Three freshmen – Ledbetter, Young, Williams – set to leave Florida Gators

Updated on Thursday at 12:45 p.m.

Redshirt freshman safety/fullback Rhaheim Ledbetter, redshirt freshman defensive/offensive lineman Quinteze Williams and freshman offensive lineman/tight end Trevon Young have all decided to leave the Florida Gators football program.

Separate reports came out about all three players on Wednesday night and Thursday morning before the school confirmed the departures Thursday afternoon.

The cousin of former Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes and a high school teammate of current Gators sophomore defensive end Jonathan Bullard, Ledbetter chose Florida over interest from Alabama, Clemson, Miami and South Carolina back in July 2011.

He redshirted as a true freshman and moved over to fullback in the spring of 2012. Though Ledbetter did well in his new role, he only saw limited action on special teams this season. He will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Young joined the Gators less than 24 hours after the conclusion of National Signing Day on Feb. 7. The hybrid offensive lineman/tight end received a late scholarship offer from head coach Will Muschamp and ultimately decided to try his hand at football rather than play basketball at Division II school Eckerd College.

At 6’6” and 260 pounds, Young did not begin playing football until his junior year of high school and often said that basketball was by far and away his preferred sport. He was considered to be a developmental prospect at tight end as his only football playing experience has been as an offensive tackle. Young will likely return to the hardwood.

A high school defensive tackle who could also play defensive end, Williams moved over to the offensive side of the ball during spring practice after taking a redshirt as a true freshman. He was suspended for the 2013 season opener due to a violation of team rules and barely saw the field otherwise. Williams initially chose Florida primarily over Georgia but also Auburn, Florida State and Tennessee.

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8/5: Muschamp on injuries, standouts, tight ends

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp met with the media after his team’s first weekend of fall practice ahead of the 2013 season.

ILLNESS / INJURY UPDATES

Sophomore running back Matt Jones, who is now over his serious viral infection and recovering but did lose 8-10 pounds while ill, may be able to get reactivated at some point next week if he continues to make progress. “Matt Jones is in the building and moving around a little bit and hopefully, maybe try to see maybe next week if we can try and get him active,” Muschamp said. “He looks good. He’s moving around a little bit. He was on the bike the other day. We’re just trying to get him back in the swing of things.”

Though junior quarterback Jeff Driskel is still limited from his appendectomy and has not done anything physically as of press time, Muschamp is confident that the prognosis will be positive when Driskel meets with the doctor on Wednesday or Thursday. He also said that redshirt senior right guard Jon Halapio (pectoral) is “doing very well” and will be evaluated on Friday, and redshirt junior left guard Max Garcia (back) will meet with a doctor Tuesday.

Two new injuries are to freshman offensive lineman Roderick Johnson and redshirt junior defensive tackle Leon Orr. Johnson had a high school knee injury flare up but should return to practice Monday or Tuesday, while Orr sprained his thumb over the weekend but should be in action on Monday.

Continue Reading » 8/5: Muschamp on injuries, standouts, tight ends

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8/1: Muschamp breaks down Gators entering 2013

Florida Gators’ 2013 Media Day: Story: Injured Matt Jones, Jon Halapio, others join Jeff Driskel on sidelines | Story: Appendectomy a bump in the road for confident Driskel | Story: It’s now or never for Florida WR Andre Debose | Story: RB Brown, QB Murphy ready to step up for Gators

The Florida Gators will take the field for the first time since April on Friday morning at 6 a.m. for the official start of fall practice ahead of the 2013 season.

Head coach Will Muschamp, heading into his third year at the helm of the program, held a press conference during Florida’s annual media day on Thursday to discuss the make-up of the Gators heading into the fall. Junior quarterback Jeff Driskel spoke after Muschamp and addressed some similar topics.

OPENING STATEMENTS

» Overall: “I love this time of year, training camp. You see your football team develop through the offseason program, through spring practice, then on their own in the summer, preparing themselves for the season. You get to see the older guys and see the improvements they needed to make, whether it’s in the weight room or schematically, watching film, and preparing themselves for position battles and a lot of situations. You get to see the young guys you recruited and how they looked when they get on the field with the other guys and see how they mix it up. This is a huge time of the year as far as the development of your football team as you move forward and certainly an exciting time for us.”

