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31 posts from January 2010

January 27, 2010

Sarah Palin now weighing in on Tebow; Tebow says he wasn't expecting 'buzz' over Super Bowl ad

MOBILE, Ala. -- Former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow wants to make one thing perfectly clear. He's not changing for anybody or anything.

On Wednesday, Tebow said that he wasn't expecting news of his pro-life Super Bowl ad to create such a national buzz but he wouldn't consider changing the ad or removing it.

"I definitely didn't think it would have this much hype -- this much buzz -- but, you know, it's something I believe in and I'll stand up for it," Tebow said. "It's me and my mom showing love for each other and that's pretty much what it's about."

Women's rights groups have protested the ad, claiming in a press release that it divides American when sports should bring the country together. On Wednesday, former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin weighed in on Tim Tebow and his Super Bowl ad. LINK!

Tebow said on Wednesday that NFL executives have not asked him about the ad during one-on-one interviews. The former Florida Gators quarterback also said that if teams have a problem with him making taking a stand about an issue, then that's probably not a team that should draft him.

"I think if anything they like that I took a stand on what I believe and if they don't that's something that would hesitate them bringing me on then it probably wouldn't be a good fit for me in that first place because I'm never going to deny what I believe in and things like that just for a game," Tebow said.

-jo-

January 25, 2010

What's that, you say? Tim Tebow's right arm is longer than his left arm?

MOBILE, Ala. -- Tim Tebow was not completely naked in Mobile, Ala., on Monday morning. He was wearing underwear when he walked in front of about 500 NFL scouts, coaches and reporters. Sorry, ladies ... and guys. No pictures. This isn't that type of Internet site.

You know that dream where you're standing in front of a large audience and then all of a sudden your not wearing any clothes. Well, that's what Monday morning probably felt like for the football players competing in the Senior Bowl. Believe it or not, I do have newfound respect for the NFL after Monday morning's Senior Bowl official weigh-in at the Mobile Convention Center. In college football, there's always that thick layer of fake. You know, the whole student-athlete thing. And recruiting: that's dripping with disingenuousness. Well, in the NFL there's none of that bologna. The NFL strips players down to their skivies and measures their height, arm and hands down to the fraction of an inch. One guy screams a player's height. Another guy screams a player's weight. Over 500 heads look up and then look down and scribble the details to the rhythm. Every time. Without fail. Funny stuff.

Tebow's stats: 6-2 1/2 and 236 pounds. His left hand is 10 inches even. His left arm is 30 3/4 inches. His right arm is 30 7/8 inches. That's right. Apparently Tebow's right arm is a little longer than his left. (Pete Carroll was in attendance. Pretty sure he made note of that.)

Riley Cooper's stats: 6-0 3/4 and 214 pounds. Cooper's left arm is 32 1/4 inches. His left hand is 10 1/8 inches. 

There were some other notable physiques on Monday. Alabama defensive tackle Terrence Cody (6-4, 370 pounds) was the biggest guy in the room. Massive hands (11 1/4 inches). Heck, massive everything. Miami tight end Jimmy Graham was one of the tallest players (6-6 1/2, 259 pounds). Florida State safety Myron Rolle was the most chiseled. Oh, and Riley Cooper's hair wasn't quite as long as Dexter McCluster's dreds, but it was close.

Tebow, Cooper and everybody else begin practicing at 3:15 p.m. More updates later.

-jo-

January 23, 2010

Gators coach Urban Meyer is ... BAAA-ACK! Says he's going to coach in spring; With thoughts from Jeremy Foley

GAINESVILLE -- Urban Meyer said on Saturday night at the basketball game that he's not taking a leave of absence and plans to coach the Gators during spring football. Here's what I want to know: Did anything really change over the last month? AND, was it any coincedence that Meyer dropped this news bombshell on the weekend super recruit Ronald Powell visited Gainesville?

