« July 2008 | Main | September 2008 »

63 posts from August 2008

August 19, 2008

Oddsmakers think Harvin is healthy; Set betting line at 1,500 yards; UF favored to win SEC over UGA; Plus a bookie's insight

A different and off-beat angle on some UF storylines that you guys won't read anywhere else...

GAINESVILLE -- Working hard today for you guys. I was in Orlando early Wednesday morning to cover Sen. Barack Obama's speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. You can find that story on MiamiHerald.com, if you like. I missed UF's Wednesday practice, obviously, but I still have some interesting notes to pass along.

In between listening to and analyzing Obama's speech, I conducted an interview of sorts with an online gambling house, BoDogLife.com. The boys at BoDogLife.com, an offshore sports book, have set a collection of gambling lines and odds for various college football statistical measures, including the Heisman Trophy and BCS national championship. You can beat on pretty much everything, if that's your sort of thing.

One of the numbers that caught my eye was the website's over/under on UF receiver Percy Harvin's combined rushing and receiving yards. The line is set at 1,500 yards. Last season, Harvin combined for 1,622 yards receiving and rushing. I asked the betting house if they "knew something I didn't" regarding Percy's injury.

"[Harvin] was running full speed in earlier practices this week," said Jimmy Shapiro, a publicist for BoDogLife.com "I think they are just being more cautious than anything at this point. I'm OK with the number."

It should be noted that Harvin must play in the first game of the season for the wager to have action. Read into that however you like.

Still, 1,500 yards seems like an interesting number, considering Harvin had over 1,600 combined receiving and rushing yards last season and missed two games.

Another interesting number that sticks out is BoDogLife.com's odds for UF to win an SEC championship. UF has better odds than Georgia. In the BCS odds, Georgia is slightly ahead of Florida. UGA has 5-1 odds to win the BCS title. Florida is 11/2 (5.5/1).

Keep in mind that these numbers only mean that this online sports book thinks people will jump at these odds. Nothing else.

In addition to the sports book's publicist, I also spoke with Richard Gardner, BoDog sports book manager, about the numbers and odds placed on UF quarterback Tim Tebow.

“The Florida Gators should score a lot of points this season, something they have been doing ever since Tim Tebow took over the reigns," Gardner said. "This season, Tebow should put up similar numbers through the air but his Ground numbers should be smaller due to the influx of talent In the Florida backfield. USC transfer Emmanuel Moody and freshmen Chris Rainey should take away some carries that would normally be reserved for Florida’s do-all quarterback.

"Tebow’s passing numbers should improve in terms of yardage, however, don’t expect a big increase in his touchdowns through the air. Expect the Gators to pound the ball in with their new and improved running game and Tebow’s touchdown numbers should decrease slightly from last season as a result."

Gardner, online sports bookie, on the early numbers for BCS champion betting trends. And also a few betting tips:

"This should be a very interesting year in the BCS. With heavyweights Ohio State and USC playing early in the season, the race for the No.1 spot in the BCS will be heated early in the season. We have seen a substantial amount of money come in on Ohio State in the past week and currently have them No.2 behind USC in terms of shortest odds.

"The No.1 ranked team, Georgia, comes in third, but injury concerns and suspensions have made the bettors shy away from them so far. The rest of the top six come in with Missouri, Florida and Oklahoma as all short-odd favorites to take home the BCS championship. A team to watch out for is Texas Tech. They have been bettors' favorites for most of this offseason, and at 30/1 may be the best value on the board.”


More UF-related wagers at BoDogLife.com. In blue font, I added last year's numbers:

Odds to win the 2008 BCS National Championship      
Florida                          11/2

2008 Regular Season Wins - Florida
Over                              10 (-130)
Under                            10 (EVEN)

Odds to win the SEC Conference
Florida                           3/2
Georgia                          2/1
Auburn                           3/1
LSU                                4/1
Alabama                         7/1
Tennessee                      9/1
South Carolina                15/1
Mississippi                      35/1
Arkansas                        40/1
Mississippi State            45/1
Kentucky                        50/1
Vanderbilt                      50/1

Odds to win the SEC East Division
Florida                            4/5
Georgia                           5/4
Tennessee                       4/1
South Carolina                  8/1
Kentucky                         20/1
Vanderbilt                       30/1

How many Passing Yards will Tim Tebow (FLA) have in the 2008 Season?
Over/Under        3,550 3,286

How many Passing TD’s will Tim Tebow (FLA) have in the 2008 Season?
Over/Under        32  32

