Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Preseason 2/4

With the 2011 NFL preseason officially underway, a number of Florida Gators participated in Week 2 action, some of whom had an impact on their team’s performance. OGGOA has checked and re-checked the box scores to bring you a summary of what these Gators accomplished during the second exhibition week of the 2011 campaign.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
TE AARON HERNANDEZ, New England Patriots: Three receptions for 42 yards, touchdown (long: 16)

VETERANS
LB MIKE PETERSON, Atlanta Falcons: Tackle
LB ANDRA DAVIS, Buffalo Bills: Three solo tackles, pass defense
WR DAVID NELSON, Buffalo Bills: Played as a reserve
OL JASON WATKINS, Buffalo Bills: Played as a reserve
FS MAJOR WRIGHT, Chicago Bears: Four solo tackles
WR ANDRE CALDWELL, Cincinnati Bengals: Two receptions for a team-high 50 yards (long: 39, targets: 4)
S REGGIE NELSON, Cincinnati Bengals: Solo tackle for loss, pass defense
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Three solo tackles, pass defense
OT PHIL TRAUTWEIN, Cleveland Browns: Played as a reserve
DE DERRICK HARVEY, Denver Broncos: Solo tackle
QB TIM TEBOW, Denver Broncos: 1/2 for 10 yards, rush for seven yards
DL JEREMY MINCEY, Jacksonville Jaguars: Team-high three solo tackles
LB BRANDON SILER, Kansas City Chiefs: Three tackles (two solo)
DT GERARD WARREN, New England Patriots: Solo tackle for loss
DE ALEX BROWN, New Orleans Saints: Two tackles (one solo)
G COOPER CARLISLE, Oakland Raiders: – Started at right guard
WR CHAD JACKSON, Oakland Raiders – Played as a reserve
DE JARVIS MOSS, Oakland Raiders: Two solo tackles, sack
WR RILEY COOPER, Philadelphia Eagles: Reception for 16 yards (targets: 3)
C MAURKICE POUNCEY, Pittsburgh Steelers: Started at center
DE RAY MCDONALD, San Francisco 49ers: Two tackles (one solo for loss)
FB EARNEST GRAHAM, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Two receptions for 12 yards (long: 7, targets: 3)
WR JABAR GAFFNEY, Washington Redskins: Reception for 19 yards (targets: 2)
QB REX GROSSMAN, Washington Redskins: 7/12 for 88 yards and an interception

DRAFTED ROOKIES
C MIKE POUNCEY, Miami Dolphins: Started at center
OT MARCUS GILBERT, Pittsburgh Steelers: Played as a reserve
SS AHMAD BLACK, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DNP (high-ankle sprain)
OG MAURICE HURT, Washington Redskins: Played as a reserve

UNDRAFTED ROOKIES
LB DUKE LEMMENS, Arizona Cardinals: Played as a reserve
LB BRANDON HICKS, Buffalo Bills: Tackle
DE JUSTIN TRATTOU, New York Giants: Three tackles (two solo)
P CHAS HENRY, Philadelphia Eagles: Punt for 53 yards

INJURED – DID NOT PLAY
DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals: Knee
DT MARCUS THOMAS, Denver Broncos: Pectoral
WR PERCY HARVIN, Minnesota Vikings Ribs
LB JERMAINE CUNNINGHAM, New England Patriots: Undisclosed
LB BRANDON SPIKES, New England Patriots: Undisclosed (ankle)
WR LOUIS MURPHY, Oakland Raiders: Hamstring

PRESEASON: Week 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Preseason 1/4

With the 2011 NFL preseason officially underway, a number of Florida Gators participated in Week 1 action, some of whom had an impact on their team’s performance. OGGOA has checked and re-checked the box scores to bring you a summary of what these Gators accomplished during the first exhibition week of the 2011 campaign.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
QB REX GROSSMAN, Washington Redskins: 19/26 for 207 yards and a touchdown (QB Rating: 109.0)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES
FS MAJOR WRIGHT, Chicago Bears: Team-high five solo tackles
QB TIM TEBOW, Denver Broncos: 6/7 for 91 yards (QB Rating: 118.8), two rushes for 15 yards (long: 13)
TE AARON HERNANDEZ, New England Patriots: Six rec. for 68 yards (long: 20)

