OGGOA Week In Review: Nov. 27 – Dec. 4

Considering so much has gone on over the past week in regards to the Florida Gators, the OGGOA Week In Review returns for its second edition. (Yes, it covers an eight-day period, but let’s just all agree to ignore that.) Be sure to check out all of the posts that have been written this week just in case you happened to miss a thing or two.

OGGOA COLUMNS
» An in-depth look at former Florida head coach Urban Meyer going to the Ohio State Buckeyes was published in the latest edition of The Silver Lining. The 3,500-word piece looks at Meyer’s decision from every possible angle (some tidbits you will not find elsewhere are included) and provides you with all the information you need in order to draw your own conclusion.

» OGGOA had the unique opportunity to review “The Play That Changed College Football,” the latest edition of the ESPN documentary series SEC Storied.

» Following Florida basketball’s loss to the No. 3/4 Syracuse Orange, former Gators forward Adam Allen posted the latest edition of Allen’s Alley, explaining in what areas Florida has room for improvement.

EXTRA
While Al Michaels and Bob Costas are discussing the Denver Broncos improving to 6-1 this season with quarterback Tim Tebow starting, former Gators wide receiver now NBC color commentator Cris Collinsworth does the Gator Chomp. (Thanks to OGGOA follower Chaz.)

FOOTBALL
» Meyer agreed to coach the Buckeyes beginning in 2012. His signing was officially announced prior to OSU introducing him at an on-campus press conference. In between, UF athletic director Jeremy Foley wished Meyer the best of luck with his new employer.

» Two Gators – redshirt freshmen safety Joshua Shaw and defensive end Lynden Traildecided to transfer on Tuesday. Shaw and Trail each chose to transfer for different reasons, and OGGOA also spoke with Trail for an exclusive interview about his decision and promise to remain a Florida fan.

» Former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow was announced as the cover athlete for the premiere edition of NFL Magazine, set to go on sale Dec. 13 for $4.99.

» OGGOA confirmed that strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti would join Meyer and has already left the program for the Buckeyes.

» Florida announced that it accepted an invitation to the 2012 Gator Bowl.

» While on the media teleconference to officially accept the bowl bid, Gators head coach Will Muschamp confirmed Marotti’s departure, said sophomore defensive tackle Dominique Easley will undergo surgery on his ACL Wednesday and discussed a number of other topics relating to the bowl game.

» Florida four-star running back recruit Mike Davis (Stone Mountain, GA) decommitted from the Gators after a significant miscommunication with the coaching staff and completely eliminated UF from his list.

BASKETBALL
» One of the greatest television commercials to feature a college coach was published on OGGOA for your enjoyment. Florida head coach Billy Donovan does a press conference praising the variety of offerings from Florida Gulf Seafood.

» Donovan earned his 400th career win as UF routed the Stetson Hatters 96-70 Monday evening. Freshman guard Bradley Beal led the way with career-highs of 22 points and 10 rebounds. He also discussed what winning his 400th college basketball game meant on a number of levels.

» It was determined that junior forward Erik Murphy did not tear his meniscus but rather had a deep bone bruise and may be able to return for the Arizona game on Wednesday.

» Despite it being a close game throughout, the Gators fell to the Orange 72-68 on the road in Syracuse, NY. Junior G Kenny Boynton started slow but finished with 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting.

» Following Florida’s loss to Syracuse, Donovan pointed to turnovers, poor rebounding and players missing in action as the reasons why UF struggled. Redshirt junior G Mike Rosario was benched during the contest because Donovan was not pleased with where his head was at heading into and during the game.

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RB recruit Mike Davis decommits from Florida

Days after saying he had gone from fully committed to undecided about his pledge, four-star running back Mike Davis (Stone Mountain, GA) announced that he has decommited from the Florida Gators effectively immediately.

“No longer committed to florida,” Davis said Sunday evening via his Twitter account.

The brother of former Clemson RB James Davis, he was one of two rushers Florida had committed for 2012; four-star Matt Jones (Seffner, FL), who some consider to be the best running back in the state of Florida, committed days before Davis did in February.

