Breakdown: 2008 Florida Gators – one of the greatest teams in college football history

Former Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer opined during a football camp last week that his 2008 squad, winners of the 2009 BCS Championship, were the best team in the history of college football.

Though measuring such a claim is near-impossible, Meyer can rightly boast that his 2008 roster and coaching staff were supremely special.

One-fourth of the Gators’ official 120-man roster – which includes walk-ons – has either played a game in the NFL or is currently under contract with a team in the league.

Florida’s roster had 19 players eventually selected in the NFL Draft including six first-round picks, five second-round picks, a third-round pick, two fourth-round picks, four fifth-round picks and a seventh-round pick. Only three of those draft selections are no longer in the league (for a variety of reasons, see table).

Additionally, a total of 11 players signed after the process as undrafted free agents have either played in the NFL or are currently a member of an NFL roster.

UF’s success did not stop at the players on the field.

Continue Reading » Breakdown: 2008 Florida Gators – one of the greatest teams in college football history

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Former Florida Gators shine at 2013 Pro Day

Nineteen former Florida Gators football players – including five that have been off the team for more than a year – participated in Pro Day at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on a rain-covered Florida Field in Gainesville, FL on Tuesday.

Representatives from all 32 NFL teams were in attendance though many head coaches and general managers remained at their teams’ headquarters considering Pro Day was being held on the same day as the start of NFL free agency for the 2013 season.

“It’s an exciting time. That’s how Pro Day is supposed to look at Florida,” head coach Will Muschamp said after the event. “All 32 teams are here and that’s how it ought to be. As we continue to do a good job evaluating in recruiting and developing our players, which we will, our Pro Days will continue to look that way. Really proud of these guys that worked out today and appreciate all their contributions to the University of Florida. I want to congratulate our staff on doing an outstanding job developing these guys.”

“I think they’ve all worked extremely hard,” he continued. “They understand what’s at stake. These guys are at a great time in their life. Here they are the verge of playing in the arena on Sunday. That’s something, as you look at, you’re a football player and taking that next step. They understand what’s at stake. I’m proud of what I saw today just form the standpoint of how they worked and how they conducted themselves, the positive feedback I’ve gotten from general managers, head coaches, assistants and the National Football League of the character of our guys and how they handled themselves at the combine. All of it has been ultra-positive. I’ve been real pleased about that.”

Below are evaluations on and quotes from many of the Gators that participated on Tuesday. Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, linebacker Lerentee McCray and tight end Jordan Reed did not work out but will in a separate, private Pro Day event on March 22 in The Swamp. Reed did still participate in some on-field drills Tuesday.

Muschamp had nothing but high praise for Floyd when asked about him potentially going in the top five picks. “Turn on the tape,” he said. “The guy can anchor, he can play the run, he’s got great initial quickness, he can rush the passer. He’s everything you want from an inside player. The NFL teams, they don’t like to project. I’ve been there; I know. They want to see guys that play in 3-4 and 4-3. They’ve seen him play two-gap. They’ve seen him play nose. They’ve seen him play four-technique, They’ve seen him play one-gap, three-technique, five-technique, nine-technique. They’ve seen him play outside; they’ve seen him play inside.

“From a general manager prospective, talking to his owner and telling him he wants to spend money on a player – a clean player that has no issues off the field – that’s a very smart pick, in my opinion. You got a guy that can be a very dominating player that has got so many positive things surrounding him and he’s been exposed positionally to so many different things within our scheme.”

Other former Gators in attendance to root on the younger guys included wide receivers Reidel Anthony and Riley Cooper, defensive end Carlos Dunlap, linebacker Mike Peterson, running back Chris Rainey and linebacker Brandon Siler.

Safety Matt Elam

» NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock (via Florida’s website): “On tape he plays so close to the line of scrimmage, especially in their nickel package, he’s on the slot. He’s quick-footed, an aggressive tough kid. What I saw today was what I wanted to see, his ball skills, especially on deep balls. I could see him open his hips, take angles like a deep half or deep third. I thought he really helped himself today.”

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Florida Gators in the NFL: Preseason Week 3

With the 2012 NFL regular season just a few weeks away, a number of former Florida Gators football players participated in preseason action, many of whom had an impact on their team’s performance. OGGOA has checked and re-checked the box scores to bring you a summary of what these Gators accomplished during the third week of 2012 preseason action.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Not awarded for preseason games.

