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Tebow's back, will the others follow?

Hey Gator Clausers, this is Mike "Mike" McCall, and I'll be filling in for Joe (pictured) while he's out in Mt_hutt_ski_snowboard_picture_2 California snowboarding on a belated honeymoon. Guy spends a week on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, and now he's in Lake Tahoe. Tough, right?

Anyway, big news from Florida's national championship celebration on Sunday, as quarterback Tim Tebow announced he's coming back for his senior season.

(Here's the story in today's Miami Herald: LINK)

As it stands, the Gators are probably a lock for preseason No. 1, even if linebacker Brandon Spikes and receiver Percy Harvin, the other two juniors considering a jump to the NFL, skip town. They'll have at least 10 starters back on defense, including what might be the nation's best secondary next season, and the d-line has nowhere to go but up with Dan McCarney running the show.

On offense, it won't be easy to absorb the losses of receiver Louis Murphy, running back Kestahn Moore and half of the offensive line, but Jeffery Demps, Chris Rainey and Emmanuel Moody should combine for a pretty solid rushing attack, and Tebow probably won't have much trouble making David Nelson, Riley Cooper, Deonte Thompson, Carl Moore and Aaron Hernandez a dangerous unit.

Things are looking good for UF to have the best team in the country again, and here's the thing -- they're going to get Spikes back too. Here's why:

Ctc2504image5Clue 1 - Spikes (left) didn't attend Sunday's ceremony because he's spending time with family. He doesn't get to see his mom often because she lives in North Carolina, so he's enjoying it while he can. If he planned to jump to the NFL later this week (the deadline is Thursday), don't you think he'd want to enjoy the championship festivities before he bails? No, he's chillin' with mom before he has to get back to class.

Clue 2 - Linebacker Ryan Stamper said Spikes told him after the Oklahoma game, and repeatedly throughout the season, that he's coming back. Now, these stories aren't always true (Carlos Dunlap claimed Tebow told him he'd return last week, but Tim said that was false), but there's another reason to believe Spikes is coming back.

Clue 3 - Just like the rest of Gator Nation, Spikes loves him some Tebow. The first time they met was outside then-Alabama coach Mike Shula's office on a recruiting trip, and Spikes immediately told Tebow he would sign wherever the big lefty did. He followed up on that, and after saying this season that Tebow's NFL decision would be a heavy influence, expect him to follow suit again.

If you're wondering, here are some of the reasons why Spikes is considering the NFL: LINK

With Spikes back, that would mean the ENTIRE defensive two-deep will remain in tact, plus safety Dorian Munroe will return from injury. Harvin would be the tougher guy to replace, as there's simply no one even capable of playing his position, but once Tebow and Spikes are in, maybe they can guilt trip Harvin into staying.

And Harvin might not even need that much convincing. He said in a TV interview after the celebration that he's leaning toward coming back. I still find that hard to believe, although Harvin has surprised me plenty of times this season by being more of a team player than I thought, like when he asked coach Urban Meyer before the season if he could help out in the secondary.

If Harvin does leave, Meyer may have found the next-best thing. Andre Debose, one of the nation's top high school receiver prospects, is committed to play for UF.

Debose has a knack for running with the ball, and he was in Gainesville on Saturday, where he was serenaded by Gators fans during the basketball team's win against Mississippi.

Check out Debose's highlight reel. Not bad.

If you missed the celebration on TV, here's the best part (besides Tebow's announcement, of course). They did this slightly awkward, forced thing where Mike and Maurkice Pouncey interview teammates, and it was kinda lame until safety Ahmad Black dropped this gem.

Maurkice asked him about his huge interception against the Sooners, when he pulled the ball away from OU's Juaquin Iglesias, and Black's response was pretty brief: "I think Iglesias might have to go get in the weight room a little more."

It looks like Dan Mullen is going to raid the fridge on his way out of UF to Mississippi State. He has tight ends coach John Hevesy on board to go with him, and he might pull a few recruits too.

Greg Reid, a defensive back from Valdosta, decomitted from UF and is looking around again, and the Bulldogs are on his radar, although people who supposedly know stuff about recruiting say he should still be headed to Gainesville.

More importantly, newly-appointed offensive coordinator Steve Addazio, Mullen's replacement, is a leading candidate for Boston College's open head coaching position, which they inexplicably haven't filled yet with demigod offensive coordinator Steve Logan.

Anyway, Addazio missed the ceremony because he's in the hospital with a knee infection, and Meyer said he should be fine, and that "He's a great coach. [B.C.] should request permission to talk with him."


If you find Urban Meyer's personality a little...interesting, as I do, then you might enjoy this, which must have taken entirely too long to put together: LINK


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Nice post.. great job for filling in for Joe. I hope he has fun snowboarding, he has earned a break.

