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55 posts from October 2007

October 27, 2007

Moore fumbles, Georgia with a short field

Gainesville -- Florida running back Kestahn Moore fumbles, giving Georgia the ball at the UF 39.

That's Moore's second fumble of the season. Expect plenty of Tebow runs from here on out.

-Moore's fumble spoiled an impressive Florida drive, which included a third-and-15 throw from Tebow Bubba Caldwell.


Georgia Gator chomp'n early; Tebow sacked

JACKSONVILLE -- Georgia starts the game with a bang, sacking Tebow for a nine-yard loss. Bulldogs defensive end Marcus Howard jumps up and gives Florida's half of Jacksonville Muni a few Gator chomps. When Florida Gator chomps they get flagged.


PREGAME: UGA linebackers healthy; UF trick play alert!!!

JACKSONVILLE -- Georgia's ailing linebackers corps apparently got healthy during the Bulldogs' bye week. Marcus Washington (middle linebacker), Brandon Miller (strong-side linebacker) and Dannell Ellerbe are starting today, according to the press box announcer. Washington missed the last two games with a shoulder injury and Miller missed the Vandy game with a calf injury.

Ellerbe leads the team in tackles (53). Miller ranks sixth (24). Washington has 23 tackles.

-TRICK PLAY ALERT: Florida running back Jarred Fayson is passing with Tebow on the sidelines. I smell a trick play early!!!


PREGAME: Medder stretching; predicting a Dorian Munroe breakout game

I'M BAAACK...been sick for a few days...

JACKSONVILLE -- Nothing like a nice rainy day on the St. Johns River.

The weather seems to be clearing up here at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium after a steady rain that lasted for about an hour. The field appears to be in good order, so soggy conditions shouldn't be a factor unless the rain picks up again.

-Florida offensive lineman Carlton Medder, who injured his heel last week, is stretching on the sidelines and appears ready to play. Medder did not practice this week and team doctors fitted him with a protective plastic cast. Medder said that he injured his heel during the preseason and the chronic injury finally took a turn for the worse against Kentucky. Medder is projected to start today but if his heel flares up again then redshirt freshman Marcus Gilbert (Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas) will fill in at right tackle.

-Mississippi State is up on Kentucky 24-14 at the end of the third quarter. I kind of saw this coming. The Wildcats are due for a letdown game and State is improving weekly with freshman quarterback Wesley Carroll (St. Thomas Aquinas).

-Florida sophomore Dorian Munroe (Miami Coral Reef) will play plenty today with freshman free safety Major Wright (St. Thomas Aquinas) out with a thumb injury. I'm predicting a breakout game from Munroe (at least one pick). Wright broke his thumb against Kentucky and had minor surgery on Monday. Florida coach Urban Meyer said on Monday that Wright had an outside chance of playing today. Smarter heads have prevailed. Florida will allow Wright to rest his hand, giving Munroe and Kyle Jackson plenty of opportunities today. Jackson, who started at free safety for the Gators first four games, is projected to start. Munroe, the Gators' most versatile defensive back, will back-up both Jackson and strong safety Tony Joiner.

-The scene outside the stadium is pretty festive despite the icky weather. I ran into a couple of Georgia fans dressed up like Civil War generals. They were hocking tickets.

-The Gator Bowl/Alltel/Jacksonville Muni/is filling up now. Pretty neat seeing Georgia and Florida fans split down the middle.

-From UF's sports info department: Former Florida quarterback Doug Johnson and former Florida head coach Galen Hall were inducted into the Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame on Friday.

Hall was the head coach of the Gators from 1984-89, totaling a career record of 43-21-1 while leading Florida to three bowl appearances, including a win in the 1988 All-American Bowl over Illinois, 14-10. He became the first coach in Florida history to lead the Gators to back-to-back first-place finishes in the SEC (1984-85). Hall was named the SEC Coach of the Year by the AP in his first year at the helm, guiding Florida to a 9-1-1 record, the best regular-season mark in school history. He duplicated the feat in 1985, leading the Gators to another 9-1-1 season.

In 1998, Johnson enjoyed his biggest game against Georgia during his junior campaign. In his first start against the Bulldogs, Johnson became the second Gator player in as many years to throw, catch, and rush for a touchdown against Georgia. He was 25-for-34 passing for 292 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, adding a two-yard touchdown run and 10-yard touchdown catch from wide receiver Travis McGriff in the Gators’ 38-7 win. Johnson was 2-0 as a starter against Georgia in his career.