Check out how the Gators in the NFL played…after the break!
Continue Reading » Florida Gators in the NFL: Preseason Week 3

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FOUR BITS: futures, Trautwein, bowl, upset win

1 » Via a records request with the University of Florida, the Palm Beach Post on Friday unveiled a list of the Florida Gators already scheduled non-conference opponents from 2012-2013. Below is a list of the games but a bit more information including visiting team ticket allotment and specific notes are available by clicking here.

2012 2013
Sept. 1 – Bowling Green – $1.25M Aug. 31 – Toledo – $800K
Sept. 8 – Louisiana-Lafayette – $950K Sept. 7 – at Miami – home-and-home
Nov. 17 – Jacksonville State – $500K Nov. 23 – Georgia Southern – $550K
Nov. 24 – Florida State – home-and-home Nov. 30 – Florida State – home-and-home
2014 2015 – 2016
Aug. 30 – Idaho – $975K+ 9/5/15 – New Mexico State – $1M
Sept. 6 – Eastern Michigan – $850K 11/21/15 – Florida Atlantic – $1M
Nov. 22 – Eastern Kentucky – $550K+ 9/3/16 – Massachusetts – $1.25M
Nov. 29 – Florida State – home-and-home 9/10/16 – North Texas – $1M

2 » Former Gators offensive tackle Phil Trautwein has spent time with a few NFL teams in his short career but has been a free agent most of the 2011 season. According to The Gainesville Sun’s Pat Dooley, Trautwein will be joining the New Orleans Saints practice squad in the coming days in hopes of showcasing his talents and eventually making the roster either this or next year.

3 » With the losses piling up and options winding down, it appears as if Florida’s likely bowl game destination will be the 2012 Gator Bowl held in Jacksonville, FL at EverBank Field on Jan. 2. The Gators will either be 6-6 or 7-5, putting them in a position to be the sixth team chosen from the Southeastern Conference behind LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina and Auburn. The Gator Bowl is held between the No. 6 SEC and No. 4/5 Big Ten team, which means Florida could face a wide range of opponents depending which teams are chosen for other bowls.

4 » Gators women’s basketball (2-1) pulled a rare upset Thursday night, defeating the No. 19/21 Florida State Seminoles 72-58 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL. In the first game of a double-header prior to the men’s team’s clash with North Florida, Florida was led by junior guard Jennifer George, who scored 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting. Senior center Azania Stewart was dominant in the paint, scoring 10 points and registering six rebounds as well as four big blocks. Guards sophomore Jaterra Bonds and redshirt senior Jordan Jones each scored 14 points, and the Gators were 12-of-14 from the charity stripe as a team. The Gators host Hampton on Tuesday before participating in the Courtyard LaGuardia Turkey Classic in Brooklyn, NY from Nov. 25-26.

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Preseason 4/4

With the 2011 NFL preseason officially underway, a number of Florida Gators participated in Week 4 action, some of whom had an impact on their team’s performance. OGGOA has checked and re-checked the box scores to bring you a summary of what these Gators accomplished during the final exhibition week of the 2011 campaign.

VETERANS
LB MIKE PETERSON, Atlanta Falcons: Two tackles (one solo)
OL JASON WATKINS, Buffalo Bills: Played as a reserve
Watkins was waived during final cuts.
WR ANDRE CALDWELL, Cincinnati Bengals: Kick return for 18 yards
OT PHIL TRAUTWEIN, Cleveland Browns: Played as a reserve
Trautwein was waived during final cuts.
DE DERRICK HARVEY, Denver Broncos: Solo tackle for loss
QB TIM TEBOW, Denver Broncos: 7/11 for 116 yards and a touchdown (QB Rating: 129.4), rush for eight yards
DE JEREMY MINCEY, Jacksonville Jaguars: Solo tackle
TE AARON HERNANDEZ, New England Patriots: Two receptions for 22 yards
DT GERARD WARREN, New England Patriots: Three tackles
G COOPER CARLISLE, Oakland Raiders: Started at right guard
WR CHAD JACKSON, Oakland Raiders Reception for nine yards (targets: 3)
Jackson was waived during final cuts.
DE JARVIS MOSS, Oakland Raiders: Sack
CB LITO SHEPPARD, Oakland Raiders: Three tackles (two solo)
Sheppard was waived during final cuts.
WR RILEY COOPER, Philadelphia Eagles: Two receptions for 14 yards (targets: 4)
TE CORNELIUS INGRAM, Philadelphia Eagles Two receptions for 27 yards
Ingram was waived during final cuts.
RB KESTAHN MOORE, Tennessee Titans: Six carries for eight yards
Moore was waived during final cuts.

