Florida Gators release 2015 season-opening depth chart for Week 1 vs. New Mexico State

Though things will undoubtedly change for the Florida Gators throughout the 2015 season, especially with players coming back from injury and suspension after Week 1, the team released its depth chart ahead of its season opener against the New Mexico State Aggies on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The contest will be head coach Jim McElwain‘s first with the Gators, and it will all go down inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and air live on the SEC Network.

Here is Florida’s first official depth chart released in nearly nine months.

OFFENSE

QB: 7 Will Grier OR 3 Treon Harris
RB: 21 Kelvin Taylor, 25 Jordan Scarlett OR 32 Jordan Cronkrite
TE: 83 Jake McGee, 80 C’yontai Lewis
WR: 11 Demarcus Robinson, 18 C.J. Worton
WR: 5 Ahmad Fulwood, 81 Antonio Callaway
WR: 4 Brandon Powell 89 Alvin Bailey

LT: 75 Mason Halter, 73 Martez Ivey
LG: 63 Trip Thurman, 52 Travaris Dorsey
C: 54 Cam Dillard, 64 Tyler Jordan
RG: 71 Antonio Riles, 77 Andrew Mike
RT: 70 David Sharpe, 74 Fred Johnson

Continue Reading » Florida Gators release 2015 season-opening depth chart for Week 1 vs. New Mexico State

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Florida Gators practice update: McElwain worried about disaster, happy with ‘darn good’ scrimmage

Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain was unable to sleep Thursday night. He was worried that Friday’s scrimmage, his first with the team this fall, would be an unmitigated disaster. Luckily, his apprehension only amounted to nerves and not actuality.

“I’ll be quite honest with you: I didn’t sleep last night thinking this could be a disaster, and it actually turned out pretty darn good,” he quipped. “I guess that’s comforting, I don’t know.”

Specifically, McElwain was concerned about how Florida’s freshmen – the Gators will be counting on plenty this season, especially on offense – would hold up in the scrimmage. He was ultimately proud of the way they competed and thought Friday’s effort was positive overall.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators practice update: McElwain worried about disaster, happy with ‘darn good’ scrimmage

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Florida Gators practice update: Freshman DE CeCe Jefferson gets rave reviews; injury updates

Freshman defensive end CeCe Jefferson received plenty of hype as a consensus five-star prospect and one of the top recruits in the country, but his dragged-out signing process after committing to the Florida Gators on National Signing Day earned him national headlines. Now, five practices into his Florida career, Jefferson is the topic of conversation again – for all the right reasons.

“He’s one of the young guys doing a heck of a job. He shows up, and he’s not the only young guy that’s been stepping up. I’m sure that he’s here. He’s a guy that can make an impact,” said head coach Jim McElwain after Monday’s practice, the first for the Gators in pads this fall. “[Defensive line coach Chris] Rumph really enjoys working with him. He’s a guy that’s eager to learn, jumped right in at everything we’re doing. That just speaks volumes of the type of kid he is, too.”

Continue Reading » Florida Gators practice update: Freshman DE CeCe Jefferson gets rave reviews; injury updates

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Florida Gators update 2015 roster, adding transfers and freshman uniform numbers

With the Summer B semester starting on Monday, the Florida Gators officially updated their 2015 football roster listing most of the new players joining the team this season.

Florida first confirmed four transfers, adding Josh Grady (Vanderbilt), Luke Del Rio (Oregon State), Anthony Harrell (Georgia Tech) and Mason Halter (FCS Fordham).

TRANSFERS
» 12 – Josh Grady, redshirt senior quarterback
» 14 – Luke Del Rio, redshirt sophomore quarterback (walk-on)
» 75 – Mason Halter, redshirt senior offensive lineman
» TBA – Anthony Harrell, redshirt senior linebacker

Most – but not all – of the freshmen recruiting class was also added.

Continue Reading » Florida Gators update 2015 roster, adding transfers and freshman uniform numbers

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One week later: Breaking down the Florida Gators’ efforts through 2015 National Signing Day

Pessimism and an overall sense of foreboding were fair states of mind to have as the Florida Gators approached 2015 National Signing Day.

That’s what happens when a former top-of-the-mountain team goes 11-10 over two seasons, its fired head coach (a top-notch recruiter) joins a conference rival going head-to-head with his former team on the recruiting front, and the skeleton signing class said coach left behind was ravaged by decommitments from its four best players over the final months of the season.

But something changed 48 hours before National Signing Day. That lingering pessimism turned to optimism as it started becoming apparent to recruiting analysts that pairs of four-star running backs and five-star linemen were likely to commit to Florida. It was very possible that the Gators’ run of gaining commitments from talented and somewhat underrated three-star prospects would not be the best their signing class had to offer but rather a solid foundation for what would occur over the ensuing two days.