» On the offense: “Do we need to be more balanced and efficient in throwing the football? That’s been well documented, but I think we’re better up front. We’ve been better at wideout, and I think we’re better at the quarterback position. But we need to do that August 31st, and we need to prepare that way to that point. We still have some questions at tight end, and what’s behind Jeff at the quarterback position, and continue to have playmakers at the running back position and outside. Those are some things we need to continue to work through.”

» On the defense: “Concerned about depth at the linebacker position more than anything. The experience, I think we’ve recruited well, but those guys need to gain some experience through training camp, and obviously we’re not as good at the safety position in spring. Very concerned heading into fall camp with those question marks up the middle of your defense. I do think we’re good enough up front to be fine. I think we’ve got a good combination of guys that can play, play well, and play the way we need to play to get to Atlanta.”

» On special teams: “Placekicker is an issue. Austin Hardin and Brad Phillips both have the ability to do the job, but they’ve never done it in the situations they’re going to be put into. So we may change that a little philosophically of what we think when we cross the 50.”

Continue Reading » 8/1: Muschamp breaks down Gators entering 2013

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Gators 2013 freshmen pick uniform numbers

Athletes care about their uniform numbers and now that Florida Gators football team is a month away from beginning fall practice, it was time for the remaining freshman – aside from the eight early enrollees which received uniforms in the spring – to choose theirs. Below is the list according to the school’s most recent media guide:

TRANSFERS
» No. 55 – Darious Cummings (Titusville, FL), junior defensive lineman (EE)
» No. 73 – Tyler Moore (Clearwater, FL), redshirt sophomore offensive lineman (EE)
» No. 74 – Trenton Brown (Milledgeville, GA), junior offensive lineman

FRESHMEN (EARLY ENROLLEES)
» No. 9 – Matt Rolin (Ashburn, VA), freshman linebacker
» No. 11 – Demarcus Robinson (Fort Valley, GA), freshman wide receiver
» No. 13 – Daniel McMillian (Jacksonville, FL), freshman linebacker
» No. 21 – Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade, FL), freshman running back*
» No. 34 – Alex Anzalone (Wyomissing, PA), freshman linebacker
» No. 91 – Joey Ivie (Dade City, FL), freshman defensive lineman

FRESHMEN
» No. 5 – Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, FL), freshman wide receiver
» No. 12 – Max Staver (Brentwood, TN), freshman quarterback
» No. 14 – Chris Wilkes (Orlando, FL), freshman walk-on quarterback
» No. 16 – Vernon Hargreaves III (Tampa, FL), freshman defensive back
» No. 17 – Jordan Sherit (Tampa, FL), freshman defensive lineman
» No. 22 – Adam Lane (Winter Haven, FL), freshman running back
» No. 22 – Nick Washington (Jacksonville, FL), freshman defensive back
» No. 26 – Marcell Harris (Orlando, FL), freshman defensive back~
» No. 35 – Johnny Townsend (Orlando, FL), freshman punter
» No. 40 – Jarrad Davis (Kingsland, GA), freshman linebacker
» No. 42 – Keanu Neal (Bushnell, FL), freshman defensive back
» No. 45 – Antonio Riles (Lawrenceville, GA), freshman defensive lineman
» No. 50 – Octavius Jackson (Moultrie, GA), freshman offensive lineman
» No. 55 – Roderick Johnson (Delray Beach, FL), freshman offensive lineman^
» No. 57 – Caleb Brantley (Crescent City, FL), freshman defensive lineman
» No. 71 – Cameron Dillard (Canton, MI), freshman offensive lineman
» No. 80 – Trevon Young (Bradenton, FL), freshman tight end
» No. 81 – Marqui Hawkins (Columbus, GA), freshman wide receiver
» No. 85 – Chris Thompson (Gainesville, FL), freshman wide receiver
» No. 89 – Alvin Bailey (Seffner, FL), freshman wide receiver
» No. 99 – Jay-nard Bostwick (Port St. Lucie, FL), freshman defensive lineman

* Kelvin Taylor’s father, Fred Taylor, also wore No. 21 for the Gators.
~ Mike Harris’s father, Mike Harris, wore No. 13 for UF. His son doubled his number.
^ Roderick Johnson is not yet enrolled at Florida.

NUMBER CHANGES
» Sophomore LB Antonio Morrison switched from 12 to 3.
» Redshirt sophomore walk-on DB Evan Schroeder switched from 21 to 22.
» Redshirt freshman walk-on WR Darius Masline switched from 81 to 80.