ANYWAY, it's good news for the Gators and bad news for everyone else. Here's a copy of my story for Sunday's newspaper. Nice win by the Gators men's basketball team on Saturday, by the way. Florida defeated South Carolina 58-56 on a last-second shot by UF junior forward Chandler Parsons. Florida has won three straight since beginning its conference schedule 0-2. If the Gators keep this up, they'll be back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. Check Sunday's paper for my basketball story.

I'm heading to Mobile, Ala., the city of my birth, on Sunday for weeklong coverage of the Senior Bowl. I'll be writing about Tim Tebow, Dolphins, Canes and everything else that comes along. Of course, I'll only be blogging about the Gators.

-jo-

JOSEPH GOODMAN

jgoodman@MiamiHerald.com

GAINESVILLE — The most interesting thing about Urban Meyer’s “I’m back” press conference on Saturday was not something he said but rather his actions.

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Meyer took the time to shake reporters’ hands, something he never does. He smiled. He cracked jokes. He’s fattening up. He’s still taking a break after National Signing Day on Feb.3 but he said on Saturday at halftime of the Florida men’s basketball game that he plans to coach spring football. Florida defeated South Carolina 58-56.

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“I keep hearing about this time off, and the people I’m closest to are going to demand I take some time off, but I tried that already,” Meyer said. “I tried a day and a half and it didn’t work.”

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Meyer said on Saturday that he has gained 20 pounds since the end of football season, when his deteriorating health contributed to his decision to suddenly quit his job. Meyer changed his mind the following day and instead decided to take and indefinite leave of absence. At the time, he said he didn’t know if he was ever going to coach again but he wanted to leave open the opportunity for coming back.

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Meyer apparently couldn't stay away. He never took any time off and instead began recruiting immediately after the Gators’ victory against Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl.  

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This latest twist of As Urban Meyer’s World Turns comes 10 days before National Signing Day. On Saturday, Meyer and the UF football program hosted prospect Ronald Powell of Moreno Valley, Calif., on an official visit. Powell is the No.1-rated recruit in the nation, according to Rivals.com. He is being pursued by Florida and Southern Cal, which is now coached by Meyer’s archrival, former Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin.

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“It’s game day,” Meyer said. “It’s game day for 10 days.”

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National Signing Day is Feb.3. Meyer said that he will undergo tests on his heart in February but wouldn’t elaborate. When asked if he was undergoing stress tests, Meyer said, “Everything.”

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“I’m not going to get into it publicly,” Meyer said.

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Nearly as odd as Meyer’s offseason drama has been the way the UF football program has responded to it. It hasn’t affected the program negatively. In fact, the opposite has been true. Florida annihilated Cincinnati in the bowl game and quarterback Tim Tebow set a BCS bowl-game record for total yards.

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Not long after the bowl victory, Florida’s recruiting class began coming together. Meyer recently received commitments from several of the nation’s top prospects, including safety Matt Elam of West Palm Beach Dwyer, who was named Mr. Football for the state of Florida earlier this week. Elam, who is already enrolled at UF, was recognized at halftime of Saturday’s basketball game for his award.

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Florida athletics director Jeremy Foley said on Saturday that he was happy “with the direction” the football program is headed but also said Meyer “knows what he has to do and there are still some things he has to do.”

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One of Meyer’s most important tasks of the past month was replacing longtime defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, who is now the head coach at Louisville. Meyer said he hired former Dolphins coach George Edwards after consulting with Dolphins coach Tony Sparano and former Dolphins defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni.

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“I love Coach Edwards,” Meyer said. “He’s a great hire and I’ve known him for awhile and he came strongly recommended by a bunch of people and kind of blew us away when he came up here.”

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#30#

Breaking down a match up between the 2008 Florida Gators vs. 2001 Miami Hurricanes; Plus a crazy pre-game party of historic consequence

GAINESVILLE -- And now ... for your weekend entertainment ...

Canes fans will tell you that the 2001 Hurricanes were the best team ever assembled in the history of college football. Maybe not. How would the 2008 Gators match up with the 2001 Canes? I ran the two teams through a computer simulation at WhatIfSports.com and here's what the program spit out: Canes 47, Florida 9 on a nuetral field. Here's a link to the simulate box score. LINK!

