8/22: Muschamp’s last update before game week

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Friday to conclude his team’s last week of practice before game week. Florida will get the weekend off and return to practice on Monday in preparation for its season-opener against the Idaho Vandals on Saturday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.

INJURY UPDATES

For the first time in a while, Muschamp did not have much to say on the injury front.

Freshman offensive tackle David Sharpe, who is fourth on the depth chart and an important player for Florida this fall, is expected to return on Monday after missing some time with an ankle injury. Redshirt sophomore Marcus Maye, in competition for a starting job in the secondary, will be back in action on Tuesday or Wednesday coming off a significant hamstring strain.

Additionally, redshirt freshman linebacker Matt Rolin, who has been fully cleared to practice all fall after undergoing a second surgery for a torn ACL in as many years, is “coming along slowly” as planned by the coaching staff.

Muschamp remarked that the Gators only having two “soft tissue issues” is “outstanding” and “the best I’ve been around.” He added: “It tells you we’re training the right way.”

Continue Reading » 8/22: Muschamp’s last update before game week

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TWO BITS: Gators team awards, game-winners

1 » The Florida Gators football team participated in its annual banquet on Saturday in which members of the team are presented with a number of awards for everything from on-field performance to working hard in practice and how courageous a particular player may be throughout the season. Below are the 2013 award winners along with some award explanations and additional details.

Coaches’ Choice Awards
President’s Academic Award: Michael McNeely
* Second-straight year that McNeely won the award.
Gene Elleson Community Service Award: Jaylen Watkins, Mark Herndon and Darrin Kitchens
Iron Gator Strength and Conditioning Award: Solomon Patton
Chris Patrick Courage Award: Solomon Patton, Damien Jacobs, Jon Halapio, Neiron Ball and Ronald Powell
* Second-straight year that Halapio and Powell each won the award.
Most Valuable Offensive Scout Team Award: Antonio Riles, Tim Clark, Caleb Brantley | Defensive: Case Harrison, Adam Lane, Cameron Dillard | Special Teams: Chris Thompson, Ryan Parrish

Players’ Choice Awards
Rex Farrior Most Team Spirited Offense: Jonotthan Harrison | Defense: Michael Taylor
Greg See Tenacity Award Offense: Jon Halapio, Jonotthan Harrison | Defense: Dominique Easley
* Second-straight year that Halapio and Harrison won the award for offense.
Most Valuable Player Offense: Solomon Patton | Defense: Dante Fowler, Jr. Special Teams: Jarrad Davis
James W. Kynes Award (Best Mental/Physical Toughness): Jon Halapio and Dominique Easley
* Presented to the “player who best exemplifies the mental and physical toughness and ‘iron-man’ determination.’ The award is traditionally won by offensive linemen.
Ray Graves Award (Team MVP): Solomon Patton
* Third-straight year that a senior offensive player won the award.
Fergie Ferguson Leadership Award: Jeremy Brown, Kyle Koehne and Darrin Kitchens
* Presented to the “player who displays outstanding leadership, character and courage.”
Captains: Jon Halapio, Jonotthan Harrison, Solomon Patton, Trey Burton and Dominique Easley
* Second-straight year that Halapio was named a team captain.

Continue Reading » TWO BITS: Gators team awards, game-winners

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Florida Gators 2013 opening week depth chart

Game Week – Monday: LB Antonio Morrison’s Suspension Reduced | RT Chaz Green Out for Season, RB Matt Jones Set for Miami | New Mr. Two Bits, Muschamp on Tight Ends, Season Opener

Though things could still change over the next five days, the Florida Gators on Monday morning released the team’s first official depth chart for the 2013 season.

Florida omitted players that are not participating in the season opener due to injury or suspension; therefore, the depth chart below is an “active” version rather than a “best-case scenario” version. Notations marked with (») can be found below certain positions.

OnlyGators.com will update this post shortly with additional details and thoughts from head coach Will Muschamp‘s Monday press conference.

OFFENSE

QB: 6 Jeff Driskel, 3 Tyler Murphy
RB: 33 Mack Brown, 37 Mark Herndon, 10 Valdez Showers
» 24 Matt Jones is not playing on Saturday.
FB: 43 Hunter Joyer, 25 Gideon Ajagbe
WR (X): 1 Quinton Dunbar, 11 Demarcus Robinson
WR (Z): 83 Solomon Patton, 5 Ahmad Fulwood, 85 Chris Thompson
» 13 Latroy Pittman and 4 Andre Debose (out for season) knocked out of Z.
F Position: 8 Trey Burton, 13 Latroy Pittman, 30 Michael McNeely
TE: 88 Clay Burton, 87 Tevin Westbrook, 84 Colin Thompson
» 18 Kent Taylor not on the three-deep.

