Florida does not grant K Marvin Kloss admission

Though he was offered a scholarship and grayshirt by the South Florida Bulls, three-star kicker Marvin Kloss (Naples, FL) had decided to accept a walk-on offer from the Florida Gators pending his admission. Unfortunately for Kloss and the Gators, the University of Florida decided not to grant him admission due to his grades and test scores; he will now be a preferred walk-on with the Bulls.

“If [Florida] can get me in, I’m going up there,” Kloss said earlier in the week. “I want to play right away, and they’re a lot better [than USF] scholarship-wise with just one kicker and one punter on scholarship.” His tune obviously had to change on Thursday. “It wasn’t that hard a decision,” Kloss told the St. Petersburg Times. “I thought about it, sat down with my coach and my parents, and overall, I just had a better feel about USF.”

His grade point average and test scores already earned him a Florida Bright Futures scholarship, though they were obviously not high enough to get him into UF. Kloss had previously told the Times that Gators interim head coach and offensive coordinator Steve Addazio would be taking his paperwork to the admissions office on Wednesday.

Kloss had scholarship offers from the Purdue Boilermakers and Marshall Thundering Heard before National Signing Day, both of which he declined in order to attempt a walk-on. He is not guaranteed a scholarship from USF, especially since he will be competing with the six kickers already on the team’s roster this spring.

Photo Credit: David Albers/Naples Daily News

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FOUR BITS: More Tebow, Tucker, tennis honors

1 » Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has been lining up speaking engagements left and right since graduation, and he has recently agreed to be the keynote speaker for Union University’s second annual Roy L. White Legacy Golf and Gala on April 19. Tickets to the event, which will be held at the Carl Perkins Civic Center, are at least $50 per seat. More information can be found here.

2 » Gators sophomore first baseman Preston Tucker has been named to the Preseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List. The award, which honors the best college baseball player each year, is sponsored by Major League Baseball. Tucker was the 2009 SEC Co-Freshman of the Year and earned a triple crown for Florida by leading the team in batting average (.364), runs batted in (85) and home runs (15). His RBI mark set a University of Florida single-season record.

3 » Speaking of Florida baseball, the preseason No. 7-ranked team will open its 2010 season against the South Florida Bulls on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at McKethan Stadium in the first of a three-game series. The second and third games will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday, respectively. The Gators have also earned preseason rankings of No. 9 by two services and No. 10 by another. Baseball finished 42-22 in 2009 and won the SEC East Division title for the first time since 2005.

4 » Sophomore Nassim Slilam and freshman Allie Will were named to the 2010 ITA All-Tournament Team for their performances at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships last week. Slilam and Will each went 3-0 in their respective performances, and Will improved her singles record to a team best 27-3 this season.

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Florida impresses recruits at first Junior Day

Recruiting contributor Zach Abolverdi takes a look at Junior Day for OGGOA…

The Florida Gators’ first Junior Day of the 2011 recruiting cycle was a successful start to the season, despite the absence of head coach Urban Meyer. By all accounts, interim head coach and offensive coordinator Steve Addazio was firing on all cylinders, doing a good job selling the program to the prospects in attendance. He emphasized how coaches, players and recruits united when uncertainty surrounded the program just over a month ago and claimed it was a testament to the resiliency of Gator Nation.

Recruiting requires many crucial components and qualities, one of which is developing relationships early in the process. Addazio and the coaching staff got that chance this past Saturday, when they saw familiar faces mixed with some brand new ones. There were no drills, workouts or whistles, just an opportunity for prospects to take in the city, campus and everything the University of Florida has to offer.

Find out who visited and what their impressions were of the Gators after the jump!
Continue Reading » Florida impresses recruits at first Junior Day

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Gators to add kicker Marvin Kloss as walk-on

UPDATE: Florida does not grant K Marvin Kloss admission

Though he was offered a scholarship and grayshirt by the South Florida Bulls, three-star kicker Marvin Kloss (Naples, FL) has decided to accept a walk-on offer from the Florida Gators and expects to make an impact right away, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

“If they can get me in, I’m going up there,” Kloss said of his pending admission status at Florida. “I want to play right away, and they’re a lot better [than USF] scholarship-wise with just one kicker and one punter on scholarship.”

