeared to injure his knee in the fourth quarter on Saturday but was said to be fine after the game, has swelling in the knee and is currently day-to-day. Easley tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the same knee last season against Florida State.

Finally, senior running back Mike Gillislee appears to be fine once again after carrying the ball 18 times on an injured groin. “He felt better after the game than he did before is what he told me. Everything we have from the injury report [Sunday] was very positive,” Muschamp said.

PLAYER AWARDS

Offensive Players of the Game: sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel and junior RB Trey Burton (Driskel was also named SEC Offensive Player of the Week.)

Scrap Iron: entire offensive line

Big Plays: redshirt senior wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr. and redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed (touchdowns)

Defensive Player of the Game: redshirt senior Buck linebacker Lerentee McCray

Hard Hat: junior defensive end Dominique Easley

Special Teams Players of the Game: sophomore punter Kyle Christy and redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis

Scout Team Players of the Week: freshman guard Jessamen Dunker, redshirt freshman walk-on defensive back Ben Peacock, freshman walk-on RB Mark Herndon

27-0 vs. 22-72

The biggest takeaway from the first three games of the season for the Gators is how well the team has played in the second half. Florida spent the entire offseason focused on being better conditioned and more mature late in games, which is evident by what the team has shown on the field so far this year.

Three of the four players that spoke with the media on Monday expressed that exact same sentiment.

“Over the offseason [Jeff] Dillman pretty much engrained that in our minds basically to finish out games. I think they had a score up from last year about the fourth quarter scores from us as far as our opponents. We just keep that in the back of our minds,” Hammond said. “We just want to outscore opponents and finish games. I want to say it was 72-22. Every workout we came into he reminded us. It stuck in our heads and we don’t want to have that score. I mean, it needs to be flipped around this season, so that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Read the rest of this post…after the break!
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8/27: Muschamp on Gators injuries, playing time

Participating in his first game week press conference of the season, Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Monday to discuss the team’s first official depth chart and preparations heading into Saturday’s season-opener against Bowling Green on Sept. 1 at 3:30 p.m. live on ESPN.

OGGOA RELATED: QB Driskel cleared, Gators will split first-half snaps by quarter between him and Brissett

INJURY UPDATES

Redshirt junior tackle Matt Patchan – strained his pectoral on Saturday, will miss the season opener

Sophomore defensive back De’Ante Saunders – “pulled a hamstring” on Thursday and will miss multiple games – “He has a hamstring at this time. He’ll sit the first two games for right now. But he’s got a hamstring problem, so he wouldn’t be able to go the first game at least anyways,” Muschamp said.

Redshirt junior DB Jeremy Brown – set to have his wrist reevaluated on Tuesday to see if he can return to practice, will miss the season opener

Freshman OT D.J. Humphries – outside shot he will play if doctors clear him to return to practice from an injured MCL

Redshirt freshman guard Tommy Jordan – will miss opener with a shoulder injury

PLENTY OF FRESHMEN WILL PLAY

Though only five true freshmen (two offense, three defense) are listed on the opening week depth chart, Muschamp said Monday that as many as 10 are in line to see time on the field throughout the course of the game.

Wide receiver Latroy Pittman (X), guard Jessamen Dunker (right), linebacker Dante Fowler, Jr. (Buck), LB Antonio Morrison (Will) and defensive back Brian Poole (dime cornerback) are all listed on the depth chart and will assuredly see plenty of action.

Joining them will be Humphries (if healthy enough to compete), defensive end Jonathan Bullard (“a guy that is definitely going to play Saturday, probably very early in the game”), running back Matt Jones, WR Raphael Andrades and tight end Kent Taylor.

ADJUSTING TO THE NEW KICKOFF RULES

With the kickoff tee moved forward and the ball set to be placed at the 25 yard line for touchbacks, Muschamp and special teams coordinator D.J. Durkin have spent plenty of time working with the team this offseason to help them adjust to the new rules.