How many Rushing Yards will Tim Tebow (FLA) have in the 2008 Season?
Over/Under        725  895

How many Rushing TD’s will Tim Tebow (FLA) have in the 2008 Season?
Over/Under        18 .5   23

How many Combined Receiving and Rushing Yards will Percy Harvin (FLA) have in the 2008 Regular Season?
Over/Under 1,500   1,622

How many combined Receiving and Rushing TD’s will Percy Harvin (FLA) have in the 2008 Regular Season?
Over/Under        12    10

Odds to win 2009 BCS National Championship
USC                             7/2
Ohio State                   4/1
Georgia                       5/1
Florida                       11/2
Oklahoma                    6/1
Missouri                     14/1
West Virginia             15/1
LSU                            20/1
Texas                         20/1
Clemson                     22/1
Virginia Tech              30/1
Tennessee                  30/1
Wisconsin                   30/1
Auburn                       35/1
Texas Tech                40/1
Florida State              50/1
Illinois                        50/1
Penn State                  50/1
Michigan                     50/1
Alabama                     55/1
Miami                         60/1
Notre Dame                65/1
South Florida              75/1

Odds to win the 2008 Heisman Trophy
Tim Tebow (FL)                        7/2
Chris Wells (Ohio St.)                6/1
Chase Daniel (Missouri)             6/1
Knowshon Moreno (UGA)           8/1
Michael Crabtree (TTech)         10/1
Pat White (WVU)                      10/1
Sam Bradford (Okl)                   14/1
DeMarco Murray (Okla)             15/1
Matthew Stafford (UGA)           15/1
Graham Harrell (TTech)           16/1
Percy Harvin (FL)                     20/1

August 18, 2008

Duke Lemmens gearing up for the storm; Plus Meyer's (lack of) thoughts on Rainey vs. Harvin

FYI, folks. Gator Clause will be away from Gainesville on Tuesday and Wednesday, helping The Miami Herald's news section with tropical storm/hurricane coverage...If I can't get around to posting on Tuesday, Wednesday and possibly Thursday, then you guys will know why...

GAINESVILLE -- Gator Clause is gearing up for Tropical Storm Fay and so is Florida defensive end Duke Lemmens. Lemmens, a sophomore from sunny California, said on Monday that he's going to invest in an umbrella for the storm.

LemmensNeedless to say, Lemmens [PICTURED], a sophomore, got a few laughs from reporters today with that statement. Lemmens praised junior linebacker Brandon Spikes for his leadership during fall camp. Lemmens also said that the attitude of the defense is an improvement from last year and that "everyone is taking pride in what they're doing."

"The D-line is as close as I've ever seen it," said Lemmens, a back-up end. "It's the same with the [linebackers] and everyone is following Spikes and he is leading for us. He's doing an incredible job being a leader for us."

--Omar Hunter practiced with the team on Monday. Hunter has been limited to individual workouts due to his sore back. Lemmens is impressed with Hunter's potential but also said that Hunter is still out of shape.

"It was so good to see [Hunter] out there today," Lemmens said. "Coming out of high school so highly recruited, it's hard on someone's ego but he has always kept a level head. I know it's really good for him to be out there.

"He looks very explosive off the ball and I even saw get up into the Pouncey's a little bit, which shows his strength. Everyone here knows what the Pouncey's can do."

--When asked, Florida coach Urban Meyer said on Monday that he did not discipline receiver Percy Harvin for his fight with redshirt freshman Chris Rainey. Meyer acted like he either didn't know about the fight or isn't worried about it.

"That's a minor thing," Meyer said. "Fights during practice happen every once in a while."

--Florida might cancel one practice this week due to Tropical Storm Fay. Meyer said on Monday that the Gators are ahead of schedule and could afford to cancel one practice. He would prefer, however, to practice through the week.

"I worry about the weather," Meyer said. "We can't have wasted time. So we're making sure our plan is in order because we can't just waste practices."

Meyer said he plans to conduct two practices on Wednesday and simulate a scrimmage against Hawaii on Tuesday. Back-ups will play the role of Hawaii.

--Carl Moore and David Young have lost their newcomer helmet stripes.


August 17, 2008

PODCAST: Receiver Percy Harvin is not a team leader; Does it matter to UF's success?

Your weekly Sunday podcast...

Harvin_2GAINESVILLE -- Florida receiver Percy Harvin started a fight with freshman running back Chris Rainey during fall camp. Harvin is a junior and a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate. He is also, arguably, the most gifted athlete in college football.