His grade point average and test scores have already earned him a Florida Bright Futures scholarship, so it is likely that UF will grant Kloss admission soon. In fact, he told the Times that interim head coach and offensive coordinator Steve Addazio would be taking his paperwork to the admissions office on Wednesday. If Kloss shows promise on the field, he should have no problem earning a scholarship with the Gators.

UPDATE: The Naples Daily News reports that a low SAT score caused UF to initially decline Kloss’ enrollment application. “The only thing holding me back from making a clear-cut decision is that I got declined,” he told the paper. “[The Gators’ coaches] said it’s up to admissions to decide based on the number of students they have next year.”

Kloss had scholarship offers from the Purdue Boilermakers and Marshall Thundering Heard, which he declined in order to walk-on at Florida (or USF).

“With Marvin’s talent, if he does anywhere close to what he should do next year, he will [earn a scholarship],” Barron Collier High School coach Mark Ivey told the paper. “He has the opportunity if he performs to help on kickoffs next year at a minimum.”

ESPNU Evaluation: “Kloss has FBS leg strength and he has shown this at multiple camps. He is a very competitive athlete who gets great height on both his kickoffs and field goals. He has special leg speed and the ball comes off his foot very fast with a slow rotation. His control and accuracy on field goals are impressive. He is college-ready off the ground. […] Coaches will like his confident attitude.”

Photo Credit: David Albers/Naples Daily News

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SIX BITS: Junior Day, Lee, Olympics, gym, track

1 » Just because National Signing Day ended the 2010 recruiting cycle on Feb. 3 does not mean the Florida Gators coaching staff is done recruiting. The University of Florida will host its first Junior Day for 2011 high school graduates Saturday as prospects from all over the state (and some from beyond) will travel to Gainesville, FL, to learn about the Gators. The majority of the outing includes a presentation about Florida football from a suite, a tour of The Swamp and a chance for the high schoolers to meet with some current players and pick their brains about the Gators. OGGOA will provide you with a full recap of the event early next week.

2 » In case you wanted or needed some data to explain why former Florida basketball player and current New York Knicks star forward/center David Lee deserved to be in the 2010 NBA All-Star Game all along, his hometown paper (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) has it together in a column for you.

Four more BITS on the Olympics, Jeff Demps, eye black, etc. after the jump!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Junior Day, Lee, Olympics, gym, track

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Teryl Austin hired as Gators’ defensive boss

The University of Florida has raided the NFL for a defensive coordinator for the second time since Charlie Strong left to become head coach of the Louisville Cardinals in January. After hiring George Edwards from the Miami Dolphins only to lose him to the Buffalo Bills 27 days later, the Florida Gators have agreed to name Arizona Cardinals defensive backs coach Teryl Austin as their new defensive coordinator.

Coaching since 1991, Austin has experience on both the collegiate and professional levels. Tutored by names like Joe Paterno, Dick MacPherson, Lloyd Carr and Mike Holmgren after playing four years of college football at Pittsburgh from 1984-87, the 44-year-old has yet to hold a defensive coordinator position at either level. Both of his stops in the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks and the Cardinals, reached the Super Bowl while he was leading their respective secondaries.

Though he has not previously worked with head coach Urban Meyer, Austin has connections to interim head coach and offensive coordinator Steve Addazio and quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler. During Addazio’s tenure as offensive line and tight ends coach with the Syracuse Orange from 1995-98, Austin was on the staff as a defensive assistant (1996-98). Loeffler knows him through his time with the Michigan Wolverines, where the former worked as a graduate assistant (1998-99) and QB coach (2002-07) while the latter served as a defensive assistant (1999-2002).

“I am pleased to have Teryl join our staff,” Meyer said in a UF release. “Coach Addazio did a great job coordinating our efforts with Chuck Heater and Dan McCarney to hire Teryl. It was important that we had some familiarity with Teryl as both Coach Addazio and Coach Loeffler had worked with him before. He also comes highly recommended from my close friend Bill Davis, the defensive coordinator of the Cardinals. It was also important that we hire a coach who is a great teacher, a great mentor and has the ability to be a great recruiter. Coach Austin has all of those qualities and beyond that is a good family man.”

