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Estopinan: Wilson in no form to play

GAINESVILLE -- For those wishful souls out there who might be hoping that Ronnie Wilson can give the Gators an immediate boost at defensive tacke, think again says Gators senior defensive tackle Javier Estopinan.

The Gators' senior leader, who many think will be the Gators' defensive captain this season, told Gator Clause that Wilson is out of shape and not ready to contribute at defensive tackle. First things first for Wilson: Get back into good graces with his teammates, Estopinan said.

"He has tried to change his act around," Estopinan said. "He hasn't been working out with the team or anything. He's trying to work his way back into the drills and get back on everyone's good side."

Estopinan said that Wilson should be commended for making an attempt to rejoin the team by paying his own through school, but indicated Wilson's gesture is only the beginning to winning back the trust of his teammates. Wilson, of course, was arrested in 2007 and UF coach Urban Meyer was forced to kick him off the team. According to Meyer, Wilson is being allowed to practice with the team during fall camp but has not officially made the team yet. Wilson is listed on the Gators' roster.

"[Wilson] just got back on the team," Estopinan said. "Everybody deserves a shot and everybody makes a mistake. You learn from it and hopefully you grow from it. [Wilson] is just like a walk-on, so he's just got to earn his rights again."

Estopinan of South Miami High said on Monday that his left knee is close to full health following offseason surgery to repair a torn anterior-cruciate ligament. He tore the ligament against Georgia. The senior, who has already earned his undergraduate degree and is now attending graduate school on a full athletic scholarship, is projected as a starting defensive tackle. He weighed in at 285 pounds on Monday.

The Gators' second starting defensive tackle spot will be up for grabs during fall camp and two-a-days. Terron Sanders, Troy Epps and Lawrence Marsh are the top contenders.

-jo-

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I don't see any quote that says Estop thinks what you claim. And, even if he did, he'd be the only person who thought it. From practice observers with GatorCountry yesterday:

"Ronnie Wilson was out there and physically looked spectacular. He moves very well and runs as well as any lineman including the defensive ends. He will likely be the tallest defensive tackle outside of Matt Patchan so leverage will be key when the pads come on and they start hitting. If today was a test, he would get an A for physical readiness."

BEST PRACTICE: Goes to John Brown who was constantly getting the praises of Dan McCarney on the day and looked very quick. Wilson was a close second. He really looked good for a guy that hasn’t played football in a year.

Take a look at the picture from yesterday on this page, and point out exactly which part of Wilson seems to be out of shape. http://www.gatorcountry.com/football/article/something_to_prove1/4105

OK. I'm a little upset now. But I just deleted this comment because I was stupid. Sorry, folks.

-jo-

I very much enjoyed reading your blog until today. Not sure, but it seemed like you set your alter ego free. Anyway it was good while it lasted.

If Javy is not happy about Wilson rejoining the team then can we really expect him to be unbiased in a report on how Wilson is doing? I also didn't see any quotes from your post that indicated Javy thinks Wilson is in "no form to play." He says he hasn't worked out with the team, but didn't say whether or not he has worked out on his own.

WOW...who urinated in your cornflakes, Goody? I came here for one reason...to see if your post and and blog was as bad as it seemed to be from other's description. It really wasn't. IT WAS WORSE!!!!!

Yes, "proper smack talk" worthy of a shill for a UM rag like the Herald.

Objective journalists don't talk "smack" against a football program they're covering. Homers do.

Thank you (or is that U) for showing your true colors.

And I'm still waiting for you to respond to the FACT that it wasn't an AK-47 Wilson fired, as you've repeatedly reported, but in actuality a mere .22 caliber.

Facts are stubborn things. Almost as stubborn as Gator-hating Herald writers.

I'm with the crowd that thinks Wilson is going to be a contributor. I read the comments by Estopinan and think you are making too much of them. From what I've seen, Wilson looked very quick at practice. He's a big boy but he can move for his size and he has always played with a mean streak on the field. Before Wilson's troubles began, he was one of the most promising lineman on campus and was slated to be a starter before his injury.

It doesn't surprise me that a model Gator like Estopinan isn't ready to immediately accept Ron(nie) Wilson back with open arms. It also reminds me, however, of how teammates reacted initially to Rickey Williams return to the Dolphins. Given a couple of days with the team, they all changed their tune.

I've had numerous conversations about Wilson over the years with one of his high school coaches and and he was very surprised by his problems with the law. Most thought pretty highly about him (no pun intended). You can view the situation cynically if you wish but I wouldn't neccesarily jump to conclusions.

