OGGOA will update this story as more information is released.
ESPN national college football reporter Joe Schad broke the news Tuesday afternoon that quarterback Tim Tebow was in full pads and making his way out to the practice field with the No. 1 Florida Gators. Shortly thereafter, two sources confirmed this report to OGGOA. Tebow did indeed dress and practice with the Gators for the first time since suffering a concussion on Sept. 26 while playing against the Kentucky Wildcats.
OGGOA reported earlier today that Tebow would be back at practice tomorrow, but apparently the fact that he was asymptomatic for a seventh consecutive day (as was deemed necessary by many concussion experts) was enough to give him light work this afternoon.
[UPDATE:] Tebow went through approximately 80% of the practice, running set plays with the first team while, of course, being under protection from any contact. He was able to run at full speed, though head coach Urban Meyer said in his press conference after practice that Tebow was a “little rusty.” Meyer also said that while Tebow has been cleared to return in “limited capacity,” he has NOT yet been cleared to play Saturday against No. 4 LSU Tigers. Schad reported prior to Meyer’s press conference that Tebow is “on track to play at LSU [because] doctors have been pleased with his testing.” Schad’s source believes doctors are satisfied with the progress Tebow has shown in regard to his balance, equilibrium and memory testing. All that seems to be standing in the way of his activation are Tebow meeting certain measurable testing standards.
“Our medical team has advised us that Tim has been cleared to return to practice in a limited and controlled environment,” Meyer said. “We have followed every protocol for his clearance to return to limited practice and will continue to follow the medical protocols before he is cleared to play in a game or practice again.”
OGGOA will update this story as more information is released.
While the vast majority of Florida Gators incoming commitments usually hail from states along the Atlantic Ocean, the team has been looking to expand its recruiting base and is making serious headway on the West Coast and in California.
In fact, the team’s highest rated uncommitted prospect, five-star defensive end Ronald Powell, plays his high school ball for Rancho Verde in Moreno Valley, CA. At 6’4”, 230 lbs. with a 4.52 second 40-yard dash, Powell lists the Gators and USC Trojans as his top two schools. He has already taken three unofficial visits to Gainesville, the latest just a few weeks ago when Florida defeated the Tennessee Volunteers, and plans to take an official visit when time permits. Nevertheless, the Gators are already in the top two for his commitment. “I would like to see some other schools, but USC and Florida are at the top,” Powell said, “and I really don’t see that changing.”
Powell has had his Gators scholarship offer for some time; four-star safety Dietrich Riley of St. Francis in La Canada, CA, just received his. “I started hopping around,” Riley said of his reaction when learning of the offer. “I started running around the house. I was happy.”
An impressive 6’1”, 200 lbs. with a 4.47 second 40-yard dash, Riley said he has been waiting to hear from Florida for a while. “I was very patient throughout this whole process and I finally landed the offer,” he said. Riley is currently in the process of planning an official visit to Gainesville and looks forward to meeting head coach Urban Meyer in person after speaking with him on the phone. “[Meyer said he] was impressed with my film, just my versatility and what I can do on both sides of the ball. He loves how aggressive I am and the attitude I play with.”
Stay with OGGOA for the latest updates on Gators recruiting.
1 » Tim Tebow, star quarterback of the No. 1 Florida Gators, is scheduled to be held out of practice for the second consecutive day this week, a source close to the team told OGGOA. Reports state Tebow attended practice yesterday as a spectator and continues to be asymptomatic following a concussion suffered during Florida’s 41-7 win over the Kentucky Wildcats on Sept. 26. Should Tebow continue to show progress throughout the day, I predict we will see him on return to practice in an active role on Wednesday.
With that being said, Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post made an interesting report today. Apparently, UF officials believe even if Tebow is medically cleared to play Saturday, he will sit and back-up John Brantley will start in his place.
2 » Running backs coach Kenny Carter made some interesting comments regarding Tebow’s playing status for Saturday night’s game against No. 4 LSU Tigers. “It’s rather presumptive to think that Tim’s not playing,” Carter said. “He may be playing.” Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald reiterated that Carter said the team was doing its best to get him ready to go for the game. “When you have a concussion, they have to do tests and make sure you’re ready to go,” Carter said. “I’m very confident. He’s Tim Tebow. All I know is he’s Tim Tebow, and my money is on him.”
3 » While no players were officially classified as H1N1 swine flu cases, the bug that ran rampant through the Gators locker room over the last few weeks seems to have dissipated for the time being. According to Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel, the only remaining Florida player with a bug is freshman offensive lineman Nick Alajajian. The team has no plans to take separate planes to Baton Rouge, LA, later this week, and the Gators trainers are eagerly awaiting the government-issued H1N1 vaccine when it is released in the next month or two.
4 » Head coach Urban Meyer continues shows respect and support for Florida State Seminoles head coach Bobby Bowden, who is seemingly walking the plank with his own boosters and trustees. “I have great respect for coach Bowden, and we’ve become pretty good friends,” Meyer said Monday. “It’s the nature of the beast. It’s not the positive part of this coaching profession. There are so many positives, and that’s the back end of the negative. I just have a lot of respect for him.” Since Meyer took the Florida job, the Gators are 4-0 against Bowden and the Seminoles, beating them by a combined score of 90-27 in the last two games.
