Durkin: Cox out for bowl, McGee hopes to stay at Florida, Gators prepare for Birmingham

Florida Gators interim head coach and defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin met with the media on Thursday to discuss the early portion pf practice ahead of the 2015 Birmingham Bowl, injuries, roster developments and the team’s preparation for the East Carolina Pirates. Florida and ECU will square off on Saturday, Jan. 3 at 12 p.m. at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

UP-AND-COMER SIDELINED FOR BOWL

Redshirt sophomore defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. began to show some flashes as the 2014 season came to a close, but he will be unable to take advantage of the 20 bowl practices to take his game to the next level ahead of spring practice.

Cox, who announced on social media that he underwent surgery, has officially been ruled out for the bowl game after having a procedure on his hip.

“Bryan Cox had surgery and he will be out for the bowl game,” Durkin said. “It was a hip injury, something that was deteriorating over time that he needed to have done.”

In his second year of on-field action, Cox finished with 29 tackles (six for lost yardage) and four sacks. He will likely step into a starting role with the Gators in 2015.

Continue Reading » Durkin: Cox out for bowl, McGee hopes to stay at Florida, Gators prepare for Birmingham

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 15

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 35 former Florida Gators spread out over 21 of the 32 teams in the league.

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

Below are full game statistics for all 25 players (15 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 15th week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals: Started | six tackles (five solo, two for loss), sack, three QB hits [all team-highs]
DE JEREMY MINCEY, Dallas Cowboys: Started | three tackles (two solo for loss), two sacks, two QB hits

PLAY OF THE WEEK

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

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 13

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 (three); and Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 29 players (18 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 13th week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Started | solo tackle, two pass defenses, interception; blocked field goal
» Haden has nabbed an interception in three-straight games and also forced another the week preceding the start of his streak.
LB JELANI JENKINS, Miami Dolphins: Started | 16 tackles (eight solo, two for loss) [all team-highs], QB hit, pass defense
» Jenkins’s 16 tackles were a career-high and marked his third game with 14+ tackles this season.

PLAY OF THE WEEK

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

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Two Gators offensive linemen leave program early

A pair of Florida Gators offensive lineman have announced over the last two weeks that they will be leaving the program earlier than most expected.

Last week, redshirt junior Tyler Moore said he will forgo his final season of eligibility and declare for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Moore, who took a year off from college football after transferring from Nebraska prior to the 2012 season and spent that year at a community college, struggled with consistency during his time at Florida. He played in seven games and made five starts for Florida in 2013 before suffering a season-ending injury himself. He started six games for the Gators in 2014, playing in all 12 regular-season contests.

Also departing from Florida is junior Drew Sarvary, an incoming transfer in 2014 who was expected to provide experienced depth for the Gators. Savary announced on his Facebook page that he will retire from college football due to a severe concussion he suffered against LSU a few weeks ago.

“Due to the severity of it and the prolonging symptoms, the UF medical staff and I have came to a conclusion that it would no longer be safe to play. I wanted to thank everyone who has ever helped me get where I am today. One chapter of my life closes as another one opens. #gogators #ibleedorangeandblue”

With Moore and Sarvary both gone from the program with eligibility remaining, Florida’s offensive line will be lacking depth in 2015. The Gators will also be losing a three seniors – starting center Max Garcia (fifth-year), starting right tackle Chaz Green (fifth-year) and six-game starting right guard Trenton Brown (a transfer) – and may see junior starting left tackle D.J. Humphries join Moore and leave early for the draft.

That would leave Florida with nine scholarship linemen on its roster entering next season, in addition to any that commit as part of the Gators’ in-flux 2015 recruiting class.

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 12

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 39 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); Indianapolis and Philadelphia (three each); and Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 27 players (17 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 12th week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
S WILL HILL, Baltimore Ravens: Started | four tackles (two solo), two pass defenses; interception returned for touchdown (44 yards)
LB JELANI JENKINS, Miami Dolphins: Started | 11 tackles (nine solo, one for loss), sack, QB hit [all team-highs]
» Jenkins is tied for 12th in the NFL in solo tackles (62).
CB JANORIS JENKINS, St. Louis Rams: Started | four tackles (three solo), pass defense, interception returned for a touchdown (99 yards)
» Five of Jenkins’s seven career interceptions have been returned for touchdowns.
WR LOUIS MURPHY, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Six receptions for 113 yards (targets: 8, long: 54); solo tackle
» Murphy’s 113 yards are his most in a single game since Sept. 26, 2010 and the third-most in his career.

PLAY OF THE WEEK

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

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: 2014 Week 11

The 2014 NFL regular season continued this week with 39 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); Indianapolis and Philadelphia (three each); and Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay (two each).

Below are full game statistics for all 24 players (15 starters^) that saw action along with select status and injury updates on some Gators during the 11th week of the regular season.

^ Kickers and returners not counted as starters.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Started | 13 tackles (10 solo) [team-highs], pass defense, interception
DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals: Started | two solo tackles, pass defense, four QB hits [team-high]

PLAY 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 11

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FOUR BITS: Elam, McDonald, Nike, Wilbekin

1 » The Florida Gators announced on Tuesday that Baltimore Ravens safety Matt Elam will play the role of honorary Mr. Two-Bits ahead of Florida’s clash with the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday afternoon. In doing so, Elam will be the first active NFL player to come back and take the honorary duties of wearing the Mr. Two-Bits ensemble and leading the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium crowd in a pre-game cheer. The honorary Mr. Two-Bits concept has been a highlight for the Gators over the last two seasons with numerous former players (football and otherwise) taking the field including Wes Chandler, Errict Rhett, Lito Sheppard and Danny Wuerffel. Elam’s Ravens are on their bye week, which will allow him to travel down to Gainesville, Florida.

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DT Leon Orr contrite about leaving Florida

Now-former Florida Gators redshirt senior defensive tackle Leon Orr did not play in Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt after leaving the team on game day when Orr learned from head coach Will Muschamp that he would not be starting the game.

Florida announced before the game, and Muschamp explained after the Gators’ 34-10 win, that Orr would have seen the field for his normal allotment of plays, but he could not accept not starting the contest.

“Leon hasn’t started since the Alabama game. He hadn’t started all week in practice. Came to me [Saturday] and didn’t understand why he wasn’t starting, said he was going to go home. That was his decision. I said, ‘You go home, you’re done. You’re not a Florida Gator anymore,’” Muschamp said Saturday night.

As a result, Orr was kicked off the team for good, a fact Muschamp reiterated on Monday during his weekly press conference. “Nothing’s changed,” he said.

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