SIX Tebow BITS: Meyer, Noah, Wuerffel, Brady

1 » Though he is now at Ohio State, former Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer still obviously has an affinity for quarterback Tim Tebow. Speaking with The Gainesville Sun, Meyer explained how proud he was of what Tebow has been able to accomplish this year. “Isn’t it great?” he said. “He did it in high school, he did it in college and now he’s doing it in the NFL. What more do you want? The thing about Tim is he makes the people around him better. It’s the essence of football. It doesn’t matter what style of offense you run. It’s a team sport.” As to those non-believers? “They just don’t want to buy in,” Meyer said. “Even John Elway. It doesn’t matter if you brought him in if you’re Elway or the general manager. Who cares? Just enjoy it.”

2 » Crossing paths with Tebow during his time in Gainesville, FL, former Gators center Joakim Noah (now of the Chicago Bulls) also waxed poetic about the former Heisman Trophy winner. Just one day before Tebow faced the Chicago Bears, Noah was excited to show his Florida pride at practice. “Timothyyyy!” Noah said proudly, according to ESPNChicago.com. “We got to show Timothy a little love here. For all the haters out there, you know the guy is kicking ass. Making me very proud to be a Gator boy.” He added that, while he may not share the same belief system as Tebow, that does not make him any less of a supporter. “It’s a beautiful story,” he said. “He is who he is. There’s no lie about who he is. He’s comfortable. Me personally, I have completely different beliefs than him. But at the same time I respect the fact that he speaks his truth. He speaks his truth and he’s a warrior. He’s a winner. At the end of the day, his teammates respect that.” Noah went on to talk about the two being in a class together and how, being a “Gator boy” he “love[s] the Tebow talk.”

Read four more BITS about Tebow…after the break.
Continue Reading » SIX Tebow BITS: Meyer, Noah, Wuerffel, Brady

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Gator Bites for Friday, August 20th

From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share with our readers. In those instances, we present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.

» The University of Florida’s 2010-11 athletic season officially begins Friday as No. 11 Florida Gators soccer takes on the Miami Hurricanes at 7 p.m. at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Admission is free, and the match will air live on Sun Sports.

» New England Patriots rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez scored his first career professional touchdown on Thursday, catching a four-yard pass from quarterback Tom Brady in the second quarter of the team’s preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. Hernandez, who lead the team with four receptions and 46 yards, had to turn around to complete the reception in the back of the end zone. Also shining for the Patriots on Thursday was running back Fred Taylor (team-high 11 carries for 54 yards and a TD). Linebacker Brandon Spikes racked up three solo tackles, while defensive tackle Gerard Warren added one assisted.

Eight more Gator Bites on Tim Tebow, Major Wright, Cornelius Ingram, Maurkice Pouncey, Joe Haden, Chris Leak, Ryan Lochte and Urban Meyer…after the jump!
Continue Reading » Gator Bites for Friday, August 20th

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New Orleans Saints DE Alex Brown: “The Florida Gators will never change for me.”

With eight years of professional football under his belt, former Florida Gators defensive end Alex Brown is moving on from the Chicago Bears to the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. In a brand new city with an upbeat and positive mindset, Brown landed in Louisiana on Wednesday to start preparing for training camp. The first thing he did after touching down? Provide OGGOA with an exclusive half-hour interview covering everything from his recruitment and time with the Gators to the Bears’ Super Bowl run and why grits are his favorite thing about the city of New Orleans, LA (so far).

ADAM SILVERSTEIN: Growing up in a small town, was it difficult to get noticed by the University of Florida and make an impression on head coach Steve Spurrier?
ALEX BROWN: “Yeah, it was. I just wanted to go and play football – that’s all I did. I was nervous because I didn’t know if people would see me. My dad was really good just staying on me about it. ‘If you go play, if you’re good enough, they’ll find you.’ That was his big thing. All I did was go play – and they found me.”

AS: What made you decide to attend Florida rather than going to Georgia or another school? Were you always a Gators fan?
AB: “I actually was not a Florida fan at all. I really wasn’t even going to take a visit to Florida. University of Miami – that year – my last visit I was going to take was going to be to the University of Miami. And I was going to choose between Miami, Florida State, North Carolina and Auburn. There was a kid that got killed at Miami – I want to say it was like on a Monday or Tuesday – and I was supposed to go on a visit that coming weekend. And my mom was like, ‘No way, you can’t go. You can’t do it.’ I was like, ‘Alright, I guess I will not take another visit.’ I talked to [Buffalo Bills linebacker] Andra Davis, who I’ve known since like fifth grade, and he had just taken his visit to Florida and that was the celebration of the National Championship – that was that week. He had a great time. So I talked to him and he said he was going to Florida. He’s like, ‘Just take your visit there, you’re not going to go to Miami, so take your visit to Florida.’ Early in the week, I called coach [Jimmy Ray] Stephens, he was the offensive line coach at the time and the guy that recruited me. He said, ‘OK.’ I was in Gainesville for a day. [Atlanta Falcons LB] Mike Peterson was my host and, by the time I left, they could have left me there. I was going for sure. As soon as I got back, I started calling all the other coaches and letting them know that this is what I want. It wasn’t too far from home but far enough away, I guess. And they were good. I played linebacker, and they had [former DE] Jevon Kearse, Mike Peterson and [former LB] Johnny Rutledge – and I thought I fit right in. It was a great match for me and took me all of a day-and-a-half to figure that out.

Read the rest of our exclusive interview with Alex Brown…after the break!
Continue Reading » New Orleans Saints DE Alex Brown: “The Florida Gators will never change for me.”

