8/22: Muschamp’s last update before game week

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Friday to conclude his team’s last week of practice before game week. Florida will get the weekend off and return to practice on Monday in preparation for its season-opener against the Idaho Vandals on Saturday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m.

INJURY UPDATES

For the first time in a while, Muschamp did not have much to say on the injury front.

Freshman offensive tackle David Sharpe, who is fourth on the depth chart and an important player for Florida this fall, is expected to return on Monday after missing some time with an ankle injury. Redshirt sophomore Marcus Maye, in competition for a starting job in the secondary, will be back in action on Tuesday or Wednesday coming off a significant hamstring strain.

Additionally, redshirt freshman linebacker Matt Rolin, who has been fully cleared to practice all fall after undergoing a second surgery for a torn ACL in as many years, is “coming along slowly” as planned by the coaching staff.

Muschamp remarked that the Gators only having two “soft tissue issues” is “outstanding” and “the best I’ve been around.” He added: “It tells you we’re training the right way.”

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8/4: Muschamp after Florida’s first practice on passing game, defensive backs, social media

The Florida Gators will take the field for the first time since April on Monday morning at 6 a.m. for the official start of fall practice ahead of the 2014 season.

Head coach Will Muschamp, heading into his fourth year at the helm of the program, held a press conference during Florida’s annual media day on Sunday to discuss the make-up of the Gators heading into the fall.

GOOD START FOR THE PASSING GAME

Slinging the ball down the field will be key to the revitalization of Florida’s offense this season and very early returns are positive with Muschamp noting that redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel “looked really good” on day one.

Also impressing was redshirt senior wide receiver Andre Debose, who “looked really good [Monday] morning” and “looked fast on the field,” according to Muschamp.

“I think he handled the rehab very well. At first, he was very frustrated. As time moved forward, he was very focused on getting back and having a great sixth year,” he said.

“So as far as his level of focus, to be where he is right now [is great]. Really, it takes a full year, in my opinion, on an ACL for a skill athlete to come back totally from a confidence standpoint, from a soreness standpoint, to be able to battle through. … I’ve been nothing but pleased with his rehab coming back from where he was.”

Debose will have his repetitions monitored throughout camp but “will not be held out of any of the contact situations” due to his rehabilitated knee.

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2014 SEC Media Days – Will Muschamp pleased Florida’s roster, progress made in spring

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp, redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel, junior defensive end Dante Fowler, Jr. and sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III represented the team on Monday by participating in the 2014 Southeastern Conference Media Days at the Winfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama.

Below are highlights primarily from Muschamp’s sessions with the media.

BETTER THAN EXPECTED

If anyone is to believe in the possibility of Florida turning things around in 2014, rebounding from its worst season since 1979, it is going to start on the offensive side of the ball. Muschamp knew this and brought in offensive coordinator Kurt Roper to employ a spread offense and make the Gators a more dynamic playmaking team.

Not only will Roper’s offense put redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel back in the shotgun, where he is more comfortable and capable, it should give Florida more space to make plays. Muschamp is already extremely impressed with how much UF has been able to get accomplished in such a short period of time.

“I went back and looked at our numbers from 2012 when we were in the shotgun as opposed to being under center. When Jeff was in the shotgun, our yards were better, our explosive plays were better in both the run and pass game. He was recruited to Florida to be a gun quarterback,” he explained.

“In making that change, I felt like Kurt Roper was a great hire for us from a standpoint of a guy that philosophically is on the same page with me as what we want to be, that’s a balanced offense. …

“In our 15 days of springs, we got a lot more done than I thought we would. He’s an outstanding fundamental football coach, very positive. It was good to see our offensive kids having fun again on the field. Really excited about that. Probably what excites me the most is this is probably the most talent we’ve had on offense in my four years at Florida.”

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New Gators football players pick numbers

With the entire football team now enrolled for the Summer B semester, the Florida Gators on Monday released the uniform numbers for all the new players set to suit up for the first time next season.

TRANSFERS –
» 72 – Drew Sarvary (Tallahassee, FL), junior offensive lineman
» 83 – Jake McGee (Richmond, VA), redshirt senior tight end

FRESHMEN – SUMMER ENROLLEES
» 2 – Ryan Sousa (Orlando, FL), three-star wide receiver
» 3 – Treon Harris (Miami, FL), four-star quarterback
» 12 – Quincy Wilson (Fort Lauderdale, FL), four-star defensive back
» 14 – C.J. Worton (Homestead, FL), three-star wide receiver
» 23 – J.C. Jackson (Immokalee, FL), four-star cornerback
» 27 – Deiondre Porter (Tampa, FL), three-star cornerback
» 52 – Travaris Dorsey (Jacksonville, FL), three-star offensive lineman
» 54 – Khairi Clark (Hollywood, FL), four-star defensive tackle
» 56 – Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, NY), four-star defensive tackle
» 77 – Andrew Mike (Tucson, AZ), three-star offensive lineman
» 78 – David Sharpe (Jacksonville, FL), four-star offensive lineman
» 80 – C’yontai Lewis (Alabaster, AL), three-star tight end
» 82 – Moral Stephens (Perry, FL), four-star tight end
» 92 – Gerald Willis III (New Orleans, LA), four-star defensive lineman
» 96 – Justus Reed (Clearwater, FL), three-star defensive end