But Harvin [PICTURED] has a history of assaulting other athletes and is a maverick among his teammates. Will Harvin's poor attitude affect the Gators' chances of winning a national championship? Gator Clause addresses the important topic on this podcast. Run time is four minutes and 21 seconds. Click the play button.


Podcast edited and produced by Joseph Goodman of The Miami Herald.

SEC WEST ROUND-UP: Julio Jones' star shining brightly in Bama

SEC West two-a-days round-up, as promised...

GAINESVILLE -- The SEC West round-up begins in Auburn, Ala., where the Tigers brawled earlier this Helmet_aub_2week during practice. No fighting reported from Saturday's closed-doors scrimmage but there were apparently a few highlights nonetheless. Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin's new spread-offense is apparently getting the team's speedy young receivers involved. Coach Tommy Tuberville praised true freshman receiver Philip Pierre-Louis of Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas for his work during two-a-days. 

--Up in Tuscaloosa, Crimson Tide freshman receiver Julio Jones apparently had an impressive scrimmage on Saturday. The practice was closed to the 16,058 beat writers who cover Alabama football, but the most powerful coach in sports watched intently.

Helmet_msu--About 90 minutes due west of Tuscaloosa, the Mississippi State Bulldogs scrimmaged on Saturday and worked on red-zone situations. Led by a solid group of linebackers, defense will likely once again be this team's strength.

--Driving north now to Oxford, where the Ole Miss Rebels have a battle brewing for the starting running back position.

Helmet_lsu--Down on the bayou, LSU coach Les Miles praised his defensive backs. [Thanks for the heads up, guys. Apparently I was the last one to know about Patrick Johnson changing his name to Patrick Peterson.]

--In Arkansas, the Hogs' defense is having trouble stopping the team's unproven offense. That might be a problem.


August 16, 2008

Harvin possibly out 1-2 games, according to James; And Rainey DID get into a scuffle with Harvin

IN THE NEWS: Gators No.5 in writers' poll.

GAINESVILLE -- Florida junior Brandon James said on Saturday that Gators receiver Percy Harvin will "probably only miss one or two games" to begin the season.

Florida opens the season on Aug. 30 against Hawaii before hosting rival Miami on Sept. 6. James' revelation on Saturday was team's first mention of Harvin possibly sitting out games. Florida coach Urban Meyer was not available for comment on Saturday.

James, an all-SEC return specialist, is filling in for Harvin at receiver until the Heisman Trophy candidate is cleared for practice. Harvin had offseason surgery to correct a chronic heel injury. He participated in the Gators’ first session of fall camp but hasn’t practiced since.

“I’m just hitting it hard and staying on my game if he’s going to be out there,” James said.

Harvin, a junior, led the Gators in receiving last season with 58 receptions for 858 yards despite missing two games due to migraine headaches. Harvin also ranked second on the team in rushing (764 yards on 83 carries).

Harvin's inability to practice is apparently weighing on his patience. According to teammate Chris Rainey, Harvin and Rainey got into a fight during the first week of fall camp. Both players were sitting out of practice with injuries when the fight occurred, according to Rainey.

“He was frustrated,” Rainey said.

Rainey said that Harvin started the fight.


August 15, 2008

Projecting UF's defensive depth chart...

IN THE NEWS: Hawaii has a new starting quarterback, according to the Honolulu paper...

GAINESVILLE -- Here's the defense. A few things to note: 1. No Javier Estopinan. 2. Florida is one injury to Major Wright away from disaster in the secondary.

FYI: This is my opinion only and it is based on observations during practice and interviews with coaches and players...

--Jermaine Cunningham, jr., A balanced defensive end expected to fill the void left by Derrick Harvey.
--Duke Lemmens, soph., A reliable option for the Gators' D-line rotation.

--Lawrence Marsh, Rsoph., Confidence is up for this former defensive end. Marsh shed a few pounds during the offseason and has worked his way up the depth chart.
--Terron Sanders, Rsoph., Will see significant action.

--Troy Epps, jr., Impressed coaches with his strength and toughness during the offseason.
--John Brown, soph., Progressing slowly.

--Carlos Dunlap, soph., Potential to be one of the best pass rushers in the Southeastern Conference. Still needs to work on his run defense.
--Justin Trattou, soph., Starting Trattou would not be a drop off.

--Dustin Doe, jr., Second-year starter is "all business" this season, according to Brandon Spikes
--Lorenzo Edwards, soph., Perhaps the Gators most talented linebacker next to Spikes.

--Brandon Spikes, jr., A first-round draft pick.
--Ryan Stamper, Rjr., One of the Gators' most-improved players, according to coaches.

