Florida adds JUCO RB Mark Thompson for 2016

The Florida Gators on Wednesday added an important commitment when junior college running back Mark Thompson (Wyncote, PA) agreed to join the program in 2016.

Thompson (6-foot-2, 230 pounds) was offered by the Gators in late April and chose Florida over Arizona State, Iowa and Louisville. He was previously being recruited by head coach Jim McElwain and running backs coach Tim Skipper when the duo was at Colorado State.

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Florida Gators 2015 Orange & Blue Debut Preview: start time, TV schedule, live stream, who to watch

OnlyGators.com will offer a complete recap of the 2015 Orange & Blue Debut later Saturday evening following its tape-delayed replay on the SEC Network. More information below.

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather: Cloudy, 82 degrees, winds west/south-west at 7-8 mph
Time: 12:30 p.m. (EDT)

Live online/mobile (12:30 p.m.): SEC Network +
Live TV (12:30 p.m.): SEC Network alternate (“whip-around” coverage)
TV (9:00 p.m. tape delay): SEC Network
SiriusXM: None | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

EXPANDED VIEWING INFORMATION

Television:
Florida’s 2015 spring game will not air live in its entirety on television but rather on tape delay at 9 p.m. on SEC Network. Live “whip-around” coverage will be available on the SEC Network‘s alternate channel (where available) beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Online:
While the game is not being offered live on television, you can stream it live online (and via your mobile device) via SEC Network +. The game may be immediately available for replay via SEC Network + at the conclusion of the spring game.

EVENT FORMAT

» Florida will field an orange team and a blue team, which will square off over four 12-minute quarters and an un-timed overtime.

» Between each half, the Gators will hold a 12-minute halftime.

» There will also be a running clock for the final two minutes of the second and fourth quarters, likely with some additional kicking and special teams work.

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LOOK: Florida RB signee Jordan Scarlett got one of the best Gators tattoos you will ever see

Four-star incoming freshman running back Jordan Scarlett is not the first Florida Gators football player to ink a school logo on his body, but the tattoo he shared on social media Tuesday afternoon may be one of the best such pieces of body art of all-time.

Scarlett tweeted this picture of his leg (see below), which is now adorned with the standing Albert alternate logo that was first introduced at Florida in 1992. It was updated in 2003 to adjust the font style of the “F” on Albert’s sweater and bear a greater resemblance to the team’s Gator head logo, which itself has been around since 1995.

Continue Reading » LOOK: Florida RB signee Jordan Scarlett got one of the best Gators tattoos you will ever see

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Florida Gators 2015 spring practice: Will Grier leads quarterback battle … by a hair

Head coach Jim McElwain took the field with the Florida Gators for the 12th time on Monday as the 2015 spring practice session kicked off its final stretch. After practice, he met with the media to discuss some goings on with the team over the last four days.

Opening statement

Due to the holiday weekend, McElwain did not hold a media availability on Friday to discuss that day’s practice. He recapped both on Monday.

“I was really happy actually with [Monday’s] practice. Obviously it was our last one without pads and a lot of times the guys focus – as far as what you get out of it – isn’t great. But I thought they really came out and got a lot out of it. We were able to really focus on a lot of our situational stuff, last play of the game, some big things both offensively and defensively as well as in special teams, special situations – long field goal, long return – a lot of the things that you try to do and get accomplished and make sure on your checklist that you handle. … You prepare yourself in many ways as you can off your checklist, so that was good.

“Going back to Friday … I thought the defense really asserted themselves. Offensively, the first drive was good – they went seven plays, overcame a penalty … and went down and scored right away. But other than that, the defense did a much, much better job taking the ball away and handling some three-and-out situations. I think [the defense] definitely took control of the scrimmage.”

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Undeterred by poop jokes or offensive changes, Florida running backs look to step up this spring

Florida Gators running back Adam Lane Jr. finally had his moment in the sun … in the final game of his second season with the team.

Lane, a redshirt freshman last season, did not play in 2013 and only saw action on special teams until the eighth game of the 2014 campaign. Though he got eight total carries as a reserve rusher during a three-week span prior to the end of the regular season, Lane did not truly get his opportunity until Florida faced East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl.

“I was really excited just to be on special teams, being out there just playing, just having somewhat of a role last year,” Lane admitted Wednesday. “At times you can get frustrated, but I knew that I could be patient and just play my role on the team and my opportunity would come eventually, and it did.”

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Florida picks up big commitment from four-star 2015 RB Jordan Scarlett

With National Signing Day approaching, the Florida Gators desperately needed to start landing some top-notch prospects and did just that on Monday when four-star running back Jordan Scarlett (Fort Lauderdale, FL) announced his verbal commitment to the program.

A one-time Florida Atlantic pledge who was committed to Miami as recently as Saturday, Scarlett (5-foot-11, 222 pounds) is ranked as the 12th best running back and No. 118 overall player in the nation per the 247Sports Composite.

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Skipper on Florida: “I was ready to walk here.”

More Florida Gators assistant features: Randy Shannon | Terrell Williams | Geoff Collins

The second-youngest member of head coach Jim McElwain’s recently-announced Florida Gators staff, running backs coach Tim Skipper, 36, has earned the nickname of “handy man” from McElwain due to his versatility.

Skipper is so trusted by McElwain that he was his assistant head coach at Colorado State, where he coached linebackers. Skipper has also coached defensive backs and coordinated defenses in college despite the fact that the rest of his family has made a name for themselves coaching running backs in the NFL.

Of course, Skipper has done that, too, most notably at Fresno State under McElwain, a stop where he recruited and coached up Ryan Mathews.

“He’s outstanding. Played for Coach [Pat] Hill as a linebacker, came back as a running backs coach, really wanted to go back and coach defense, begged him to stay on offense. You look at the production of the players he had at Fresno State, how he recruited to the position, what he did with those players, the guy is a phenomenal football coach,” said Florida offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

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Florida Gators football odds and ends: injuries, departures and more

The Florida Gators (7-5) concluded their 2014 season on Saturday, earning a 28-20 win over the East Carolina Pirates in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl, a victory which marked the end of the four-year Will Muschamp era in Gainesville, Florida.

While the Gators have since announced a coaching staff and are prepared to move on under new head coach Jim McElwain, there are still some odds and ends to wrap up from the end of the 2014 campaign.

Bowl game injuries

A number of Florida players were hurt during the Birmingham Bowl but most appeared to be relatively minor injuries. That was not the case for junior linebacker Antonio Morrison, the first player since Ahmad Black in 2010 to record more than 100 tackles in a single season.

Morrison, who was considering leaving for the 2015 NFL Draft with a year of eligibility remaining, was on the field screaming in pain with what appeared to be a serious knee injury. He was carted off the field, and UF interim coach D.J. Durkin could offer nothing more than a general statement about Morrison’s injury after the game.

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