SIX BITS: Tebow, Beal, Parsons, Noah

1 » Described as one of New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow’s “harshest critics” by’s James Walker, Matt Williamson of Scouts, Inc. recently admitted that even he believes Tebow will eventually replace Mark Sanchez as his team’s starting signal caller. “My prediction is he will see immediate time as a backup, maybe 15-20 snaps a game from the start,” Williamson told Walker. “Then, I think [coach] Rex Ryan will look at it more and more like Tebow gives the Jets the better chance to win. The Jets’ defense is so strong and they’re pretty good on special teams that they could play Tebow more and more, because it gives them the best chance to have a winning record this year. That may not be the right answer long term, but I don’t think Rex cares about that. He’s probably feeling a little heat there with the Jets. I think Tebow becomes the starter before midseason.” Williamson adds, of course, that he thinks “Sanchez is the better player right now, just because he’s the better passer” but chooses Tebow if he had to win one game “because he’s harder to prepare for, his physicality, and he’s so unique.”

2 » According to’s Rich Cimini, Tebow will have the opportunity to impact the Jets right away as, according to a source close to the team, he reports that “the plan is to use Tebow in the red zone, where they can replace Sanchez with another player/blocker to bolster the running game.” Urban Meyer, his former coach with the Florida Gators, told that Tebow would be successful in that role. “That’s kinda how we used him his freshman year,” he said. “We used him as a short-yardage specialist and change-of-pace guy, so yeah. I think he’s just gotta get on the field.”

3 » Bradley Beal’s first NBA Summer League finally came to an end in Las Vegas, NV and though he led the Washington Wizards in scoring in all five games (averaging 17.6 points per contest), he did struggle with his shot. Beal made just 41.8 percent of his field goals and 30.0 percent of his threes and told The Washington Post that he knows he needs to shoot better than that. “I’ve got to improve on everything. I could’ve shot the ball a lot better,” he said. “I definitely got to work on that, and my defense, more than anything. The working doesn’t stop. I always have to get better. I was happy and unhappy with my performance. I can always get better and make my team better.”

Two video BITS (Tebowing, Parsons) and one other on Noah…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Tebow, Beal, Parsons, Noah

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FOUR BITS: Leak, Demps, lacrosse, Tebow

1 » Former Florida Gators quarterback Chris Leak supposedly signed with the Orlando Predators of the AFL on Monday and the team wants to name him their starter for Saturday’s game, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “We would like to bring him in as the face of the franchise, and I hope he ends up as our starting quarterback,” team general partner Brett Bouchy told the paper. Unfortunately for both sides, Leak was not able to join the team Monday or Tuesday thanks to his former squad the Jacksonville Sharks. According to the Florida Times-Union, even though Leak refuses to play for Jacksonville and the team does not want him back the Sharks have not released him from his contract and still retain his rights. “If the Predators want Leak, they have coach [Les] Moss’ number and we will be more than happy to trade him,” Jacksonville managing partner Jeff Bouchy (Brett Bouchy’s brother) said. “We cannot see any scenario in which Leak will wear a Sharks uniform again.” Leak’s future is now in limbo as he waits to find out if one Bouchy will trade the other something for his services. He has bounced around the CFL and AFL since being passed over by the NFL and actually played for the Jacksonville franchise this season before being replaced as starting quarterback after a five-touchdown performance. “It was an unfortunate situation in Jacksonville, but I’ve moved on,” Leak said. “I’m just very excited about the opportunity to play at home.”

2 » With the 2012 NFL Draft approaching, one name that continues to be notably absent is former Gators running back and current Florida sprinter Jeff Demps, who chose after the season to bypass the NFL in order to concentrate on running track and the 2012 London Olympics. Demps likely would have been a third- or fourth-round pick in the draft but chose an uncertain path that he enjoys over a certain future that did not hold the top spot in his heart. “Just, during the football season, I enjoyed football, but I just felt I had to be on the track,” he told FOX Sports in in yet another article about his decision and future in sports. “I had to follow my heart, and my heart said to be with track. It’s a career decision.”

3 » Gators lacrosse swept the ALC weekly awards on Monday. Junior atacker Gabi Wiegand won Offensive Player of the Week, junior defender Sam Farrell picked up Defensive Player of the Week and midfielder Nora Barry was named Rookie of the Week. It is the first time since the ALC expanded to three weekly awards that one team has swept all three in a single week.

4 » Could QB Tim Tebow already be winning over New York Jets players through a few days of offseason camp? According to the Newark Star-Ledger, Jets No. 2 wide receiver Jeremy Kerley was pleasantly surprised how well Tebow has been performing already and offered up some praise for his new teammate. “Different than Mark, different than Mark,” he said of Tebow as a quarterback. “His ball comes out a little bit stronger, but he’s accurate, he’s more accurate than what I thought he was going to be. But he’s a good dude, he has a great personality, he’ll bring a lot of personality to the team.” The Ledger asked him how much more velocity Tebow throws with as compared to Mark Sanchez. Kerley’s answer: “A LOT, a lot more velocity. No dis to Mark, he brings it man.”

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FOUR BITS: Hodge, Tebow, Young, Wilkerson

1 » Former Florida Gators guard Walter Hodge was named Most Valuable Player of the Polish Basketball League (English translation) on Friday. Hodge, who plays for Zastalu Zielona Gora in the nation’s top basketball league, received nine-of-14 MVP votes from the PBL’s coaches.