FRESHMEN – SPRING ENROLLEES
» 5 – Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C.), five-star cornerback
» 7 – Will Grier (Davidson, NC), four-star quarterback
» 7 – Duke Dawson (Cross City, FL), four-star cornerback
» 20 – Brandon Powell (Deerfield Beach, FL), four-star running back
» 30 – DeAndre Goolsby (Derby, KS), three-star tight end
» 53 – Kavaris Harkless (Jacksonville, FL), three-star offensive lineman
» 71 – Nolan Kelleher (Mount Pleasant, SC), four-star offensive lineman
» 93 – Taven Bryan (Casper, WY), three-star defensive lineman

* Preferred walk-on kickers Brooks Abbott (Jacksonville, FL), a transfer from Virginia Tech, and freshman Jorge Powell (Coral Gables, FL) do not have numbers yet.

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Will Muschamp, coaches discuss Florida Gators 2014 signees, recruiting process

National Signing Day LIVE COVERAGE page
2014 Florida signee bios | Gators flip four-star QB Treon Harris from Seminoles, add WR C.J. Worton | Three-star OT Andrew Mike flips to Florida

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp held a press conference after his coaching staff finished inking its 24-member 2014 recruiting class on National Signing Day. Below are the most notable quotes from that session as well as player evaluations made by other members of the coaching staff.

OPENING STATEMENT

”It’s a great day here at the University of Florida, a lot of hard work put in by our staff. I don’t think people realize the contribution it takes from everybody. It’s a total team effort on campus, professors, our administration, our academic people do a fantastic job. When a young man comes on campus for an official visit, all of the people that have to contribute to make that a special experience, and our people do it the best. Our travel people do an amazing job. All of our pilots, [the media seems] to track pretty well, but they do a phenomenal job. It takes all these moving parts to make things work the right way. So we got a great staff. Our staff did an outstanding job.

“We had a miserable fall, and to have the staff come together – three new coaches in Kurt Roper, Mike Summers and Coleman Hutzler come together and change a little bit, not philosophically, but schematically offensively, adjust some things that we need to do in midstream as far as some of the guys we were recruiting and to put together this class – I’m really proud of that. I don’t know where we ended up as far as any rankings and all. You all know me, I don’t get overly concerned with that.”

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Florida Gators 2014 National Signing Day bios

National Signing Day LIVE COVERAGE page
Will Muschamp breaks down Gators recruiting class | Florida flips four-star QB Treon Harris from FSU, adds WR C.J. Worton | Three-star OT Andrew Mike flips to Gators

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

EARLY ENROLLEES (9)

Taven Bryan • Defensive lineman
6’5″ • 257 • Casper, WY
PRIOR TO FLORIDA: Unanimously selected as the 2013 Conference Defensive Player of the Year…Named to the All-State First Team on both the defensive line and the offensive line and to the All-Conference First Team on the offensive line as a high school senior…Honored with the 2013 Natrona County Iron Man award…Helped lead Natrona County to a 41-6 record in his final three seasons, including back-to-back state titles in 2012 and 2013…Chose Florida over Colorado, Colorado State, Nebraska, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, Washington State and Wyoming…Coached by Steve Harshman.

Duke Dawson • Cornerback
5’10″ • 191 • Cross City, FL
PRIOR TO FLORIDA: Named to the Florida Class 1A First-Team All-State defense…Helped Dixie County to a 10-1 record during his senior season…Nominated to play in the 2014 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl…Finished his high school career with 122 total tackles, 99 solo, and seven interceptions…Made 43 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles as a junior…Chose Florida over Alabama, Florida State, Iowa and Wisconsin.

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Nine Gators commits in final Rivals250 for 2014

Released Tuesday, the final edition of the Rivals250 for the class of 2014 is filled with players verbally committed to play for the Florida Gators next season. Though four Florida commits are part of the top 100 players in the group (list released Monday), five more are ranked among the top 250 recruits in the nation.