--A.J. Jones, Rsoph., Dedicated himself to improving this offseason. Gained about 20 pounds of muscle.
--Brandon Hicks, soph., Another improved player. A heavy hitter, according to teammates.

--Ahmad Black, soph., Was a third-string cornerback last season.
--Justin Williams, Rsoph., Has only played safety for one week.

--Major Wright, soph., A knockout artist.
--Will Hill, fresh., Head still swimming.

--Joe Haden, soph., Looking like an SEC cornerback, according to Meyer.
--Markihe Anderson, jr., Could be a solid option if he can stay healthy.

--Wondy Pierre-Louis, jr., Will be the SEC's most improved player, according to Gator Clause.
--Jacques Rickerson, Rsoph., When does J-Rick make good on his hype?


SEC ROUND-UP: Georgia picks new sideline pooch; Check out Kentucky's 'Daily Dicky'

SEC EAST round-up today...SEC West coming tomorrow

GAINESVILLE -- Up in Athens, they apparently found a new sideline dog. CLICK ME! for the story from the Atlanta paper.

Helmet_ugaAs everyone knows, most the staff members here at Gator Clause are huge animal lovers. We shed a tear when UGA VI passed away in June. Here's the highlight of UGA VI's life...CLICK ME! Here's a YouTube.com video. CLICK ME!

Dogs hate the Auburn Tigers with a rabid passion. Even highly trained dogs like police canines try and eat Auburn football players. Remember this?...CLICK ME!

--Georgia is the preseason No.1 in the coaches' poll. The media poll comes out on Saturday. Will Georgia be ranked No.1 in the writers' poll as well? Doubt it. My guess is Ohio State.

--Thought Florida was the only team hurting during two-a-days? Nearly every scholarship defensive end on the Dawgs' roster is currently injured, according to published practice reports. Only one DE, Jarius Wynn, is healthy enough to practice at full speed.

The Vols will conduct a full-contact scrimmage on Saturday night inside Neyland Stadium. The Helmet_tenscrimmage is closed to the public. (So don't get any wise ideas...[COUGH! COUGH! HELICOPTER!])

--According to the Nashville paper, Vols running back Arian Foster is expected to participate in eight to 11 plays on Saturday. Foster is suffering from a bone bruise on the right knee.

--The Gamecocks will hold their second scrimmage of the fall on Saturday. Unlike the first scrimmage, this one is closed to the public.

Helmet_uscFrom The State: “If it was only Gamecock fans we’d leave it open, but when you open it up you’ve got to let everyone in,” USC coach Steve Spurrier said. “I’m not convinced that somebody from Raleigh, N.C. or somebody from Nashville (won’t say) ‘Let’s see what them boys are up to.’ That happens everywhere. So we might as well be careful. And we would like to run some plays we’d like to use the first or second week.”

--Quarterback Stephen Garcia, the redshirt freshman from Tampa, isn't practicing. He was recently reinstated to the team on a no-tolerance policy. CLICK ME! for more or Garcia.

'Dores still don't know who their starting quarterback is...Here's a story on that.

Check out The Daily Dicky. The folks in Kentucky are crazy for giving receiver Dicky Lyons Jr. a camera every day during the preseason.

Gators get visit from Celtics coach Doc Rivers

GAINESVILLE -- The football team had its third-annual Champions Night on Thursday. Champions Night is one of Florida coach Urban Meyer's motivational tools. Basically, the players are dragging through two-a-days right about now and Champions Night is a good kick in the pants.

Three guest speakers, all with ties to the University of Florida, spoke to the football team about excellence in athletics: Florida hoops coach Billy Donovan, former NFL receiver Cris Carter (one of Meyer's close friends) and the night's headliner, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Rivers' connection to Florida is an interesting one. His son, a sophomore in high school, has already committed to Florida. Also, Rivers' daughter plays volleyball for UF.

[What is it about Boston pro coaches and the Florida football team? If you recall, Pats coach Bill Belichick has spoken with the football team several times. Meyer and Bilichick are friends.]

Meyer says guest speakers like Rivers bring instant credibility to the message the Florida coaching staff is constantly preaching during preseason practice. The message: Hard work wins championships ... or some variant of that.

Champions Night also included a 15-minute video of highlights edited by UF's multimedia staff. The video featured champions like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan, etc. (UF's video crew does great work, by the way.)

