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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1/18: Dunker suspended, more Gators leave, injury updates, Sugar Bowl review, 2013 preview

Florida Gators head football coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Friday to wrap up the 2012 season, look ahead to the upcoming spring practice and discuss some of the recent changes and issues within the program.


Muschamp announced Friday that freshman offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities pending the outcome of his legal affairs. Dunker was arrested Monday on a third-degree felony charge of grand theft of a motor vehicle as well as a second-degree misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended license. He was released on his own recognizance on Thursday and claims that he paid $600 for the scooter not knowing it had been reported stolen.

“I met with Jessamen Dunker [Friday] morning. I have suspended him from all team activities until we get more information,” he said. “I just met to him face-to-face [Friday] morning for the first time for 15 minutes. Once we get a little bit more information, then we’ll move forward, but he’s suspended from the team at this time. We’ll address that further when I know more.”


It was also announced Friday by Muschamp that redshirt juniors wide receiver Stephen Alli and defensive lineman Kedric Johnson will both be graduating in the spring and moving on from the Florida football program.

Muschamp said that Alli plans to go to graduate school; should he remain at UF, he will have the opportunity to join the team as a graduate assistant. Johnson “may play somewhere [else] next fall,” Muschamp said, and the two are planning to discuss it.

Furthermore, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Tommy Jordan, who never stepped on the field for the Gators due to nagging shoulder problems, has applied for a medical exception to remain on scholarship but no longer play football.


Muschamp once again noted that redshirt junior right guard Jon Halapio (knee), redshirt sophomore right tackle Chaz Green (ankle) and redshirt sophomore linebacker Neiron Ball (ankle) all had scopes on their various injuries this month.

“We expect all three of those [players] to participate at some point in spring. I don’t know when that will happen, how much contact there will be. I’ll know more as we move forward,” he said.

Junior WR Solomon Patton (broken arm) is “doing really well,” according to Muschamp. He has already been cleared for non-contact work during the spring.

Additionally, sophomore punter Kyle Christy had minor shoulder surgery and will be fine for spring football. “He played pretty well with it. I don’t know why we did surgery, but they felt like he needed it,” Muschamp said.

Read the rest of what Muschamp had to say…after the break!
Continue Reading » 1/18: Dunker suspended, more Gators leave, injury updates, Sugar Bowl review, 2013 preview

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Kiper evaluates Florida Gators draft prospects

ESPN insider Mel Kiper, Jr. had a busy day on Wednesday. In addition to holding a conference call with the media (including OGGOA) to discuss prospects ahead of the 2013 NFL Draft, he also released his first mock draft ($) of the offseason as well as his list of top-five players ranked by position ($).

Junior Sharrif Floyd – Defensive Tackle
Ranking: No. 5 defensive tackle
Projection: First round, No. 30 overall
Thoughts: “Sharrif Floyd I thought had a heck of a year. I think he’s solidly in the first round, at worst early second, but I have him in the first. I have no problem with that decision [to leave early] at all.”

Junior Matt Elam – Safety
Ranking: No. 2 safety
Projection: Late first or second round
Thoughts: “Matt Elam, as I said, he could be the second safety off the board. I figure late-one, early-to-mid-two. I have no problem at all with that decision [to leave early].”

Redshirt junior Jordan Reed – Tight End
Ranking: No. 5 tight end
Projection: Third or fourth round
Thoughts: “Jordan Reed can catch the football. I think he’ll have nice workouts. As a tight end he could be a third-, fourth-round pick. Could he have elevated [his stock] a little bit [by staying]? Maybe, but I have no issue with that as well.”

Continue Reading » Kiper evaluates Florida Gators draft prospects

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FOUR BITS: Shrine, early enrollees, Floyd, Jenkins

1 » Practices for the 2013 East-West Shrine Game began on Tuesday with only two – rather than three – former Florida Gators showing up on rosters. Safety Josh Evans and kicker Caleb Sturgis were both listed on the rosters Tuesday while linebacker Lerentee McCray mysteriously had his name removed. Though not much can be taken from the first day of practices, Evans and Sturgis each got measured as part of the standard first-day procedure. Evans checked in at 6’1 1/8” and 205 lbs. with 10-inch hands, a 31 ¼-inch arm length and 77-inch wingspan. Sturgis was listed at 5’9 7/8” and 186 lbs. with 8 ¾-inch hands, a 29 ¾-inch arm length and 71 5/8-inch wingspan.

2 » Florida announced eight early enrollees on Tuesday, all of whom are four-star prospects according to Rivals, including LB Alex Anzalone (Wyomissing, PA), JUCO defensive tackle Darious Cummings (Scooba, MS), four-star defensive end Joey Ivie (Dade City, FL), LB Daniel McMillian (Jacksonville, FL), transfer offensive lineman Tyler Moore (Clearwater, FL), wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (Fort Valley, GA), LB Matt Rolin (Ashburn, VA) and running back Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade). Among those early enrollees, Anzalone and Robinson were last-minute additions with the former player’s defection from Notre Dame coming as a surprise to UF. Furthermore, Cummings has chosen to be referred to on the Gators roster as “Bear Cummings,” using a nickname he has had since childhood.

3 » A pair of now-former Florida players have released statements thanking the school, coaches and fans for their support during their careers with the Gators. The first comes from junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, who took out an ad in Wednesday’s The Independent Florida Alligator (picture via sports editor Joe Morgan).

4 » On Monday, redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins sent an extra-long message out via his Twitter account expressing a similar sentiment.