LT: 70 D.J. Humphries, 76 Max Garcia
» 74 Trenton Brown no longer the back-up to Humphries.
LG: 76 Max Garcia, 63 Trip Thurman
» 77 Ian Silberman no longer the back-up to Garcia.
C: 72 Jonotthan Harrison, 64 Kyle Koehne
RG: 64 Kyle Koehne, 77 Ian Silberman
» 67 Jon Halapio is not playing Saturday; Thurman moved to left guard.
RT: 73 Tyler Moore, 74 Trenton Brown
» 75 Chaz Green is out for the season; Brown moved to right tackle.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators 2013 opening week depth chart

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Florida Gators 2013 spring practice depth chart

Readers may be excited to take a first look at the Florida Gators 2013 spring practice depth chart (see below). Don’t be. As he explained in each of his first two springs with the program, head coach Will Muschamp repeated Wednesday that he does not put a lot of stock in the spring’s first depth chart. In fact, back in 2011, he said it is “not worth the paper it is printed on.” In other words, the depth chart below is just a starting-off point for 2013 and plenty can change between now and the start of the season. Nevertheless, below is the depth chart as it was presented on March 12.

“Obviously we gave you a depth chart. I know it’s just the most critical thing that’s going to happen in the next 12 months of your year,” Muschamp said Tuesday.

RELATED: Muschamp, Pease on offense | Muschamp, Durkin on defense, team

Florida omitted players who are injured and not participating at all in spring practice. A list of those players can be found at the end of this post.

OFFENSE

QB: 6 Jeff Driskel, 10 Tyler Murphy, 17 Skyler Mornhinweg
RB: 24 Matt Jones, 33 Mack Brown, 21 Kelvin Taylor
FB: 43 Hunter Joyer, 29 Rhaheim Ledbetter* OR 25 Gideon Ajagbe*
WR (X): 1 Quinton Dunbar, 4 Andre Debose, 11 Demarcus Robinson
WR (Z): 15 Loucheiz Purifoy*, 88 Solomon Patton^, Raphael Andrades
F Position: 8 Trey Burton, 13 Latroy Pittman, 30 Michael McNeely
TE: 88 Clay Burton, 87 Tevin Westbrook, 18 Kent Taylor, 84 Colin Thompson

LT: 70 D.J. Humphries, 63 Trip Thurman
LG: 76 Max Garcia, 64 Kyle Koehne
C: 72 Jonotthan Harrison, 64 Kyle Koehne
RG: 67 Jon Halapio^, 64 Kyle Koehne
RT: 73 Tyler Moore, 98 Quinteze Williams*

Continue Reading » Florida Gators 2013 spring practice depth chart

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TWO BITS: football awards, less Tebow on ESPN

1 » The Florida Gators football team participated in its annual banquet on Saturday in which members of the team are presented with a number of awards for everything from on-field performance to working hard in practice and how courageous a particular player may be throughout the season. Below are the 2012 award winners, according to the University of Florida, along with some award explanations and additional details.

Coaches’ Choice Awards
President’s Academic Award: Jeff Driskel, Michael McNeely, Caleb Sturgis
* Second-straight year that Sturgis won the award.
Gene Elleson Community Service Award: Jon Bostic, Jeremy Brown, Caleb Sturgis
Iron Gator Strength and Conditioning Award: Jon Halapio, Jonotthan Harrison, Omarius Hines, Lerentee McCray, Sam Robey
Chris Patrick Courage Award: Dominique Easley, Chaz Green, Jon Halapio, Ronald Powell, James Wilson
Most Valuable Offensive Scout Team Award: Max Garcia, Mark Herndon | Defensive: Alex McCalister, Jeremi Powell | ST: David Campbell, Rhaheim Ledbetter

Players’ Choice Awards
Rex Farrior Most Team Spirited Offense: Xavier Nixon | Defense: Dominique Easley, Matt Elam
* Second-straight year that Easley won the award.
Greg See Tenacity Award Offense: Jon Halapio, Jonotthan Harrison | Defense: Matt Elam, Sharrif Floyd
Most Valuable Player Offense: Mike Gillislee | Defense: Matt Elam ST: Loucheiz Purifoy, Caleb Sturgis
* Second-straight year that a running back won the award for the offense (Chris Rainey). Second-straight year that Elam and Sturgis won the award for defense and special teams, respectively.
James W. Kynes Award (Best Mental/Physical Toughness): Jon Bostic, Matt Elam
* Presented to the “player who best exemplifies the mental and physical toughness and ‘iron-man’ determination.’ The award is traditionally won by offensive linemen.
Ray Graves Award (Team MVP): Mike Gillislee
* Second-straight year that a running back won the award (Chris Rainey).
Fergie Ferguson Leadership Award: Jon Bostic, Josh Evans, Sharrif Floyd, Frankie Hammond, Jr.
* Presented to the “player who displays outstanding leadership, character and courage.”
Captains: Jon Bostic, Matt Elam, Mike Gillislee, Jon Halapio, Omar Hunter