I am a devout Gator Fan, but I hate how Louis Murphy and the boys talk smack when they face the teams they are supposed to beat and then wait until after the games to talk crap to the big boys. Bottom line is that they win, but you are openly disrespected by LSU and Georgia and you just keep your mouths shut?

Also, Black, intercepted the ball by accident as it was in the air for a split second as Iglesias repositioned the ball to reel it in. Anyway, Iglesias and Black will end up on some bench somewhere when they graduate talking about how quickly they were forgotten because neither will be an NFL stud.

Oh and I am very worried about how Tebow will perform next year without Harvin and how UF will do without Tebow after next year. Univ of Miami might catch up to us in talent and win the recruiting battle. Yikes :(

And the nation's best secondary belongs to USC next year, Major Wright is head above shoulders better than the other three.

Wow jim, trying to think where I should get started here...

1) Louis Murphy openly and loudly talked smack to UM calling Florida the "real U." Not only did he do it before the game, it was all over ESPN (Sportscenter, Game Day, PTI) and was blown up to major proportions.

2) The point of keeping your mouth shut is to prove these people wrong on the field. They need to talk to try and gain some advantage; all it does is provide locker room fodder for the Gators to get juiced off of.

3) Black did not intercept the ball "by accident." Watch the tape. He positioned his arm between Iglesias' and ripped the ball away after it was caught. He also kept the ball alive on the INT on the goal line in the first half by tipping it in the air rather than going for the INT himself. This kid is a good player.

4) You say "without Harvin," but Percy indicated he is leaning towards coming back next year. Also, with Andre Debose coming in along with Demps, Rainey and Moody to carry some of the load in the running game and some good receivers being elevated, there is nothing to worry about.

5) There is no reason to worry about UF without Tebow in the 2010-11 season. Urban will continue to recruit his type of players and this program will continue to flourish. We could very well suffer a signifigant drop-off after that year, but it won't just be because of Tebow, a lot of good players will be leaving for the NFL in 2010-11.

jim, I'm glad you're a Gator fan, but I'd think a bit more before I post next time. :-D

I have a recruiting question. Earlier in the year I read about how deep the RB position was in this class so why hasn't Florida had one committ yet? Gilesse (sp) de-committed and I haven't heard much more about anyone else.Rainey and Moody could be gone after next year. Is there a chance we get Trent Richardson still?

1)Spikes should go pro! 1st round picks shouldn't come back to school, that's a hugh risk to take especially when you already have two rings.

2)U.Meyer is a great coach who is able to change the O from an option attack to a passing attack, this helps Florida win games but it will not help the QB's in making the NFL. If Tebow is to succeed in the NFL then the coaching staff should add a few pro set formations where Tebow is under center and has to make reads on the fly. Take a look at the final 4 NFL teams, all run pro style O's where the QB is under center.

3)Percy can't stay healthy, so why would he come back? If he is projected as a 1st round pick then he should go pro, but I have a hard time believing an NFL team will take that risk in drafting him in the 1st round?

4)Smack talk is what makes the game! I could care less who says what. Could you imagine if Miami and Florida liked each other???? That would suc. Kiffin called out UF in his speach, that just makes next years game that much better.

Depending on who comes back, either USC or Florida will be pre-season #1.

Florida will be pre-season No. 1, USC has to re-work their defense.

As far as Spikes and Harvin going pro...I agree with you about Spikes. But this guy is also real dedicated to Tebow and the two are good friends, so him staying would be similar to what the 04's did in basketball. Percy wants to be picked in the top half of the first round, which is the only reason why I think he'd stay.

If you were a blue chip running back would you come to Florida? Meyer has yet to show he appreciates the prototypical back, more relying on smallish scat-back types which has obviously worked with Rainey and Demps. Looked how sparingly he used Moody, still don't understand that. I would not be surprised if Moody left

I have no problems with Murphy talking smac with the U.
Have some facts behind why you think USC has the best secondary coming into next year. Wright like you said is a beast and the best of all of them, however our secondary is made up of freshman and sophomores, they are already good, Ahmad Black had 7 interceptions as a sophomore, and Dee Finley will be coming in.
"Oh and I am very worried about how Tebow will perform next year without Harvin and how UF will do without Tebow after next year"
Are you serious? You are worried? Really? Do you see the talent that is coming into this school now. We are reloading not rebuilding like the old UM teams used to do. It remains to be seen what Harvin does, but why would you worry about Tebow without Harvin, I love Harvin, but he is injury prone, he missed two games and was really not a factor in at least 3 other games, so what are you watching, no one can replace Harvin, but we have alot of talent that I'm sure Timmy will be just fine.

Lol @ you guys responding to that jim poster as if he's actually a Gator fan. Clearly a UM fan posting as a Gator fan.

End of story: Florida has won 2 of 3 national championships and is returning 90% of the 2-deep from this championship year. We're working on our 4th consecutive top 5 recruiting class. We're the dominant program in college football right now. Live it up.