VETERANS
LB MIKE PETERSON, Atlanta Falcons: Three tackles (two solo, one for loss)
LB ANDRA DAVIS, Buffalo Bills: Two solo tackles
WR DAVID NELSON, Buffalo Bills: Target
OL JASON WATKINS, Buffalo Bills: Played as a reserve
S REGGIE NELSON, Cincinnati Bengals: Solo tackle for loss
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Solo tackle
OT PHIL TRAUTWEIN, Cleveland Browns: Played as a reserve
DE DERRICK HARVEY, Denver Broncos: Played as a reserve
DT MARCUS THOMAS, Denver Broncos: Two tackles (one solo)
DL JEREMY MINCEY, Jacksonville Jaguars: Three tackles (one solo)
LB BRANDON SILER, Kansas City Chiefs: Solo tackle
WR PERCY HARVIN, Minnesota Vikings: Reception for three yards
LB JERMAINE CUNNINGHAM, New England Patriots: Two tackles (one solo), sack
DE ALEX BROWN, New Orleans Saints: Started at defensive end
G COOPER CARLISLE, Oakland Raiders: – Started at right guard
WR CHAD JACKSON, Oakland Raiders: Four targets, one kick return for 17 yards
DE JARVIS MOSS, Oakland Raiders: Three tackles (two solo)
WR RILEY COOPER, Philadelphia Eagles: Reception for 42 yards

C MAURKICE POUNCEY, Pittsburgh Steelers: Started at center
DE RAY MCDONALD, San Francisco 49ers: Started at defensive end
FB EARNEST GRAHAM, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Reception for 13 yards
WR JABAR GAFFNEY, Washington Redskins: Five rec. for 38 yards (long: 12)

DRAFTED ROOKIES
C MIKE POUNCEY, Miami Dolphins: Started at center
OT MARCUS GILBERT, Pittsburgh Steelers: Played as a reserve
SS AHMAD BLACK, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Suffered a high-ankle sprain
OG MAURICE HURT, Washington Redskins: Played as a reserve

UNDRAFTED ROOKIES
LB DUKE LEMMENS, Arizona Cardinals: Two solo tackles
DT TERRON SANDERS, Baltimore Ravens: Played as a reserve, waived on Monday
LB BRANDON HICKS, Buffalo Bills: Two solo tackles
LB A.J. JONES, Denver Broncos: Played as a reserve
DE JUSTIN TRATTOU, New York Giants: Three tackles (two solo)
P CHAS HENRY, Philadelphia Eagles: Four punts for 152 yards (long: 52, avg.: 38.0)

INJURED – DID NOT PLAY
WR ANDRE CALDWELL, Cincinnati Bengals: Abdominal pull
DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals: Knee
LB BRANDON SPIKES, New England Patriots: Undisclosed
WR LOUIS MURPHY, Oakland Raiders: Hamstring

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Florida Gators report to NFL training camps

Updated at 9 p.m.

With NFL training camp finally underway after an extended lockout cancelled organized team activities and mini camps, more than three dozen former Florida Gators are working out and trying to earn their keep this year. Below is a comprehensive look at each player in the league as well as those still looking for work.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators report to NFL training camps

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Florida’s 2011 NFL draftees all under contract

With Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey agreeing to a four-year, $9.3 million deal with the team late Saturday evening, all four former Florida Gators selected in the 2011 NFL Draft have officially been signed by their respective clubs.

Pouncey, who missed the first two days of practice while his agents and Miami’s brass were working out his deal, was pleased to announce to fans that he would finally be lacing up his cleats on Sunday.

“Thanks for all the support,” he wrote on Twitter around midnight, “the deal is done see you all at practice tomorrow.”