“I’m excited to join the Gator coaching staff,” said Austin in the release. “I’ve watched from afar what this program is about – winning championships with dynamic players and doing things the right way. Now, I’m honored to be a part of the program and a part of The Gator Nation. I look forward to getting to work with an outstanding group of players and a great coaching staff.”

Co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Chuck Heater, a 33-year coaching veteran and one of Florida’s strongest recruiters, is expected to retain his new title and position. Heater has worked with Meyer on-and-off since 1986 when he coached the secondary for the Ohio State Buckeyes while Meyer was a graduate assistant. Since joining the Gators, Heater has coached cornerbacks and safeties, served as recruiting coordinator from 2005-07 and assistant defensive coordinator from 2008-09.

Florida Gators (Projected) 2010 Coaching Staff …after the jump!
Continue Reading » Teryl Austin hired as Gators’ defensive boss

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FOUR BITS: Harbison, Dr. Indelicato, McCray

1 » Clemson Tigers co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison has removed his name from consideration for the Florida Gators defensive coordinator position according to a report by FootballRumorMill.com. The Post and Courier reports that Harbison told his head coach Dabo Sweeney on Thursday that he is staying put. Habison may very well have declared he is no longer a candidate or (more likely) the Florida coaching staff decided he was not a good fit and he is simply trying to save face. It is believed that Arizona Cardinals DB coach Teryl Austin is the Gators’ top candidate to replace George Edwards.

2 » University of Florida orthopedic surgeon Dr. Peter Indelicato, the team physician for the football and men’s basketball teams, will be honored on Feb. 20 as a “Champion With Heart” at the Gainesville Heart Ball. Though he has four championship rings with the Gators, Indelicato calls the award “the greatest honor of my life.” Read the rest of his story at The Gainesville Sun.

3 » One of the best long distance runners in Florida state history, Matt Mizereck (Tallahassee, FL) has committed to run at UF in the fall. The 2009 Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year, 2009 Footlocker Cross Country All-American and three-time individual state champion signed his letter of intent on Tuesday. “I really felt comfortable being with the team,” Mizereck told the Tallahassee Democrat. “They were like automatic best friends. I felt the atmosphere with the University of Florida was phenomenal.”

4 » Former Gators defensive end Bobby McCray, now a Super Bowl XLIV champion with the New Orleans Saints, was interviewed by Jim Rome on his national radio show Wednesday. The audio is available below.

Bobby McCray on Jim Rome – 02/10/10

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Ex-Gators decathlete going for gold in Vancouver

Former and current Florida Gators student-athletes usually find a home in the Summer Olympics; however, when it comes to the Winter Olympics, appearances are few and far between. That changed in 2006 when Steve Mesler, a scholarship decathlete who earned a degree in exercise and sport science from the University of Florida in 2000, competed in his first Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

After graduation, Mesler wanted to continue his athletic career and tried out for bobsled in San Diego, CA, in June 2001. After practicing with Todd Hays’ four-man team for a few years, Mesler participated in the 2006 Games in Torino; his team’s sled would finish in seventh place.

Four seasons with Hays’ team was enough for Mesler, who moved on to the aptly nicknamed “Night Train,” a four-man sled squad piloted by Steve Holcomb. Night Train has been on a tear since coming together, starting with winning the 2009 World Championships in Lake Placid, NY, the United States’ first four-man world title in 50 years. The team has since captured the 2010 World Cup title (for the first time in 17 years) and the 2010 World Cup overall crown.

Team Holcomb is now the medal favorite heading into the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver with Mesler occupying the third slot in the sled. On each run, he is responsible for managing the balance and speed of the sled, partially due to the fact that he is the team’s fastest member stemming from his days as a decathlete with the Gators.

The two-time Olympian (he was a reserve in 2002) is a key member of the USA-1 sled, which could be the first in 62 years (since 1948) to bring home a gold medal for the United States in the Olympics. “Right now, we are the team to beat,” Holcomb told the Associated Press on Friday.

Keep an eye out for the futuristic-looking, shiny black USA-1 “Night Train” sled at the Whistler Sliding Centre during the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.



OGGOA Related Story: Mesler’s family was scammed out of $7,332 and lodging by a Whistler house rental company. They have since received the money back.

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