Muschamp said Monday that ensuring that redshirt junior wide receiver and starting kickoff returner Andre Debose brings back kicks is of paramount importance.

“We’d like for Andre to bring it out. That’s what we’d like for him to do…depending how deep it is,” he said. “We’ve kind of given him a little bit of a landmark back there of when we want him to take it out. We’ve worked really hard on that and making a good decision for those situations. That’s also affected by the hang time of the kick.”

On the more “defensive” side of the play, Muschamp is confident that redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis will be able to kick the ball out of the end zone. However, he also cautioned that Florida may try to pin teams back on occasion. He is equally confident in the Gators’ coverage teams and their ability to eliminate any potential significant returns.

Read the rest of what Will Muschamp had to say on Monday…after the break!
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The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (69-50)

With the 2011-12 athletic season now in the books and the 2012-13 season about to begin, the focus has shifted to the return of Florida Gators football. For the second-straight year, OGGOA will take a look at every player of substance on the roster, counting down by jersey number, in this series: The Countdown.

67 – Jon Halapio (St. Petersburg, FL)
Redshirt junior guard
6’3” 321 lbs.

Quick Bio: A versatile offensive lineman in high school, Halapio settled into the right guard role in 2010 when he was named to the 2010 Sporting News All-Freshman Team. He has started 20 contests throughout his career after taking a medical redshirt as a freshman in 2009.

2011 Season: One of the most consistent players on the offensive line last season, Halapio started every game at right guard – the only member of the unit to completely lock down his position. According to UF, he “owns the most consecutive career starts” on the Gators offense with 14.

2012 Outlook: Nothing has changed as far as Halapio is concerned heading into his redshirt junior season. He has only strengthened his hold on the right guard job and has continued growing as a team leader both on and off the field.

66 – James Wilson (St. Augustine, FL)
Redshirt senior guard
6’4” 323 lbs.

Quick Bio: Ranked as the No. 2 overall prospect in his recruiting class by Rivals, Wilson was a five-star prospect who redshirted as a freshman and played in 24 of Florida’s 28 games from 2008-09, earning four starts. He was slated as the starting left guard in 2010 but missed the final 10 games of the season with a left knee injury.

2011 Season: Originally left off of the spring depth chart as his participation was very limited, Wilson wound up playing the final 12 games of the season, was a key member of the team’s field goal unit and even earned a start in the Gator Bowl.

2012 Outlook: Wilson participated in his first spring game in his six years at Florida, crediting strength and conditioning coach Jeff Dillman with his improved health. He is a candidate for the starting left guard job this season (competing in practice with redshirt junior Kyle Koehne) but at worst will be a reserve who will see plenty of action.

Check out six more players in this edition of The Countdown…after the break!
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The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (79-70)

With the 2011-12 athletic season now in the books and the 2012-13 season about to begin, the focus has shifted to the return of Florida Gators football. For the second-straight year, OGGOA will take a look at every player of substance on the roster, counting down by jersey number, in this series: The Countdown.

77 – Ian Silberman (Orange Park, FL)
Redshirt sophomore guard
6’5” 303 lbs.

Quick Bio: Silberman enrolled early in January 2010 coming out of high school as a four-star recruit. He was the No. 8 player at his position nationally according to Rivals but only saw action in the season opener that year.

2011 Season: Though he bulked up some between his freshman and sophomore years, Silberman was moved to guard and only appeared in three games as a reserve.

2012 Outlook: Silberman has gained 19 lbs. since last season but has not been spoken about much other than as a third-string reserve on the offensive line. He will play plenty of special teams though, according to head coach Will Muschamp.

76 – Max Garcia (Venice, FL)
Junior offensive lineman
6’4” 307 lbs.

Quick Bio: A two-sport athlete in high school who competed in shot put and discus in addition to playing football, Garcia committed to Maryland and despite not seeing much action as a freshman started at left tackle in all 12 of the team’s games during his sophomore season.