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TWO BITS: Tebow in camp, Hernandez’s progress

1 » The Denver Broncos will open training camp on July 26, when the team will require all rookies – including former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow – to report. Veterans will join the youngsters on July 31, and the Broncos have announced that they will open practice to the public beginning on Aug. 1. So, if you are a Florida or Denver fan who just happens to be in the area, feel free to stop by and grab a glimpse.

2 » For the first time since the Boston Globe broke a story about him failing at least one drug test while at the University of Florida, former Gators tight end Aaron Hernandez spoke to the media after New England Patriots practice. Though Hernandez would not answer any questions about the drug test – repeatedly saying that the issue was “in the past” – he did drool over the chance to catch passes from future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. “You don’t even dream, coming from Connecticut, playing with a quarterback like that,” Hernandez said. “He’s like a movie star out there. You don’t think about it when you’re out there, but at the same time I go home and think, ‘It’s crazy.’” As to how workouts are unfolding, Hernandez said he is “going out every practice and working as hard as I can, trying to make some plays. [..] I’ve been in quite a few spots. I just come out every day, they put me in places, and I try to go as hard as I can.”

Tom Curran of Comcast SportsNet reports that Hernandez struggled on Wednesday by dropping a touchdown pass, accidentally kicking a teammate in the belly on a long pass in the air and lining up incorrectly, the latter of which he received an “expletive-filled earful” for doing wrong. However, Curran notes that Hernandez does look good during practices and is impressing coaches with his catching and playmaking abilities.

Photo Credit: John Biever/Sports Illustrated

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Patriots ink TE Hernandez to four-year contract

The New England Patriots have signed former Florida Gators tight end Aaron Hernandez, the team’s fourth-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, to a four-year deal, according to The Boston Herald. Though specifics of his contract have not yet been released, Hernandez will likely receive $2-3 million over four years with approximately a $500,000 signing bonus.

Recent reports have stated that Hernandez has a solid opportunity to earn playing time in 2010 both as an H-back and tight end who lines up wide and in the slot.

He has been working extensively with quarterback Tom Brady and may even see the field ahead of New England’s second-round pick, tight end Rob Gronkowski.

OGGOA RELATED: Wary Patriots play it safe with Hernandez’s deal

Photo Credit: The Boston Herald

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SIX BITS: Golf in fifth, spread, softball, NFL, trivia

1 » After two days of action at the 2010 NCAA Championship in Ooltewah, TN, Florida Gators men’s golf is tied for fifth place with an even par score of 576. Florida is 14 shots off of the leader (Florida State, 562) and will compete in the final round on Thursday.

2 » CBS college football analyst Gary Danielson questions whether or not the Gators will remain successful running the spread offense without former quarterback Tim Tebow (now with the Denver Broncos) at the helm. “I’m still not sure any other spread will work in this conference,” he told Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel. “They cannot have John Brantley getting hit 12-15 times per game. He’s too valuable. […] It was tough for [Tebow] to take the punishment of [the SEC]. This conference is more and more simulating the NFL, with sophisticated defense to put hits on people.”

Four more BITS including a softball preview, updates on Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Spikes and a Florida Gators *trivia* question…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Golf in fifth, spread, softball, NFL, trivia

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Tim Tebow eats well, dines with Bill Belichick

Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has been the recipient of some nice meals recently. Just two days after sitting down with former Buffalo Bills quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, Tebow ate at a high-end restaurant in Boston, MA, with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and personnel director Nick Caserio, according to the Boston Herald.

Tebow, who told OGGOA Saturday that he is in the middle of private interviews and workouts but still has a few more to take care of before the 2010 NFL Draft begins on April 22, is shooting up draft boards after initial projections had him as a second-round pick.

He is working out for the Patriots Tuesday.

Bob Tebow, Tim’s father, made headlines recently by stating that his son would not fall past No. 15 overall in next month’s draft. While some remain skeptical that this proclamation will come to fruition, Tebow is getting a good deal of first-round attention.

Tebow has now spent two days with New England and was praised by Belichick just last week during the league meetings in Orlando, FL.

”He’s had a great career. There are a lot of positives. I’m sure he’s going to help a team,” Belichick said. “I think he performed very well in the offense he was in. I think he was outstanding. He’s already spent, I think, six weeks, or whatever it’s been, working on some other things and I think you can see the results of that working. He’s worked hard and made some changes, you can see those changes. I think he’ll continue to work.”

ESPN‘s Adam Schefter has reported that Tebow’s next two trips will be to the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns (not necessarily in that order). The Seattle Seahawks are also interested in bringing him in.

Photo Credit: Associated Press

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Tebow likely to earn plenty of endorsement money

CNBC Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell was curious about the money making potential of former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. Seeing as Tebow will likely be on the cover of NCAA Football 11 and is set to appear in a television commercial during Super Bowl XLIV, Rovell sought out the Davie-Brown Index to compare Tebow’s endorsement potential to others at his position currently playing in the NFL.

The findings were simple: Tebow is already more popular and appealing than future hall of famers Brett Favre and Tom Brady and more of a trendsetter than Super Bowl winners Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning.

It is important to remember that Tebow has already achieved these DBI ratings without competing in the Senior Bowl, working out at the NFL Combine or even being selected in the 2010 NFL Draft – yet. It looks like he will have plenty of money to donate to the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association even if he does not end up succeeding in the professional ranks. Don’t worry – he will.

Photo Credit: Mark Seliger, GQ

UPDATE: As OGGOA reported yesterday, CBS was in the process of reviewing Tebow’s Focus on the Family advertisement. Sports Business Daily mentioned Wednesday that the script for the Super Bowl spot has received early approval from the network. It appears as if the ad will not carry a strong pro-life message as was the concern of some at CBS. Almost all major networks, especially those airing significant or highly rated national events, have a policy against advocacy ads regardless of the slant.

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