October 24, 2007

A toast to Urban Meyer: Rebel without a cause

GAINESVILLE -- The University of Florida has long since advised its athletic department not to refer to the Georgia-Florida rivalry in Jacksonville as The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. This is probably a good thing (OK, it's probably a politically correct thing. Because what school is dumb enough to advertise a football game as a "Cocktail Party" when most of the college kids attending the "Cocktail Party" will be driving back to Gainesville after the "Cocktail Party.")

With that in mind, hats off to Florida coach Urban Meyer for going all Hans Solo today during the weekly SEC coaches teleconference and challenging UF's directive.

"I know we're not supposed to call it the Cocktail Party but The World's Largest Cocktail Party in Jacksonville," Meyer said. "I remember at an early age watching that."

Not a big deal, in my opinion -- Only three people have died in UGA/UF related partying in Jacksonville since 2004. -- as I am a supporter of breaking silly rules that aren't really rules but rather nonsense cooked up by people who think they're pretty important and have the power to make rules.

Meyer also spoke out against moving the Florida-Georgia game to Atlanta every other year. (Georgia fans are sick of driving through Florida after watching their team lose every year. Driving through Georgia every other year after watching their team lose is a much more pleasant thought.)

"I'd think it'd be a shame," Meyer said. "It's like the Red River Shootout (Oklahoma vs. Texas in Dallas' Cotton Bowl). There's only a couple of those and it would take away from the uniqueness of the rivalry."


Tebow tattoo sighting!!!! Tebow tattoo sighting!!!

GAINESVILLE -- This picture was brought to our attention by Patrick Rutherford of Atlanta. It was uploaded onto AJC.com's personal photos gallery of the Cocktail Party.

For those unaware, Gator Clause is collecting photos of Tim Tebow tattoos for a comprehensive coffee book! Send your pictures to me at jgoodman@MiamiHerald.com.

Click ME to view the photo gallery. The photo is in the third gallery of pictures and is listed as the 10th picture. This is a must see for the mullet alone! Photoshopped? Who cares!


October 22, 2007

LSU vs. Auburn: Dumbest call in the history of sports?

GAINESVILLE -- So I was listening to 850-AM in Gainesville about 15 minutes ago and former Florida quarterback Shane Matthews referred to LSU's play call to end the Tigers' game against Auburn as "the dumbest call in the history of sports."

In case you missed it, LSU coach Les Miles called for a pass to the end zone as time was expiring against Auburn. LSU receiver Demetrius Byrd (Miami Central) caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Flynn with one second left in the game and LSU won 30-24. It was a bizarre call for two reasons: 1. The game clock was running when LSU lined up for the play. Only eight seconds remained on the game clock when LSU snapped the ball. 2. LSU didn't need a touchdown to win the game. Auburn had a one-point lead and LSU still had one timeout. Obviously, a safer play call would have been to run one more play, call timeout with two or three seconds left in the game and then kick a field goal.

Thoughts anyone?...

For my money, the dumbest call in the history of sports happened three weeks ago before the LSU-Florida game when a LSU fan called into a radio station and said that Matt Flynn was Tim Tebow but with an arm.


October 20, 2007

FINAL: Florida 45, Kentucky 37

Joseph Goodman


LEXINGTON, Ky. — For all the wackiness of major college football over the last four weeks; for all the parity infecting (or invigorating) the Southeastern Conference; for all the commotion and demotion and promotion in the national polls; nothing has really changed for Florida.

The Gators, despite two losses, are in the same position today as they were before college football decided about a month ago to jump head first into a blender and hit frappe. Win out and Florida is in the SEC championship game.

The Gators knew as much before they even finished off Kentucky on Saturday. Florida beat the upstart Wildcats 45-37 but before the game was even over Florida’s SEC East Division rivals had already opened the door for another Florida run to Atlanta. South Carolina lost to Vanderbilt and Tennessee lost to Alabama. So, for one week anyway, Florida (5-2, 3-2 in SEC) is eyeing a straight line to it’s second straight BCS bowl game.

“We’re back,” Florida receiver Louis Murphy said. “I still feel like we shouldn’t have lost to LSU. I know that’s what’s in my head.

“We should have beat them and we came out today and showed that we could beat Kentucky. I think we’re bouncing back and we’re going to go on a nice big run.”