2012 Outlook: Due to NCAA transfer rules, Garcia is being forced to redshirt and will miss the entire 2012 season. Coaches, however, have noted that he is playing quite well during practice and they are very high on his potential to be an impact player in 2013.

Check out five more players in this edition of The Countdown…after the break!
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Muschamp: Time to “quit talking, start playing”

With the Florida Gators finally set to begin 2012 fall practice on Friday, head coach Will Muschamp and dozens of the players met with the media to discuss the upcoming season. Below are some highlights from Muschamp’s press conference, which lasted over 40 minutes. Though all practices will be closed to both fans and media, Florida has decided to hold fan day on Saturday, August 18, which will include a special open practice at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (9-11 a.m.) followed by fan activities in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center (3-6 p.m.).

INJURY UPDATES

» Sophomore cornerback Marcus Roberson (neck): fully cleared to practice
» Senior defensive lineman Nick Alajajian (back): “slowed” for the first 10 days
» Freshman tight end Colin Thompson (foot): “slowed” for the first 7-10 days, limited but practicing some after having foot surgery in the spring
» Redshirt junior wide receiver Stephen Alli (leg): cleared by middle of camp
» Freshman defensive back Marcus Maye (knee): cleared by middle of camp
» Junior buck linebacker Ronald Powell (torn ACL): “knee has…taken well to surgery”

”WE NEED TO QUIT TALKING AND WE NEED TO START PLAYING”

As he did when he took over the program last season, Muschamp is once again taking a no-nonsense attitude into this season. He said early in his press conference that he is just as dismayed at the Gators’ record over the last two seasons as fans are and that he wants the team focused on improving day in and day out.

“We just got done with a team meeting. I said, ‘At 15-11 at the University of Florida [over the last two years], we need to quit talking and we need to start playing, at the end of the day. Let’s get on the field and play,’” Muschamp said.

Part of getting ready to play is building toughness in training camp. Muschamp hoped Florida would be able to practice with great physicality a year ago but insists that will be the case no matter what in 2012.

“Obviously more contact drills and some different things that we can do,” he said on what can be done differently. “A little bit of our issues last year was because of numbers, at the end of the day. We had a hard time, at times, especially as you work into camp and you have some attrition because of injuries in your roster. It’s hard to simulate game day situations when you’re only working with one line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. That was the case last year. That’s not going to be the case this year.”

BRISSETT? DRISKEL? BRISSETT AND DRISKEL?

With quarterback being the most important position on the football field, it should be no surprise that the battle between sophomores Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel continues to be the hottest topic of conversation surrounding the team.

“Everybody wants to ask me about the quarterback position. I’ll be honest with you, I feel really good about that position because we got two really good players competing that are going to make each other better, our offense better and our team better,” Muschamp said.

He added that he cannot put a timeframe on when he will pick a starter but noted that decision-making, commanding the huddle and making big-time plays on the field will be the keys in determining who gets the job.

“We’ll know when the decision is right. I really feel that way. I’ve always felt that way about every position. You’ll know when it’s right,” he said.

Read much, much more from Muschamp at media day…after the break!
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3/21: Pease discusses players, philosophies

Florida Gators offensive coordinator Brent Pease had plenty to say after four days of spring practice and did exactly that on Wednesday afternoon. Pease discussed specific players, general philosophies and plenty else in a media availability session.

PLAYER EVALUATIONS

Though he has only had the opportunity to watch them participate in four days of spring practice, Pease has already developed early opinions on some players.

Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Quinton Dunbar: “I’ve just seen him improve. I’ve seen him catch the ball better. I’ve seen him make some big plays in practice. Practice is built to go fast and be challenging so that games are easier. If he can react to what he’s been doing and play the game at the speed and play it instinctively like he’s gotten better each day. Is he where he needs to be? No. But he’d probably be the first to tell you that. But he’s starting to play the game faster. He’s not thinking so much. When kids are thinking they play slow, because they don’t know everything, they don’t trust and they have no confidence. Obviously we’re working through that but I’ve seen the pace of how he plays the game every day get faster and faster and faster.”

