TAMPA -- I realize most people in this world correlate the annual beginning of college football hysteria with the release of EA Sports' updated version of its college football video game. Clearly, those people don't know about the Florida Sports Writers Association preseason college football press conferences.
Gator Clause is in Tampa today for the event and already we've listened to Florida coach Urban Meyer, USF coach Jim Leavitt and UM coach Randy Shannon talk football. The highlight so far? Gotta go with Leavitt inferring that Florida is scared to play the Bulls in Tampa and then a few minutes later telling reporters that USF's bull's-eye is focused, without question, on Miami in the hopes of unseating the Hurricanes as one of the Big Three. (UM and USF currently share a five-game deal and three of those games are in Tampa.)
Meyer was up first today and he's looking pretty spry considering he spent the last few days in Los Angeles for the ESPY awards. (Tebow, by the way, won an ESPY for best male college athlete of the year. The show will air at 9 p.m. on Sunday.) A few notes to pass along before I begin writing my stories for tomorrow's paper. I'll get back to the blog later on today once I'm done.
-Meyer said that ESPN College GameDay is going to be in Gainesville for the UF-UM game. (Don't know if that was already public knowledge. I hadn't heard anything about it.)
-Omar Hunter's injured back has put the defensive tackle behind schedule for the start of two-a-days. Don't expect a freshman savior a la Major Wright or Joe Haden, warned Meyer.
-Janoris Jenkins might be a candidate to move to safety. Walk-on Cade Holliday is currently the only player to move to safety after the Gators' rash of injuries at the position. Holliday was previously a wide receiver.
-Freshman Matt Patchan severally strained a pectoral muscle during offseason workouts. He can't even lift weights. Don't expect much out of him for a while.
-Percy Harvin is back to full speed, according to Meyer, but UF's staff will be working Harvin back into the fold slowly to avoid further injuries.
-Meyer spoke with Jeffrey Demps a few hours before Demps ran a 10.01 in the 100 meters at the U.S. track and field Olympic trials. Meyer says Demps is somewhere in the middle of Harvin and redshirt freshman Chris Rainey in terms of strength. It begs the question: If Demps is in between Harvin (jersey No.1) and Rainey (jersey No.3), then why isn't Demps wearing No.2 this season? (Demps is No.32.)
We'll have more on today's press conferences later in the day, so check back and enjoy.