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Gators add OL/TE Trevon Young as commit No. 29

P Johnny Townsend: commit No. 30 | JUCO DT Jarran Reed: commit No. 28 | DT Jay-nard Bostwick: commit No. 27 | Muschamp discusses class; assistants evaluate signees | 30 new player bios | Video interviews with coaches | “Closing”, quarterback situation

Less than a day after the conclusion of National Signing Day, the Florida Gators have added another prospect to their to five-ranked recruiting haul as three-star offensive tackle/tight end Trevon Young (Bradenton, FL) has decided to continue his athletic career as a football player.

Rated only by ESPN, he chose a recent scholarship offer from head coach Will Muschamp over his first love of playing basketball. He has already committed to UF and will sign with the school at 9 a.m. on Friday.

Young was planning to attend Division II school Eckerd College to play basketball before the Gators convinced him to visit campus last Saturday.

According to the Bradenton Herald, Muschamp personally offered Young a scholarship and told him that Florida would like him to start his career at tight end.

Continue Reading » Gators add OL/TE Trevon Young as commit No. 29

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FOUR BITS: Purifoy, Young, closing, quarterbacks

1 » At the conclusion of his National Signing Day press conference on Wednesday, Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp told the Orlando Sentinel that sophomore cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy will move to wide receiver during spring practice. Purifoy, who played sparingly at receiver during the 2012 season, is an athletic and versatile performer who was also Florida’s standout player on special teams last year. Whether or not his move to wide receiver is permanent remains to be seen, but Purifoy told the paper’s Edgar Thompson in early January that he enjoyed the time he was spending on offense during practice and games. “I feel like I’m in high school again,” he said. “I love it.” Muschamp and the Gators coaching staff have moved a number of players back-and-forth between offense and defense over the last two offseasons in order to improve position flexibility throughout the roster.

He also noted on Wednesday that UF has tried mightily to bridge the hole in its wide receiving corps and did that in part by signing five pass catchers. “When you say fill needs, you talk in terms of depth and talent. Those are the two things you’ve got to be able to address. I think we’ve taken a step forward in both situations. We’ve improved our depth, and I think we’ve improved our talent level. We’ve got some guys that can come in and compete,” Muschamp said. It will be interesting to see whether or not Purifoy sticks on offense or goes back to defense by the time summer practice begins.

2 » As National Signing Day wrapped up, news broke of Florida having an outstanding offer in the hands of in-state a three-star offensive lineman who was originally planning to continue his career as a basketball player at Division II Eckerd College. That player is Trevon Young (Bradenton, FL), someone who the Gators see as a potential playmaker at tight end given his size size (6’6″, 260 lbs.) and soft hands. Brown is currently debating between sticking with his first love (basketball) in a situation that is unlikely to result in him being a professional athlete down the line or playing his second-favorite sport at the highest level possible in college.

Curt Bradley, Young’s football coach at Branden River High School, told InsidetheGators.com on Wednesday that the player is legitimately conflicted with his decision. “It isn’t a matter of the school, it’s the sport he chooses,” Bradley said, further implying that he would easily choose UF over an offer from South Florida if Young decides to play football. A decision may be coming as soon as Thursday.

Read two more BITS from National Signing Day…after the break!
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Purifoy, Young, closing, quarterbacks

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TWO BITS: Young’s tough decision, WWE’s O’Neil

1 » According to the Bradenton Herald, the Florida Gators are still waiting to hear from one recruit though it is currently unknown when he will actually make a decision. Three-star offensive lineman Trevon Young (Bradenton, FL), who was planning to play Division II basketball at Eckerd College, was reportedly a secret visitor at the University of Florida on Saturday and picked up an offer to play tight end for the Gators. With a first love of basketball, Young is faced with a difficult decision despite the fact that playing his favorite sport at the Division II level or his second-favorite sport for a top-tier program like Florida seems like an easy choice for most. “I just don’t know,” he told the paper. “I might not know until I wake up [on National] Signing Day, and I might not even sign on Wednesday. I don’t know. If I decide to play football, my favorite is Florida. It’s great getting an offer from them. It makes you feel all the hard work you put in was worth it. But I love basketball.”

2 » WWE wrestler Titus O’Neil, previously known as former Gators defensive end Thaddeus Bullard was on campus in Gainesville, FL on Wednesday and had the opportunity to meet with both basketball coach Billy Donovan and football coach Will Muschamp. Below are a pair of video Touts from Bullard that he posted online shortly after his meetings with the coaches.


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