--Meyer said that Percy Harvin conditioned today.
--Freshman defensive tackle Omar Hunter (sore back) still isn't practicing with the team.
--Another freshman defensive lineman, Matt Patchan, hasn't been cleared to practice at full speed just yet but Meyer says Patchan is getting close.


August 14, 2008

Gators starting line-up set for Hawaii; Here it is...

GAINESVILLE -- Florida coach Urban Meyer said on Wednesday that the Gators' starting line-up is set and that the team will begin scheming for Hawaii today [Thursday]. Ladies and gents, here's your 2008 Florida Gators starting line-up and projected back-ups. (Barring more knee injuries, of course.)

FYI: This depth chart is just my opinion and assumes Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy will be healthy...Please, folks, leave me a comment if you agree, disagree or thought of something I forgot...

--Tim Tebow, jr. Accounted for 55 touchdowns in 2007; performs minor surgery on unsuspecting Pacific Islanders.
--Cameron Newton, soph. All the physical tools to be a starter. But will he ever learn how to relax in the pocket?

--Kestahn Moore, sr. Florida coach Urban Meyer says Moore is a dynamic running back. Meyer also says Moore might play fullback a la Billy Latsko in 2006.
--Emmanuel Moody, Rsoph. Moody didn't transfer from USC to sit the bench. You might recall Moody saying something about being a featured back.
--Chris Rainey, Rfr. With Moore in at fullback, Rainey becomes a serious offensive threats.

Outside WR "X"
--Louis Murphy, sr., Meyer's "go-to player."
--Riley Cooper, jr., An amazing athlete, can Cooper remain healthy?

Outside WR "Z"
--Deonte Thompson, Rfr., Primed to make a major impact.
--Carl Moore, jr., Tebow's favorite target at the beginning of two-a-days, according to Meyer. (Everyone else was hurt.)

Slot "P" (As in the "Percy" position)
--Percy Harvin, jr., Will he be ready?
--Brandon James, jr., Meyer has been gushing about James' overall improvement this week.
--Jeffrey Demps, fr., Gotta think Florida will design a few plays each game for this kid.

--Jason Watkins, Rsr., Has developed into the Gators' best offensive lineman.
--Marcus Gilbert, Rsoph., The Gators' top reserve offensive lineman, according to Meyer.

--Mike Pouncey, soph., The Gators' only first-year starter. Saw action at defense last season.
--James Wilson, Rfr., Quickly moving up the depth chart.

--Maurkice Pouncey, soph., The best young lineman in the SEC?
--Mike Pouncey, soph., Was a back-up center last year before moving to defense.

--Jim Tarrt, Rsr., Will his shoulders hold up the entire season?
--Maurice Hurt, Rsoph., Finally healthy and eager for playing time.

--Phil Trautwein, Rsr., Was a preseason first-team all-SEC selection in 2007 before his foot injury (micro fractures).
--Carl Johnson, Rsoph., Not quite 100 percent healthy but is an option.

--Aaron Hernandez, soph., Meyer considers Hernandez a receiver.
--Tate Casey, Rsr., UF better hope that Hernandez stays healthy.



Coverboys: Tim Tebow and Nick Saban

Tebowcover_2GAINESVILLE -- Tim Tebow is on another magazine cover. This time it's Men's Fitness, September issue. Tebow says he posed for the cover to reach a different audience with his religious message.

Here are my thoughts on that. Good for him. So often this country's best athletes never take a stand about anything. Voicing their opinions would hurt their marketability, right? Tebow is using his fame for something meaningful to him that has nothing to do with money. (Not until he turns pro, at least.) That's commendable.

Speaking of money, Forbes will feature Alabama coach Nick Saban on its cover this Friday. You can read the article here. CLICK ME! Forbes' editors (experts that they are) declare Saban to be the most powerful coach in sports.

Note to Forbes: The most powerful coach in the state of Alabama is dead...And just wait until Saban loses to Auburn again.


Tebow is 21 today; Is he going out tonight?

GAINESVILLE -- It's a magical day for Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. Today is his 21st birthday.

Does young Timmy go out on the town tonight? As a fan, would you be upset if Tim celebrated his 21st (in proper fashion) during two-a-days?

Heisman Trophy, national title, international humanitarian ... I'd give the guy a pass.


August 13, 2008

Williams nabs two INTs in scrimmage

A few notes from today's scrimmage before I go donate platelets...

GAINESVILLE -- Converted safety Justin Williams, a redshirt sophomore, is adjusting well to his new position, according to UF coach Urban Meyer. Williams had two interceptions this morning [Wednesday] during the Gators' scrimmage.