Seems bogus to me. I don't think the 2008 Gators would lose by 38 points to any team of any decade. Still, it makes for an interesting debate. Ed Reed vs. Percy Harvin! Carlos Dunlap vs. Bryant McKinnie! Brandon Spikes vs. Clinton Portis! Jonathan Vilma vs. Tim Tebow!

Let's us our imaginations...

So, I recently invented a time machine/teleportation device and sent the 2008 Florida Gators and the 2001 Miami Hurricanes to Saturday, Jan.23, 2010 in Miami, Fla. The two teams have had nearly a week of practice and preparation and the biggest college football game in the history of the world is nearly upon us. Everyone is healthy. The big game is only two days away and Dolphin Stadium has been sold out since the minute tickets went on sale for this mythical-no-more dream game.

Of course, there's controversy...

TIME MACHINE TO BE USED FOR SPORTS ONLY
Reporter Joseph Goodman of The Miami Herald had a friend who invented the time machine. The friend died of scarlet fever (long story) and before he departed willed the machine to Goodman. Goodman is using the machine to set up mythical sporting events at Dolphin Stadium. Much to the consternation of ESPN/ABC, FOX, NBC and CBS, all mythical games will being broadcast exclusively on MiamiHerald.com and all proceeds are being donated to Goodman's favorite non-profit organizations, the Miami-Dade County Humane Society and the Broward County Humane Society.

World leaders have protested the use of Goodman's time machine for a sporting event, arguing that the time machine should be used for "rewriting history" and "saving lives." Goodman ignored the world leaders and said in a five-second press conference, "This world is populated by humans and humans cannot be trusted! If you want to save a life, adopt a dog. If you want to save lives, adopt two dogs and a cat. Next month we're teleporting the best 64 college football teams of the past 30 years to the present and organizing a playoff. Then we're going to start with every year since 1930 and run down the line. Take that, BCS!"

TOP MUSICIANS AND ATHLETES
PERFORMING FOR TIME-MACHINE GAME
The Miami Herald has used the time machine to organize a pregame party. It's going to be a good party. Movie stars and politicians were not invited.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Price of admission: $15 (includes free T-shirt, sunscreen and sunglasses)

PRE-GAME PARTY, 10:30 a.m.-noon
All you can eat food and drinks (all day and night)
(Sponsored by Pollo Tropical, Oceanaire Seafood Room, Beef Eater Steakhouse, Bacadri and El Presidente)

PRE-GAME CIRCUS
-Ringling Brothers Circus featuring Harry Houdini, Evel Knievel and Tony Hawk, 10:30 a.m.-noon

PRE-GAME CONCERT
-Elvis performing with Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Jack White and Phil Collins; noon to 1 p.m.
-Tupac performing with Biggie Smalls, Eazy-E, Snoop Dogg and the Red Hot Chili Peppers
-Mozart performing with Alicia Keys, Elton John, Chris Martin and the New York Philharmonic, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
-Michael Jackson performing with Prince, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake and Usher, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
-Eddie Veder performing with Kurt Cobain, Johnny Ramone, Dave Davies, Matt Cameron and John Bonham 3:15 p.m.-4:15 p.m.
-The Beatles performing with Outkast, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

PRE-GAME UNDERCARD
-3 v 3 basketball featuring Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird (circa 1992) vs. Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (present), 5:45-6:15 p.m.
-3 v 3 soccer featuring Pele (circa 1960), Maradona (circa 1986) and Cubillas (circa 1972) vs. Beckenbauer (circa 1970), Zidane (circa 2006) and Cruyff (circa 1973), 6:30-7 p.m.
-Muhammad Ali (circa 1965) vs. Mike Tyson (circa 1988), 7:15-7:45 p.m.

BENEDICTION
George Carlin, 8 p.m.

STAR SPANGLED BANNER
Bob Dylan featuring The Grateful Dead, 8:20 p.m. (10-minute jam session)

COIN TOSS
Don Shula, 8:30 p.m.

