FOUR BITS: Pro Day, Tim Tebow, tennis, WBK

1 » Though the date has been set for at least a few weeks now, the Florida Gators officially announced this week that the team will hold its Pro Day on March 13. Free and open to the public, Pro Day will feature a number of draft-eligible Gators working out for NFL scouts and coaches from around the league right on Florida Field in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida also announced that seven players who graduated in 2011 – quarterback John Brantley, defensive end William Green, defensive tackle Jaye Howard, defensive back Moses Jenkins, running back Chris Rainey and wide receiver Deonte Thompson – are scheduled to participate. Also in attendance to work out for scouts will be former Gators including DT Troy Epps, DT Lawrence Marsh, DB Dorian Munroe, DB Wondy Pierre-Louis and WR Justin Williams.

2 » EA Sports announced via their Facebook page that QB Tim Tebow is one of two Denver Broncos players representing his team in the online voting for cover athlete for the Madden NFL 13 video game. Voting begins March 7; after the field is cut down to 32 players, head-to-head votes will take place until the final cover athlete is picked. Tebow, who was on the cover of NCAA Football 11 two years ago, may actually want to avoid winning this contest due to the dreaded and much-publicized Madden curse.

3 » No. 15 Florida women’s tennis (6-1) swept the Florida State Seminoles (5-4) at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex for the team’s 99th consecutive home victory. The Gators, now 52-1 all-time against the Seminoles, beat their in-state rivals 7-0. The No. 13 pairing of junior Allie Will and sophomore Sofie Oyen won 8-2, leading the way for three doubles victories. No. 1 Will (6-1, 6-2), No. 39 Oyen (6-2, 6-1), No. 18 senior Joanna Mather (6-3, 6-1), No. 23 junior Lauren Embree (6-2, 6-2) and sophomore Olivia Janowicz (6-4, retired) all won their singles matches as well in the rout. Florida will compete in back-to-back road meets against Tennessee on Friday and Georgia on Sunday before returning to Gainesville, FL looking for their 100th straight win at home next Friday against Vanderbilt.

4 » Eight-seed Gators women’s basketball (18-11, 8-8 SEC) is set to begin action in the 2012 SEC Tournament by taking on the nine-seed Auburn Tigers (13-16, 5-11 SEC) on Thursday at 1 p.m. With the game airing live on FOX Sports Network, fans can watch as Florida tries to pull out a victory for the opportunity to square-off with one-seed Kentucky on Friday at 1 p.m.

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Florida student-athletes graduating in Fall 2010

According to the University of Florida, 33 student-athletes will be earning their degrees in commencement ceremonies on campus over the weekend. Twelve Florida Gators football players and eight swimmers lead the pack, which also includes some of the most accomplished athletes in school history like football’s Chas Henry and swimming’s Gemma Spofforth. OGGOA readers can view the entire list below as compiled by the University Athletic Association.

Continue Reading » Florida student-athletes graduating in Fall 2010

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Week 13: No. 1 Florida Gators vs. FSU Seminoles

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 88,548]
Time: 3:30 p.m. (EST)
Weather Forecast: 60°F – Partly Sunny

TV: CBS / CBSHD
Online: CBSSports.com.
Sirius: 218; XM: 201

Florida Gators Florida State Seminoles
Head Coach: Urban Meyer Head Coach: Bobby Bowden
Record: 11-0 (8-0) Record: 6-5 (4-4)
Division: SEC East Division: ACC Atlantic
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -24.5, O/U 56
Head-to-Head Stats: Gainesville Sun

KEEP AN EYE ON…
- Florida’s 2009 senior class…who set the Southeastern Conference record for winningest class with their 46th win last Saturday and will be honored on Senior Day. 25 seniors will be playing their last game in The Swamp, and the University of Florida has set aside 10 minutes prior to the game to recognize each player.
- Senior quarterback Tim Tebow…who has already broken the SEC rushing touchdown record (Herschel Walker, Georgia) and touchdowns-scored record (Kevin Faulk, LSU) with 54, set the SEC career record for rushing yards by a QB with 2,743 and has a 169.3 career rating good for No. 1 in conference history.
- Senior defensive end Jermaine Cunningham…who leads the team with seven sacks.
- Senior linebacker Ryan Stamper…who is tops on the Gators with 64 tackles.
- Senior kick returner Brandon James…who set the SEC record for kickoff return yards last week with 2,538 yards on 105 returns. He has also set the SEC all-time kick return mark (combined) with 3,930 yards and all-time punt return mark with 1,339 yards.

STREAKS:
- The Gators are in the middle of the longest winning streak in school history with 21 consecutive victories. They also hold the longest active winning streak in the NCAA and the best in the nation in the last 15 years. 20 of Florida’s 21 wins have been by a double digit margin. The team is also 11-0 for the second time in school history.
- The Gators lead the SEC in rushing offense (229.9) and third-down efficiency (.475). They also come in No. 2 in total offense (442.8) and scoring offense (36.5). Florida’s offense is one of two teams nationally that has posted at least 2,500 rushing yards and 2,300 passing yards (TCU).
- On defense, the Gators have only surrendered ten touchdowns all season (fewest of any team in the nation). The unit has also only allowed 13 field goals for a total of 108 points (9.8 points per game) – this also leads the nation.
- Florida has held three straight opponents and seven this season under 100 yards rushing.
- The Gators lead the all-time series against the Seminoles 32-19-2 with a 19-8-1 record in Gainesville, FL. UF has also won the last five consecutive meetings between the schools with a 90-27 combined margin of victory over that time span.

