2014 Florida Gators Orange & Blue Debut Preview

OnlyGators.com will offer full coverage of the 2014 Orange & Blue Debut via an on-site live blog on Saturday, April 12 as fans are unable to watch the spring game live for free either on television or online.

A live blog link is now available, so be sure to check OnlyGators.com to bookmark the page and stay with us as we take a first look at Florida football ahead of the 2014 season.

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Weather: Sunny, 80 degrees, winds east at 8 mph
Time: 1:30 p.m. (EDT)

TV (5:00 p.m. Tape Delay): Sun Sports (Larry Vettel, Nat Moore, Jessica Blaylock)
SiriusXM: None | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Free Online Video: None | Mobile Video: None
Free Live Updates: OnlyGators.com and @OnlyGators on Twitter

Reference: Roster | Schedule

EXPANDED VIEWING INFORMATION

Television:
Florida’s 2014 spring game will not air live on television but rather on tape delay at 5 p.m. due to a conflict with the Tampa Bay Rays. OnlyGators.com contacted Sun Sports and the Gators but received conflicting information as to why the game was not available live elsewhere on television, even as a pay-per-view broadcast.

Saturday, April 12 at 5:00 p.m. | Sunday, April 13 at 10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, April 15 at 12:00 p.m. | Thursday, April 17 at 12:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 19 at 12:00 p.m. | Tuesday, April 22 at 4:30 p.m.

Online:
While the game is not being offered live on television, you can pay $3.99 to stream the Orange & Blue Debut live online as a pay-per-view via GatorVision.tv.

However, OnlyGators.com is running a free live blog during the Orange & Blue Debut, so you can also check here on Saturday for full coverage without paying a cent.

EVENT FORMAT

Unlike 2013, when Florida only had six healthy offensive linemen and head coach Will Muschamp felt the team did not have enough healthy players to play a true spring game, the Gators will be reverting back to that format with four 12-minute quarters and a running clock, which will only stop during the two-minute drill at the end of each half.

Though Florida, for marketing purposes, held a “selection show” picking the first 12 players of each team, Muschamp previously stated that the Gators will run “good-on-good” during the game, meaning the first-team offense will play against the first-team defense and the same for the second-team units.

Therefore, even though there are supposed to be two teams – one wearing orange, the other blue – going against each other, both defenses will wear orange and both offenses will wear blue. Good luck keeping score.

Injury report, player notes and much more…all available after the break!

Continue Reading » 2014 Florida Gators Orange & Blue Debut Preview

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Muschamp: Townsend out 8-10 weeks, issues at line of scrimmage, Florida playmakers step up

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media just over one week before the 2014 Orange & Blue Debut spring game to provide updates on individual players and how the team as a whole is progressing heading into its final practices.

INJURY UPDATES

Sophomore punter Johnny Townsend, who took over the starting job from senior Kyle Christy in 2013, underwent surgery on his wrist and will miss 8-10 weeks of action. Muschamp expects Townsend to be fine for the regular season and disclosed that Townsend’s injury happened over time – wear and tear through his years of playing football. The surgery does open a door for Christy to prove that he can once again handle the starting job in his final year with the program.

Redshirt senior fullback Gideon Ajagbe has also been ruled out for the remainder of spring practice with a shoulder injury. Though he does not need surgery and likely would have come back had there been two weeks of spring left, Ajagbe will heed the caution of Florida’s trainers, which suggested that he just rest up and get ready for the summer.

Sophomore safety Keanu Neal (hamstring) finally returned to the field but was limited, and redshirt junior right guard Tyler Moore (elbow) has been pushing through a weak arm while wearing a brace. Muschamp noted that Moore did not do any strength training until the start of spring practice.

The Gators also hope to get redshirt freshman offensive lineman Roderick Johnson (concussion) back on Monday and believe freshman running back Brandon Powell (foot) could be able to participate in non-contact work if his X-ray comes back clear.

Continue Reading » Muschamp: Townsend out 8-10 weeks, issues at line of scrimmage, Florida playmakers step up

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Gators 2014 Spring Football Preview: Offense

Spring practice for the Florida Gators football program begins on Wednesday, March 19 and lasts for 15 practices concluding with the 2014 Orange & Blue Debut spring game on Saturday, April 12. Below is the first of OnlyGators.com‘s two-part series that takes a look at the team on a position-by-position basis.

Due to extensive team injuries, more players started for Florida at times in 2013 than normal. In this case, the term “starter” is being used as applicable per position.

OFFENSIVE TACKLES
Returning starters (2/2): Junior D.J. Humphries, redshirt senior Chaz Green
Fresh faces: Redshirt freshman Roderick Johnson

By the time the 2013 campaign came to an end, the Gators lost three starting tackles for the season. The first of those absentees was Green, who had locked up the starting right tackle job over the summer but tore his labrum in practice and missed the entire season. Then came Humphries, who started the first six games at left tackle but missed the final five after an injured MCL kept him hobbled for the remainder of the year. Florida’s offense struggled mightily, in large part due to a weak offensive line, but Green and Humphries will almost assuredly start for UF as long as they can remain healthy. Johnson did not play in 2013 after suffering a physical setback early in camp but impressed the coaching staff with his athleticism when he was able to practice as a part of the scout team. He is a candidate to see a good number of snaps this year.