Early Sunday evening, Davis tweeted that “its funny when you look a coach in the eye in see right through the B.S. dey be feedin you,” which was perhaps a take at how the Gators have been recruiting him recently.

Davis recently entered the Rivals100 at No. 95 after rushing for 1,928 yards and 21 touchdowns on 2013 carries as a high school senior.

“Things happened; there was a misunderstanding with the Florida coaches,” Davis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I can’t comment on what went wrong. It just wasn’t meant to be. Some things happened, and I don’t want to comment on what happened.”

Davis said he is now considering Alabama, Florida State, Miami, South Carolina and Tennessee but does not even have Florida on his list.

“I’m not feeling any emotions about it. It’s over with [Florida],” he told the paper.

His high school teammate, three-star defensive tackle JaFar Mann, remains committed to the Gators as of press time.

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FOUR BITS: Weis, Muschamp, baseball, Demps

1 » The Florida Gators failed to get a commitment from four-star linebacker Raphael Kirby (Stone Mountain, GA) on Tuesday, but offensive coordinator Charlie Weis was in attendance at the Stephenson High School spring game to check in on commits four-star running back Mike Davis and three-star defensive lineman Jafar Mann. Those onsite at the game note that Weis and his Super Bowl ring (which he let a few fans try on) were a major attraction, and Davis was pleased to see his future coach was in attendance. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Mann ended up not participating in the scrimmage “after violating undisclosed team rules.”

2 » Florida head coach Will Muschamp continues to make his rounds of the state while Gator Gatherings are hosted in his honor. He was in Tallahassee on Tuesday and took the opportunity to talk about his counterpart with the Florida State Seminoles, Jimbo Fisher. “In our profession, we’re so busy throughout the year, it’s awful hard to maintain a relationship with anybody unless they’re on your staff,” Muschamp said, according to Florida Today. “But I’ve got great respect for Jimbo. I obviously know [his wife] Candi and the Fisher family very well. We worked together I think about six or seven years. Any time you spend that much time with somebody, I’ve got great respect for him as a football coach and a person. He does a good job.” It should be noted that FSU is no longer referred to the “Team Out West” and UF’s in-house posted schedules; Muschamp has changed it to read “Florida State.”

3 » No. 4 Gators baseball (39-14) struggled mightily Tuesday, allowing the unranked Jacksonville Dolphins (33-18) to rout them 11-2 at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Jacksonville posted three quick runs in the first inning, and starting junior left-handed pitcher Alex Panteliodis (4-2) was pulled after allowing four earned runs on four hits and two walks while striking out three in 2.2 innings. Sophomore catcher Mike Zunino (1-2, HR, 2 RBI, R, BB) hit a two-run bomb in the bottom of the first, but Florida’s offense stalled the remainder of the contest. Replacing Panteliodis, junior right-handed pitcher Anthony DeSclafani did not have much luck either, giving up five runs (two earned) while striking out four in 2.1 innings. Jacksonville piled on two more runs in the fourth, three in the fifth and a pair in the eighth to cruised to the victory. The loss was difficult to deal with but relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things for Gators baseball. UF is set for a three-game series with Kentucky beginning on Friday that could determine if Florida, South Carolina or Vanderbilt wind up the 2011 Southeastern Conference regular season champion. All three schools are currently tied for first-place with USC holding the tiebreaker.

4 » Putting together his “freaks list” for the 2011 college football season, ESPN Insider’s Bruce Feldman has placed Gators senior running back Jeff Demps at the very top. Here is a portion of what Feldman had to say:

Gators strength coach Mickey Marotti says the back can squat “an ungodly amount of weight.” And despite the added pounds, Demps has gotten faster. “He was a 10.1 guy, is now a 9.9 guy and probably will be a 9.8 guy,” said Marotti, who adds that Demps has really improved his acceleration. […]

“It’s his work ethic and his motor,” said Marotti. “It’s really something special. From the time he showed up here through today, it’s always full-go. This is an overachieving guy that has a lot of gifts. He has an energy and enthusiasm for everything. People feed off him. They love to be around him. He’s the hardest working guy on our football team and I can’t speak for our track coach, but I believe he’s probably the hardest working guy on our track team too.”