Obviously, Wilson had no business carrying around that kind of weapon. He had no business firing it off. Things could have ended much, much worse for Wilson or others.

At this stage, I am hopeful that Wilson will walk the straight and narrow path from now on. I am hopeful, that he has not thrown away what was once a very bright future.

Was your first clue Franz Beard wrote that practice report that his name was at the top indicating he was the author, or down toward the bottom and the "about the author" box?

Seems like you have an axe to grind.

Just like you think Ronnie Wilson should be held accountable for his actions, I think you should be held accountable for yours. As such, I made sure to send your little diatribe directly to Franz. :)

Saw your deleted comments earlier. I have to say that was a pretty sh*tty response. Glad to see you delete the comments but the damage has been done.

With the state of the newspaper business I'd keep your "feelings" in check. Never know when the next Barnhardt moment may be coming.

Hope you know how to swim Mr. Goodman...as it looks like someone just treaded into water where their feet can no longer touch the ground.

Saturday September 6th, a date which will live in infamy... The University of Miami will come into the swamp and SHOCK the NATION!!!

Sept.6th a day when the Hurricanes will realize how far they have to go to get back to the top of College Football. UF 42 UM 10

The Miami Herald, Sun Sentinel and Palm Beach Post all have one thing in common. Gator writers who are supposed experts, that hate the team.

Goodman, I think you do a fantastic job. You guys will crush Florida in a month. Miami's defense is going to be nasty this year, and I wouldn't be surprised if you shutout Florida on their home field. Peace out, dog.

exactly when and where has franz [beard] 'lied thru his teeth'?...as you stated in your now removed response below.

if you are going to make a statement like that, back it up with some facts. otherwise, you lose all journalistic integrity.

I used to believe that you were an objective writer covering your beat but obviously I was wrong. Your true colors have shown through and it is now obvious that you are simply a cane homer playing to your local crowd. I am officially done reading your work.

Boy, that sure is a great deal of journalistic extrapolation. The quotes included in your article do not say nor imply that Wilson is out of shape. They simply say he hasn't been working with the team. I seriously hope you have a direct quote to support your headline, because the way it reads from your blog it appears you are trying to start a rift on the UF team that is not there.

Someone's going to need to get our coaches on the horn and make sure our players don't interview with this tool anymore. He's only here to cause trouble.

what an amazingly petty and unprofessional response. glad to see you deleted it, but, wow.

Oh, Joe where to begin. Now I've seen it all. A blogger calling a respected journalist a liar. Ego is a baaad thing and Arrogance is worse. It's time to grow up Joe.

We know anything that portrays UF in a negative light keeps you employed but a little journalistic integrity would be nice. But then again you're a blogger...be proud!

Edwin Pope is one of my biggest fans.

-jo-

As if I wrote that and didn't expect it to get back to GatorCountry. I'll deal with that stuff today while you guys go on commenting anonymously. Anyway, this business about me being a homer for the Canes or whatever is complete nonsense. I could care less about Miami. They're not even in the SEC, for crying out loud. And another thing, how can I be a "homer" for Miami if my home is in Gainesville? Duh.

About the Javy blog post: Javy told me that Wilson was not in shape. End of story. I wasn't trying to case any silly riff with the football team. Again, nonsense. How in the world could someone interpret that from my blog? Look, folks. I joke around and entertain and play the fool with guys on the blog. That's one thing. When it comes to interviewing players, coaches, state attorneys, athletics directors, Mike Slive, whoever, it's all business.

Keep in mind one thing when you read this blog, it's only college football and this blog is supposed to be a change of pace from what I write in the newspaper.

-jo-

Goody, why does it matter whether the comments are anonymous or not? It's the ideas you should be addressing in the comments (if they need to be addressed at all), not the people. What does it matter whose name is attached to the comment?

-Anon-

So, you claim he told you Ronnie was out of shape but fail to use the quote in this blog post... hmmmmm

It's sad that there are so many really bad "journalist" out there.

BTW, I added my name since you're so worried about who said what to you. I don't mean to chest thump or anything but, what exactly are you going to do about what I or anyone else says?