Continue Reading » One week later: Breaking down the Florida Gators’ efforts through 2015 National Signing Day

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Three-star OL Mike Horton commits to Florida

Still replenishing its 2015 recruiting class after losing four commitments in a 10-day span earlier this month, the Florida Gators on Thursday received a verbal pledge from three-star offensive lineman Mike Horton (Atlanta, GA).

Horton (6-foot-4, 320 pounds), a big-bodied blocker sporting an impressive offer list, was being pegged by most schools as a guard but will also have the opportunity to play defensive tackle for the Gators.

“[Head coach Will Muschamp] tells me every day that he wants me in the program. Before, he said they were recruiting me for offensive line, but then, we got a chance to talk,” Horton told Jake Reuse of UGASports.com back on June 9 ($).

“He said, ‘We’ll take you on defense, too.’ I told him I didn’t know exactly where I wanted to play yet, but he said he just wants me in. The biggest thing he’s emphasizing is that they have slots open, and I will have a great opportunity to play early.”

Horton, who ESPN rates as a four-star prospect and the No. 246 overall player in the 2015 class, chose Florida primarily over Georgia, though he also had scholarship offers in his back pocket from Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and LSU, among others.

Continue Reading » Three-star OL Mike Horton commits to Florida

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FOUR BITS: Rainey, Hill, ESPN 300, Demps

1 » Just a couple days after voicing his belief in the talent and potential of former Florida Gators running back Chris Rainey, Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was forced to waive the player for non-football reasons. “You can see the athleticism, the burst, the speed,” he said Saturday. “He puts a foot in the ground and gets north and south.” Pagano is expected to address the situation after training camp on Monday, though it is doubtful that he will detail what specific conduct rule that Rainey violated. It will be the second time in as many offseasons that Rainey will be released by a team for non-football reasons. Just one year ago, Rainey was cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers after an arrest for domestic violence, a charge that was later dropped and expunged from his record. The Steelers also had concerns about Rainey’s off-field activity including a gambling habit that affected him during his rookie season.

2 » Updating an item from Friday, former Gators safety Will Hill spoke with the media about being signed by the Baltimore Ravens, claiming once again that “everything is behind me” in terms of his marijuana use. “[I was] just being irresponsible,” he said, according to the Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson. “Yeah, I feel like I’ve learned. I’m ready to play football. [The Ravens] talked to the [New York] Giants and they had nothing but good words to say about me.” Apparently Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome sat down with Hill and was assured that the player’s drug use – which has been an issue since he started playing at Florida – is now in the back window. “It was just getting comfortable with each other and letting him know that the things that happened before won’t be happening here,” Hill added. Though he will be able to practice with the team and play in preseason games, Hill will not be activated for the 2014 regular season until Oct. 13 as he must first serve a six-game suspension, his third for drug use (second for a substance of abuse) since being signed by the Giants three years ago.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Rainey, Hill, ESPN 300, Demps

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Previewing Florida’s 2014 Friday Night Lights


Mixing pomp and circumstance with football drills and relationship building, the Florida Gators use their annual Friday Night Lights camp at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium as both a recruiting tool and means of evaluating some of the best high school football players in the country. The Gators often host top-tier prospects over the FNL weekend but also find diamonds in the rough while coaching up the recruits.

The Swamp will once again filled with some of the top young talent in the nation on July 25, so much so that covering every player that plans to step on the field is a near impossibility. Below are a list of 10 players (in no particular order) to keep an eye on either because of their talent or high level of interest in attending Florida.

OT Martez Ivey (Apopka, FL) –
One of the top offensive tackles in the nation, Ivey is down to Florida and Auburn. His trip to Friday Night Lights should help him feel more comfortable with the Gators, but he will not make a decision until he sees how UF plays in 2014 and determines whether the coaching staff recruiting him will be around next year. A big Florida fan, the Gators are ultimately the team to beat for his services but can just as easily beat themselves and send him across the conference to play for the Tigers.

ATH Ray-Ray McCloud (Tampa, FL) –
McCloud has set his commitment announcement for Monday at 6:30 p.m., and his decision to spend the weekend before that choice is made in Gainesville speaks volumes. Florida is the favorite to pick up one of the most talented athletes in the country but is in competition primarily with UCLA and Clemson. He plays running back, wide receiver and cornerback and will likely do so for the Gators, but as is the case with Ivey, will be keeping an eye on how the team performs in 2014 even if he does choose UF.

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