How thin are the Gators at safety? Williams has only played safety for four days and already he is second string.

--Lawrence Marsh, a redshirt sophomore, appears to be a starter at defensive tackle after the first week of two-a-days. Marsh lost some weight over the offseason and coaches are pleased with his progression.

--If you're counting at home...That's Marsh and JUCO transfer Troy Epps at the tackle and nose tackle positions.

--Defensive end Jermaine Cunningham practiced today for the first time in over a week.

--Offensive lineman Jason Watkins recently had a mild concussion, according to the coaching staff.

--South Miami alum Javier Estopinan hasn't been getting many reps at DT over the last week. He'll probably start the season on special teams (punt defense). Estopinan was a starter last year but is recovering from his third ACL tear.

--Defensive end Duke Lemmens and linebacker Lorenzo Edwards both have pulled hamstrings, according to defensive coordinator Charlie Strong.

--With Percy Harvin out, running back/receiver Brandon James has apparently taken over as the Gators' multi-talented offensive threat. Meyer lauded James' effort during the scrimmage and says James and intimated that James could play a larger role this season than just a return specialist.

ANSWER TO THE TRIVIA QUESTION: Of the 10 players Gator Clause polled during media day, only true freshman defensive end William Green knew the capital of Montana.


August 12, 2008

Williams moves to safety; Another ACL injury

GAINESVILLE -- Florida coach Urban Meyer said on Tuesday that receiver Justin Williams has been moved to safety.

--Freshman safety T.J. Lawrence separated his shoulder during practice. He's not performing at safety as well as the coaches had hoped.

--Cornerback Joe Haden said that Williams looks like a natural at the safety position.

--All I know: Major Wright better not break another hand this season.

--Linebacker Brendan Beal tore his anterior-cruciate ligament, according to Meyer. Five Gators have now torn their ACLs (Beal, Jim Barrie, Dorian Munroe, Cornelius Ingram and John Curtis).

--Will Hill and Moses Jenkins both suffered concussions last week, according to Meyer.

--QB Tim Tebow's favorite target this spring has been Carl Moore. Of course, with Louis Murphy, Cornelius Ingram and Percy Harvin out, Tebow doesn't really have anyone left to throw to.

--Tebow compared Moore to former UF receiver Dallas Baker. Baker led the team in receptions in 2006.

--Freshmen Frankie Hammond Jr. (receiver/Hallandale) and running back Jeffrey Demps have joined the list of freshmen who have lost their helmet stripes. (For the record, defensive end William Green was the first.)


August 11, 2008

Demps at first-string punt return?

Last day to answer the trivia question: Which Gator successfully answered the trivia question, "What is the capital of Montana?"... Here's the link...CLICK ME! Scroll down for the related blog post...

GAINESVILLE -- Couldn't help but notice today after practice that freshman speedster Jeffrey Demps was taking extra reps as a punt-return specialist. Demps was the only player on the field as a jugs machine rocketed football into the sky. Demps dropped a couple.

Florida coach Urban Meyer said last week that Demps would be one of the freshmen to play this season.

Other notes from this afternoon's practice:
--Linebacker Lorenzo Edwards did not practice on Monday afternoon after limping of the field following Monday's morning session. Edwards appeared to have a friend or family member accompany him to Monday afternoon's closed-doors session.

--Percy Harvin didn't dress.


Touching C.l. video tribute

This YouTube video was brought to our attention by loyal Gator Clause reader and insane Gators fan UF Peru...REMINDER: Don't forget to post a comment for C.I. on the Get-Well-Soon blog post. Here's a  direct link. CLICK ME! I'll be printing out everyone's comments this week and giving it to C.I. ...

PRACTICE REPORT: More key players injured; Two freshmen de-striped

GAINESVILLE -- Florida cornerback Markihe Anderson did not practice on Monday morning and left practice with his right arm in a sling. Florida coach Urban Meyer said that Anderson had a sprained wrist and that an MRI and x-ray were both negative, meaning Anderson should be able to practice next week.

Anderson entered the 2007 preseason as a starter at cornerback but never became a starter after a series of injuries throughout the season.

--Senior receiver Louis Murphy limped out of the Gators' closed practice with a boot on his right leg. Meyer said that Murphy had a sprained ankle.

--Kestahn Moore is an option at fullback, according to Meyer. Meyer says he's excited about Moore playing some fullback.

-Percy Harvin didn't dress this morning. Meyer said Harvin should begin practicing later this week.

--Strong-side linebacker Lorenzo Edwards limped off the practice field this morning. Meyer didn't know if the injury was serious or not.