DRAFTED ROOKIES

C MIKE POUNCEY, Miami Dolphins: Did not play
OT MARCUS GILBERT, Pittsburgh Steelers: Started at right tackle
SS AHMAD BLACK, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Did not play
Black was waived during final cuts but signed to the practice squad.
OG MAURICE HURT, Washington Redskins: Played as a reserve
Hurt was waived during final cuts but signed to the practice squad.

UNDRAFTED ROOKIES
LB DUKE LEMMENS, Arizona Cardinals: Did not play
Lemmens was cut during the week before Arizona played.
LB BRANDON HICKS, Buffalo Bills: Three tackles (two solo)
Hicks was waived during final cuts.
DE JUSTIN TRATTOU, New York Giants: Tackle
Trattou was waived during final cuts but signed to the practice squad.
P CHAS HENRY, Philadelphia Eagles: Three punts for 136 yards (avg.: 45.3, long: 58)
Henry will start as Philadelphia’s punter this season.

INJURED – DID NOT PLAY
LB ANDRA DAVIS, Buffalo Bills: Did not play
WR DAVID NELSON, Buffalo Bills: Did not play
FS MAJOR WRIGHT, Chicago Bears: Did not play
DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals: Knee
S REGGIE NELSON, Cincinnati Bengals: Did not play
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Did not play
DT MARCUS THOMAS, Denver Broncos: Did not play
LB BRANDON SILER, Kansas City Chiefs: Torn achilles (season)
WR PERCY HARVIN, Minnesota Vikings Did not play
LB JERMAINE CUNNINGHAM, New England Patriots: Undisclosed
LB BRANDON SPIKES, New England Patriots: Undisclosed (ankle)
WR LOUIS MURPHY, Oakland Raiders: Hamstring
C MAURKICE POUNCEY, Pittsburgh Steelers: Did not play
DE RAY MCDONALD, San Francisco 49ers: Did not play
FB EARNEST GRAHAM, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Did not play
WR JABAR GAFFNEY, Washington Redskins: Did not play
QB REX GROSSMAN, Washington Redskins: Did not play
Grossman was named the starter for week one.

DE ALEX BROWN, New Orleans Saints: Did not play
Brown was cut during the week before New Orleans played.

PRESEASON: Week 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Preseason 3/4

With the 2011 NFL preseason officially underway, a number of Florida Gators participated in Week 3 action, some of whom had an impact on their team’s performance. OGGOA has checked and re-checked the box scores to bring you a summary of what these Gators accomplished during the second exhibition week of the 2011 campaign.

VETERANS
LB MIKE PETERSON, Atlanta Falcons: Three solo tackles
LB ANDRA DAVIS, Buffalo Bills: Two tackles (one solo for loss)
WR DAVID NELSON, Buffalo Bills: Reception for 10 yards
OL JASON WATKINS, Buffalo Bills: Played as a reserve
FS MAJOR WRIGHT, Chicago Bears: Four tackles (three solo)
WR ANDRE CALDWELL, Cincinnati Bengals: Played as a reserve
S REGGIE NELSON, Cincinnati Bengals: Team-high five tackles (three solo)
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Four tackles (three solo)
OT PHIL TRAUTWEIN, Cleveland Browns: Played as a reserve
DE DERRICK HARVEY, Denver Broncos: Played as a reserve
QB TIM TEBOW, Denver Broncos: 6/11 for 93 yards (QB Rating: 82.8), four rushes for 25 yards (long: 19), two fumbles (none lost)
WR PERCY HARVIN, Minnesota Vikings Four rec. for 29 yards (targets: 5, long: 13)
TE AARON HERNANDEZ, N.E. Patriots: Five rec. for 46 yards (targets: 8, long: 14)
DT GERARD WARREN, New England Patriots: Solo tackle
DE ALEX BROWN, New Orleans Saints: Started at defensive end
G COOPER CARLISLE, Oakland Raiders: Started at right guard
WR CHAD JACKSON, Oakland Raiders Played as a reserve
DE JARVIS MOSS, Oakland Raiders: Played as a reserve
CB LITO SHEPPARD, Oakland Raiders: Played as a reserve
WR RILEY COOPER, Philadelphia Eagles: Target
TE CORNELIUS INGRAM, Philadelphia Eagles Solo tackle
C MAURKICE POUNCEY, Pittsburgh Steelers: Started at center
DE RAY MCDONALD, San Francisco 49ers: Solo tackle
FB EARNEST GRAHAM, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Three carries for five yards, touchdown, two receptions for 27 yards (targets: 4, long: 15)
WR JABAR GAFFNEY, Wash. Redskins: Two rec. for 27 yards (targets: 3, long: 14)
QB REX GROSSMAN, Washington Redskins: 8/15 for 112 yards, TD (QB Rating: 99.9)

