6 BITS: Florida CB Hargreaves props up Wilson; Calathes to Greece; Gators add baseball talent

1 » When not talking about himself (let’s face it, those were the questions he was asked), Florida Gators junior All-American cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III spent time at the 2015 SEC Media Days on Monday propping up his teammates. Hargreaves believes the Gators will be the best secondary in the nation next season – and for good reason – but thinks that an overlooked member of that unit may be the reason why it could go from great to dominant as the year progresses.

“He reminds me of a Brandon Browner-type corner or an Antonio Cromartie-type of corner – one of those big lanky cornerbacks,” Hargreaves told FoxSports.com’s Bruce Feldman of Florida sophomore Quincy Wilson. “That’s his game, how he plays. He plays big and physical. I want y’all to watch him on Saturdays this fall. It’s remarkable (how much better) he’s gotten this offseason. Him and also Jalen Tabor, they’ve really grown and matured. They’re ready to play. They understand.”

Continue Reading » 6 BITS: Florida CB Hargreaves props up Wilson; Calathes to Greece; Gators add baseball talent

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NOT Top 14 for 2014: Moments Gators can forget

At the conclusion of each year, OnlyGators.com takes a look back at the top on-field moments and off-field stories from the previous 12 months. For the second-straight year, which will go down as another difficult and controversial one for the Florida Gators, we sort through the Not Top 14 for 2014 – games, actions and stories that fans of the program will look to put in the rear view mirror as the clock strikes midnight. Don’t forget to check out the Top 14 for 2014 (COMING THURSDAY) to begin 2015 on a positive note!

14 » SEE YA NEVER

Over the final two months of 2014, the Gators football program saw three seniors decide – whether through purposeful actions or team rules violations – to end their careers early. Learning he would not be starting at Vanderbilt, redshirt senior defensive tackle Leon Orr argued with then head coach Will Muschamp and was sent home on a bus before the game; he later tried to explain his side of the story. On the final day of the year, redshirt senior wide receiver/kick returner Andre Debose (mutual decision) and senior DT Darious Cummings (violation of team rules) were ruled out for the bowl game. Debose had an up-and-down hear overall, suffering a defenestration in the spring and barely playing on offense during the season; he was excellent as Florida’s all-purpose returner, however, and ends his career tied for the SEC record in kick return touchdowns (four).

13 » CHARACTER CONCERNS

Maurkice and Mike Pouncey kept their noses clean when they were with the Gators and continue to be fan favorite from their time at Florida. However, since becoming professional football players, some character questions have been raised – stemming in large part from the brothers wearing “Free Hernandez” hats last year – and those continued in 2014. Pouncey was one of the main players named in bullying allegations levied by former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, and both Pounceys were accused of serious assault during a night club incident in Miami. The brothers were not ultimately charged with assault from that evening’s incident but all of the allegations continued to paint UF in a bad light.

12 » UNEXPECTEDLY UNDRAFTED

It started in the 2014 NFL Draft when a pair of Gators junior cornerbacks that declared early – Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Robersonwere not selected. Purifoy had a drug incident in the offseason that contributed to him not being drafted – and both players dealt with character concerns – but it was nevertheless a surprise. (Purifoy and Roberson, respectively, signed undrafted free agent deals with the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams. Both saw limited action this season with Purifoy getting cut by the Colts, dropped by the Seattle Seahawks after a waiver claim [failed a physical] and ultimately suspended four games by the NFL for an undisclosed reason.)

There was even more of an expectation that center Patric Young would be picked in the 2014 NBA Draft with many believing he could go as high as the lower portion of the first round. Instead, Young fell out of the first and did not even get picked in the second as many NBA teams chose to select international players that they could stash and not sign to contracts. Young ultimately signed with the New Orleans Pelicans but was later cut by the franchise and is now playing in Turkey. Point guard Scottie Wilbekin and forward Casey Prather also went undrafted, and though Wilbekin performed well in NBA Summer League action, he did not get an opportunity in the league either.

11 » BAD OMENS

Though there was some positive momentum for the football program as the 2014 season approached, with the roster looking healthy and offensive coordinator Kurt Roper expected to turn things around for Florida, a number of bad omens cast doom over the Gators’ campaign. It started with the Orange & Blue Debut spring game, which ended in a tie. Though there was no reason to continue the game per se, fans in attendance hoped to see a little bit of extra Florida football action and left disappointed.

The ominous offseason continued with wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Joker Phillips resigning from his position in June after Miami staffers reported him for a recruiting violation. Muschamp named former Gators quarterback and team graduate assistant Chris Leak as the replacement receivers coach, giving UF four different coaches at that position in as many seasons. The last omen was even more obvious than the first two with lightning storms cancelling Florida’s season opener against Idaho. Though options were considered to play the game at a later date in the season, it was ultimately decided to take the contest off both teams’ schedules with the Gators and Vandals only playing 11 contests in 2014.

Continue Reading » NOT Top 14 for 2014: Moments Gators can forget

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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!

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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!

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 11

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 24 players (15 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 11th week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Started | 13 tackles (10 solo) [team-highs], pass defense, interception
DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals: Started | two solo tackles, pass defense, four QB hits [team-high]

PLAY OF THE WEEK

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

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 9

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 30 players (20 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the ninth week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Started | three tackles (two solo), three pass defenses
» One of Haden’s pass defenses was a purposeful tipping of the ball to a teammate, who grabbed an interception.
WR PERCY HARVIN, New York Jets: Started | 11 receptions for 129 yards (targets: 13, long: 42) [team-highs]; carry for eight yards; two kick returns for 88 yards (long: 65)

PLAYS OF THE WEEK

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

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 8

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 28 players (18 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the eighth week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Started | nine tackles (eight solo, one for loss) [team-highs], two pass defenses, fumble recovery
TE JORDAN REED, Washington: Seven receptions [team-high] for 40 yards (long: 16)
» Two of Reed’s receptions came on Washington’s first drive in overtime, which ended with a game-winning field goal.

PLAY OF THE WEEK

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

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4 BITS: Driskel, Baker, Demps, Patton, Murphy

1 » Florida Gators redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel reportedly missed at least some portion of practice ahead of the Missouri game while dealing with a right ankle injury, which became more apparent last Saturday when his ankle was heavily taped before the contest. Driskel also hardly ran the ball in the game, just one week after carrying it 21 times. While it is currently unknown whether the still-imploding Driskel will get the start against Georgia on Nov. 1 – head coach Will Muschamp may address that very topic during his only media appearance of the week, the SEC teleconference on Wednesday – it looks like he is still missing some practice time.

OnlyGators.com reader Jeremy sent in the following photo, which he snapped Tuesday on his way to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for an event. In the photo below, freshmen Treon Harris and Will Grier (dressed in full pads) are leading the pack of quarterbacks out to the practice field while Driskel is bringing up the rear, holding his helmet but neither wearing pads nor football pants.

I was taking my kids to see Sesame Street Live at the O’Dome tonight. When we parked, we noticed the football team going to the practice field. The players were upbeat and giving my kids high-fives. Then the quarterbacks walked by. Treon Harris and Will Grier led the way and looked focused. Driskel was at the back. No pads, no pants. He looked like a player who wasn’t practicing. Muschamp walked by, smiled and looked like a beaten soul.

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