1 » Staying on top of a story OGGOA first reported on Saturday, four-star Booker T. Washington teammates defensive end Lynden Trail and wide receiver Quinton Dunbar committed to the Florida Gators following their upset of Miami Northwestern. While both were vocal and excited about their decision, Florida’s coaches had not accepted the duo’s commitments as of Monday morning. That has now changed as Trail and Dunbar are officially the 16th and 17th commitments for 2010.
2 » Tickets for the No. 4 LSU Tigers showdown with No. 1 Florida on Saturday night in Death Valley are scarce, meaning good (or any) seats to the game are going to cost you. Single tickets are going for hundreds to thousands of dollars depending where you look. While StubHub, eBay, Craigslist and other Web sites are good options, the only school-approved site to buy tickets is http://www.LSUsports.net. So if you are heading up to Baton Rouge, LA, check them out before paying an arm and a leg (you will anyway).
3 » ESPN college basketball expert Andy Katz weighed in on the Gators’ chances in 2009 on Monday: “A lot has to depend on [redshirt junior transfer F/C] Vernon Macklin,” Katz said. “If he can be a double-figure performer than the Gators have a shot. The problem is that they are in arguably the toughest division in the country with Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and South Carolina all talented enough to win the side.”
4 » When asked what his team’s prospects are for the remainder of the season, LSU head coach Les Miles joked, “There is a game after this?” That is how much Florida is on the mind of LSU this week, and the feeling is mutual. To Miles, it is the big-game feel of nights like Saturday that make all the struggle and heartbreak worth it. These days, when the Gators and Tigers square off, the games have a little extra meaning. “It’s generally two very talented teams and a team that will play a very significant role in determining the national champion,” Miles said. “It’s all about this Saturday, and we’re looking forward to it.” Urban Meyer is, too.
LSU Tigers fans are famous (make that “infamous”) for acquiring the cell phone numbers of opponents’ players and leaving messages on said players’ voicemails. Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow knows this well; he was the victim of numerous prank calls the week before UF visited Tiger Stadium in 2007. In fact, you may very well have seen him dial on his hand and put it up to his ear after he scored a rushing touchdown during that game.
In what should come as a surprise to no one, LSU’s fans are at it again, prank calling head coach Urban Meyer, offensive coordinator Steve Addazio, wide receiver Riley Cooper, QB John Brantley and others.
While I see this as good-hearted fun, it is a bit disturbing how easily these fans (or one fan in particular) seem to be acquiring these numbers. More importantly, I am quite sure that the messages left on these players’ phones are “Go Tigers.” Instead, they are most likely vulgar and profanity filled.
So I ask you, the OGGOA reader, to be unbiased and comment below. Is this phone call prank fair or foul?
During his weekly Monday afternoon press conference, Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer provided updates on the health of star quarterback Tim Tebow (following a concussion he suffered on Sept. 26) and wide receiver Deonte Thompson (who has been nursing a hamstring injury).
Meyer said Tebow’s headaches subsided several days ago, and the team’s starting quarterback has been symptom-free for some time. Concussion experts state an athlete must be asymptomatic for seven consecutive days before returning to active competition. After seven days, however, concussed players are considered to be “full strength.”
“Tim looks a lot better,” Meyer said, before inserting that should he practice this week, Tebow will not be hit. “[Tebow can do] everything but practice right now.” As far as to whether or not Meyer will announce if Tebow will play in Saturday’s game against No. 4 LSU Tigers, he told reporters an announcement would be made if Tebow was ready to go early in the week. However, if Tebow’s status is not to be decided until late in the week, everyone will have to wait to find out.
Meyer also touched on the health of Thompson, saying he practiced at full speed Monday and will be ready to go for the Gators tilt with the Tigers on Saturday night. Defensive tackle Lawrence Marsh remains sidelined with an ankle injury but is hoping to play next weekend.
OGGOA will provide round-the-clock updates on the health of Tebow and the Gators.
As OGGOA reported Saturday, four-star Booker T. Washington teammates, defensive end Lynden Trail and wide receiver Quinton Dunbar, all but officially committed to the Florida Gators following their team’s big win over Miami Northwestern that night.
Updating the story, Rivals spoke with Trail following the game. ”[My family and I] think it’s about that time – I’m ready to commit to Florida,” Trail said. On not telling the Gators yet, Trail joked, “This is a surprise to Urban Meyer. I [did the Gator Chomp] to let people know that Florida’s dominant and that’s the school for me. Even though I’m committed, I’m still going to take my visits.”
Shortly after speaking with Trail, Rivals caught up Dunbar. During the interview, Trail handed Dunbar a Gators hat and talk switched over to who he had just gotten off the phone with. “I got off the phone with my mom. I asked her if it was OK. She said it was OK. So I’m going to be a Gator with my main man Lynden Trail,” Dunbar said. “[Florida] has a great tradition, great crowd. We loved it. They spread the ball, and we feel like it fit both of us.”
Dunbar ended his interview saying he and Trail were about to call the Gators and officially commit. OGGOA has yet to receive word that Trail and Dunbar’s commitments have been accepted by the Gators coaching staff and will update this story as information becomes available.