THIRD QUARTER: Florida 31, Kentucky 24

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky won't go away.

Two Kentucky touchdowns in the third quarter, including a 50-yard play by Dicky Lyons Jr. has the Wildcats within striking distance entering the fourth quarter.


HALFTIME: Florida 21, Kentucky 10

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Jump pass alert.
     Tim Tebow revived the long-forgotten jump pass last season against LSU. The sophomore quarterback brought back The Jump at the end of the second half when he leaped at the one-yard line and completed a short crossing pattern to tight end Aaron Hernandez. Ijjas' extra point gave Florida 21-10 lead with 18 seconds left in the half.
     The scoring drive was set up by a 61-yard kickoff return by Brandon James, the champion of all little people.
------HALFTIME NOTES------
     Now I'm watching Kentucky's band perform "Bohemian Rhapsody" (Queen). (Hopefully it's the Wayne's World version.) Now the band is playing Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer." Fitting for these 'Cats, I suppose.   

-Kentucky receiver Keenan Burton injured his knee during the second quarter and was taken into the locker room before halftime for evaluation.

-In a flashback to the loss against LSU, Florida once again allowed an opponent to convert a ridiculous fourth down. This happened in the second half when Kentucky converted a fourth-and-9 to reach field goal position. Kicker Lones Seider booted a 27-yarder to cut Florida's lead to 14-10 with 2:38 left in the half.


FIRST QUARTER: Florida 14, Kentucky 7

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The long ball is back.
     Florida quarterback Tim Tebow connected with Louis Murphy with 11 seconds left in the first quarter for a 66-yard touchdown play. Murphy ran past a pair of Kentucky defenders and caught Tebow's heave in stride. Kicker Joey Ijjas gave Florida a 14-7 lead with an extra point.
     The touchdown was Tebow's second of the quarter. The Gators tied the score at 7-all after Tebow connected with Cornelius Ingram for a 10-yard play with 4:41 left in the quarter. Tebow completed all five of his pass attempts on the drive and also rushed for 25 yards.
     Kentucky took a 7-0 lead when 'Cats quarterback Andre' Woodson found Dicky Lyons Jr. for a 33-yard touchdown. Lyons Jr. burned Florida cornerback Jacques Rickerson on the play.

PREGAME: Three thumbs up for Lexington...Florida, Kentucky control their own destiny

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- In a surprise turn of events, I'm falling in love with Lexington, Ky. This is a great town. Got to admit, when I first glanced at Florida's away schedule I frowned at the Kentucky trip. I was wrong. The people are SUPER nice, the nightlife is excellent, the town seems to be a Norman Rockwell painting come to life and they hand out 50-cent pieces at the concession stands.

Kentucky also had a moment of silence for Florida football player Michael Guilford in between God Bless and the National Anthem. Guilford passed away last Friday during a motorcycle accident.

I've asked around about this whole 50-cent thing and no one can give me an explanation. Theories anyone...

In related news, Alabama is having its way with Tennessee right now and it looks like Vandy is going to beat South Carolina. If all stays the same, Florida and Kentucky should know before kickoff that the winner of today's game will be in first place in the SEC East.


October 17, 2007

Get to know your Gators: Basketball fan day this weekend

A quick note just in case anyone is interested ...

GAINESVILLE -- Not making the trip to Lexington this weekend for the football game? Then you might want to consider a trip to Gainesville for basketball fan day. The men's and women's basketball teams decided not to have a Midnight Madness this year but will instead give fans a sneak peek on Sunday at the O'Connell Center.

Doors open at 2 p.m. Players will sign autographs between 2:30 and 4 p.m. The men's team will scrimmage at 4:30 p.m.


October 15, 2007

Recruiting: Gators get surprise commitment from Hallandale wide receiver

Hammond GAINESVILLE -- It only took one week for Florida to fall in love with Hallandale receiver Frankie Hammond Jr.

Hammond Jr. sent Florida a few highlight tapes last week and the receiver committed to the Gators tonight. Hammond, who chose Florida over Miami, told The Miami Herald that he called Florida coach Urban Meyer tonight and left a message on Meyer's voice mail.

According to Hammond Jr., Florida didn't even know he existed until last week. How could they? A relative unknown until this season, Hammond Jr. focused most of his efforts on track and field before dedicating himself to football his senior season. Hammond Jr. (6-0, 160), who runs a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash, won the high jump competition (six feet , 10 inches) this summer at the AAU Junior Olympics in Tennessee. In addition to football, Hammond Jr. hopes to compete in track and field for the Gators.

