FOUR BITS: Young, Noah, Wambach, Lochte

1 » Waiving two players on Friday, the New Orleans Pelicans whittled their roster down to 15 ahead of the start of the 2014-15 NBA season. Former Florida Gators center Patric Young, an undrafted free agent who was picked up by New Orleans and impressed during training camp, continued to flash during preseason action and earned a spot on the Pelicans’ regular-season roster. Young will be New Orleans’ fourth center (behind Omer Asik, Alexis Ajinca and Jeff Withey) but may be able to work his way up the depth chart if he continues giving tremendous effort like he did last Thursday. On the floor as the clock ticked down against Dallas, Young slammed home a dunk with 2.1 seconds remaining to help his team pull out an 88-85 victory. “As far as having another guy that can come off the bench and doesn’t need the ball in his hands, I think I can step into that role right away,” he told The Times-Picayune. “My goal is just to come here with a great attitude and stay humble. I’m going to chase after rebounds with the mentality of, ‘If I don’t get this rebound then I’m out the league.’ It may be a little extreme, but I want it more than the next guy.”

2 » Former Gators C Joakim Noah has been the straw that stirs the drink for the Chicago Bulls for the last few seasons, but his body has held him back on numerous occasions. A multitude of injuries, primarily to his lower body, have either kept Noah off the court or – more often – forced him to play through pain that most players would not. With another NBA slate starting Tuesday, Noah admitted through gritted teeth that he “still ha[s] a ways to go” in recovering from left knee surgery. “It’s fine. It’s a work in progress. It’s getting better. I’m happy with where it’s at. Let me live, man. Geez,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times, trying to keep his situation close to the vest. A source close to Noah told the paper that his “knee is going to be an issue all season long,” and the Bulls appear prepared to limit his minutes on a game-by-game basis. “There’s a plan,” Noah explained. “We take it day by day and se how it feels, see if there are any setbacks.”

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Young, Noah, Wambach, Lochte

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Former Gators OL Mo Collins, 38, has died

Former Florida Gators offensive lineman Mo Collins, a three-year starter and a member of the Gators’ 1996 National Championship team, passed away Sunday morning. He was 38.

According to the Charlotte Observer, Collins “had been receiving dialysis treatments for kidney failure.”

Collins spent the last year as head coach of West Charlotte High School, his alma mater. He originally joined the program as an offensive line coach in 2013 and took over head coaching duties this season after the team went winless last year. At the time of his passing, West Charlotte had a 4-5 record, posting its most victories since 2010.

While at Florida, Collins won two SEC Championships (1995-96) and played in two national title games (1995-96) with the Gators.

Following his redshirt junior season, Collins decided to become a professional and was selected with the No. 23 overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. He spent his whole six-year career with the Raiders, starting 64 of the 71 regular-season games in which he appeared and playing in Super Bowl XXXVII.

OnlyGators.com sends our condolences and best wishes to the Collins family.

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4 BITS: Driskel, Baker, Demps, Patton, Murphy

1 » Florida Gators redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel reportedly missed at least some portion of practice ahead of the Missouri game while dealing with a right ankle injury, which became more apparent last Saturday when his ankle was heavily taped before the contest. Driskel also hardly ran the ball in the game, just one week after carrying it 21 times. While it is currently unknown whether the still-imploding Driskel will get the start against Georgia on Nov. 1 – head coach Will Muschamp may address that very topic during his only media appearance of the week, the SEC teleconference on Wednesday – it looks like he is still missing some practice time.

OnlyGators.com reader Jeremy sent in the following photo, which he snapped Tuesday on his way to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for an event. In the photo below, freshmen Treon Harris and Will Grier (dressed in full pads) are leading the pack of quarterbacks out to the practice field while Driskel is bringing up the rear, holding his helmet but neither wearing pads nor football pants.

I was taking my kids to see Sesame Street Live at the O’Dome tonight. When we parked, we noticed the football team going to the practice field. The players were upbeat and giving my kids high-fives. Then the quarterbacks walked by. Treon Harris and Will Grier led the way and looked focused. Driskel was at the back. No pads, no pants. He looked like a player who wasn’t practicing. Muschamp walked by, smiled and looked like a beaten soul.

Continue Reading » 4 BITS: Driskel, Baker, Demps, Patton, Murphy

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 7

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 38 former Florida Gators spread out over 22 of the 32 teams in the league.

