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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6 BITS: Matt Elam suffers season-ending injury, Florida QB Will Grier has gained 24 lbs. since 2014

1 » Former Florida Gators safety Matt Elam struggled during his second season with the Baltimore Ravens in 2014. Looking to bounce back and regain his starting role this season, Elam may be faced with an even greater obstacle to overcome. According to The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson, Elam “may have torn his biceps” and was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Sunday to determine whether he has indeed suffered a season-ending injury. A completely torn biceps would sideline Elam for the season; a partial tear would likely put him on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list for the start of the campaign, though his return would still be questionable. Elam has been fighting with fellow former Florida safety Will Hill for the starting strong safety job; Hill supplanted Elam at the position during the 2014 campaign.

Update: ESPN‘s Ed Werder confirmed Tuesday that Elam’s injury is indeed a full tear of his biceps; Elam will therefore miss the entire 2015 season. He will be placed on the Ravens’ injured reserve and look to rejoin the team in 2016.

Continue Reading » 6 BITS: Matt Elam suffers season-ending injury, Florida QB Will Grier has gained 24 lbs. since 2014

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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 Florida Gators sign undrafted free agent deals, others receive NFL tryouts

Former Florida Gators wide receiver Quinton Dunbar, tight end Clay Burton and defensive tackles Darious Cummings and Leon Orr signed three-year, $1.575 million undrafted free agent contracts with teams following the 2015 NFL Draft.

Dunbar was signed by Washington and Burton was picked up by the Buffalo Bills, while Cummings was grabbed by the Carolina Panthers and Orr moved out to the west coast with the Oakland Raiders.

Continue Reading » Four Florida Gators sign undrafted free agent deals, others receive NFL tryouts

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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 15

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 35 former Florida Gators spread out over 21 of the 32 teams in the league.

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

Below are full game statistics for all 25 players (15 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 15th week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals: Started | six tackles (five solo, two for loss), sack, three QB hits [all team-highs]
DE JEREMY MINCEY, Dallas Cowboys: Started | three tackles (two solo for loss), two sacks, two QB hits

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 15

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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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