SIX BITS: NFL, Rainey, Beal, Rosario, track

1 » In addition to Pittsburgh Steelers running back Chris Rainey (who is expected to be released from his contract) and Buffalo Bills wide receiver David Nelson (a restricted free agent), six other former Florida Gators currently under contract with NFL teams will be unrestricted free agents the day after the Super Bowl. Those players include Atlanta Falcons linebacker Mike Peterson, Carolina Panthers wide receiver Louis Murphy, Kansas City Chiefs LB Brandon Siler, Oakland Raiders guard Cooper Carlisle, Pittsburgh tackle Max Starks and Washington Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman.

On rosters for Super Bowl XLVII are San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald and Baltimore Ravens WR Deonte Thompson. The end result and may very well come down to which quarterback stands out and makes as few mistakes as possible.

2 » Speaking of Rainey, the former Gators running back had his recent simple battery charge reduced to disorderly conduct by Alachua County Judge Walter Green after the State Attorney’s Office decided it did not have enough evidence to pursue the more serious offense. The judge withheld adjudication and fined Rainey $200 to go along with court costs of $300 for the offense, effectively ending the legal issue, according to Florida Today. The alleged victim in the case denied that Rainey hit her the day after his arrest and contradicting statements from witnesses made the state’s case inconclusive. The Steelers announced the day of Rainey’s arrest that they had decided to waive him; however, NFL transactions made during the postseason cannot be completed until after the Super Bowl. With the charges being significantly reduced, Pittsburgh could theoretically have a change of heart or consider bringing Rainey back on a cheaper free agent contract.

Check out four more BITS of Gators news…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: NFL, Rainey, Beal, Rosario, track

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FOUR BITS: Herndon, Harvin, Spikes, Demps

1 » The Florida Gators may have lost a number of tough recruiting battles on and after National Signing Day in February but the team picked up a second running back on Sunday albeit a walk-on. Mark Herndon, a 5’9” 188 lbs. rusher out of Forest High School in Ocala, FL, has decided to accept a preferred walk-on spot with the Gators football team in 2012 rather than take a scholarship to play at Lindenwood University. “It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do since I began playing, to play Division I football and continue my dream,” Herndon said of playing for his hometown team. “Going to Lindenwood I felt like I would’ve had to give up on what I really wanted to do, and that’s just not the type of person I am.” Because Herndon already committed to Lindenwood and signed his national letter of intent, the school will have to release him from his scholarship. He is ineligible to play in 2012 (which was unlikely to happen even if he was eligible) but will be able to join the team in practices and meetings. Herndon will eventually try to earn a scholarship at Florida by showcasing a great work ethic and willingness to do whatever is asked of him by the coaching staff.

2 » Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin announced Monday on Twitter that he will be having arthroscopic shoulder surgery in the coming days but that he will not miss any major practice time heading into the 2012 season. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune confirmed his assumption as head coach Leslie Frazier explained that the procedure will help mend a sprained AC joint and that he should only miss some organized team activities before returning to the team in May.

3 » Speaking of NFL injuries, New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes is already walking without crutches or even a limp after undergoing knee surgery a few weeks ago. He told the Boston Herald on Sunday that everything is “going well” after his “first surgery ever” and that he’s “just rehabbing, trying to get better, staying on top of it” so he can be healthy for practice and the 2012 season.

4 » Gators senior sprinter Jeff Demps was named the SEC Co-Men’s Runner of the Week on Tuesday after posting a 10.01 (+2.9)-second time in the 100-meter dash at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays over the weekend. The time was the fastest in the world this season under any conditions and the third-fastest in his career. Demps is looking to build on his great indoor season as the track & field team competes in four more events before going to the SEC Championships and NCAA Championships from May-June.

Extra BIT » Despite vehemently stating that the team did not trade for quarterback Tim Tebow for publicity or money-making reasons, the New York Jets have not dismissed the possibility of being featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks documentary series in 2012. The Jets were on the show in 2010 but said last year that they had no intention of being on the program again. However, general manager Woody Johnson recently said that the team is more than open to the idea of returning to HBO in 2012. Funny how that works. It also comes on the heels of a report that New York is trying to “limit some of Tebow’s ‘outside’ endeavors,” according to the New York Daily News.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,