SENIORS:
The Gators 2009 senior class is the winningest class in SEC history with a 46-6 record in their time in the Orange and Blue. However, that is not the only accomplishment the class has made in the last four years. The senior class has:

Three All-Americans – Five All-SEC Members – 12 SEC Academic Honor Roll Members – Two SEC Championships – Three SEC Eastern Division titles – Two National Championships – 27-5 SEC record – 25-2 record at The Swamp – 14-3 (.823) vs. ranked teams, the top winning pct. for a UF senior class – 11-1 vs. rivals (Tennessee, Georgia, Florida State and Miami) – National Defensive POY – Heisman Trophy Winner

* Markihe Anderson – #14 – CB – Fort Myers, Fla.
* Jim Barrie – #68 – OL – Tampa, Fla.
* Andrew Blaylock – #14 – QB – Durham, N.C.
* Rick Burgess – #48 – FB – Jupiter, Fla.
* Christopher Coleman – #84 – TE – Lake City, Fla.
* Riley Cooper – #11 – WR – Clearwater, Fla.
* Dustin Doe – #32 – LB – Jasper, Fla.
* Jermaine Cunningham – #49 – DE – Stone Mountain, Ga.
* Troy Epps – #98 – DT – Union, S.C.
* John Fairbanks – #59 – LS – Celebration, Fla.
* Michael Guilford – #46 – QB – Quincy, Fla.
* Corey Hobbs – #79 – OL – Oviedo, Fla.
* Cade Holliday – #22 – WR – Gainesville, Fla.
* Brandon James – #25 – ATH – St. Augustine, Fla.
* Dorian Munroe – #20 – S – Miami, Fla.
* David Nelson – #83 – WR – Wichita Falls, Texas
* Jonathan Phillips – #38 – K – Wellington, Fla.
* Wondy Pierre-Louis – #4 – CB – Naples, Fla.
* Chris Pintado – #30 – LB – Miami, Fla.
* Christopher Scott – #29 – RB – Englewood, Fla.
* Joey Sorrentino – #39 – WR – Ocala, Fla.
* Brandon Spikes – #51 – LB – Shelby, N.C.
* Ryan Stamper – #41 – LB – Jacksonville, Fla.
* Tim Tebow – #15 – QB – Jacksonville, Fla.
* Mike Williamson – #53 – LS – Winter Park, Fla.

Read OGGOA’s Florida Gators vs. FSU Seminoles preview after the jump…

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4 of 6 Florida DTs could be out for Saturday

Over the last two weeks, OGGOA has reported on the slow and steady depletion of starters on the Florida Gators defensive line. The unplanned lack of depth is getting increasingly worrisome with senior middle linebacker Brandon Spikes hampered by groin and Achilles tendonitis injures, further softening the middle of the defense.

Defensive tackles redshirt junior Lawrence Marsh (ankle), redshirt sophomore Jaye Howard (knee), junior Justin Trattou (biceps tendon) and redshirt junior Brandon Antwine (shoulder) lead the interior of the line – and all four are either questionable or doubtful for Saturday evening’s Mississippi State Bulldogs game. In their stead, redshirt freshman Omar Hunter and junior Terron Sanders filled in admirably against the Arkansas Razorbacks, both being named to head coach Urban Meyer’s Champions Club.

With four of six tackles potentially out for the game Saturday, Florida has scratched and clawed in order to find some depth in senior Troy Epps (who has played so rarely it took me five minutes to find a picture of him in action), redshirt defensive end Earl Okine and junior DE Duke Lemmens. Egads!

Defensive line coach Dan McCarney updated the status of his unit: “It’s day-to-day on Howard, don’t know on him. Marsh is day-to-day, I’d say he’s doubtful. I’m hoping he gets back next week. Earl Okine, we’re working in at tackle. Omar Hunter or Tank Epps can play in there at nose or tackle. Duke Lemmens can jump in there at tackle if we needed him to. I can only coach the guys who practice. We’ve got to get those guys ready. We’re thin right now, but we were still able to win an SEC game here (last Saturday) with four of my six guys that didn’t play.”

The best part of that quote, unfortunately, is that Epps’ nickname is “Tank.”

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FOUR BITS: Injury updates. Hogs’ Smith out? Tebow/Mallett are opposites. Gator Growl.

1 » Florida Gators injury update for Saturday vs. Arkansas Razorbacks:
CB Moses Jenkins (concussion) – Out. Read this OGGOA story.
LB Jelani Jenkins (ankle) – Doubtful.
DL Lawrence Marsh (ankle) – In protective boot again. Doubtful.
DL Jaye Howard (knee) – Called “50-50” by Meyer. Questionable.
- Redshirt freshman Omar Hunter and senior Troy Epps will rotate on the inside.
WR Carl Moore (back) – Remains Out and struggling to get healthy.
CB Jeremy Brown (back) – Also remains Out, progressing faster than Moore.

2 » Arkansas Razorbacks star running back Michael Smith is being called a “game-time decision” by head coach Bobby Petrino to play on Saturday against the No.1 Florida Gators. Smith’s status remains in doubt after he tweaked his right hamstring in a Hogs win over the Auburn Tigers last weekend.

3 » Standing 6’7″ and 238 pounds, Razorbacks quarterback Ryan Mallett is an example of your prototypical NFL passer. Tim Tebow, at 6’3″ and 242 pounds, serves as more of a physical threat with his strength, but often tucks and runs when Mallett would bide more time in the pocket. To paraphrase Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel, Tebow has finally met his physical match – and polar opposite – at quarterback.

4 » Featuring former Gators National Championship and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel as host and entertainment including comedian Dana Carvey, band O.A.R. and dance troupe Jabbawockeez, the 2009 Gator Growl is looking to be a big-time hit. The world’s largest student-run pep rally is in its 86th year of existence and looks to entertain Gators fans and visitors Friday night in The Swamp!

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