FOUR BITS: Scouts, Lawrence, Johnson, Tebow

1 » When Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban decided to close off his team’s practices to NFL scouts, there was some outrage that he may have gone too far. The Tuscaloosa News qualified the action by stating that Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer had mandated the same thing. The only problem? He didn’t. Florida associate athletics director for communications Steve McClain pointed out Wednesday that the Gators have not changed their policy and scouts will still be allowed to attend during designated periods (usually during the regular season and select two-a-days). However, as noted before, Meyer has indeed closed practice to the media and fans in an effort to keep out questionable characters or “scumbags” as he so eloquently put it.

2 » On Aug. 5, Meyer announced that redshirt sophomore wide receiver T.J. Lawrence had requested and received a release from his University of Florida scholarship. Wednesday, Lawrence told The Lakeland Ledger that he has decided to transfer to the Florida A&M Rattlers. “It’s a big shocker because a lot of people wouldn’t expect Florida A&M University, but I’m going there to be a two-sport athlete,” Lawrence said. His main motivation for leaving UF was a lack of playing time.

3 » Interesting video from The Gainesville Sun of redshirt senior guard Carl Johnson interviewing freshman running back Mack Brown at Florida Media Day.

4 » Focus on the Family, the anti-abortion group that purchased a Super Bowl ad featuring former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother Pam Tebow, has decided to purchase statewide television advertisements during every Denver Broncos game for the upcoming season. Though the new ads will not feature or mention Tebow, the fact that the company is based in Colorado and already has the recognition of having previously worked with Tebow certainly served as a motivating factor in this decision.

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TWO BITS: Tebow’s mom, Andrews’ video

1 » Just before Mother’s Day, former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos spoke with the Denver Post about his mother, Pam Tebow, and how much she has meant to him throughout his entire life. “For 25 years, she’s pretty much put her life on hold for me and my siblings,” Tebow said. “She’s invested in our lives – we were her No. 1 priority, and nothing else really mattered. Now, she’s getting to do a lot of things she loves to do too with the speaking and the writing and the traveling. She loves it, though I still don’t think she loves it as much as she loved raising all her kids.” For much, much more, check out the Post’s story here.

2 » Shout out to Deadspin for this one. “Ten years ago, Darrin Henson was the Tom Emanski of instructional dance videos. He had one enthusiastic pupil, though,” and her name was Erin Andrews. The former Gators dazzler and current ESPN sideline reporter appears at the 0:45 mark of this pretty damn funny video.

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Tim Tebow’s Focus on the Family commercial

Two different Focus on the Family commercials featuring former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother Pam Tebow aired Sunday on CBS during pre-game and live game coverage of Super Bowl XXIV in Miami, FL.

Focus on the Family Super Bowl commercial featuring Tim and Pam Tebow:

Focus on the Family pre-game commercial featuring Tim and Pam Tebow:

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Two comedic responses to Tebow Super Bowl ad

The planned Super Bowl XLIV commercial for Focus on the Family featuring former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother Pam Tebow has drawn plenty of media attention over the last few weeks. Seeing as the event is just days away and the advertisement has not been pulled from the CBS broadcast, some have gone ahead and either responded or parodied the yet-to-be-seen commercial.

Jimmy Kimmel Live:

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FOUR BITS: Tebow’s illness, Bress comparisons

1 » One story surrounding the 2010 Under Armour Senior Bowl was former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow’s lingering illness. Believed to be a strep throat early in the week, Tebow was actually suffering from a viral infection of his esophagus. Pam Tebow, Tim’s mother, said his sickness was “much worse than strep throat” and caused eating to be too painful for him throughout the week. Tebow met with a doctor all week and lost more than 10 pounds over the course of the week.