--Omar Hunter didn't practice this morning but will participate this afternoon, according to Meyer.

--Meyer said that defensive lineman Torrey Davis will definitely not be available for the season opener against Hawaii. Meyer was vague about Davis' status with the team and said that Davis had several off-field issues to address.

--Meyer said that Cornelius Ingram had surgery on Monday morning. The senior tight end recently injured his knee and will not play this season. Even though Ingram will not play, Meyer said that Ingram will be a team captain. Meyer called Ingram a "superstar."

--Defensive end William Green and cornerback Janoris Jenkins appear to be the first freshmen to lose their fall-camp stripes. Neither player had stripes on their helmets after practice today. As the tradition goes, when a Florida Gator freshman loses his stripe during fall camp, he becomes an accepted member of the team.


August 10, 2008

Let the de-striping begin...

Florida is off today...(UPDATE: We have 40 great comments for C.I. but we need at least 40 more. Don't be shy. Wish C.I. well by leaving your own personal comment on the get-well-soon blog post. Here's the direct link to that post. CLICK ME! Seriously, a soldier in Afghanistan had the time to leave a comment for C.I., so you can take the time out, too. Hooah!)

GAINESVILLE -- One of Florida coach Urban Meyer's two-a-days traditions is welcoming freshmen into the program by removing a stripe (it's a sticker) from their helmets. (The true freshmen begin camp with a thin black sticker/stripe on their helmets.)

The de-striping process is a rite of passage. You've got to earn it, apparently. Fans get excited about the de-striping process and speculate which freshman will lose his stripe first. Past freshmen to lose their stripes first include Percy Harvin and Major Wright.

This fall, several freshmen have stood out thus far. Cornerback Jeremy Brown's work ethic is being compared to Tim Tebow. Coaches are shocked by the speedy development of receiver Frankie Hammond Jr. Defensive end William Green appears to be a star in the making and, like Hammond Jr., is a highly intelligent student-athlete. Florida coach Urban Meyer says Jeffrey Demps has already earned the right for playing time this season. Will Hill is battling for a starting spot.

ON A DIFFERENT SUBJECT, Herald correspondent Mike McCall and I asked 10 football players during media day a series of 10 questions with one-word answers. Only one player knew the capital of Montana. Not coincidentally, this same player was one of only two players who could correctly spell "Guacamole." Take a guess who the smart player is and leave your answer in the comment field. I'll announce the name on Monday afternoon after practice and think of a cool prize. (I've got plenty of cool prizes just lying around my house these days!)


August 09, 2008

Florida Bulletin Board: "BEAT Miami"; FSU hate literature; Spurrier gets no love


The countdown is on at the University of Florida for the Gators' rivalry game against the Miami Hurricanes. Check out the exclusive story in The Miami Herald this morning about the football team's motivational bulletin boards. There are five separate boards for six teams: Hawaii, Miami, Tennessee, LSU, Georgia and Florida State...

GAINESVILLE -- You know how football players are always saying that the next game is the most important game. BORING, right? Well, Gator Clause offers visual proof that all that rhetoric is bologna.

BeatmiamiThe Miami Herald snapped this photo on Friday during a tour of Florida's new weight room. (Holy Lou Ferrigno, the weight room is amazing! I felt my muscles getting bigger just walking through the joint.) By the looks of the countdown boards, the home opener against Hawaii feels a little less important than the game against the 'Canes, Vols, Bayou Tigers, 'Dawgs and 'Noles.

--If you're making a road trip to Gainesville this fall for a football game, then make sure you reserve some time for a tour of Ben Hill Griffin's latest addition. As UF coach Urban Meyer likes to call it, the "Front Door of Florida Football" is impressive and fan friendly, too. There are a few interactive video screens, a few shrines to Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow and some trophy cases.

--For me, Steve Spurrier's Heisman Trophy was initially pretty hard to find. You wouldn't think so, because it's near the front of the museum. It's in a corner and when I walked through the front door I didn't even see it at all. (My first time through the museum, I never noticed Spurrier's Heisman.)

--Reporters were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the coaches' offices, recruiting ammenities and weight room on Friday. A few thoughts:

--Dorian Munroe seems to be in great spirits. I ran into the Florida safety and Miami native while walking into the weight room. He said he's feeling great and ready to power through his rehab for the torn anterior-cruciate ligament his suffered during the offseason. Good luck, Dorian. We're rooting for your speedy recovery.