DRAFTED ROOKIES

C MIKE POUNCEY, Miami Dolphins: Started at center, solo tackle
OT MARCUS GILBERT, Pittsburgh Steelers: Started at right tackle
SS AHMAD BLACK, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DNP (high-ankle sprain)
OG MAURICE HURT, Washington Redskins: Played as a reserve

UNDRAFTED ROOKIES
LB DUKE LEMMENS, Arizona Cardinals: Played as a reserve
LB BRANDON HICKS, Buffalo Bills: Three tackles (one solo)
DE JUSTIN TRATTOU, New York Giants: Unknown
P CHAS HENRY, Philadelphia Eagles: Four punts for 174 yards (avg.: 43.5, long: 58)

INJURED – DID NOT PLAY
DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals: Knee
DT MARCUS THOMAS, Denver Broncos: Pectoral
DE JEREMY MINCEY, Jacksonville Jaguars: Concussion
LB BRANDON SILER, Kansas City Chiefs: Torn Achilles (season)
LB JERMAINE CUNNINGHAM, New England Patriots: Undisclosed
LB BRANDON SPIKES, New England Patriots: Undisclosed (ankle)
WR LOUIS MURPHY, Oakland Raiders: Hamstring

PRESEASON: Week 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Preseason 2/4

With the 2011 NFL preseason officially underway, a number of Florida Gators participated in Week 2 action, some of whom had an impact on their team’s performance. OGGOA has checked and re-checked the box scores to bring you a summary of what these Gators accomplished during the second exhibition week of the 2011 campaign.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
TE AARON HERNANDEZ, New England Patriots: Three receptions for 42 yards, touchdown (long: 16)

VETERANS
LB MIKE PETERSON, Atlanta Falcons: Tackle
LB ANDRA DAVIS, Buffalo Bills: Three solo tackles, pass defense
WR DAVID NELSON, Buffalo Bills: Played as a reserve
OL JASON WATKINS, Buffalo Bills: Played as a reserve
FS MAJOR WRIGHT, Chicago Bears: Four solo tackles
WR ANDRE CALDWELL, Cincinnati Bengals: Two receptions for a team-high 50 yards (long: 39, targets: 4)
S REGGIE NELSON, Cincinnati Bengals: Solo tackle for loss, pass defense
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Three solo tackles, pass defense
OT PHIL TRAUTWEIN, Cleveland Browns: Played as a reserve
DE DERRICK HARVEY, Denver Broncos: Solo tackle
QB TIM TEBOW, Denver Broncos: 1/2 for 10 yards, rush for seven yards
DL JEREMY MINCEY, Jacksonville Jaguars: Team-high three solo tackles
LB BRANDON SILER, Kansas City Chiefs: Three tackles (two solo)
DT GERARD WARREN, New England Patriots: Solo tackle for loss
DE ALEX BROWN, New Orleans Saints: Two tackles (one solo)
G COOPER CARLISLE, Oakland Raiders: – Started at right guard
WR CHAD JACKSON, Oakland Raiders – Played as a reserve
DE JARVIS MOSS, Oakland Raiders: Two solo tackles, sack
WR RILEY COOPER, Philadelphia Eagles: Reception for 16 yards (targets: 3)
C MAURKICE POUNCEY, Pittsburgh Steelers: Started at center
DE RAY MCDONALD, San Francisco 49ers: Two tackles (one solo for loss)
FB EARNEST GRAHAM, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Two receptions for 12 yards (long: 7, targets: 3)
WR JABAR GAFFNEY, Washington Redskins: Reception for 19 yards (targets: 2)
QB REX GROSSMAN, Washington Redskins: 7/12 for 88 yards and an interception

DRAFTED ROOKIES
C MIKE POUNCEY, Miami Dolphins: Started at center
OT MARCUS GILBERT, Pittsburgh Steelers: Played as a reserve
SS AHMAD BLACK, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DNP (high-ankle sprain)
OG MAURICE HURT, Washington Redskins: Played as a reserve