Below is a breakdown of where the Gators’ commits are ranked:

10 14 – CB Jalen Tabor (Washington, DC)
46 14 – QB Will Grier (Davidson, NC)
56 7 – DT Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, NY)
83 34 – DE Gerald Willis III (New Orleans, LA)
148 10 – DB Duke Dawson (Cross City, FL)
172 25 – CB Quincy Wilson^ (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
199 8 – WR/TE Moral Stephens (Perry, FL)
200 11 – RB Brandon Powell (Deerfield Beach, FL)
243 118 – CB J.C. Jackson (Immokalee, FL)

NOTES

» Two Gators commits – four-star OT David Sharpe (Jacksonville, FL) and four-star OT Khairi Clark (Hollywood, FL) fell out of the Rivals250. Sharpe was ranked No. 215, while Clark was all the way up at No. 137.
» Adjustments to non-Rivals250 players’ star ratings will be released Wednesday.
» The highest-rated uncommitted player on UF’s radar is five-star athlete Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, CA), who is listed as the No. 6 overall player in the nation.
» Two former Florida commits – running back Dalvin Cook (Miami, FL) and wide receiver Ermon Lane (Homestead, FL) – became five-star recruits in the latest update. They are ranked 18th and 28th, respectively.

* Early Enrollee
Roll over player names for additional information.

CommitmentPos.RivalsESPNOverall
» Washington, D.C. | Story
» Height: 6'1" | Weight: 186 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 1/9/2013
CB*10|11
» Davidson, NC | Story
» Height: 6'3" | Weight: 171 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 12/19/2012
QB*46|44
» Brooklyn, NY | Story
» Height: 6'4" | Weight: 299 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 1/15/2014
DT56|51
» New Orleans, LA | Story
» Height: 6'4" | Weight: 247 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 1/2/2014
DE83|42
» Cross City, FL | Story
» Height: 5'11" | Weight: 195 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 1/8/2013
CB*148|207
» Fort Lauderdale, FL | Story
» Height: 6'2" | Weight: 195 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 8/12/2013
CB172|292
» Perry, FL | Story
» Height: 6'3" | Weight: 205 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 12/12/2013
TE199|201
» Deerfield Beach, FL | Story
» Height: 5'9" | Weight: 167 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 1/10/2014
RB*200|267
» Immokalee, FL | Story
» Height: 5'10" | Weight: 175 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 6/8/2013
CB243|79
» Jacksonville, FL | Story
» Height: 6'8" | Weight: 295 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 12/12/2013
OLNR|20
» Hollywood, FL | Story
» Height: 6'2" | Weight: 325 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 6/22/2013
DTNR|211
» Clearwater, FL | Story
» Height: 6'5" | Weight: 235 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 7/25/2013
DENR|285
» Mount Pleasant, SC | Story
» Height: 6'6" | Weight: 303 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 8/10/2013
OL*NR
» Orlando, FL | Story
» Height: 6'0" | Weight: 180 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 12/2/2013
WRNR
» Jacksonville, FL | Story
» Height: 6'5" | Weight: 269 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 1/5/2014
OL*NR
» Casper, WY | Story
» Height: 6'5" | Weight: 275 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 6/10/2013
DE*NR
» Derby, KS | Story
» Height: 6'4" | Weight: 225 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 11/8/2013
TE*NR
» Jacksonville, FL | Story
» Height: 6'3" | Weight: 314 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 2/16/2013
OLNR
» Tampa, FL | Story
» Height: 6'0" | Weight: 163 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 1/20/2014
ATHNR
» Tuscaloosa, AL | Story
» Height: 6'5" | Weight: 212 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 5/23/2013
TENR
» Tallahassee, FL | Story
» Height: 6'6" | Weight: 310 lbs.
» Commitment Date: 12/18/2013
OL*JUCO

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Four-star WR commit Ermon Lane ditches Florida

Losing and gaining commitments on a daily basis, the Florida Gators got news Friday night that another top-flight offensive playmaker has left the program as four-star wide receiver Ermon Lane (Homestead, FL) officially decommitted.

“No Hard Feelings But I Just Decommitted From The University Of Florida . Not Because Dalvin Cook. No lie I love gator nation. #OneLove,” he wrote on his Twitter account. “I love the gators fans but I have to do what’s best for me.”

Lane, the 44th-ranked prospect nationally and the fourth South Florida player to decommit from Florida since Dec. 25, 2013, originally pledged to join the Gators on Aug. 12, 2013, the same day as four-star defensive backs Quincy Wilson (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and Chris Lammons (Plantation, FL).

Only Wilson remains committed to Florida; he has been one of UF’s strongest pledges.

Lammons decommitted on Thursday, following in the footsteps of four-star running back Dalvin Cook (Miami, FL) and 2015 four-star WR Da’Vante Phillips (Miami, FL).

Lane’s decision is not much of a shocker. He was seen wearing Florida State gear months ago and has long been rumored to flip to the Seminoles just like Cook did on Dec. 31, 2013. Lane has also been saying for a while that he plans to make a commitment on National Signing Day on Feb. 5 despite remaining committed.

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