2 » New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez told the New York Post on Thursday that everything is going swimmingly so far with QB Tim Tebow in the team’s offseason program. “He’s been as advertised, as good of a guy, if not better, than anybody said,” he explained. “So, he’s been a great addition so far. I’m thrilled to work with him. From a competitor standpoint, he’s great. He’s what you want in an offseason program – working hard, competing with the guy in the weight room. […] It’s been a good transition and Tim’s been great.” It will be interesting to see if Sanchez holds those same opinions once Tebow starts competing with him for the starting job.

3 » Florida sophomore center Patric Young has been participating in some tough offseason workouts with his teammates and has been making the details known on Twitter recently. On Friday he posted a video of a four-minute portion of the workouts complete with Young lifting a keg, flipping a tire and pushing a pick-up truck.

4 » The Southeastern Conference announced this week that it has created a SEC Baseball Legends program for the sport after already having one in existence for football and basketball. In conjunction with the announcement, the league will honor one player from each member institution at the upcoming SEC Tournament from May 22-27. Former Gators first baseman/outfielder/pitcher Brad Wilkerson will be Florida’s first inductee (and deservingly so). The Gators have also decided to honor Wilkerson’s multiple inductions this year (he will join the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in June) during Friday’s game against Georgia at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, FL. The contest begins at 7 p.m. and airs live on Comcast Sports South.

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FOUR Tebow BITS: Jets, Miller, video, ratings

1 » If one thing is certain in regards to quarterback Tim Tebow’s role with the New York Jets this season it is that he will not often be standing on the sideline with his helmet off. According to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, the Jets plan to use Tebow at a variety of positions during games including quarterback, running back, H-back, fullback and even as the “personal protector” on the punt team. Left guard Matt Slauson even told that it appears to him as if New York has created a clear set division in the offense. “It’s like we’re going to be two separate teams, but as far as I know, Mark [Sanchez] is still going to be our guy,” he said. The decision to play Tebow at so many positions could prove to be either a positive or major negative for the Jets. Though Tebow is willing and able to take hits, he has done so under certain circumstances knowing they were coming. Potentially putting him on special teams or having him run a route for a pass will open up New York’s backup quarterback to a bevy of additional opportunities for injury that most players at his position do not experience.

2 » Though some of his teammates may not have been 100 percent behind him, one Denver Broncos player who continues to have Tebow’s back is linebacker Von Miller. One of Tebow’s staunchest supporters, Miller told NFL Network that he expects his friend to win the starting job in New York. “I think it’s a mistake if you think he’s just going to come in and be a Wildcat quarterback,” he said. “I think that he’s going to compete for the starting position. The Tim Tebow that I know, he’s going to come in every day, he’s going to work hard, he’s going to be consistent. And who knows? He might end up the No. 1 quarterback for the Jets at the end of the season.” He also said that he is “unhappy” Denver got rid of Tebow just because they signed Peyton Manning as a free agent. “I think he’s a better quarterback than people give him credit for,” Miller added.

Continue Reading » FOUR Tebow BITS: Jets, Miller, video, ratings

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SIX BITS: Tebow, Brantley, Horschel, volleyball

1 » Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has already had a few eventful days in Florida in the month of July. On Saturday – teaming up with Florida’s Blood Centers, the Van Duzer Foundation and Palm Beach Autographs – the former Florida Gators star headlined a 12-hour blood drive in Fort Pierce, FL. Between meeting with fans, signing a ton of autographs (some of which can be purchased here) and speaking about his charities, Tebow entertained the crowd and kept fans wanting more. His First and 15 Foundation was also a featured part of a brand new playroom addition to Shands Children’s Hospital‘s pediatric cancer facility; the organization donated $156,000 used to buy high definition televisions, video game consoles and the like.

Five more BITS on John Brantley, golfer Billy Horschel and more…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Tebow, Brantley, Horschel, volleyball

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Tebow’s weekend jersey sales set rookie record

While he still has plenty of work to do to prove his worth on the field, former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has already set one record as a member of the Denver Broncos.

According to Bloomberg, “Tebow sold more jerseys during the [2010 NFL Draft] weekend than any other rookie or current player.” The No. 25 overall pick, he topped previous record holder and New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, who led the league in 2009. He also sold more jerseys than popular rookies like Reggie Bush and Vince Young (2006).

“It’s a pretty substantial difference between him and the next guy,” said NFL spokeswoman Joanna Hunter of Tebow’s jersey sales. Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh came in second, followed by St. Louis QB Sam Bradford, Kansas City safety Eric Berry and Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant.

You can purcahse Tebow’s No. 15 Broncos jersey directly through OGGOA.

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ESPN’s coverage of Gators’ 2010 recruiting class

Five-star defensive end Ronald Powell on ESPNU’s College Football Recruiting Insider:

Head coach Urban Meyer on ESPNU’s College Football Recruiting Insider:

On ranking his class: “I don’t rate it as a class yet, I think that’s down the road – three or four years. But there’s certain elements of this class: size and the defensive line. It’s one of the best I’ve ever seen with Ron Powell, Lynden Trail, Leon Orr, Dominique Easley and Sharrif Floyd. Not just great players, but great people. A good work ethic, good leadership qualities. There are certain areas that I like better than others, but I think our defensive front [is one of them]. That’s where college football is played and that’s where you start on defense.”

On who excites him the most: “We got a tailback named Mack Brown – probably the highest-rated tailback we’ve signed here at Florida, in our tenure here. It’s a guy that we needed, a guy that we had to have. He made a commitment. Nowadays, when you make a commitment, at least you know you’re in the top four. He made a commitment to Florida – didn’t take another trip. Really classy family. Hardworker. Has battled some injuries too, but we’re counting on him to be a big-time playmaker sooner than later for us.”

ESPN had 11 more questions for Meyer. Read them all after the jump!
Continue Reading » ESPN’s coverage of Gators’ 2010 recruiting class

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