FOUR BITS: Macklin, Poyner, Portis, Shipman

By Adam Silverstein
April 8, 2011

1 » Florida Gators redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin, currently participating in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament with forward Alex Tyus, scored 19 points on 50 percent shooting and notched 12 rebounds in his first game at the event on Thursday. wrote a profile piece about him on Friday, looking about his entire career as well as strengths and weaknesses that may – or may not – find him a spot on a NBA roster this upcoming season. The feature also has a blurb about Tyus, who has scored a combined 25 points and grabbed 21 total rebounds in two PIT games, at the end.

2 » Left-handed pitcher and dynamic hitter Bobby Poyner, a Florida baseball commitment, tore the labrum in his throwing shoulder and will miss the remainderof his high school career. According to the Palm Beach Post, Poyner went 6-1 as a senior with a 1.91 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 40.1 innings to go along with a .404 batting average. In his last full season, he finished 9-3 with a 1.86 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 64 innings.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]3 » Former Gators quarterback Josh Portis, who transferred away from the team early in his career and has spent six years in college, will be up for grabs in the 2011 NFL Draft in late April. In an interview with the Post, Portis said he is not running from his past but instead explaining it as well as he can and hoping teams understand that with age (he’s 23) comes experience and maturity. “I have nothing to hide,” he said. “Teams are going to know about it. Teams know everything. I feel, just be honest and up-front, and hopefully they’ll say, ‘Look, this kid made a mistake, and he’ll learn from it.’” The former four-star recruit transferred to Maryland after Tim Tebow was signed to be Florida’s QB of the future. While sitting out his transfer season, Portis cheated on a quiz and ruled ineligible for the following season. Finally able to play, Portis was stuck as a back-up and transferred a second time to Division II California University of Pennsylvania, where he combined for 69 passing touchdowns in two seasons and impressed with his athleticism. Getting ready for the NFL, Portis was arrested for using a stolen credit card but claims he wasn’t his. He explained that situation to the Post in a story that you can read here.

4 » Though Gators basketball had plenty of success without him this year, former Florida guard/forward Ray Shipman is thrilled that he decided to transfer to play football for the Central Florida Knights. After spending his first season on UCF’s scout team in order to get into football shape after playing basketball for two years, Shipman is now listed on the team’s spring depth chart as a starting outside linebacker. Part of the reason for his success is his praiseworthy dedication, which he planned to give since the moment he stepped back on the gridiron. “[The coaches] get tired of seeing me,” Shipman told the Orlando Sentinel. “I told [the linebackers coach] when I first got here, ‘Coach, I’m going to be nagging you. I’m going to be in your office every day right after class. If you’re here at night, I’m going to be here, too.”[/EXPAND]


  1. Malikg says:

    Damn, Sugar Ray Shipman is up to 6-4, 240 in basically a year of football training. I wonder what that brother is gonna look like in the fall!

  2. Malikg says:

    Actually, he’s listed officially at 6-5, 237. If you ask me, he’s going to end up at defensive end, but they SHOULD put his behind at tight end, if they’re smart…

  3. Zooker says:

    That’s a great quote by Ray Shipman, good luck to him… His body was more suited for football anyways

  4. npgator says:

    It is great to see that Macklin and Tyus continue to play well just like in the tournament. I am hoping that they both succeed in the NBA.

  5. jay d says:

    Macklin will get an honest chance to play in the NBA…..but tyus will be extremely. Lucky to even get drafted..and if by some miracle tyus does get drafted …he will never make an NBA regular season roster….he may have stepped up in the ncaa tourney but don’t forget how he never played up to the small expectations we fans had after horford and noah left….he is the epitomy of underachieving….

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