Fsuboard--The coaches' offices are nice. Right when you walk in the front door, there's a poster board detailing Florida's dominance over Florida State the last few years. Recruiting is a dirty business. (Click on the photo and zoom into the graduation rates. And what you're seeing implies what, exactly? )

--Dan Mullen's office is HUGE! Plenty of breathing room to think about how to use all those offensive weapons. Tim Tebow and John Brantley were hanging out with Mullen. (Tebow had on his Crocs. Damn those Crocs!)

--The walls of each coach's offices were literally big dry-erase boards. So cool! The whole of all the walls was for doodling plays and formations and Tim Tebow quarterback-rocker plays and how Brandon Spikes is going to sack Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford eight times in November. Raise your hand if you ever got pounded like Stallone in Rocky III for coloring on walls when you were a kid.

Jarred_2 --The hall walls of the coach's offices are covered with screened photos of Florida football players and emblazoned with more literature for recruits. (In other words, walking into the coaches' offices feels like you're walking into one big media guide. In case you didn't know it, schools use media guides as recruiting tools.)

--Again, no sign of Steve Spurrier. (Well, not entirely true. Apparently, there's a team photo but you might have to squint.)

--But, we did see plenty of evidence of Ron Zook. Other than all the 2006 national championship memorabilia laying around, former and current "Zookerman," Jarred Fayson, is pictured on the walls of the coaches' offices reading a book to children. Giving back: What college football is all about! (That's linebacker Dustin Doe to the right of Fayson. Looks like Doe is doing all the reading.)


IN THE NEWS: Former Gator Ryan Lochte wins Olympic bronze in 400 IM.

August 08, 2008

PIERRE-LOUIS: 'Georgia, that's the game of the year'; Wright: Looking forward to Miami

GAINESVILLE -- This is all you need to know from Florida's media day. Everything else was white noise.

"Georgia, man," cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis said. "That's the game of the year. I'm not going to lie. Even though we're going to take it one by one, Georgia is the game of the year."

Of course, there is that little 'ol team down in Coral Gables. Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas grad Major Wright is pretty excited about that one.

"It's a very important game," Wright said. "You know, every time I go home I never hear the end of it. It's going to be an intense game, high energy. I look forward to this game."

Wright grew up idolizing former 'Cane great Sean Taylor. Instead of following in Taylor's footsteps as one of the next great Miami safeties, Wright committed to the Gators. He's friends with Hurricanes Anthony Reddick and Leonard Hankerson, among other 'Canes.

As anyone who has read this blog for the last year can tell you, Wright and Pierre-Louis are two of my favorite Gators. Wright is busy teaching Will Hill how to play safety these days. Pierre-Louis is busy fending off fellow cornerback Markihe Anderson, who wants Pierre-Louis' starting job.

--Defensive coordinator Charlie Strong says linebacker A.J. Jones is a mainstay on the defense this season at weak side.

--Defensive line coach Dan McCarney says Ronnie Wilson is strong but way behind.

--Safeties coach Chuck Heater on if Ahmad Black is too short to play safety: "We'll see."

--Offensive lineman James Wilson was very truthful with reporters on Friday. I says he was really upset that Florida wouldn't grant his request to transfer. He's happy that he stayed at UF, however. Left guard Jim Tartt's shoulders might not hold up this season.

--Anyone seen Percy Harvin lately?

--Pictures coming tomorrow morning.


Percy, Spikes didn't show up to media day


GAINESVILLE -- Florida's annual preseason media day was this morning. It's when all the reporters from around the state (and some from around the country) travel to Gainesville to interview the Gators' players. It's really a shame that two of the team's most important players decided not to show.

Percy Harvin was nowhere to be seen and neither was Brandon Spikes. Florida's official statement as to why these players skipped out: No clue.

I've got a suggestion. Maybe it's because a Sports Illustrated photographer wasn't there. No Erin Andrews, then no Percy, right?

Not cool.

Let the speculation begin, I guess. What else are reporters supposed to write about today? Percy Harvin, the Heisman Trophy candidate who is slow to recover from offseason heel surgery, can't even meet the press? (Must be pretty bad.) Spikes can't either?

Well, at least we know Tim Tebow is an accountable team leader. Tebow spoke at length with reporters today. In other words, Percy didn't show and Tebow was stuck answering questions about why his best receiver isn't practicing right now.

I don't know much about Percy's situation (He's hurt) but I do know this: Don't expect Percy or Spikes to be around next year for media day either.

(Check back later for more from media day, including behind-the-scenes pictures of Florida's new weight room and coaches' offices.)


Team Stats

» View more stats



Powered by TypePad