"I sent Florida my tapes and [assistant coach] Doc Holliday and [assistant coach] Billy Gonzales came down for practice and told me all that Florida had to offer," Hammond Jr. said. "I'll have more chances to be involved as a wide receiver at Florida."

Hammond Jr. didn't play football his sophomore season. Hallandale's football program then struggled in 2006 but the Chargers are 6-1 in 2007. Hammond Jr. had five catches for 117 yards and three touchdowns in a win last week. Hammond Jr. expects to graduate with a 3.7 GPA.


Florida coping with loss of teammate

GAINESVILLE -- Prepartion for Florida's upcoming opponent, Kentucky, remained a side story here in Gainesville on Monday as the football team continued to cope with the loss of scout-team quarterback Michael Guilford.

Guilford, 19, died early Friday morning when he apparently lost control of his motorcycle and struck a median on Old Archer Road. Players attended an on-campus memorial service at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Monday) for Guilford and Ashley Slonina, who also died in the accident. Slonina, 20, was dating starting Florida freshman cornerback Joe Haden.

Joe Haden's mother, Zakiya, flew from Maryland this weekend to offer her son support.


October 12, 2007

Florida football player dies in motorcycle accident

MichaelguilfordThoughts and prayers go out to the families of Florida football player Michael Guilford and his friend Ashley Slonina. Both died early Friday morning in Gainesville, according to police, during a motorcycle accident. Guilford was 19 and Slonina was 20.

Guilford was a walk-on redshirt freshman and served as the Gators' scout-team quarterback. A Blountstown native known for his long hair and outgoing personality, Guilford was referred to by teammates as "Sunshine."

Florida coach Urban Meyer issued this statement on Friday: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Michael Guilford.  He was an outstanding, quality young man that was loved, respected and admired by all of us. His unselfish efforts on helping his teammates getting ready to play every week were only a glimpse of the person he was. We pray that God's blessing be with Michael’s family, friends and teammates during this sad and difficult time. Our condolences and blessings also go to the family and friends of Ashley Slonina who also passed away in this sad and tragic accident.”

-Joseph Goodman

A gator with sharp teeth; Ouch, my eye!

Off work until Sunday...

Gator1BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Florida is off for a few days and so am I. Still can't get away from those Gators, though...(Before you ask, that's a real alligator. His name is Gizmo (rhymes with Tebow)!

Click on the picture to make it bigger. Those teeth are sharp. Spending the weekend in Birmingham with my family! I proposed to my beautiful fiancée, Sarah Goldman, last night (and she actually said YES! Can you believe someone is willing to marry this [quoting a Lakeland fan] "talentless amateur hack!?!").

I'll be blogging again on Monday. Oh, almost forgot, LSU is at Kentucky this weekend. (Florida played LSU last week and plays Kentucky next week.) Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. CBS will televise the game.


October 10, 2007

Florida hoops: Adam Allen's dad smashed his Nintendo 64 with a baseball bat...and much, much more!

GAINESVILLE -- Florida forward Adam Allen is one of seven freshmen on the Gators' 11-man basketball squad. Those fresh faces met with the media today (Wednesday) during the Gators' preseason basketball media day. That's when I found out the REAL story behind Allen's non-video game upbringing.

AdamallenI spoke with Adam's mom, Kelly, this offseason when young Adam signed with the Gators. Kelly Allen is great for stories. She told me all about how Adam (pictured) grew up on a farm in little Milton, Fla. He worked the land, fished the lake, rode tractors, mastered his jump shot ... you know, all the things a good kid from Milton does. Kelly Allen also told me that Adam and his brothers grew up without a video game system in their house. "Oh, the horror," I thought. No Contra or Double Dragon (probably before Adam's time), no Super Mario Brothers, no Sega, no Halo, NO NOTHING!

"That's right," Kelly Allen said.

Not exactly. Adam and his three younger brothers (I'm the oldest of four boys, too, by the way) did, for a short while, own a Nintendo 64. That all changed one day when father Randy Allen came home from work and caught his boys playing video games when they weren't supposed to.

"He took the Nintendo outside and smashed it with a baseball bat," Allen said.

Ahh, that's a classic story. Sounds like something my dad would have done.