Redshirt sophomore running back Mack Brown: “I don’t know what it was in the past. I just know he’s been steady, he runs the ball and is a physical runner downhill. Good pad level. Does he make mistakes? Yeah, but he’ll fix those. Being a running back, you’ve got to know running the ball, protection, pass routes, so you’ve got to pick those phases. And right now he’s been a pretty consistent runner. Ball security – very pleased. Kid’s got a great attitude. He’s awesome. [I] love being around him.”

Sophomore fullback Hunter Joyer: “I like his intelligence, his physicality, just the fact he’s smart, can bring a lot of things and be in that fullback position and then also be backups in other positions. He’s got good hands, he’s willing to block, he’s a very unselfish player, very coachable. So you hope that that carries over some leadership on him.” Pease said that Joyer will not only block and run the ball but also contribute in the passing game.

Redshirt senior tight end Omarius Hines (transitioning to running back): “He’s natural. He’s still got to learn some things with it but obviously he gives us good depth. He’s got a lot of abilities knowing his hands and his explosion just running the ball – his physical attributes. It’s been good to see him. Him, as well as some other kids, you kind of see their confidence grow every day.”

Redshirt junior WR Andre Debose (if he will emerge): “I would hope so, but I haven’t seen that. He’s working through some offseason injuries that he’s had.”

POSITION THOUGHTS

» On how the quarterbacks are developing: “I think they’ve picked up a lot. You’re starting to see a little bit of everything. You’re seeing some management skills, some huddle control, see them throw the ball with better anticipation. You’re seeing them throw the ball with more authority. They’re starting to get a grasp of everything and it’s encouraging. They’re more accurate than they’ve been, and I think they’re doing a really good job with it. There’s a long ways to go, but it’s as much improvement as you’ll see in four days. It’s encouraging.”

» On which receivers are standing out:Frankie Hammond has done some good things; he brings a lot to the table for us. Quinton’s really done well in four days, really done well, drastic improvements every day. I think Latroy [Pittman]‘s going to be all right. Trey Burton adds to the picture in being able to be in some of those spots. Debose will be fine.”

» On the offensive line looking better/bigger: “I think we can be pretty good. One of the things I’ve seen is their bodies. Their bodies are changing. I think they’ve done some great things in the weight room, Coach [Jeff] Dillman and what he [and Jesse Ackerman have] done with those guys.”

» On if he hopes to have a feature running back: “Ideally, you hope you’ve got a guy who’s a horse and you give him the ball 25 times a game, but I don’t know that answer with what we have.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» On his on-field disposition and if he gets in people’s faces like some of the other coaches: “I’d probably rather pull people aside. I’m not saying I can’t be demonstrative. Because I’m not, my intentions are never to belittle anybody, but if you’ve got to get a kid’s attention because focus needs to be needed because we’re out there to work, I’m going to grab someone’s attention. I’ve been in their shoes; I know when somebody is screwing off. I was that way sometimes when I was a player. But I figured I learned a little bit from my dad probably when he was my coach and ran a tight ship on me. I’m in to being the best teacher that I can.”

» On if the team has been watching a lot of Boise State film: “Yeah, they’ve seen the blue turf a lot. They’re probably getting tired of it. I said, ‘Make good plays, and we’ll put ours on it. We’ll make our own good tapes.’”

Photo Credit: UF Communications

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Bostic, Gillislee talk offseason improvements

A pair of senior Florida Gators football players – linebacker Jon Bostic and running back Mike Gillislee – spoke on Tuesday about the team’s activities during the offseason and how they each plan to improve heading into the 2012 season.

