Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Breakdown of 2015 preseason Weeks 1 and 2

The 2015 NFL preseason began two weeks ago with 48 former Florida Gators spread out over 23 of the 32 teams in the league.

Sixteen teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Denver, Miami, Philadelphia and Washington (four each); Pittsburgh (three); and Arizona, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Minnesota, Oakland, St. Louis and Tampa Bay (two each).

Below are full updates all 48 players on NFL rosters, most of whom saw action over the first two weeks of the preseason. There are also select injury and status updates on some other Gators below.

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed … after the break!

Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Breakdown of 2015 preseason Weeks 1 and 2

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4 NFL BITS: David Nelson signs with Steelers, Jaguars S Josh Evans gives inspirational speech

1 » Former Florida Gators wide receiver David Nelson – a five-year NFL veteran who had spent time in Buffalo, Cleveland and with the New York Jets – has been without a team since being waived by the Jets in mid-October after New York traded for his Florida teammate, WR Percy Harvin. On Wednesday, Nelson was finally picked up when the Pittsburgh Steelers signed him to a contract and reunited him with former Gators teammates center Maurkice Pouncey and right tackle Marcus Gilbert.

For Nelson, the Steelers signing comes nearly a month after he posted a deeply personal blog on his charity’s website. Asking, ‘Do I pursue my passion, or my heart?‘ Nelson explores how his i’mME charity changed his life but also made him a bit of an outsider in the NFL. “Since my release, there’s been hesitation to sign me to a contract, due largely to how I spend my free time [with my charity], even though it’s made me stronger – physically mentally, emotionally.” Nelson pointed out that “not one team” has said his talent was an issue; rather, “I’m hearing questions about my commitment because I’m outspoken about my nonprofit, and I do a lot to make it successful.”

Continue Reading » 4 NFL BITS: David Nelson signs with Steelers, Jaguars S Josh Evans gives inspirational speech

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FOUR BITS: Former Gators safeties Matt Elam, Will Hill fighting for Ravens starting job

1 » The Baltimore Ravens pulled former first-round draft choice Matt Elam out of their starting rotation after Elam began disappointing with his play on the field. Elam shifting out allowed fellow former Florida Gators safety Will Hill to fill the void and has subsequently created a high-intensity training camp competition between the two teammates.

Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh, who stuck by Hill despite him being suspended for the first six games of the 2014 campaign due to a third NFL drug policy violation, is impressed with what he’s seen from the undrafted free agent. “I almost say [he’s] light-years ahead of where he was last year,” Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun. “He has been here every single day in the offseason that I’m aware of. Heck, he brought his family in here to work out with him when he was on his own. … I just think he has really dug in to have a great season, and we’ll see how it goes for him. But right now, he looks the part.” Elam is taking the competition in stride and remains confident he will be able to regain the job. “All I can say is, I can’t wait until September. I’m ready,” Elam said.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Former Gators safeties Matt Elam, Will Hill fighting for Ravens starting job

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FOUR BITS: Horschel, Jenkins, Noah, Speights

1 » Former Florida Gators golfer Billy Horschel exploded on the scene last season, winning the 2014 FedEx Cup and bringing home a cool $14.8 million for his efforts. Horschel, who also had a baby girl just days after the most successful four-week stretch of his career, was apparently in a sharing mood and decided to be quite generous with his newfound wealth. In a profile by Golfweek, Horschel admits that he gave $10,000 to split among the locker-room attendants at the TOUR Championship and gifted his caddie with a $1 million bonus. He also splurged on his former Gators golf coach, Buddy Alexander.

Hours after winning the BMW Championship playoff in Denver, Horschel called Alexander. Horschel asked about tickets to the Florida-Alabama football game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Alexander said he thought he could come through.

“I’ve got a little extra jingle in my pocket,” Horschel said. “If you get the tickets, I’ll get the plane.”

Horschel hired a private jet.

2 » According to the Miami Herald, Miami Dolphins linebacker Jelani Jenkins – whose breakout 2014 campaign included him being the NFL‘s leading tackler for a portion of the season – is currently back at Florida “taking five classes” during the spring semester as he attempts to earn his degree in applied physiology and kinesiology. Jenkins left school as a redshirt junior and was largely ineffective for the Dolphins as a rookie but came on in a major way last season. He told the Herald‘s Adam Beasley that he always came back to finish his degree and has seen some familiar faces while in town but is mostly staying to himself with four of the classes he’s enrolled in taking place online. Miami’s leading tackler with 108 in 2014, Jenkins is focused on improving his consistency during organized team activities this summer.