If you're a casual Gators fans, then this is probably the first time you've ever read the name Adam Allen. Trust me, you're going to read it a lot over the next four years. Allen (6-8, 206 pounds) is a big star back home Milton way. So big, in fact, the Santa Rosa County Commission honored him with his own day in the spring. It was Adam Allen Day all day long back on April 23. Adam, who was originally recruited by former Florida assistant Anthony Grant, is Milton basketball's all-time leader in points (23,017), rebounds (12,000) and blocks (321). He was second only to Nick Calathes (another Florida freshman) in voting for last season's Florida Mr. Basketball award.

JailucasCalathes, a 6-6 swingman, and Allen are two of five stud freshmen. The group also includes forward Alex Tyus, guard Jai Lucas (pictured) and forward Chandler Parsons. In keeping with Florida coach Billy Donovan's penchant for recruiting sons of former professional basketball players, Allen, Parsons and Lucas' fathers all played professional basketball. Jai (pronounced Jay) Lucas' father is former NBA player and coach John Lucas. Jai's older brother, John, is currently playing with the Houston Rockets.

Parsons' father, Gary, was the Division I-AA national player of the year way back in 1977. Chandler Parsons' grandfather, Don, played for Rutgers and was drafted by the New York Knicks.

And that brings us to Randy Allen, the Nintendo smasher. Allen played professionally for the Sacramento Kings. Randy Allen played his college ball at Florida State. Adam Allen says it was a pretty big shocker to his family (his godparents live in Tallahassee) when he committed to Florida. As for the video games, well, Adam says he's making up for lost time. He and his roommates (Lucas, Calathes and Parsons) have an X-Box 360.

"We play it all the time," Allen said.

That is until Randy shows up one day with a baseball bat.


Tim Tebow indecent book proposal; Gators midseason report

A young Tim Tebow once finished the Double Dare obstacle course in 12.8 seconds. He won a free trip to Space Camp but the Pentagon intervened, issuing Tebow this letter...

GAINESVILLE -- Lest we forget, Gator Clause wanted to let our loyal readers know that we would love their help with a new project. It's called the Document All the Tim Tebow Tattoos You Can Find Project and Let Me Know. We'll call it DATTTYCFPLMK for short.

If anyone hears of a person getting a Tim Tebow tattoo, then I want to know about it. Email me the person's phone number. Gator Clause has decided to make a coffee table book chronicling the collegiate career of Tim Tebow. The projected publish date for this "can't live without Christmas gift for every man, woman, child and inmate" is when Timmy either graduates, goes pro or ascends into heaven.

Since every college football writer in America is working on this very same book, Gator Clause's offering will have a slightly different twist. There will be no words (as words imply arrogance). Instead, the book's magnet aura will pulsate hope throughout the world using the power of art. That's right, folks. Prison tats are not only welcomed but encouraged. All proceeds for this book will be wasted on education and "medication."

Speaking of the Teebster, he probably won't win the Heisman Trophy this season (I write this only because he's a sophomore and a sophomore has never won) but it's safe to assume that Tebow will be making the trip to New York as a finalist. I've already reserved a room in New York. Seriously, I already did this. If Tebow doesn't make it to New York, then I'm going to be really upset. Don't think Tebow deserves a shot at the Heisman as a sophomore? Consider this: If Tebow continues at his current pace, then he'll finish the regular season with 2,910 passing yards, 1,000 rushing yards and 44 total touchdowns (passing and rushing combined).

-He's the SEC's most efficient passer, completing 65.5 percent of his throws.
-Only Kentucky's Andre' Woodson (1,536 yards) has thrown for more yards than Tebow (1,455 yards).

-Tebow is ranked eighth in the SEC in rushing yards with 500 yards on 105 carries. That's just downright remarkable considering all of his passing yards.
-He has rushed for nine touchdowns. That's tied for first in the SEC!

-Tebow leads the SEC in total offense (1,955 yards, 325.6 per) and there isn't a close second.
-He's made more phone calls to the LSU student section than any other player in the conference.
-Tebow has had a hand (throwing or rushing) in 22 touchdowns.
-Seriously, if Tebow keeps this up his entire career, then the Downtown Athletic Club (or whomever sponsors the award these days) will need to remain the Heisman Trophy the Teebster.

Dropping 59 points on Tennessee seems more impressive now than it did when it actually happened.

Tony Joiner's misstep with Watson's Towing and Recovery. To Joiner's credit, he handled the media scrutiny with class on Tuesday.