I am truly grateful to the University of Florida, Faculty and Administrators, Coach Muschamp and the entire Coaching Staff, my Brothers on the Gators Football Team and GATOR NATION for all the love and support you have shown me throughout the years. All of my future aspirations will reflect the proud tradition of GATOR PRIDE AND GREATNESS

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Gators must replace 13 starters from 2012 team

The last time the Florida Gators saw a handful of juniors move on to the NFL Draft was the 2009 season and fans have certainly not forgotten how the team looked in the two years subsequent to those departures.

And while Florida now has four junior starters having declared for the 2013 NFL Draft to go along with the nine senior starters departing the program, the Gators are in a better position to move forward next season even if there may be a few bumps in the road.

On offense, Florida will lose five starters including left tackle Xavier Nixon (senior), left guard James Wilson (redshirt senior), running back Mike Gillislee (senior), wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr. (redshirt senior) and tight end Jordan Reed (draft).

Continue Reading » Gators must replace 13 starters from 2012 team

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LB Jenkins declares for draft; DE Easley staying

A fourth member of the Florida Gators football program has decided to leave early as the school announced Monday that redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins will forgo his final season of eligibility and declare for the 2013 NFL Draft.

“Jelani informed me that he wishes to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL,” said head coach Will Muschamp in a school release. “We wish him the best of luck and encourage him to return to Florida and complete his degree.”

Jenkins joins junior safety Matt Elam, junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed as Gators that are leaving the program with a year of eligibility in their pocket.

He took a redshirt his first year on campus but has been a permanent starter for Florida in each of the last three seasons. Multiple injuries took a toll on Jenkins in 2012 and it was widely believed that he would return to the program for his fifth year in an effort to raise his draft stock.

It is unlikely that he gets chosen on the first two days of the draft in April.

Instead, Jenkins departs after a season in which he played nine-of-13 games and registered just 29 total tackles (five for lost yardage). He also picked up two sacks on two quarterback hurries and one interception but most notably returned a blocked punt 36 yards for a game-winning touchdown against Louisiana-Lafayette on Nov. 10.

Jenkins totaled 182 tackles (16.5 for loss) with six sacks, three interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery from 2009-12.

Junior defensive end Dominique Easley has yet to officially announce his intentions though The Gainesville Sun‘s Pat Dooley reports that he has informed coaches that he will remain with the program for his senior season.

UPDATE: Easley officially announced his intentions via Twitter on Monday evening. “I’m comin back for my senior season we gotta get where we need to get,” he wrote.

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Gators TE Jordan Reed to enter 2013 NFL Draft

A third player has chosen to forgo his senior season of collegiate eligibility with the Florida Gators as redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed announced Friday that he has decided to enter the 2013 NFL Draft.

“I’ve enjoyed four good years at Florida, but I feel that now is the right time to pursue my dream of playing in the NFL,” said Reed in a release from the school. “I appreciate the support from all the coaches and staff here, and I’ll always be a Gator.”

Reed, Florida’s leading receiver this past season with team-highs of 45 receptions and 559 yards, joins juniors safety Matt Elam and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd as players that have decided to leave early.

Formerly a quarterback, Reed has played tight end the last two years, showing promise as a redshirt junior when he caught three touchdowns and was the team’s leading receiver in most games. For his efforts, Reed was chosen as an All-SEC selection by the Associated Press (first team) and league coaches (second team).

“It’s been a dream for all three of these players to pursue a career in the NFL and now they are all getting a chance to realize that dream,” said head coach Will Muschamp. “We are very thankful for their contributions to the Florida football program over the years and we wish them the very best of luck in the pursuit of their dreams.

“We will support them 100 percent and I look forward to them continuing to be a part of our program. I have encouraged each of them to return to Gainesville to complete their degree – as I’ve told all of our players – there will be a day when their football careers are over. Matt, Sharrif and Jordan all received high marks in the draft evaluation process.”

Junior defensive end Dominique Easley and redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins have yet to announce their intentions though it is believed both will remain with the team for the 2013 campaign.

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Matt Elam, Sharrif Floyd declare for 2013 NFL Draft

Florida Gators juniors safety Matt Elam and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd officially declared for the 2013 NFL Draft on Wednesday while in the locker room following their team’s crushing loss to the Louisville Cardinals in the 2013 Sugar Bowl.

According to media members on site at the game, both players said they had their minds made up while junior defensive end Dominique Easley and redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed each said they were undecided. Redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins is expected to remain with the team for his senior season.

Elam and Floyd will be the first Gators underclassmen to be selected by professional teams since Florida had five juniors go in the first 113 picks of the 2010 NFL Draft. Safety Will Hill left early in 2011 but went undrafted. Both players are potential first-round selections with Floyd the likeliest to go in the first 32 picks.

Second on the team in tackles with 76, Elam registered two sacks on the season and 11 total tackles for loss. He also had a team-high four interceptions and was easily the best playmaker in the Gators’ defensive backfield.

“It’s time to take care of the family,” Elam said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “[Playing in the NFL] was a dream. It was a goal. It’s a dream come true. … It’s been a great three years. I wish we could finish it better.”

Floyd, moved to his natural position on the interior of the defensive line, finished the campaign with 46 tackles including a team-high 13 for lost yardage. He also registered three sacks, six quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and two blocked kicks.

“This game made me focus on what I wanted to do,” Floyd said per the paper. “All my focus was on my team and on the season and on this game. Now it’s time to move. I got the blessings from my coaches. They felt it was best for me.”

OGGOA will update this story shortly.

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