2 » While many sports writers have spent the last week criticizing Tebow, Sports Illustrated’s Stewart Mandel took a look at the situation from another angle. Former Purdue Boilermakers head coach Joe Tiller, who coached Drew Brees, Curtis Painter and Kyle Orton (among others), laughed at all of Tebow’s doubters. “I can remember NFL critics saying the same thing when Drew was a senior,” Tiller told Mandel. “‘He’s in that Purdue offense all the time. He lines up in the shotgun all the time, and our guys line up under center. It’s not like college football has a monopoly on the shotgun formation. Now that I’m out of coaching, I’ve watched more NFL football this year than I have the last 10 years combined. There’s hardly any team in the league that doesn’t have their quarterback in the shotgun anymore. […] The entire league is doing what Drew Brees was criticized for coming out of college. […] Actually, I think a guy coming out in the shotgun is better equipped than a guy coming out of center.”

3 » Fifty-one University of Florida student athletes were named to the 2009-10 Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll for the fall semester. Football led the way with 23 honorees, followed by soccer (18) and volleyball (10). Prominent names on the list include Tebow, sophomore RB Jeff Demps, junior punter Chas Henry, senior kicker Jonathan Phillips and junior kicker Caleb Sturgis.

4 » Florida track and field was responsible eight provisional-qualifying marks/times, three event wins and two NCAA automatic-qualifying marks/times during the Texas A&M Challenge in College Station, TX, on Saturday. The second half of the event was highlighted by thrower Mariam Kevkhishvili and jumper Shara Proctor, who earned the NCAA automatic-qualifying bids. For more information on the Gators’ performances over the weekend, click here (day one) or here (day two).

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SIX BITS: Tebow, ad, TMZ, Cooper, Harvin, Parsons

1 » Senior Bowl Practice Day 1:
By all accounts, former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow did not have a great day practicing in Mobile, AL. Most of the criticism surrounding Tebow Monday centered on his fumbling of multiple snaps from under center. However, he did put together some good throws and showed nice arm strength. Wide receiver Riley Cooper proved to be one of the best in his position and showed a nice combination of size and quickness.

“I feel like it was good. Kind of back to the basics,” Tebow said after practice. “Gotta get the timing down, gotta get the snaps down, everything, so it’s like you’re back in junior high.” He also explained some of his early struggles. “I think it has to do with getting used to a new [center]. They are rotating in three quarterbacks, rotating in three centers, so that’s something you have to get used to and it takes a little time.”

Five more BITS including Tebow’s Super Bowl ad, a TMZ piece, Cooper’s agent, Harvin’s Pro Bowl, Parsons’ Facebook friends and Tebow on ESPN…after the jump!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Tebow, ad, TMZ, Cooper, Harvin, Parsons

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SIX BITS: LSU, Macklin, gym, NCAA honors, Tebow

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1 » Florida Gators basketball (11-5, 0-2 SEC) is looking to rebound from losing five of its last eight games as it takes on the LSU Tigers (9-7, 0-2 SEC) Saturday at 8 p.m. at home in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The game will air live on FSN. Both teams are winless in Southeastern Conference action this season, and the Gators have not defeated the Tigers since March 11, 2006. Florida trails the all-time series 60-37.

2 » Two things must happen for the Gators to get back to prominence, the team must regain its swagger and redshirt junior center Vernon Macklin needs to stay out of foul trouble. If this was not obvious enough from watching the team play its last two games, both The Gainesville Sun and The Florida Times-Union are happy to break it down for you. “He’s just got to be smarter with what plays he puts himself into and what plays he doesn’t,” head coach Billy Donovan said. The Florida coach also expanded on some of the team’s recent difficulties to the Miami Herald‘s Joseph Goodman. “The loss of eight really, really good players over the last three years has probably been more of an impact on us,” Donovan said. “I think our team would look a little bit different with Nick out there right now; our team last year would have looked a little bit different even with Maurice out there.” Even so, Donovan is not opposed to bringing in one-and-done players in the future to give the team enough talent to make the March Madness run it so desperately has been waiting for since back-to-back National Championships. Donovan is also trying to give the team a much-needed wake-up call.

Four BITS on gymnastics, Tim Tebow and other Gators sports after the jump!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: LSU, Macklin, gym, NCAA honors, Tebow

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