KICKOFF
2001 Miami Hurricanes vs. 2008 Florida Gators, 8:35 p.m.

WHO HAS THE EDGE?
QUARTERBACKS
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, winner of the 2007 Heisman Trophy, has been heralded by many as the greatest college football player of all time. In 2007, he became the first player to pass for 20 touchdowns and run for 20 touchdowns. He finished third in the Heisman vote in Dec. 2008 but did receive the most first-place votes. Tebow's accuracy and arm strength as a passer have been underestimated by many and he'll be looking to prove on Saturday that he can play quarterback in the NFL. In 2008, Tebow had a sparkling 172.37 passing efficiency rating and threw for 2,746 yards, 30 touchdowns and four interceptions. In addition to his skills as a passer, Tebow is human wrecking ball out of the Gators' shotgun, spread-option offense. He leads UF in rushing with 673 yards on the ground and 12 rushing touchdowns. Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey is a traditional pocket passer and a calm and steady force for the 2001 Hurricanes. Like Tebow in 2008, Dorsey finished third in the Heisman Trophy vote in 2001. He had an impressive 146.12 passing efficiency rating entering the 2002 Rose Bowl and in Miami's first 11 games Dorsey threw for 2,652 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Dorsey has been at his best in third-down situations. The clutch Californian has completed 66.7 percent of his passing attempts on third-down, resulting in 820 yards passing, 10 touchdowns and a 52 percent third-down conversion rate.
EDGE: Florida

RUNNING BACKS
The strength of the 2001 Miami Hurricanes' offense is its impressive stable of running backs. Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, Willis McGahee and even little-used fourth-string back-up Najeh Davenport are each future NFL talents. The four Canes have combined for 2,130 yards on the ground. Through 11 games, Clinton leads all with 1,200 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. Portis leads the four running backs with an amazing 9.1 yards-per-carry average. McGahee and Davenport have contributed three rushing touchdowns each. The 2001 Hurricanes averaged 204.6 rushing yards per game. Led by Tebow's blue-collar running style, Florida's spread-option offense averaged 231.1 rushing yards per game. In 14 games, all-purpose threat Percy Harvin averaged 9.4 yards per carry in 2008 (a national high) and Florida's top five rushers -- Tebow, Harvin, Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps and Emmanuel Moody -- combined for 3,007 rushing yards.
EDGE: Miami

TIGHT ENDS
The dream matchup between the 2008 Florida Gators and the 2001 Miami Hurricanes will feature a pair of talented tight ends. Miami tight end Jeremy Shockey is as tough as they come. Selected a second-team All-American by ABC Sports in 2001, Shockey led the Canes in receptions (40) and had 519 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in Miami's first 11 games. Freshman Kellen Winslow is a capable backup. Shockey's counterpart is Florida Gators sophomore Aaron Hernandez, a budding star who was pushed into the starting lineup in the 2008 preseason when original starter Cornelius Ingram injured his knee. Hernandez emerged as one of the best underclassmen tight ends in 2008. He finished the season with 34 receptions for 381 yards and five touchdowns.
EGDE: Miami

RECEIVERS
Miami Hurricanes sophomore Andre Johnson is the Hurricanes' big-play threat. He grabbed the national spotlight in the 2002 Rose Bowl when he earned co-MVP honors along with quarterback Ken Dorsey. Johnson had 199 receiving yards on seven receptions with two touchdowns against Nebraska. Fellow wide-out Kevin Beard had solid season in 2001 with 29 receptions for 405 yards and two touchdowns. Third option Ethenic Sands had 26 receptions for 286 yards and a touchdown. Flanker Daryl Jones started seven games in 2001 and had 20 receptions for 247 yards. Florida receiver Percy Harvin was a second-team All-American in 2008 and was at his best in the 2009 BCS national championship. He rushed for 122 yards on nine carries and had 49 yards receiving against Oklahoma at Dolphin Stadium. Florida wide-out Louis Murphy demands attention on the edge and is a valuable downfield blocker for the Gators' running attack, which specializes in big plays. Murphy finished 2008 with 38 receptions for 655 yards and seven touchdowns. Back-up receivers Riley Cooper and David Nelson are solid options for quarterback Tim Tebow.
EDGE: Florida