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Seven Gators placed in first Rivals250 for 2012

Released Tuesday afternoon, the first Rivals250 for the class of 2012 is filled with players verbally committed to play for the Florida Gators next season. Though only one Florida commit was in the company’s Rivals100 released on Monday, six more are considered to be in the top 250 recruits in the nation.

Below is a breakdown of where the Gators’ commits are ranked:

No. 49 – Jessamen Dunker, OT (Boynton Beach, FL)
At 6’6” and 315 lbs., Dunker is listed as the No. 12 overall offensive lineman in the class and the third-best in the state of Florida. He has already accepted an invitation to play in the 2012 Under Armour All-American Game and is rated a 5.9/6.1*.

No. 122 – Mike Davis, RB (Stone Mountain, GA)
The second running back to commit for 2012, the 5’9” 192 lbs. Davis was given a 5.8/6.1 ranking by Rivals and is listed No. 12 at his position in the nation and No. 1 in the state of Georgia. He recently earned a Most Valuable Player award at the Nike Football Training Camp in Athens, GA.

No. 157 – Matt Jones, RB (Seffner, FL)
Florida’s first running back commit, the 6’2” 200 lbs. Jones was heavily recruited by the Gators and is listed as the 16th best rusher in the country. Rated 5.8/6.1, he is ranked as the No. 3 back in the state.

No. 197 – Colin Thompson, TE (Warminster, PA)
The top player at his position in Pennsylvania, Thompson is 6’5” 225 lbs., rated 5.8/6.1 and ranked as the No. 6 tight end in the nation. Florida’s most recent commitment, he has accepted an invitation to play in the Under Armour game. (No other tight end was ranked higher than No. 68 overall.)

No. 218 – Jeremi Powell, LB (Largo, FL)
A 5.8/6.1 rated player like his future teammates, Powell is ranked as the No. 24 overall linebacker in 2012 but No. 2 in the state of Florida. At 6’2″ and 200 lbs., he is the Gators’ only commitment at the position.

No. 225 – Dante Phillips, DT (Venice, FL)
The No. 17 defensive tackle prospect in the nation, Phillips is 6’6” and 268 lbs. and is becoming a force in the middle. He is also rated 5.8/6.1 and listed as the No. 2 player at his position in the state.

No. 240 – Latroy Pittman, WR (Citra, FL)
At 6’1” and 190 lbs., Pittman may not have the size of an elite prospect, but his 5.8/6.1 ranking puts him up there talent-wise. He is the 36th-ranked wide receiver in his class and No. 6 in the state of Florida.

Check out the entire Rivals250

*Rivals’s ranking system grades prospects from 6.1-4.9:

6.1 Franchise Player; considered one of the elite prospects in the country, generally among the nation’s top 25 players overall; deemed to have excellent pro potential; high-major prospect

6.0-5.8 All-American Candidate; high-major prospect; considered one of the nation’s top 300 prospects; deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on college team

5.7-5.5 All-Region Selection; considered among the region’s top prospects and among the top 750 or so prospects in the country; high-to-mid-major prospect; deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on college team

5.4-5.0 Division I prospect; considered a mid-major prospect; deemed to have limited pro potential but definite Division I prospect; may be more of a role player

4.9 Sleeper; no Rivals.com expert knew much, if anything, about this player; a prospect that only a college coach really knew about

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FOUR BITS: tennis wins SEC, gym, Davis, Hill

1 » No. 1 Florida Gators women’s tennis (22-1, 11-0 SEC) shutout the South Carolina Gamecocks (12-9, 4-7 SEC) 7-0 on Saturday to capture the outright 2011 Southeastern Conference Championship for the regular season at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex in Gainesville, FL. The victory not only won Florida the SEC title and a No. 1 seed (including a bye) in the upcoming 2011 SEC Tournament, it was also the team’s 102nd consecutive regular season victory and 93rd-straight at home. The No. 8 doubles team of sophomore Allie Will and freshman Alex Cercone took down their No. 32-ranked opponents 8-4. No. 7 Will and No. 51 Cercone each won their singles matches, as did No. 20 sophomore Lauren Embree, No. 37 junior Joanna Mather, No. 49 freshman Olivia Janowicz and No. 104 freshman Sofie Oyen. The No. 43 duo of Embree and Oyen also won their doubles match earlier in the day.