2 » New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow has barely seen the field since being traded last offseason. Now the head of ESPN is promising fans that they will see much less of him on their television sets as well. In an conversation with John Ourand of SportsBusiness Journal, ESPN President John Skipper said he recently told his production staff to reduce the amount of coverage that the networks give to Tebow and his exploits. “I said, ‘Guys, we didn’t handle this very well. Going to training camp wasn’t a problem. We just stayed on it relentlessly and too long,’” Skipper explained. “Training camp was fine. The guy’s very popular. In our business, we want to drive ratings. You’ve just got to keep long-term, short-term in mind.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (39-30)

With the 2011-12 athletic season now in the books and the 2012-13 season about to begin, the focus has shifted to the return of Florida Gators football. For the second-straight year, OGGOA will take a look at every player of substance on the roster, counting down by jersey number, in this series: The Countdown.

34 – Lerentee McCray (Ocala, FL)
Redshirt senior linebacker
6’3” 249 lbs.

Quick Bio: A highly-ranked four-star prospect, McCray has moved all around the Florida defensive front seven throughout his career. He played in 11 games over his first two seasons but received a medical redshirt in 2009 only to come back in 2010 and play in 10 contests. McCray capped his redshirt sophomore season by returning a punt block for a touchdown in the Outback Bowl.

Career Stats (30 games): 40 tackles (26 solo, 8.0 for loss), 1.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, three pass defenses, touchdown

2011 Season: McCray missed the final four games of the season due to injury but played in the first nine contests, making five starts as the team’s primary Sam linebacker while also spending time at the Buck position. He registered 7.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, three pass defenses and a team-high four quarterback hurries.

2012 Outlook: Back healthy from a shoulder injury that also kept him out of spring practice, McCray was slated to start at Sam linebacker again for the Gators but shifted over to starting Buck linebacker after junior Ronald Powell tore his ACL in the spring game. McCray is one of a handful of players being counted on to improve Florida’s pass rush this season.

33 – Mack Brown (Lithonia, GA)
Redshirt sophomore running back
5’11” 214 lbs.

Quick Bio/2011 Season: One of the top running backs in the country coming out of high school, Brown was a four-star recruit who played in two games as a true freshman in 2010, carrying the ball three times for 23 yards. He broke his fibula in the spring of 2011 but was healthy enough to receive a few carries last season despite having three players in front of him on the depth chart.

Career Stats (14 games): 15 carries for 65 yards (avg.: 4.3, long: 13)

2012 Outlook: Brown is fighting for the back-up job behind senior Mike Gillislee and has been going head-to-head all offseason with freshman Matt Jones to be the second running back called on to carry the ball. Whether he wins the job or is forced to be third in line, Brown should see significant action in 2012 for the first time in his career.

Check out three more players in this edition of The Countdown…after the break!
Continue Reading » The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (39-30)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

8/22: Pease on offense, versatility, pass catchers

With practice now in the books and the team getting ready to prepare for the first game of the season against Bowling Green on Sept. 1, Florida Gators offensive coordinator Brent Pease met with the media Wednesday to discuss the team’s missed scrimmage (scheduled for Tuesday) and potential impact players for 2012.

COACHING PHILOSOPHIES MESHED IMMEDIATELY

It did not take long for Pease and head coach Will Muschamp to get on the same page offensively, the former said on Wednesday when asked how long it took for their philosophies to mesh.

“I think it probably meshed on the phone when he offered me the job or I wouldn’t have been here,” he said. “I’ve known Will for quite a while. And I’ve done a lot of things in offense. The reason he came and talked to me – we were friends and we’ll probably always be friends – understanding what I have done in the past looking at offense. I think he just knew that’s what I’ve done and that’s what I’m comfortable with.

“I’ve done other things. I can go to four wides if we had to but that’s not what I’ve been the last six years, that’s not what I’ve kind of been groomed with at Boise State under Chris Petersen. Will knew there was a mesh already and that’s what he wanted. If he wanted spread offense, he probably would have gone somewhere else to Toledo and gotten their guy or something.”