3 » Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah helped produce this video, You’re Not Alone, about stopping street violence in the Illinois city and across the country.

4 » Last month, Golden State Warriors center Marreese Speights had a gun pulled on him outside a San Francisco night club but was unharmed, running away when “a group of gang members” tried to steal his gold chains, according to KTVU FOX 2. Speights is having a career year for the Warriors, shooting a career-best 50.3 percent from the field and averaging a career-high 12.0 points per game. He is also bringing down 5.1 boards per contest and playing 18.1 minutes on average for the best team in the NBA at 42-9 near the midpoint in the season.

Extra BIT » Here’s Horschel chilling with Albert on Feb. 6.


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Former Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 16 & 17

The 2014 NFL regular season concluded this week with 36 former Florida Gators spread out over 20 of the 32 teams in the league.

Twelve teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Philadelphia and Tampa Bay (three each); and Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh and St. Louis (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 26 players (16 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 16th week of the regular season as well as the same information for all 29 players (15 starters^) that were active in Week 17.

Eight former Gators advanced to the postseason. Florida is represented on seven of the 12 teams that moved on to the 2014 NFL Playoffs.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK (16)
WR RILEY COOPER, Philadelphia Eagles: Started | five receptions for 53 yards (target: 7, long: 16), two touchdowns

PLAYS OF THE WEEK (16)

PLAYER OF THE WEEK (17)
S REGGIE NELSON, Cincinnati Bengals: Started | three solo tackles, pass defense, interception (-4 yard return)

PLAYS OF THE WEEK (17)

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

Continue Reading » Former Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 16 & 17

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 14

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 34 former Florida Gators spread out over 21 of the 32 teams in the league.

Eleven teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Philadelphia and Tampa Bay (three); and Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh and St. Louis (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 29 players (20 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 14th week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
WR PERCY HARVIN, New York Jets: Started | six receptions for 124 yards (targets: 9, long: 45) [all team-highs]; two carries for three yards (long: 4), fumble (not lost); four kick returns for 109 yards (long: 47)
» The receiving touchdown was Harvin’s first since Oct. 25, 2012 and just his second offensive touchdown in that same span. The 124 yards were his second-most this season (129, Nov. 2).
» Harvin was feared to be lost for the season with an ankle injury suffered in the game, but the Jets diagnosed it as a low ankle sprain and he is questionable for Sunday.

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 14

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 13

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 38 former Florida Gators spread out over 22 of the 32 teams in the league.

Eleven teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Philadelphia (three); and Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 29 players (18 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 13th week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Started | solo tackle, two pass defenses, interception; blocked field goal
» Haden has nabbed an interception in three-straight games and also forced another the week preceding the start of his streak.
LB JELANI JENKINS, Miami Dolphins: Started | 16 tackles (eight solo, two for loss) [all team-highs], QB hit, pass defense
» Jenkins’s 16 tackles were a career-high and marked his third game with 14+ tackles this season.

PLAY OF THE WEEK

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 13

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 12

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 39 former Florida Gators spread out over 22 of the 32 teams in the league.

Eleven teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Indianapolis and Philadelphia (three each); and Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 27 players (17 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 12th week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
S WILL HILL, Baltimore Ravens: Started | four tackles (two solo), two pass defenses; interception returned for touchdown (44 yards)
LB JELANI JENKINS, Miami Dolphins: Started | 11 tackles (nine solo, one for loss), sack, QB hit [all team-highs]
» Jenkins is tied for 12th in the NFL in solo tackles (62).
CB JANORIS JENKINS, St. Louis Rams: Started | four tackles (three solo), pass defense, interception returned for a touchdown (99 yards)
» Five of Jenkins’s seven career interceptions have been returned for touchdowns.
WR LOUIS MURPHY, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Six receptions for 113 yards (targets: 8, long: 54); solo tackle
» Murphy’s 113 yards are his most in a single game since Sept. 26, 2010 and the third-most in his career.

PLAY OF THE WEEK

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 12

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