Florida wasting a year of Chris Rainey's eligibility is one of this season's biggest disappointments. See also, Jerimy Finch. Still sad for that kid.

Five underclassmen led Florida in tackles against LSU, including sophomore defensive end Jermaine Cunningham, who had 17.

Former Southern Cal running back Emmanuel Moody transferring to Florida still baffles Gator Clause.

Kestahn Moore has quietly turned into a good running back. He needs more carries in the second half of the season. He's averaging 5.4 yards per carry.

Six games into the season and Wondy Pierre-Louis is still starting at cornerback. He wins the most improved Gator award. From henceforth, Gator Clause proclaims itself as the unofficial Wondy Pierre-Louis fan-club website. The Haitian born Pierre-Louis has 19 tackles in six games. He has also deflected one pass.

Florida benchwarmer Jarred Fayson has only touched the ball on offense 11 times (nine rushing, two receiving) in six games. Problem?

This was supposed to be fifth-year senior Andre Caldwell's breakout season, finally. It hasn't happened. He only has five receptions.

Free safety Major Wright (Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas) stepped in for faltering Kyle Jackson and made an immediate impact. He had 10 tackles against Auburn and 11 against LSU. Cornerback Joe Haden and offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey are a close second and third on the freshmen list.

"If Florida doesn't score 20 points [against Auburn], then drink an Alabama Slammer, and then drink another and then drink another."

The Gators have done well on the recruiting trail so far this season. Florida already has commitJenkins_00000ments from eight high school players, including three four-star defensive backs and five-star athlete Will Hill. (Pictured is Pahokee cornerback Janoris Jenkins, a Florida commitment who was at the Auburn game on an unofficial visit. I chatted it up with Jenkins, complimented his matching red shoes and then snapped this picture with my new camera phone.)

If Florida beats LSU in the SEC championship game, does a one-loss LSU team still play for a national championship? I'll make sure to ask SEC commissioner Mike Slive this weekend.


October 09, 2007

Q & A with Florida freshman cornerback Moses Jenkins of Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson

Joseph Goodman



GAINESVILLE -- Gator Clause has been waiting a long time for the chance to interview Florida freshman cornerback Moses Jenkins. (Florida's sports information office does not allow reporters to speak with freshmen until they've played in a game.) Jenkins saw his first action of the season last Saturday against LSU. He played during Florida's defensive dime packages and finished the game with his first career tackle.


IMosesn his post-game press conference following the loss to LSU, Florida coach Urban Meyer said that he was forced to play Jenkins "out of necessity."


Jenkins, a Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson alum, was a signing-day surprise for the Florida Gators last February. I was covering Broward County high schools when Jenkins committed to Florida and remember glowing with pride inside Boyd Anderson's auditorium when Jenkins announced that he received a full-scholarship to play football in college. Jenkins, one of the most soft-spoken young men you're every going to meet, is someone Meyer likes to refer to as "a high-character individual."

Here's my Q & A with Jenkins after today's practice:


Q: What were you feeling as you sprinted onto the field for the first time in your career?


A: “I was a little nervous but I’ve been going hard in practice so the coaches thought I was ready to go. The crowd was crazy, so that made me a little more nervous. But after my first play I was all right. But that first play, being in a big game, I was pretty nervous. That crowd was real pumped. They would never shut up. It was hard for us with the crowd."


Q: I thought for sure Florida was going to redshirt you this season. When did you find out that you had a chance to contribute?


A: “The whole week the coaches were telling me that [LSU] likes to go four and five wide, so we were going to go with our dime packages. I worked hard in practice all week so the coaches told me to be ready to play.”


Q: "Give a personal assessment of how much you’ve improved since the first day you arrived on campus?"


A: “From high school to now I’ve learned a whole lot. My first day of practice I had to adjust to everything and learn how to practice hard. But I’m doing good now and I’m hanging in there.”


Q: What did you say to yourself after you recorded the first tackle of your career?


A: “After I made my first tackle I was like, ‘Wow!’ because it was a real big college game. All my boys from back home were calling and texting me. It felt good to get my first college stat.”


Q: Did you ever think you were going to be redshirted this season?


A: “Not exactly. Coaches always told me to go hard to see if I could handle it. I’ve been waiting every game for my number to get called.”


Q: Can we expect to see you play in any more games?


A: "Most likely, yeah. Against Kentucky I should play because they go to that four- and five-wide set, too. So I’m going to keep on working hard and see what happens."


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