Eleven teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Philadelphia and Tampa Bay (three each); and Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh and St. Louis (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 26 players (17 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the seventh week of the regular season.

Six players were on their bye week.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK / PLAY OF THE WEEK
DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals: Started | five tackles (two solo, one for loss), sack, two QB hits, pass defense, fumble recovery

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 7

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FOUR BITS: Harvin, Nelson, Harrison, Haden

There is a video in this post that autostarts. Please scroll down and pause it if you do not want it to play until after you are done reading.

1 » The trade of former Florida Gators wide receiver Percy Harvin – from the Seattle Seahawks to the New York Jets – was completed over the weekend in a transaction which you can read about in full by clicking here. However, since the trade was first reported on Friday, there has been plenty of fallout from the situation, most of it centering on Harvin and his alleged anger-management issues.

According to CBSSports.com‘s Jason La Canfora, Harvin was a “pain in the ass,” who was not a fit for the organization “on a lot of levels,” and the situation did not “look like it was going to get better. Per The Seattle Times: “Harvin had gotten into an altercation with former Seahawks Golden Tate before the Super Bowl that resulted in Tate getting a black eye. A source also said Harvin had an altercation with Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin in the week leading up to the final exhibition game this August at Oakland that resulted in Baldwin getting a cut on his chin and each player being excused from practices that week. … One final straw, a league source said, came in [last] Sunday’s 30-23 loss to Dallas when Harvin apparently balked at going back into the game in the fourth quarter.”

The Seahawks, which are also looking to clear cap space in preparation to re-sign quarterback Russell Wilson, believe they will be able to get along just fine without Harvin, just like they did last season when they won the league’s title. Multiple Seattle players were reportedly angry about management’s decision, namely star running back Marshawn Lynch. Former teammates, including QB Brett Favre, have come to Havin’s defense. Favre called Harvin, who he played with as a member of the Minnesota Vikings, “a good guy in the locker room” despite being “a little combative … in a good way” because “Percy’s all about doing whatever he can to help you win. He’s tough as nails and really that’s all he cares about. … I liked him as a player and a person.”

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Harvin, Nelson, Harrison, Haden

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Reports: Seahawks trade WR Percy Harvin to Jets

For the second time in 19 months, former Florida Gators wide receiver Percy Harvin has been traded. According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, the Seattle Seahawks have agreed to send Harvin across the country to the New York Jets for a conditional draft selection. According to ESPN.com‘s John Clayton, it selection will be anywhere from a second- to fourth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, dependent on production.

Harvin, who had a tumultuous four seasons as the leading receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, was traded to Seattle in March 2013 for three draft picks including a first-rounder that offseason. He was then re-signed by the Seahawks to a six-year, $64.25 million contract, which included a $12 million signing bonus and $14.5 million guaranteed.

He has $41.5 million remaining on his contract, which runs through 2018, though none of it will be guaranteed and New York can cut him at any time without penalty.

Continue Reading » Reports: Seahawks trade WR Percy Harvin to Jets

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 6

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 38 former Florida Gators spread out over 22 of the 32 teams in the league.

Eleven teams had multiple Florida players on their rosters including Miami (four); Philadelphia and Tampa Bay (three each); and Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh and St. Louis (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 27 players (19 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the sixth week of the regular season.

Three players were on their bye week.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
S REGGIE NELSON, Cincinnati Bengals: Started | 11 tackles (nine solo, one for loss), two pass defenses, interception (31-yard return)

PLAYS OF THE WEEK

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 6

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SIX BITS: Beal, Parsons, Eckstein, Burton, Brewer

1 » Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal is expected to miss approximately six weeks after completing successful surgery on Sunday to repair a fracture in his left wrist. Beal suffered the injury to his non-shooting wrist during a preseason game Friday night. The ailment is expected to force Beal to miss at least the first 12 games of the 2014-15 regular season, which will put him a bit behind the eight ball as he looks to improve on his impressive sophomore campaign. Beal averaged 17.1 points, 3.7 boards and 3.3 assists during his second season in the league when he shot .402 from beyond the arc and started all 73 games in which he participated. Injuries have been commonplace for Beal throughout his young NBA career, but the bourgeoning star expects to overcome this setback and help lead his team this season. “Surgery today… Big Thanks to everyone supporting me and keep me positive…Minor setback for a MAJOR COMEBACK !!” he tweeted Sunday afternoon.

Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Beal, Parsons, Eckstein, Burton, Brewer

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