BOSTIC, JENKINS GETTING BIGGER AND BETTER

Even though Bostic was Florida’s leading tackler and one of the most productive players on the defense in 2011, he has spent the entire offseason – and will now spend all of spring practice – trying to get better. Though he may have the system down pat, the changes offensive coordinator Brent Pease is making to his side of the ball are giving Bostic and the rest of the defense even more looks than they are used to having.

“There’s something new to learn every day and get better at every day,” he said. “This spring, with this new offense and the shifting and adjusting that they’re doing, it’s really making us learn this defense and learn all these checks and adjustments that we need to make right off the top of our head, not where it’s something we need to learn by week.”

Nearly as effective as Bostic last year, redshirt junior LB Jelani Jenkins appears to have bulked up significantly since new strength and conditioning coach Jeff Dillman took over the program. Bostic says his teammate has “gotten a lot stronger” and weighed in at “236 or 238” pounds on Monday, crediting Dillman and his new style for the improvements to both of their physiques.

“It’s more Olympic-style lifts with the power cleans and stuff,” he said. I had never done those lifts before until I got here. We did some in high school but I didn’t do too much of it. I tried it once, couldn’t get the technique, so I just went about my business and did something else. I like it.”

GILLISLEE READY TO RUN

Moving into the No. 1 running back role for the Gators, Gillislee is looking forward to being an every-down back, a role he has been itching for over the last three years but has yet to be given due to other being in front of him in line. Now that Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey have graduated and moved on to other things, Gillislee is ready to step up and carry the rock full-time.

“[My role] has increased a lot,” he said, according to The Gainesville Sun. “The biggest role right now is getting better every day, being a leader. [...] No doubt [I can be an every-down back]. This is my last chance, just the opportunity I’ve been waiting on to take advantage, being No. 1 on the depth chart so far, just getting better every day.”

The two other reasons Gillislee was kept off the field – in addition to others in front of him getting a shot first – were injuries and difficulties in learning pass protection.

“It’s been very frustrating,” Gillislee said of his injuries, according to InsidetheGators.com. “Like every time it was time for me to step up, I ended up getting hurt. But now that I see taking care of your body is the most important thing, that’s a big part of what I’m doing now. Every day after practice I get in the cold tank and do the little things before anything major happens.”

He also said he no longer has issues with pass protection and picking up blitzes. “I feel comfortable now because I’m getting a lot more reps than I usually get,” he told the Sun. “It’s hard. You’ve got to know who is coming and you’ve got a route at the same time. So, that’s the whole hard thing about pass protection. I had a bit of trouble, but I’m good at it now.”

Now all that is left for Gillislee is trying to hit that 1,000-yard benchmark. “I can envision it,” he told ITG. “In the past, I never knew when I was gonna get [the ball] again, so I just went as hard as I can. Not saying now I don’t go as hard as I can every day, but that’s a big reason why I just want to break out.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» Bostic on sophomore cornerback Marcus Roberson’s neck injury: “The main thing with him, I told him, is to get stronger in the offseason. He’s a freshman who did well at times last year. He’s going to play a big role in our defense this year. His main thing is he just needs to get in the weight room. He’s a guy who can turn and run with receivers. But at the line of scrimmage – with him putting on weight and getting a lot stronger – he can really help us there.”

» Bostic on redshirt sophomore quarterback Tyler Murphy not getting enough respect off the field: “It’s really three quarterbacks out there doing well. I know a lot of people are looking at [Jeff] Driskel and Jacoby [Brissett], but Tyler Murphy is one of those guys who is really stepping up right now and kind of taking everything from the backside because everybody is kind of looking at the other two. But Tyler Murphy has come out there, he’s done his job just like the other two.”

» Gillislee on if he was every planning to transfer: “Nah. I was born a Gator. I been a Gator all my life. I would never change this. Now it’s my opportunity, so I plan on keeping it that way.”

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