FOUR BITS: Addazio, baseball, lacrosse, Tebow

1 » According to OrangeBloods.com, the Texas Longhorns have decided to hire current Florida Gators offensive coordinator Steve Addazio as the team’s new offensive line coach. Addazio, who has struggled calling plays for Florida for the last two seasons, is a terrific offensive line coach and recruiter and should do quite well at Texas if the report is accurate. He was named ESPNU‘s recruiter of the year after helping corral the Gators’ 2010 recruiting class and served as interim head coach for Urban Meyer after he briefly stepped down and then during his recovery last offseason. It is worth noting that OrangeBloods.com previously reported that current Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin had been hired to the same position at UT; however, that has neither been confirmed nor denied since it was initially mentioned two weeks ago.

Addazio was recently named one of three head coach candidates for the open Temple Owls job. He reportedly interviewed for the position on Monday.

2 » Gators baseball has earned a No. 2 ranking in Collegiate Baseball’s preseason poll, which the organization released on Monday. Florida is coming off a season in which they finished 47-17, won the 2010 Southeastern Conference Championship and participated in the 2010 College World Series in Omaha, NE. The Gators are returning eight starters, 11 pitchers and 22 total letterwinners and begin their 2011 season with a three-game series against South Florida from Feb. 18-20.

3 » Participating in its inaugural season last year, Florida lacrosse is already making national waves after being ranked No. 17 in Lacrosse Magazine’s preseason poll. The Gators, who finished the 2010 season 10-8, reached the finals of the 2010 American Lacrosse Conference Tournament and was only the sixth team in Division I history to have 10 or more wins in its first season. Inside Lacross ranked Florida’s 19-person 2010 recruiting class No. 1 in the nation; every player is returning the team this year.

4 » Denver Broncos interim head coach Eric Studesville plans to start former Gators star quarterback Tim Tebow for his team’s final two games this season, according to numerous reports. Similarly, Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan has decided to start former Florida signal caller Rex Grossman for his team’s two remaining games after Grossman’s strong performance on Sunday.

Photo Credit: Tricia Coyne/Gainesville Sun

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FOUR BITS: Heimerdinger, Brantley, Driskel, FSU

1 » Former Florida Gators wide receivers coach and current Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger was diagnosed with cancer recently, leaving the team facility on Wednesday to undergo his first round of chemotherapy. Only 58 years old, Heimerdinger has already had an exemplary NFL career and will attempt to continue doing his job during treatment. He has decided to call plays from the sidelines for Tennessee’s game on Sunday and wishes to do so the remainder of the season as long as his health allows him to. Heimerdinger, a college roommate of Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, was first a Florida graduate assistant in 1980. He returned to the school to coach wide receivers from 1983-87, spending his first year under Shanahan (the offensive coordinator at the time) and his tenure under head coaches Charley Pell and Galen Hall. OGGOA sends our thoughts and prayers out to the Heimerdinger family; we hope he has a speedy and full recovery.

2 » Gators fans come in all ages, sexes, shapes and sizes, but it was a 10-month-old having recently undergone surgery for a heart murmur that received a special visit from redshirt junior quarterback John Brantley. Named after the signal caller, Brantley Bowen had a seven-hour surgery to correct his heart problem just days after Florida lost to South Carolina. He is now resting comfortably and expected to make a full recovery. With both parents huge Gators fans, Brantley spent an hour-and-a-half with the family and even brought a long a gift basket including toys and autographs that his father has prepared for the occasion. “It makes me more proud that I did name my son after him,” Brantley Bowden’s mother Maegan McGalliard told the Orlando Sentinel. “It kind of makes me proud to be a Gator.”

3 » Five/four-star Florida quarterback commit Jeff Driskel (Oviedo, FL) has almost arrived in Gainesville, FL. In just over a month, Driskel will enroll early at the University of Florida and begin his mission to become the Gators’ signal caller of the future. While some have been so impressed with Driskel’s high school performances that they already want him to supplant Brantley or any other quarterback on the team, the high school senior is taking the hype in stride and just trying to do the best he can with the opportunities he’s provided. Nevertheless, his high school head coach Nate Gierke told The Gainesville Sun that Driskel is truly something special. “He’s an unbelievable football player. He’s the best high school player I’ve ever seen,” Gierke said. “What he’s done for our team this year, it’s just remarkable. He’s got that innate talent to make things happen. He’s done that for four years for me.”

