Former Florida Gators shine at 2013 Pro Day

Nineteen former Florida Gators football players – including five that have been off the team for more than a year – participated in Pro Day at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on a rain-covered Florida Field in Gainesville, FL on Tuesday.

Representatives from all 32 NFL teams were in attendance though many head coaches and general managers remained at their teams’ headquarters considering Pro Day was being held on the same day as the start of NFL free agency for the 2013 season.

“It’s an exciting time. That’s how Pro Day is supposed to look at Florida,” head coach Will Muschamp said after the event. “All 32 teams are here and that’s how it ought to be. As we continue to do a good job evaluating in recruiting and developing our players, which we will, our Pro Days will continue to look that way. Really proud of these guys that worked out today and appreciate all their contributions to the University of Florida. I want to congratulate our staff on doing an outstanding job developing these guys.”

“I think they’ve all worked extremely hard,” he continued. “They understand what’s at stake. These guys are at a great time in their life. Here they are the verge of playing in the arena on Sunday. That’s something, as you look at, you’re a football player and taking that next step. They understand what’s at stake. I’m proud of what I saw today just form the standpoint of how they worked and how they conducted themselves, the positive feedback I’ve gotten from general managers, head coaches, assistants and the National Football League of the character of our guys and how they handled themselves at the combine. All of it has been ultra-positive. I’ve been real pleased about that.”

Below are evaluations on and quotes from many of the Gators that participated on Tuesday. Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, linebacker Lerentee McCray and tight end Jordan Reed did not work out but will in a separate, private Pro Day event on March 22 in The Swamp. Reed did still participate in some on-field drills Tuesday.

Muschamp had nothing but high praise for Floyd when asked about him potentially going in the top five picks. “Turn on the tape,” he said. “The guy can anchor, he can play the run, he’s got great initial quickness, he can rush the passer. He’s everything you want from an inside player. The NFL teams, they don’t like to project. I’ve been there; I know. They want to see guys that play in 3-4 and 4-3. They’ve seen him play two-gap. They’ve seen him play nose. They’ve seen him play four-technique, They’ve seen him play one-gap, three-technique, five-technique, nine-technique. They’ve seen him play outside; they’ve seen him play inside.

“From a general manager prospective, talking to his owner and telling him he wants to spend money on a player – a clean player that has no issues off the field – that’s a very smart pick, in my opinion. You got a guy that can be a very dominating player that has got so many positive things surrounding him and he’s been exposed positionally to so many different things within our scheme.”

Other former Gators in attendance to root on the younger guys included wide receivers Reidel Anthony and Riley Cooper, defensive end Carlos Dunlap, linebacker Mike Peterson, running back Chris Rainey and linebacker Brandon Siler.

Safety Matt Elam

» NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock (via Florida’s website): “On tape he plays so close to the line of scrimmage, especially in their nickel package, he’s on the slot. He’s quick-footed, an aggressive tough kid. What I saw today was what I wanted to see, his ball skills, especially on deep balls. I could see him open his hips, take angles like a deep half or deep third. I thought he really helped himself today.”

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Josh Evans – Path to the 2013 NFL Draft: An amazing experience at the Scouting Combine

Through the 2013 NFL Draft from April 25-27, Florida Gators safety and 2012 leading tackler Josh Evans will be keeping fans up-to-date on his Path to the Draft via a weekly blog entry exclusively here at OGGOA.

Evans’s fourth entry covers his experience at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, IN and his plans over the next week as he gets ready to return to Gainesville, FL in order to prepare for Pro Day on March 12.

My overall experience at the combine over the last few days was amazing. It was an honor and a privilege, first of all, to be in this situation, so I totally took advantage of that. It pretty much was just getting adjusted to meeting all these NFL head coaches and general managers and being comfortable. They want to see how comfortable you are and how confident you are showing off your scheme and defense, being vocal and talking to someone. I felt like I did pretty well throughout the whole process during the four days and had some great interviews while I was there.

The interviews were broken up. I had a couple group interviews where I met with entire staffs and there were some teams where I just met with the position coach and they got a feel for me as far as being a defensive back, drawing up schemes and learning the schemes they run. I had great interviews with the Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Those interviews went real well, and it was great to talk to all of the coaches and front office executives.