OFFENSIVE GUARDS
Returning starters (0/2): None
Fresh faces: Junior transfer Drew Sarvary, freshman Kavaris Harkless

With Jon Halapio and Kyle Koehne graduating – and Florida’s starting left guard changing positions (more on that below) – new offensive line coach Mike Summers will have the opportunity to hand-pick some players to help solidify the unit. Sarvary – a First Team All-Southwest Junior College Football Conference selection last season – and redshirt junior Trip Thurman will compete for the jobs, as will senior Trenton Brown and redshirt junior Tyler Moore, both of whom started games at tackle for the Gators in 2013. Florida’s guards are a work in progress, no two ways about it. Harkless could get in the mix as well though it is tough to know what UF can get from a freshman offensive lineman in the spring.

Continue Reading » Gators 2014 Spring Football Preview: Offense

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FOUR BITS: Foley, Roper, Tebow, ESPN

1 » In a question-and-answer session with the school’s website, Florida Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley noted Thursday that his team and the Georgia Bulldogs will both wear colored jerseys during the Florida-Georgia game. “It’s just something a little different,” Foley explained. “To be honest, a fan suggested it. He sent me a picture of what they used to do when Coach [Steve] Spurrier was playing. He had a blue jersey on and whoever was tackling him had a red jersey on. It’s a unique rivalry and just a little different something to do. There is no particular reason. Georgia agreed and we agreed. At the end of the day, you’ve still got to win the ballgame no matter what color jersey you have on. I think it’s just a little something that makes the game even more unique.” No specifics were given as to whether this is a one-off decision or has been instituted for the duration of the current contract between the opponents to play in Jacksonville, FL.

Foley also notes that there is a “sense of urgency” in remodeling the Stephen C. O’Connell Center and that a decision on upcoming Southeastern Conference football scheduling (whether to go to nine league games) will come in June, which you can read along with some other less-interesting topics by clicking here.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Foley, Roper, Tebow, ESPN

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Gators release contracts for new 2014 coaches

In his fourth year at the helm of the Florida Gators, head coach Will Muschamp has a new offensive coordinator and two new position coaches ahead of the 2014 season.

According to information released by Florida on Wednesday, new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper signed a three-year deal worth $590,000 per season. He received a $100,000 signing bonus and can cash in a $100,000 longevity bonus if still employed by Jan. 31, 2016, maximizing his contract value to a total of $1.97 million.

It was also announced that special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler signed on with a one-year contract paying him $230,000, and offensive line coach Mike Summers signed a two-year contract at a rate of $190,000 per season.

A look at the coaching staff’s 2014 salaries compared with their counterparts in 2013:

2014 Coach2014 Salary2013 Coach2013 Salary
Will Muschamp
Head Coach
$2.75M
(4 years)*
Will Muschamp
Head Coach
$2.75M
(5 years)
Kurt Roper
Offensive Coordinator / QB
$590K
(3 years)
Brent Pease
Offensive Coordinator / QB
$590K
(3 years)^
D.J. Durkin
Defensive Coordinator / ILB
$490K
(1 year)~
D.J. Durkin
Defensive Coordinator / ILB
$490K
(2 years)
Coleman Hutzler
Special Teams Coordinator / OLB
$290K
(1 year)
Jeff Choate
Special Teams Coordinator / OLB
$290K
(1 year)
Brad Lawing
Assistant Head Coach / DL
$390K
(2 years)`
Brad Lawing
Assistant Head Coach / DL
$390K
(3 years)
Brian White
Running Backs
$290K
(1 year)
Brian White
Running Backs
$290K
(1 year)
Mike Summers
Offensive Line
$190K
(2 years)
Tim Davis
Offensive Line
$300K
(1 year)
Joker Phillips
Wide Receivers / Recruiting
$265K
(1 year)+
Joker Phillips
Wide Receivers / Recruiting
$265K
(2 years)
Travaris Robinson
Defensive Backs
$290K
(1 year)
Travaris Robinson
Defensive Backs
$290K
(1 year)
Derek Lewis
Tight Ends
$215K
(1 year)
Derek Lewis
Tight Ends
$215K
(1 year)
Jeff DIllman
Strength & Conditioning
$215K
(1 year)
Jeff Dillman
Strength & Conditioning
$215K
(1 year)

* Muschamp in 2013 received a one-year contract extension through 2017.
^ Pease was fired following the second year of his three-year contract.
~ Durkin is on the second year of a two-year contract signed in 2013.
` Lawing is in the second year of a three-year contract signed in 2013.
+ Phillips is in the second year of a two-year contract signed in 2013.
- Florida signs most assistant coaches to one-year renewable contracts. Therefore, retained coaches are listed with their respective salaries from the 2013 season until the university releases new contract information in August.
- The Gators are spending $110,000 less in salary than the program did in 2013.