UNDRAFTED ROOKIES
LB DUKE LEMMENS, Arizona Cardinals: Played as a reserve
LB BRANDON HICKS, Buffalo Bills: Tackle
DE JUSTIN TRATTOU, New York Giants: Three tackles (two solo)
P CHAS HENRY, Philadelphia Eagles: Punt for 53 yards

INJURED – DID NOT PLAY
DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals: Knee
DT MARCUS THOMAS, Denver Broncos: Pectoral
WR PERCY HARVIN, Minnesota Vikings Ribs
LB JERMAINE CUNNINGHAM, New England Patriots: Undisclosed
LB BRANDON SPIKES, New England Patriots: Undisclosed (ankle)
WR LOUIS MURPHY, Oakland Raiders: Hamstring

PRESEASON: Week 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Preseason 1/4

With the 2011 NFL preseason officially underway, a number of Florida Gators participated in Week 1 action, some of whom had an impact on their team’s performance. OGGOA has checked and re-checked the box scores to bring you a summary of what these Gators accomplished during the first exhibition week of the 2011 campaign.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
QB REX GROSSMAN, Washington Redskins: 19/26 for 207 yards and a touchdown (QB Rating: 109.0)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES
FS MAJOR WRIGHT, Chicago Bears: Team-high five solo tackles
QB TIM TEBOW, Denver Broncos: 6/7 for 91 yards (QB Rating: 118.8), two rushes for 15 yards (long: 13)
TE AARON HERNANDEZ, New England Patriots: Six rec. for 68 yards (long: 20)

VETERANS
LB MIKE PETERSON, Atlanta Falcons: Three tackles (two solo, one for loss)
LB ANDRA DAVIS, Buffalo Bills: Two solo tackles
WR DAVID NELSON, Buffalo Bills: Target
OL JASON WATKINS, Buffalo Bills: Played as a reserve
S REGGIE NELSON, Cincinnati Bengals: Solo tackle for loss
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Solo tackle
OT PHIL TRAUTWEIN, Cleveland Browns: Played as a reserve
DE DERRICK HARVEY, Denver Broncos: Played as a reserve
DT MARCUS THOMAS, Denver Broncos: Two tackles (one solo)
DL JEREMY MINCEY, Jacksonville Jaguars: Three tackles (one solo)
LB BRANDON SILER, Kansas City Chiefs: Solo tackle
WR PERCY HARVIN, Minnesota Vikings: Reception for three yards
LB JERMAINE CUNNINGHAM, New England Patriots: Two tackles (one solo), sack
DE ALEX BROWN, New Orleans Saints: Started at defensive end
G COOPER CARLISLE, Oakland Raiders: – Started at right guard
WR CHAD JACKSON, Oakland Raiders: Four targets, one kick return for 17 yards
DE JARVIS MOSS, Oakland Raiders: Three tackles (two solo)
WR RILEY COOPER, Philadelphia Eagles: Reception for 42 yards

C MAURKICE POUNCEY, Pittsburgh Steelers: Started at center
DE RAY MCDONALD, San Francisco 49ers: Started at defensive end
FB EARNEST GRAHAM, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Reception for 13 yards
WR JABAR GAFFNEY, Washington Redskins: Five rec. for 38 yards (long: 12)

DRAFTED ROOKIES
C MIKE POUNCEY, Miami Dolphins: Started at center
OT MARCUS GILBERT, Pittsburgh Steelers: Played as a reserve
SS AHMAD BLACK, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Suffered a high-ankle sprain
OG MAURICE HURT, Washington Redskins: Played as a reserve

UNDRAFTED ROOKIES
LB DUKE LEMMENS, Arizona Cardinals: Two solo tackles
DT TERRON SANDERS, Baltimore Ravens: Played as a reserve, waived on Monday
LB BRANDON HICKS, Buffalo Bills: Two solo tackles
LB A.J. JONES, Denver Broncos: Played as a reserve
DE JUSTIN TRATTOU, New York Giants: Three tackles (two solo)
P CHAS HENRY, Philadelphia Eagles: Four punts for 152 yards (long: 52, avg.: 38.0)

INJURED – DID NOT PLAY
WR ANDRE CALDWELL, Cincinnati Bengals: Abdominal pull
DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals: Knee
LB BRANDON SPIKES, New England Patriots: Undisclosed
WR LOUIS MURPHY, Oakland Raiders: Hamstring

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