We gator fans welcome an unbiased, neutral angle on gators----what we dont want is someone looking to make everything look in the worst possible angle----while i welcome you uncovering Ron Wilsons misdemeaner....how come there is so little action about FSU keeping hidden from the public allegations a PUBLIC university is under major investigation---I think state agency supported by our money violating the rules governing athletics and soon to face MAJOR sanctions would get more play then a 19 year old smoking dope (50% of them do).....we want you to be neutral, not gunning for a story about little pot while a HUGE story goes uncovered......

You need to grow up little buddy. I understand that you do not want to cover the Gators but unfortunately that is your job. If you do not like the Gators I understand completely but your little cheap shots about Ronnie Wilson and Urban Meyer are played. Also I know that Estop has no problem with Ronnie so don't try and create some sort of "internet beef" with your blog. My e-mail address at UF is posted if you would like to respond to me.

Alex,

Thanks for the checking out the blog. We'll be having live updates from practice, player audio interviews, podcasts on Sunday and a bunch of a great fun on Gator Clause all season. Wish I could stay and play but I've gotta pull myself away from the blog and get to work on football preview-section stories.

-jo-

My biggest problem I have with this whole thing is as a journalist would you not follow up from other sources or go directly to the one that the statement is made about before just taking it as fact? I mean hell if all the sports reporters did as poor of a job as verifying statements as you do Vegas would be flat broke.

Oh hey by the way, here is some help for your next blog. I talked to Cris Carter he told me that Adrian Peterson has not been working out with the team. Now you can write your next story about how Adrian has gotten fat and lazy and can't even run 40 yards without falling over from exhaustion.

Cheers

I know Cris. I don't think he would say that. Thanks for the idea, though. If you've followed my Wilson covering, then you should know that I've been following up with sources. I also took the professional courtesy of informing Florida about the story well before I broke it (as to not blindside them). Of course, that's the kind of stuff no one cares to read about.

-jo-

I am somewhat mystified by your blog and your (now deleted) response to the first post.

A lot of what you post in your blog is good, helpful information. A lot of it is simple grandstanding, and pointless grandstanding at that. Before reading your response on this page, I noted that at times there is a definite tone of hostility. It's not clear if this is hostility at Florida in particular or college football in general, although I suspect it's the later. Your response and insult toward a good college football writer shows that this hostility is ruining the good work you are doing.

My advice - separate the angry rants from the good reporting. A blog where fans follow the up and downs of their team is not the place to rant about the various injustices (and there are more than a few) in college football. Those are worthy pieces, but they need to be done fairly, with good research and should be separate from a day to day blog like this.

"Pointless grandstanding" ... exactly. Good post Gotham Gator and thanks for the advice. This whole blog thing is a work in progress, as I'm sure you can already tell. I'll find the right balance here eventually. What should be noted is that I'm doing work all day (I have literally been working all day and night recently.) So, obviously, I like college football and college athletics. If someone didn't like it this much, they wouldn't blog as much and try and interact with readers in a semi-civil manner. Just check the other blogs out there for proof. As for deleting the comment, it was originally meant as a joke but obviously didn't read that way, so I deleted it and apologized for the lack of judgment.

-jo-

Ive never read this blog before and was directed here after the big dust up, but i dont see the big deal in the blog report at all. He's just relaying some inside info that he got from a player, and nothing in there suggested to me that there was any animosity towards wilson. Blogs arent the same as news articles and to pass along something like what Javy told him without specific quoting is nothing unusual. I dont think the response by -jo- was a good one, but i dont blame him for getting annoyed by the old curmudgeons from gc who try to dissect every single quote (or lack thereof). Just let it go, trying to mess with a guy’s livelihood for dissing your favorite intraweb site makes you look pretty foolish.

ok Goody=gator hater....

you say you live in gainesville and love covering the gators.Yet, you can't see for yourself that wilson is not in shape? if you are a great reporter and are "into" covering the "facts", wouldn't you have gone to a pratice to check it out for yourself? And don't give us this crap about pratice is now closed...the first three days should have been enough for you to draw a conclusion for yourself.

Jo,

Very disappointing- what you wrote and your behavior in what you wrote and then your insistence to maintain a certain posture toward other journalists. Yes, you can have your feud with GatorCountry. You can say website journalism is not true journalism and sink with the other newspapers that will no longer be around in 20 years or sooner. Keep it private, though and don't discredit yourself with adolescent accusations and nonsense. I was neutral on you previously, preferring to have the opinion that you can be a professional and have a different point of view. That has unfortunatley changed, now. You can still have your point of view. But, I seriously question whether you are a legit professional and if you do not learn from this incident, you never will be.

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