Speaking of Boise State, Pease said that many of the philosophies in Florida’s offense are the same though there are a lot of differences that fans may not be able to necessarily see just by watching the game.

VERSATILITY THE KEY FOR HINES, BURTON

All offseason Pease has been high on the versatility brought to the table by redshirt senior Omarius Hines and junior Trey Burton. Though the pair are similar in some ways, they also have different specialties and are the types of talents that Pease said he really could have used at his last stop.

“They do create mismatches, so we will get them the ball and now they got to make plays,” he said. “Omarius is different because he’s got the ability to be a running back, a tight end, a receiver. Trey’s got the ability to be a running back, receiver, kind of a wing back, H-back type guy, quarterback. They’re going to have some stuff on their plate knowing some positions. We didn’t have a guy like that really at Boise State; we didn’t have players like that.”

Pease is especially excited to see what Hines can do; he views him as a game-breaker whose playmaking ability can really come in handy for the Gators this season.

“He’s very versatile. He’s a kid that, when the ball is in his hands, he can go the distance. He can create the huge, explosive plays. He can go 75-80 yards because he’s got the other gear,” Pease said of Hines. “He’s got ability to catch, got ability to run; he’s got strength. He’s an incredible talent so you just got to use him the right way, not burn him out, not overload him with thinking. He’s done a good job. He is a very smart kid on the field. He’s good and he understands things and he wants more. He’s always, ‘Hey, can I do this play, can I do that play?’ He’s a threat. He’s a weapon.”

Read the rest of what Pease had to say on Wednesday…after the break!
Continue Reading » 8/22: Pease on offense, versatility, pass catchers

Tags: , , , , , ,

8/15: Muschamp, Gators discuss fall practice

With the Florida Gators entrenched in their first week of fall practice, a handful of players spoke with the media on Wednesday about how things are going as the team prepares for the 2012 season. Joining them in a surprise session was head coach Will Muschamp, who discussed some of the team’s most recent injuries.

INJURY UPDATES

Though Muschamp said the shoulder bruise sustained by sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel was not serious, he did mention that sophomore walk-on wide reciever Michael McNeely broke his foot during practice and is expected to miss six weeks of action.

He also noted that redshirt junior defensive lineman Kedric Johnson, who dislocated his left knee in practice last week and is expected to miss a significant amount of time, had successful surgery on Wednesday.

”ONE OF THE BEST OFFENSES I’VE SEEN”

Sophomore tight end Clay Burton has not seen much field time in his Gators career (transitioning from defense to offense your freshman season is one reason for that) but is quite sure that the schemes being installed by offensive coordinator Brent Pease are going to do quite well for Florida this year.

“I can’t wait until we play somebody else because I feel like in the spring, just talking to players like Jelani [Jenkins] and the other defensive players, they’re like, ‘You guys shifting, it’s crazy, it’s confusing,’” he said of the motions and shifts in Pease’s offense.

“So I can’t wait – I don’t know how other teams are going to game plan for us. I wouldn’t want to be a defensive player and have to line up on one side and then just because one person plays we have to shift everything. I think it’s actually probably one of the best offensives I’ve seen.”

NOTES AND QUOTES

» Sophomore Chris Johnson, who was recruited as a defensive back but was shifted over to running back when he joined the Gators, said he never expected to play offense in college but is fine with the move. “I thought about it but, at the same time, my mindset when I first came in was safety and defense. Like they say, change just happens so I got used to it,” he said.

» Burton on the transition to tight end for himself and sophomore Tevin Westbrook: “It’s just a lot of footwork. As a defensive player you want to put the offensive player off you so you can see the play, and on offense you want to get and stay into the defense, so we’ve both kind of had an issue of pressing the guy instead of driving him off the ball.”

» Senior safety Josh Evans on why he changed to No. 9: “Nothing behind it, man. I just wanted to change it up. I’ve been wearing No. 24 for a long time, and I just wanted to do something different my senior year. New player, new me, just playing up to my potential.”

» Redshirt senior defensive lineman Omar Hunter on the offensive line: “They’re doing really good. I’ve been seeing holes in the defense – Mike Gillislee and Mack Brown, those running backs man are torching our defense sometimes. The offensive line is really better; they’re really stronger this year and I definitely feel it.”

» Hunter on the “old man strength” of junior transfer Damien Jacobs: “I feel like he’s more flexible now, getting his hips to the line of scrimmage turned a little bit more and he’s doing better. He got that old man strength, not that weight room, but the old man strength. It’s weird man; it’s very weird. You might bench more than him but on the football field he’s just strong, crazy strength.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 Page 1 of 2  1  2 »