Due to the brand new collective bargaining agreement, Pouncey’s rookie contract is significantly less than his brother’s was one year ago even though the former was selected three slots higher. Center Maurkice Pouncey was chosen with the 18th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft and signed a five-year, $17.96 million deal. Mike’s contract is fully guaranteed while Maurkice’s included $10.35 million of guaranteed money.

Also signing with his team this week was Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert, who agreed to a $3.227 million deal including an $847,000 signing bonus. A second-round pick, Gilbert hopes to join Maurkice on Pittsburgh’s starting offensive line this season and spent the lockout getting tips from him while learning about the offense.

“It’s been pretty straightforward,” Gilbert told the Beaverton County Times late in the week. “It’s just trying to switch over the language of the offense and little stuff here and there that I never ran in college. The older guys are taking me under their wing and showing me how to do it the right way.”

Florida’s two late round picks – safety Ahmad Black (fifth round) and guard Maurice Hurt (seventh round) – each signed four-year deals with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins, respectively.

Black told the New York Times that he knows he has his work cut out for him and is still getting acclimated to the professional game. He is willing to start from the bottom and work is way up to a starting role.

“It’s a little bit different than college,” Black said on Friday. “Coming from Florida with coach [Urban] Meyer, he always stressed special teams so it’s nothing new to me. A lot of guys think since they started in college, they will start here. That’s definitely not the case. I’m going to earn my role on special teams to work my way on the defense.”

OGGOA will keep you up-to-date with all four rookies (as well as all of the undrafted free agents who signed with teams) through training camp and the 2011 regular season.

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Eleven Gator Bites for Monday, July 25th

From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share with our readers – too much to fit into one of our truncated BITS segments. In these instances, we present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.

» With the NFL lockout now in the books, the Florida Gators four selections in the 2011 NFL Draft will be reporting to work for the first time on Thursday. Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey (first round, No. 15), Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert (second round, No. 63), Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Ahmad Black (fifth round, No. 151 and Washington Redskins guard Maurice Hurt (seventh round, No. 217 are all on teams who will be eligible to workout immediately.

» While that foursome is ready and raring to go, Florida also has a number of undrafted free agents hoping to be picked up by teams looking to supplement their roster. Among those available are defensive linemen Terron Sanders and Justin Trattou, running back Emmanuel Moody and wide receiver Carl Moore. OGGOA will update you if and when these players are picked up by teams.

» The WNBA held its 2011 All-Star game over the weekend and also announced its Top 15 Players of All Time at the event. Though she was nominated and up for selection to the list, former Gators forward DeLisha Milton-Jones was not picked by fans for the honor. The six-time champion (two Olympic gold medals, two WNBA titles, two Euroleague titles) is currently averaging 12.5 points and 5.1 rebounds in 26.6 minutes per game with the Los Angeles Sparks.

There are 11 more Gator Bites including updates on Calathes, UF-FSU, Beal, Alvarez, Wambach, LeCount, ultimate Frisbee and Bostic…after the break!
Continue Reading » Eleven Gator Bites for Monday, July 25th

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Florida Gators grab No. 1 spot on Rivals’ Top 10 recruiting classes since 2002

Celebrating a decade of presenting high school recruiting rankings, Rivals.com released a special feature on Tuesday detailing the 10 best recruiting classes since 2002. The Florida Gators, under former head coach Urban Meyer, earned two spots on the list including the No. 1 overall ranking.

Florida’s 2006 recruiting class, which featured five-stars quarterback Tim Tebow, wide receiver Percy Harvin and linebacker Brandon Spikes, came away as the clear leader even after being ranked as the second-best class that year.

“What makes this group stand out above the rest was the number of prospects who panned out: 16 members of the class were starters at one time,” writes Rivals. “Beyond Tebow and Harvin, there were guys such as LBs Brandon Spikes, Dustin Doe and A.J. Jones, DE Jermaine Cunningham, T/G Marcus Gilbert, DTs Lawrence Marsh and Terron Sanders and WR Riley Cooper. The group helped Florida win two national championships, and Tebow won the 2007 Heisman as a sophomore and was a finalist as a junior and senior.”

