Jeff Driskel named High School Player of the Year

Florida Gators five-star quarterback commitment Jeff Driskel (Oviedo, FL) was officially named the Maxwell Football Club’s 2010 National High School Player of the Year in a release on Tuesday from club president Ron Jaworski.

“I’m excited to receive this honor,” Driskel said in a Maxwell Club release. “It’s a prestigious award and to be named national player of the year is awesome. There are all kinds of people I’d like to thank who have given me help to get here, from my parents, to the coaches I’ve had, to my teachers, and it’s great to know that all of the hard work that I’ve put in throughout my whole high school career has been recognized. But I think I’m most proud of my team. We never had a winning record, or were even close to a winning record before this year, and this team worked hard all summer to achieve a goal we set.”

Driskel, who will be presented with the award at a banquet on March 4, was previously named the FACA District 9 Class 5A Player of the Year and Gatorade Florida Player of the Year after throwing for 1,819 yards and 15 touchdowns while rushing for 1,333 yards and 20 touchdowns in his senior season with Hagerty High School. He also caught two touchdown passes for a total of 138 yards in 2010.

“Jeff’s performance against Lakeland was the greatest single-game performance I have ever seen in my 20-plus years of remembering high school football,” Hagerty head coach Nate Gierke said. “Jeff led our team to the most wins in school history and a playoff appearance in only our fourth year of existence. For what he has done over the past four years, and especially for his performance and what he meant to our success this season, Jeff is the best high school football player I have ever coached or seen in person.”

This marks the second-straight year the award was given to a Gators commitment. Florida freshman defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd was the recipient of the Maxwell Club’s Player of the Year honors for 2009.

Photo Credit: Orlando Sentinel

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Top 10 for 2010: Off the Field Stories of the Year

For as much as the Florida Gators accomplished on the field in 2010 (check out our post tomorrow), the Gator Nation was making plenty of news off of it as well. From former players signing huge contracts to current team members being a part of some of the biggest news stories in sports this year, Florida was spread all over the sports landscape in 2010. Below are OGGOA‘s Top 10 Off the Field Stories of the Year.

10 » FIVE BECOME A PART OF THE GATOR NATION IN THE SKY
It would be difficult to recount everything that Gator Nation has gone through in 2010 without remembering those close to the University of Florida who left us for a better place in the past year. Young and old, these Gators departed too soon and suddenly in all but one case. Lamar Abel (21), a walk-on defensive lineman, suffered cardiac arrest while volunteering at a roadside cleanup event with his fraternity in Gainesville, FL. Former safety John Curtis (24) committed suicide in Bellvue, WA. Hall of fame safety Jarvis Williams (45) passed away after an acute asthma attack. Former Gators basketball player and friend to the program Augie Greiner (76) died in his home. And long-time donor and Bull Gator George Steinbrenner (80), most famously known as the owner of the New York Yankees, passed away in a Tampa, FL, hospital. OGGOA once again sends our deepest condolences to the families and friends of these men.

9 » ERIN ANDREWS GETS JUSTICE, STARS ON TV, RE-SIGNS WITH ESPN

Former Florida dazzler and ESPN reporter Erin Andrews had a much better go of it in 2010. Though her stalker plead guilty to his charges in court in December 2009, she spent a good portion of 2010 making sure he was brought to justice (27-month prison term) while also spreading word across the country that violence against women from sexual predators cannot and should not be tolerated. Simultaneously, Andrews participated in ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and even dropped a few Gator Chomps along the way. She ended up finishing third in the competition but parlayed her talent on the sidelines into an enhanced gig with the Worldwide Leader in Sports. Andrews signed a new two-year deal with ESPN, which included a role hosting the first hour of College GameDay live on ESPNU, appearances on ABC’s Good Morning America and more of a presence on the family of networks. She also spoke with OGGOA on two occasions, first in a wide-ranging interview that received significant publicity and later to share her thoughts on the resignation of head coach Urban Meyer.

Continue Reading » Top 10 for 2010: Off the Field Stories of the Year

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FOUR BITS: Haden’s 40, golf, Prestwood, Floyd

1 » Former Florida Gators cornerback Joe Haden, unanimously considered the best player at his position available for the 2010 NFL Draft before the Scouting Combine, is being criticized by draftniks and supposedly sliding down boards because of his “slow” 4.57-second 40-yard dash. Comments from some like ESPN’s Todd McShay have Haden falling out of the top 10 (never mind the fact that he has a chance to improve it at Florida’s Pro Day on March 17). The time has even spurned beat writers for teams like the Atlanta Falcons to speculate that Haden could fall as low as No. 19. Others, like Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, put Haden’s time in perspective. It’s a bigger deal to those talking about it on television than it is to the NFL scouts hired and fired based on their ability to discern successes from busts.

2 » Florida men’s and womens’ golf each competed at tournaments over the last few days; unfortunately, neither came out as victors. Though they jumped four spots in the final round, the men’s team finished the John Hayt Invitational with a seventh-place score of 899 (+35). The women tied for seventh in the Kinderlou Forest Challenge with a 913 (+37).

Two BITS of Florida Gators football recruiting news after the jump!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Haden’s 40, golf, Prestwood, Floyd

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Florida Gators 2010 National Signing Day notes

Courtesy of the University of Florida’s University Athletic Association:

» The University of Florida football team had 11 student-athletes enroll in January 2010, the highest number in school history.
» The 2010 signing class includes nine players from the South Florida area (Dade, Palm Beach and Broward Counties). In the previous five signing classes combined (2005-09), UF totaled 11 signees from the same area.
» The Gators continued to be a factor on the national stage, signing 12 players from out of state in 2010. Players in the 2010 class are from Alabama, California (3), Connecticut, Georgia (3), Maryland (2), New York and Pennsylvania.
» For the fourth straight year, UF signed a player from the state of California and for the third straight year the Gators signed a player from Alabama. It marked the second-straight year a player from Maryland and Connecticut signed with Florida.
» Of the 12 high school players rated as five-star recruits by ESPN, Florida has signed four. The Gators signed 11 of the top 50 players according to ESPN. Overall, the Gators signed 17 players from the ESPNU 150 list of players.

Check out notes on individual players in the class after the jump…
Continue Reading » Florida Gators 2010 National Signing Day notes

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