Universal contract notes and bonuses:
- All coaches receive a $10,000 bonus from Florida’s contract with Nike
- All coaches receive use of a car and other tangible incentives
- National Championship Game victory – 30 percent increase
- National Championship Game appearance – 25 percent increase
- Other championship-level bowl game appearance – 20 percent increase
- SEC Championship Game appearance – 10 percent increase
- Non-BCS bowl game – 10 percent increase
- Bowl game with less than $2 million payout – one month’s salary increase
- If team graduates at 85 percent – $4,000 for head coach, $1,500 for assistants

The Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar Thompson obtained the salary information referenced above from the school via an open records request.

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Will Muschamp, Florida assistants to make 12 stops on 2014 spring speaking tour

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp is set to make eight appearances at Florida-based Gator Clubs as part of the team’s annual Gator Gathering speaking schedule with his assistants participating in four more events.

Muschamp made 10 Gator Club appearances ahead of the 2013 season with four of his assistants also participating in events throughout the state. The three newest members of his coaching staff will hit the road this spring.

Joining him with speaking engagements are offensive coordinator Kurt Roper, offensive line coach Mike Summers (two) and special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler. Their events are not scheduled as of press time.

The speaking tour is put on by the UF Alumni Association and Gator Boosters, Inc. in association with the University Athletic Association. Tickets are available to the public and sold to the respective events with proceeds usually going to support the club and fund scholarship opportunities for local area students.

Will Muschamp
» April 8 – Gainesville Quarterback Club (Gainesville,FL)
» April 17 – Gator Club of Jacksonville (Jacksonville, FL)
» May 1 – Broward County Gator Club (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
» May 5 – Tampa/Pinellas County Gator Clubs (Tampa, FL)
» May 7 – Polk County Gator Club (Lakeland, FL)
» May 13 – Central Florida Gator Club (Orlando, FL)
» May 20 – Titletown Gator Club (Gainesville, FL)
» May 22 – Fightin’ Gator Touchdown Club (Gainesville, FL)

Assistant coaches (dates to be announced)
» Roper – Marion County Gator Club (Ocala, FL)
» Summers – Capital Area Gator Club (Tallahassee, FL)
» Summers – Northwest Florida Gator Club (Pensacola, FL)
» Hutzler – Volusia County Gator Club (Daytona Beach, FL)

Head basketball coach Billy Donovan will also participate in yet-to-be-scheduled Gator Gatherings set to be held at the Southwest Florida Gator Club (Fort Myers, FL) and Atlanta Gator Club (Atlanta, GA).

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Florida to add Jeremy Darveau in assistant role

The Florida Gators are set to add a new member to their football staff with Southwest Minnesota State offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Jeremy Darveau agreeing to join the program and assist with the offensive line.

FootballScoop.com cited sources that said Darveau would be taking the job, but he made an announcement on his own early Tuesday morning via Twitter.

“Want to thank everyone at SMSU for a GREAT 6 years,” he wrote. “I am also excited to start the next chapter in my career with the Univ of Florida Gators”

Darveau redshirted and played one season at Kentucky before transferring to Dodge City Community College. He transferred to Louisville in 2004 and played under new Florida offensive line coach Mike Summers for two seasons with the Cardinals, starting seven games as a junior and 12 more as a senior. Louisville posted a 20-4 record combined in those two seasons.

He played for the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe and Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League each for one season. In 2008, he accepted his first coaching job overseeing tight ends for SMSU. Darveau held that position again in 2009 and was promoted to offensive line coach/run game coordinator in 2010. He was moved up to offensive coordinator ahead of the 2013 campaign.

Seeing as the Gators already have an NCAA-maximum 10 coaches on their staff, Darveau’s official position with the team is not yet clear. Chances are he will join the program as a graduate assistant or quality control coach.

OnlyGators.com has reached out to Florida for comment and/or confirmation.

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Will Muschamp, coaches discuss Florida Gators 2014 signees, recruiting process

National Signing Day LIVE COVERAGE page
2014 Florida signee bios | Gators flip four-star QB Treon Harris from Seminoles, add WR C.J. Worton | Three-star OT Andrew Mike flips to Florida

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp held a press conference after his coaching staff finished inking its 24-member 2014 recruiting class on National Signing Day. Below are the most notable quotes from that session as well as player evaluations made by other members of the coaching staff.

OPENING STATEMENT

”It’s a great day here at the University of Florida, a lot of hard work put in by our staff. I don’t think people realize the contribution it takes from everybody. It’s a total team effort on campus, professors, our administration, our academic people do a fantastic job. When a young man comes on campus for an official visit, all of the people that have to contribute to make that a special experience, and our people do it the best. Our travel people do an amazing job. All of our pilots, [the media seems] to track pretty well, but they do a phenomenal job. It takes all these moving parts to make things work the right way. So we got a great staff. Our staff did an outstanding job.

“We had a miserable fall, and to have the staff come together – three new coaches in Kurt Roper, Mike Summers and Coleman Hutzler come together and change a little bit, not philosophically, but schematically offensively, adjust some things that we need to do in midstream as far as some of the guys we were recruiting and to put together this class – I’m really proud of that. I don’t know where we ended up as far as any rankings and all. You all know me, I don’t get overly concerned with that.”

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