2 » No. 5 Gators gymnastics was not as successful over the weekend, failing to advance to the 2011 NCAA Super Six team final by finishing fourth in Session II of the 2011 NCAA Championships semifinals. Florida finished with 196.125 points behind Alabama (197.05), Nebraska (196.85) and Utah (196.20). Fortunately for the Gators, three of the ladies advanced to the NCAA individual event finals on Sunday. Freshman Alaina Johnson will compete in vault, uneven bars and floor exercise; sophomore Marissa King will try her hand at vault and floor exercise; and senior Maranda Smith will participate in the floor exercise. All three were named to the All-American First Team.

3 » Florida 2012 running back commitment Mike Davis (Stone Mountain, GA) won a Most Valuable Player award for his group at the Nike Football Training Camp in Athens, GA on Friday. “Mike did some incredible things,” Jake Campbell, running backs coach at the camp, told ESPN. “He has great lateral movement and change of direction. He’s terrific in the open field. He’s a true running back where things come so natural to him. He’s versatile and has soft hands. He’s also a strong ball carrier who really seems to understand the position.”

4 » Gators safety Will Hill, waiting to find out who will take a chance on him in the 2011 NFL Draft, participated in a local prospect day for the New York Giants on Thursday. The Newark Star-Ledger’s Mike Garafolo says Hill “has the Giants intrigued” to the point that they have “look[ed] into the personal side of things” regarding his character.

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Gators haul in DT recruit Jafar Mann for 2012

Head coach Will Muschamp gained a verbal commitment from another large-in-stature 2012 recruit on Friday as 6’3”, 275 lbs. defensive tackle Jafar Mann (Stone Mountain, GA) announced his intention to play college football for the Florida Gators.

Mann, who will join his high school teammate – running back Mike Davis (Stone Mountain, GA) – in Gainesville, FL, visited the University of Florida with Davis in late February and obviously came away impressed.

Having received offers from at least a dozen programs, Mann chose Florida over Alabama, Georgia, Miami (FL) and others.

He is the Gators’ seventh commitment for the 2012 recruiting cycle and Muschamp’s fourth in the last month. To check out the entire list of Florida’s 2012 verbal commits, click here (read the right sidebar).

Photo Credit: Jason Getz/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Florida gains two 2012 commits Saturday night

Just five days after receiving their third commitment for the 2012 recruiting cycle, the Florida Gators nearly doubled their class when running back Mike Davis (Stone Mountain, GA) and linebacker Jeremi Powell (Largo, FL) each announced their intention to play in The Swamp on Saturday.

Davis, the brother of former Clemson now-Washington Redskins RB James Davis, is Florida’s second running back commitment for 2012; four-star Matt Jones (Seffner, FL), considered to be the best rusher in the state of Florida, committed on Monday.

“They said that they are only going to take two running backs this year and I’m the other one they wanted, so I went ahead and made my commitment,” he told Rivals. “I know it takes more than one [running back]. I split carries last year. I don’t mind that. Florida recruited me hard and said that I am needed.”

Powell is the Gators’ second defensive commitment for 2012 and the team’s first at linebacker, a much-needed position. “This was the best experience I’ve had in my entire life man,” said Powell, according to Rivals‘ Mark Wheeler. “I went to visit USF the other day, and I felt like I was comfortable and a good fit there, but when I got here today, man, I can’t imagine going anywhere else. When I committed in coach [Will] Muschamp‘s office, it was like a dream.”

Auburn, Florida State, South Carolina and Tennessee also offered Davis, while Powell was picking from South Carolina, South Florida, Iowa State and Purdue early on. Both unrated prospects visited the Univeristy of Florida over the weekend.

The duo join four-stars defensive tackle Omari Phillips (Venice, FL) and wide receiver LaTroy Pittman (Citra, FL) as the Gators’ 2012 commitments.

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