Some of the schemes were similar – even with the Atlanta Falcons and the Arizona Cardinals when I met with the position coaches there – they all showed a lot of interest and liked the type of schemes we played at Florida.

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SIX BITS: combine, Demps, Lee, Donovan, Lochte

1 » The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine is now in the books. Though not all of the 10 Florida Gators invited participated in the full event, a handful did and looked quite good while doing so. Below are links to OGGOA‘s combine wrap-ups. Click the appropriate link to see how your favorite former Florida player performed.

Safeties Matt Elam and Josh EvansTuesday | Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd; linebackers Jon Bostic, Jelani Jenkins and Lerentee McCrayMonday | Running back Mike GillisleeSunday | Offensive tackle Xavier Nixon, kicker Caleb Sturgis, tight end Jordan ReedSaturday

2 » New England Patriots running back and Olympic silver medalist sprinter Jeff Demps wants to return to the track but do so without giving up football. According to agent Daniel Rose of Gridiron Sports, who did not return a request for comment from OGGOA but did send a tweet about the subject on Tuesday, Demps truly hopes that New England gives him permission to pursue both of his passions. “Jeff Demps has no intentions of leaving football. He loves doing both football and track. Representing Team USA in track and field in the Olympics and playing NFL football are an honor and privilege and Jeff Demps loves both,” he wrote. NFL.com‘s Ian Rapoport first reported the story and explained on NFL Network that “he plans to compete in an event in March and that calendar would run through August. They informed the Patriots of that this week. It’s possible the Patriots could work out a deal as Demps does want to play two sports. It’s a little too early to know a resolution on this but we do know he wants to play two sports.” Whether or not New England – or another NFL team – wants to give Demps that opportunity is an unknown at this point.

3 » While at NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston, TX a few weeks ago, Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee approached USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo about playing for Team USA in the upcoming 2014 FIBA World Cup and remaining on the team through the 2016 Rio Olympics. According to FOX Sports’ Chris Tomasson, Colangelo “said nothing is definite yet as far as Lee being among 20 to 24 players” invited to Las Vegas, NV for training camp from July 24-28. Chances are he will have that opportunity, however, as Lee trained with Team USA in preparation for the World Championships in 2010 and probably would have made the team if not for sustaining an injury that forced him to depart early.

Check out three more Gators news BITS…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: combine, Demps, Lee, Donovan, Lochte

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Florida Gators at the 2013 NFL Combine: Tuesday

For the fourth-straight year, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive continues our coverage of the 10 former Florida Gators participating 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.

Safeties Matt Elam (Group: 10 | Camp: DB12) and Josh Evans (Group: 10 | Camp: DB13) concluded their four days at the combine on Tuesday by competing in the full workout (results below).

2013 NFL Combine: Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday

Check out Tuesday’s results from the 2013 NFL Combine…after the break!
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Florida Gators at the 2013 NFL Combine: Monday

For the fourth-straight year, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive continues our coverage of the 10 former Florida Gators participating 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.

Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (Group: 7 | Camp: DL11) and linebackers Jon Bostic (Group: 9 | Camp: LB04), Jelani Jenkins (Group: 9 | Camp: LB12) and Lerentee McCray (Group: 9 | Camp: LB20) concluded their four days at the combine on Monday by competing in the full workout (results below).

Safeties Matt Elam (Group: 10 | Camp: DB12) and Josh Evans (Group: 10 | Camp: DB13) completed their tests (results are not officially released) and participated in the bench press (results below). The duo works out and then departs on Tuesday.

2013 NFL Combine: Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Tuesday

Check out Monday’s results from the 2013 NFL Combine…after the break!
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Florida Gators at the 2013 NFL Combine: Sunday

For the fourth-straight year, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive continues our coverage of the 10 former Florida Gators participating 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.

Running back Mike Gillislee (Group: 6 | Camp: RB13) concluded his four days at the combine on Sunday by competing in the full workout (results below).

Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (Group: 7 | Camp: DL11) and linebackers Jon Bostic (Group: 9 | Camp: LB04), Jelani Jenkins (Group: 9 | Camp: LB12) and Lerentee McCray (Group: 9 | Camp: LB20) completed their tests (results are not officially released) and participated in the bench press (results below).

Though they arrived Saturday, action began for safeties Matt Elam (Group: 10 | Camp: DB12) and Josh Evans (Group: 10 | Camp: DB13) on Sunday when they were officially measured, completed their medical exams, met with the media and continued the interview process begun the previous day. Elam and Evans will be on the same schedule over the next two days. They continue the interview process on Monday when they also take the Wonderlic and other tests and perform on the bench press.

2013 NFL Combine: Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Monday | Tuesday

Check out Sunday’s results from the 2013 NFL Combine…after the break!
Continue Reading » Florida Gators at the 2013 NFL Combine: Sunday

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Florida Gators at the 2013 NFL Combine: Saturday

For the fourth-straight year, ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive continues our coverage of the 10 former Florida Gators participating 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.

Offensive tackle Xavier Nixon (Group: 1 | Camp: OL41), kicker Caleb Sturgis (Group: 1 | Camp: PK12) and tight end Jordan Reed (Group: 3 | Camp: TE15) concluded their four days at the combine on Saturday by competing in the full workout (results below).

Running back Mike Gillislee (Group: 6 | Camp: RB13) completed his tests (results are not officially released) and participated in the bench press (results below).

Though they arrived Friday, action began for defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (Group: 7 | Camp: DL11) and linebackers Jon Bostic (Group: 9 | Camp: LB04), Jelani Jenkins (Group: 9 | Camp: LB12) and Lerentee McCray (Group: 9 | Camp: LB20) on Saturday when they were officially measured, completed their medical exams, met with the media and continued the interview process begun the previous day. From a scheduling standpoint, Floyd, Bostic, Jenkins and McCray will be on the same schedule over the weekend. They continue the interview process on Sunday when they also take the Wonderlic and other tests and perform on the bench press.

Safeties Matt Elam (Group 10 | Camp: DB12) and Josh Evans (Group 10 | Camp: DB13) arrived Saturday for orientation.

2013 NFL Combine: Thursday | Friday | Sunday | Monday | Tuesday

Check out Saturday’s results from the 2013 NFL Combine…after the break!
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Josh Evans – Path to the 2013 NFL Draft: Two weeks of training and a return to Gainesville

Through the 2013 NFL Draft from April 25-27, Florida Gators safety and 2012 leading tackler Josh Evans will be keeping fans up-to-date on his Path to the Draft via a weekly blog entry exclusively here at OGGOA.

Evans’s third entry covers his training regimen over the last two weeks, how he continues to prepare for the 2013 NFL Combine (which begins for him on Saturday), a trip he and Matt Elam took to Gainesville, FL last weekend and how Florida’s defense has prepared him for the next chapter in his playing career.

These last two weeks in training there has been a lot of focus on our 10- and 20-yard splits, seeing how we’ve improved from the start of camp and making some final adjustments to our body positioning. I’ve seen a lot of progress as far as where I was at the first week to where I’m at now. I’m getting off the line a lot quicker with much better form and it is showing up in the final times.

It’s crazy to see how much I’ve improved in the defensive back drills, cone drills, the figure-eight drills and the pro shuttle. Learning the new techniques and being taught how to explode out and plant my foot has really made a difference. In the past, I was just using my speed and talent to do a drill. Proper technique is much more important and can help get time down because you are being more productive in your movements.

It’s totally different doing these drills now then during the course of an offseason program or football practice. Sometimes you end up practicing a bad habit in college because you do it so fast that you don’t pay attention to technique. Repping it day by day has definitely helped me a lot with muscle memory, getting the steps down pat, counting the steps and knowing once I explode out of the gate how to cut and plant.

Last week we had some time to recuperate and get out strength back. The trainers gave our legs and bodies a bit of a break but still made sure we were giving it our all with what they assigned us. Every Wednesday we do warm up stretches and then yoga. I had never tried yoga before doing this training.

Continue Reading » Josh Evans – Path to the 2013 NFL Draft: Two weeks of training and a return to Gainesville

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