4 » When talking about Saturday’s game against the Florida State Seminoles, considering which team “needs the win more” is basically irrelevant with any regard to predicting a winner. With that being said, The Florida Times-Union covered both sides of the argument, addressing why both schools could really use a victory this weekend. A win for Florida, according to Michael DiRocco, would extend their streak over FSU to seven games, help the team get a better bowl game, quiet critics and assist in recruiting. Garry Smits, on the other hand, believes a victory for Florida State will end their difficult losing streak, earn them a state championship, get head coach Jimbo Fisher off on the right foot and send-off a senior class – that has been through a lot – the right way.

Photo Credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

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FOUR BITS: volleyball, Harvin, Grossman, Richt

1 » No. 1/1 Florida Gators volleyball (20-1, 13-0 SEC) looks unstoppable these days, especially if you ask their opponents. Take the Ole Miss Rebels (16-6, 10-3 SEC) for example, who were trounced 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-17) by the Gators at home on Friday in Oxford, MS. Florida junior right-side/setter Kelly Murphy achieved her nation-high sixth triple-double on the season with 10 kills on .562 hitting, a team high 16 assists and a match-high 10 digs. The Gators have seven matches left in the regular season, which ends for them on Fri., Nov. 26.

2 » Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin has suffered his fair share of injuries both at the University of Florida and already in the NFL, but one that hit him pretty hard on Sunday may be bothering him for quite some time. In the first quarter of the Vikings’ game on the road against the New England Patriots, Harvin significantly hurt his left ankle and was unable to get off the field without help from two medical staffers. After sitting out a number of plays, Harvin’s ankle was taped and he reentered the game where he ended up registering team-highs in receptions (six) and receiving yards (104) along with a spectacular two-point conversion catch later in the game. Even so, he had a severe limp in the locker room after the contest and claimed that “adrenaline got me through” the game.

3 » Washington Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman saw his first action of the season on Sunday, and it came at the tail end of his team’s game against the Detroit Lions when he was substituted for a healthy Donovan McNabb because he apparently knows the two-minute offense better than the Pro Bowler. While that may be the case, head coach (and former Florida offensive coordinator) Mike Shanahan’s decision-making was certainly questionable considering, on Grossman’s first play from scrimmage, he was sacked and fumbled the ball which was returned by Detroit for a touchdown.

4 » Since we here at OGGOA also have a strong following on Twitter, we figured it was a good idea to share with you a link that has come our way almost a dozen times this morning. While ESPN picked up a five-year-old website calling for head football coach Urban Meyer‘s firing two weeks ago, we present to you a more creative site – one that supports retaining Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt: KeepMarkRicht.com.

Photo Credit: Unknown

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TEBOW BITS: Redskins, Patriots, Del Rio, mockery

» Washington Redskins take a closer look.
Last Saturday, a personnel group from the Redskins including head coach Mike Shanahan, general manager Bruce Allen and director of player personnel Scott Campbell met with former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow for a private workout. Though one should not expect the team to pick Tebow with its No. 4 overall selection, there are rumblings that he is the target should Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford already be selected or the team passes on drafting a quarterback in the first round.

» New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is impressed.
A team always known to be in the hunt for Tebow is the Patriots, and Belichick recently spoke about what Tebow has done and what he is capable of doing in the future. “Great career, great player,” Belichick said. “I think it’s obvious that within the last six weeks, that he’s worked on his mechanics and they’ve improved, which is a credit to him. He’s very coachable and he works very hard. I’m sure that whatever he feels he needs to do, he’ll work very hard at, whatever that is. Athletically, he tested very well at the combine, which you can see on the field.” New England is another team likely looking at Tebow with an early “value” pick, and it has enough of them that a trade-up is a possibility.

» Jacksonville Jaguars have him on their “wish list.”
“Our [general manager], Gene Smith, and I work hand-in-hand, discussing how we want to build this football team,” Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said. “With Tim or anyone else on our board, we’re going to do the work and where they fall, that’s what we’re going to do. He’s certainly on the wish list because he exemplifies some of the characteristics you’re looking for. He’s a terrific leader and his intangibles are off the charts. Those types of things put him in the ‘absolute would have’ category.”

» NBC analyst Tony Dungy thinks he gets drafted early.
“Somebody, I think, is going to take him in the first round,” Dungy said. “I’d be surprised if by the end of the first round somebody hasn’t taken him. And I think it will pay off for them.” On Tebow’s mechanics, Dungy noted that he “heard the same things about Steve Young. I heard the same things about Vince Young.”