Two of those players (Tebow and Harvin) wound up being first-round picks in the NFL Draft; three more (Spikes, Cunningham and Gilbert) were selected in the second-round and one other (Cooper) was a fifth-round pick. Other prominent names in the 2006 class include kick returner Brandon James and offensive lineman Carl Johnson.

The Gators’ 2007 recruiting class, ranked No. 1 the year it was signed, closes out the list at No. 10. One of the reasons it is lower on the list is the fact that three of its most prominent members – five-stars quarterback Cameron Newton and defensive tackle Torrey Davis as well as four-star DT John Brown – had off-the-field issues that did not allow them to conclude their careers in Gainesville, FL.

However, Florida’s 2007 signings also included a trio of first-round picks (cornerback Joe Haden and centers Maurkice and Mike Pouncey), safeties Ahmad Black and Major Wright, DE Carlos Dunlap, tight end Aaron Hernandez and punter Chas Henry. Players remaining on the Gators include redshirt seniors QB John Brantley, DT Jaye Howard, running back Chris Rainey and WR Deonte Thompson.

Check out Rivals at 10: Ten best recruiting classes for the rest of the rankings.

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Two former Gators selected in 2011 UFL Draft

The 2011 NFL Draft came and went last weekend with four former Florida Gators selected during the three-day event.

Center Mike Pouncey was chosen by the Miami Dolphins in the first round, tackle Marcus Gilbert was picked in the second round and is headed to join Pouncey’s brother with the Pittsburgh Steelers, safety Ahmad Black had to wait until the fifth round to be selected by his childhood favorite Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Washington Redskins gave guard Maurice Hurt a chance in the seventh round.

The United Football League held its third draft on Monday with two former Florida players earning unique opportunities.

Cornerback Reynaldo Hill, a four-year NFL veteran (Tennessee Titans, 2005-08), was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the first round by the Omaha Nighthawks. Hill was a seventh round pick by Tennessee in 2005 but has been out of the league for years.

Defensive tackle Ian Scott, a seven-year veteran and fourth round pick by the Chicago Bears in the 2003 NFL Draft, was chosen No. 30 overall in the sixth round by the Virginia Destroyers and head coach Marty Schottenheimer. After playing for Chicago (2003-06), Scott had a short stint with the Philadelphia Eagles (2007) before finishing his career with the San Diego Chargers (2008-09).

The duo join former Gators guard Tavares Washington in the UFL; Washington has played the last two seasons for the Las Vegas Locomotives.

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Steelers add Gators OT Marcus Gilbert with No. 63 overall pick in second round of 2011 NFL Draft

Round 2 – No. 31 (63rd overall)
Marcus Gilbert, OT
Pittsburgh Steelers


Height: 6’6″ – Weight: 330 lbs.
Age: 21 – Class: Senior

After a 48-slot delay between selections, the Florida Gators had a second player get picked in the 2011 NFL Draft as offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert was chosen with the 31st pick in the second round (No. 63 overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday evening.

The first Florida player at his position to be drafted since Max Starks was a third-round selection by Pittsburgh in 2004, Gilbert has most of the tangible qualities NFL teams desire for starting-caliber offensive linemen.

He started all 27 games the Gators played over the last two seasons; however, during the pre-draft evaluation process, teams differed at which position they believe he will be best suited for in the pros. Gilbert is tall, long, athletic and strong and could have the opportunity to start right away for the Steelers at either right tackle or guard.

Gilbert will join Starks and former Florida center Maurkice Pouncey on Pittsburgh. The Steelers selected Pouncey with the No. 18 overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft; he made the Pro Bowl in his first season and started all but one game for Pittsburgh as a rookie.

OGGOA will continue updating this story.

» OGGOA’s 2011 NFL Draft Live Blog – Click here!

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