Anyway all is not lost, this taken from the Gainesville Sun:

These next two weeks will be huge for UF, as some of the top talent is expected on campus. The Jan. 16 weekend lineup currently stands at Reid, Gadsden, Ala., Gadsden City cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama running back pledge Trent Richardson, of Pensacola, Tampa Plant tight end Orson Charles, Irvington, N.J., athlete Joshua Evans, Gaithersburg, Md., Quince Orchard defensive back Travis Hawkins, Columbus, Ga., Carver linebacker Jarvis Jones, Miami, Gulliver Prep linebacker/safety Frankie Telfort and Fort Pierce, Westwood defensive tackle Luther Robinson

Everyone calling harvin injury prone is just not correct.

Dude had a heel injury from high school that no one could diagnose. When they finally got it right, the injury healed completely. Harvin said he felt better than he's ever felt. He wasn't lying.

He did experience migraines but that was shortlived and what football player doesn't get headaches. That is not an injury and he could play with that.

In the FSU game a player rolled up on his leg for the ankle injury. That would have injured ANYONE.

Given the fact that the guy flies around the field like a missile I would say he has had excellent health. The first two instances I sighted are not "being injury prone." And the ankle injury was what happens when 300 pound lineman roll onto you.

Percy Harvin plays hurt. Percy Harvin is tough as nails.

Lose the Percy is injury prone talk. It's bunk.


Miami, Kasa was worried about playing time considering we signed two other top 5 OL recruits AND, more importantly, he wanted to stay close to home.

We didn't lose Reid, he simply decommitted, but said UF is still at the top of his list. The other guy we "lost" (I forget his name off the top of my head) just recommitted today.

There is nothing to worry about.

As far as Percy, he's only missed 5 games at UF. Nevertheless, he's been injured quite often. I wouldn't call him injury-prone, just oft-injured.

The Trophy has been lifted,

You don't want to use 'injury prone' fine then Percy Harvin has had physical issues that have kept him from playing in games and practicing:
prior and reoccuring ankle injuries
migraine headaches
hip pointers
tendinitis in his Achilles' tendon/heel
tendinitis in his knee

No one is questioning his toughness and athleticism
Oh...one more thing...Percy Harvin is injury prone

ok I will go with that: oft-injured.

Gillislee is his name. That's the RB I was referring to. Smart move Mike, UCF would have been a HUGE mistake.

Right, he's back. So if Reid comes back, which I hope happens, all we lost was Kasa, which is no big deal.

Adam S. Kasa is a dl not an OL. Still no big loss, he isnt that good

word is that Kasa got a girlfriend and wants to go to Colorado with her. He's from the state of Colorado.

Cool, that is great we got Mike Gillislee back, sorry I can't give you guys a link, but try to google him and find some footage, he is REALLY GOOD, he is a running back but catches alot of balls, not just screens either, they send him long, would fit perfect, I don't think he is a big as listed at 6'1", but whatever, he can play

Oops. Nevertheless, we're returning all of our players two-deep on defense. You sure they weren't going to do look at Kasa for the OL also? I could've sworn I read that.

sure, he is strictly a defensive end

We might not be getting Debose! Supposedly he has a great relationship with Jacory Harris!!!!

I am sad!

UF has always had good recruiting from spurrier-zook-meyer. I hope we don't go into a ten year hiatus because we are in the toughest conference in all of football :(.

USC has the best safety in the whole country in Mays and one of the best recruits in the nation last year will be playing next year as only one defensive back will be jumping to the pros.

Josh, I bet I am more of a Gator fan than you are. You probably never talked before like Louis Murphy until this year. Where were all of you as I was fighting the UM fans last year when we struggled to our 8-4 record?!

And the Louis Murphy comment: we were supposed to beat the U. Nothing special about talking before that game. I respect the guys that fought the U during the 2003 sugar bowl. THAT was more courageous than being a second-rate player talking smack and making sure Tebow backed you up.

UF all the way baby!! No repeat, but a good year and some nice first round draft picks!

Tebow is second coming of Christ, virgin birth!!

I'm not sure Jim. You have an awful lot of negative things to say about "your" team. Is Murphy talking smack really that bad? Really?

Another thing, Debose was leaning more towards LSU than scUM. Oh, and Mays is gone to the NFL.

You just need to relax with the pessimism.

jim, we were supposed to beat Oklahoma, too. That's why we were favored by 6. Your whole "smack talk" argument is nonsense, sorry. :( You're a good commenter, though.

As far as Debose, he's not going anywhere. Calm down.

mm, Mays is staying at USC, you're wrong.

You're right Adam. I was sure he was gone seeing how USC isn't quite at the NFL salary level...yet!


How are we going to go into a ten year hiatus?


How are we going to go into a ten year hiatus?

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