» He’s still not sure what he’s doing for the 2010 NFL Draft.
“I’ve got to figure out what will be more fun for me and best for my family,” Tebow told Peter King of Sports Illustrated. “But I have to say I liked what Joe Thomas did on the day of the draft a couple of years ago — he went fishing with his dad.” He is expected to make a final decision sometime this week.

» A fellow draftee mocked him before the Wonderlic.
Pro Football Talk reports that Tebow, minutes before taking the Wonderlic exam at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine, requested that his testing group bow their heads in prayer. In response, one player told him to “Shut the f—k up,” and others responded to that outburst by laughing. As PFT points out, this “illustrates the type of challenges that could be faced by the team that drafts Tebow.”

» Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll thinks he’s a first rounder.
NFL.com reports that Carroll, who plans to visit with Tebow for a private workout, thinks he is good enough to be a first round pick. However, do not expect the Seahawks to use No. 6 or No. 14 overall on the Heisman Trophy winner. “I can’t believe a quarterback of his stature won’t be (taken in the first round),” Carroll said, adding that someone of his stature is too good to ignore.

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FOUR BITS: Henne, Grossman, Augenstein, wins

1 » Miami Dolphins and former Michigan Wolverines quarterback Chad Henne, who defeated former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow in his final college game – the 2008 Capital One Bowl – claims the two-time National Champion and Heisman Trophy winner will not be successful in the NFL. “My judgment is that he’s not an NFL quarterback,” Henne said during an interview on WQAM in Miami, FL. “I’ll leave it at that.” As a Dolphins fan it pains me to say this, but some would argue whether or not Henne fits that distinction himself. You can listen to the interview here.

2 » Two roster moves affecting former Gators occurred Wednesday as QB Rex Grossman signed a free-agent contract with the Washington Redskins and Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Bryan Augenstein was optioned by his team to Triple-A Reno. Grossman will team up with new Redskins head coach and former Florida offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan as well as his son, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who coached Grossman last season with the Houston Texans.

3 » Still rolling through the 2010 season is the No. 6/13 Gators softball team (20-3, 4-1 SEC), which defeated the Auburn Tigers (15-9, 2-3 SEC) 7-0 and 5-4 in a doubleheader Wednesday at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Junior Stephanie Brombacher tossed both games, extending her record to 16-3 by picking up two victories. Junior outfielder Kelsey Bruder supported her with a combined 3-6 performance including two home runs and a game-winning double in the second game – a come-from-behind victory.

4 » Led by a six-goal and four-assist performance by freshman attacker Ashley Bruns, Florida lacrosse (4-3) took down the Marist Red Foxes (2-3) 22-3 Wednesday evening at Donald R. Dizney Stadium. The Gators outshot their opponent 37-10, only allowing three shots the entire second half.

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Gator Bites for Feb. 27 – NFL Combine Edition

From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share with our readers. In those instances, we present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.

» Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow stepped to the podium Friday at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine for media interviews. Though OGGOA has the full audio version, here are some individual notes from his press conference:

  • A writer handed Tebow a pad and pen as a joke, to which he signed it and gave it back to him. Apparently this was unexpected by said writer.
  • “People don’t realize there have been a lot of hurdles in my life. Scrutiny is something you have to deal with. I just have a little more motivation added on top. For so many people to care, I look at it as a blessing.”
  • Tebow once again mentioned that he only wishes to play quarterback in the NFL.
  • On changing his throwing motion at Florida; “It was something we talked about, but we had some success there the first two years. I worked on it for sure with the great coaching I had at Florida. But we were running a different system. It doesn’t correlate to what I’m doing now.”
  • “I’ll do whatever you ask me to do. And I’ll do it with all my heart. And I’ll do it over and over again.”
  • On his new throwing motion: “I’m just trying not to have that long loop in my delivery. The release point is no different. I talked to a lot of quarterback coaches, and some of them told me I should wait until after the draft or the combine. But I’m someone who is raring to go. I’m not scared about what anybody has to say.”

Much more on Tebow, Cooper, James, Pouncey and Hernandez after the break!
Continue Reading » Gator Bites for Feb. 27 – NFL Combine Edition

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Who will replace Urban Meyer as head coach?

With the shock of the resignation of Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer still ringing through the ears of Gator Nation, one of the major questions arising is a simple one: “Who will replace him?” OGGOA has complied a list of the most likely and most rumored candidates that could replace Meyer:

Check out the full list of potential replacements after the jump!!!
Continue Reading » Who will replace Urban Meyer as head coach?

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