OFFENSIVE LINE
A staggering amount of talent will be featured along both offensive lines of the dream matchup between the 2001 Miami Hurricanes and the 2008 Florida Gators. Without question, the most talented player will be Miami offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie, the 2001 winner of the Outland Trophy. McKinnie, who was named College Football Player of the Year by cnnsi.com in 2001, never allowed a sack while in a Hurricanes' uniform. He was complemented by another standout tackle, Joaquin Gonzalez, who was a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award and earned several All-American honors. The 2001 Miami Hurricanes' offensive line allowed a national low four sacks in 2001 and its balanced offense compiled 475 points through 11 games, a school record. Miami senior guard Martin Bibla earned second-team All-America honors from ABC Sports and was a first-team All-Big East selection. Canes' center Brett Romberg was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy in 2001 and won Rimington in 2002. Left guard Ed Wilkins began the season as a backup but moved into the starting lineup when Sherko Haji-Rasouli was lost with a knee injury. Wilkins played arguably his best game of the 2001 season in the 2002 Rose Bowl, earning All-Bowl honors by Sports Illustrated.

Florida's offensive line in 2008 was led by a pair of experienced fifth-year seniors at the tackle positions. Jason Watkins and Phil Trautwein anchored an offense that dominated the Southeastern Conference and averaged 43.6 points per game. The Gators allowed just 16 sacks in 2008. Trautwein was a second-team All-American for Sports Illustrated and a first-team All-SEC selection by The Associated Press. Watkins was a team captain in 2008 and earned All-SEC honorable mention honors from The Associated Press. Sophomore center Maurkice Pouncey was arguably the Gators' best offensive lineman in 2008. He would later win the Rimington Trophy in 2009. His twin brother, Mike Pouncey, was dominant force at the guard position and newcomer Carl Johnson had a breakthrough season in 2008 after fifth-year senior Jim Tartt was limited due to a shoulder injury.
EDGE: Miami

DEFENSIVE LINE
Florida's imposing 2008 defensive line was led by ends Jermaine Cunningham and Carlos Dunlap, who combined for 15.5 sacks 23.5 tackles for loss. How Cunningham and Dunlap perform against the 2008 Canes' talented offensive tackles could determine the outcome of the game on Saturday. Florida totaled 36 sacks in the 2008 season. Dunlap was named a defensive MVP of the 2009 BCS national championship game. Florida tackles Lawrence Marsh, Terron Sanders, Jaye Howard and Torrey Davis will play key roles against the 2001 Miami Hurricanes running game. Combined, Miami's top seven defensive linemen had 73 tackles for loss and 36 sacks in 2001. As a unit, Miami's defense totaled 42 sacks in 2001 but limiting Florida quarterback Tim Tebow will be a difficult challenge. Left tackle William Joseph led the Canes with 22 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. Joseph earned third-team All-America honors from The Associated Press in 2008. Left end Jerome McDougle had seven sacks in 2008 and was another third-team All-America selection by The Associated Press. The 2001 Miami Hurricanes defensive line also featured standouts such as Vince Wilfork, Jamaal Green, Andrew Williams and Matt Walters, who turned in one of the 2001 season's most memorable plays against Boston College. Walters' deflection, interception and hand off to Ed Reed led to an 80-yard touchdown in the game's final seconds, sending Miami to the Rose Bowl.
EDGE: Miami

LINEBACKERS
Miami sophomore middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma had some big shoes to fill in 2001 but did a solid job replacing all-everything linebacker Dan Morgan. Vilma led the Canes in tackles in 2001 with 87, including 23 tackles for loss, and developed into a playmaker throughout the season. An All-Big East first-team selection by the league's coaches in 2008, Vilma finished the season with three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one sack and one interception. Flanking Vilma against the 2008 Gators will be outside linebacker Chris Campbell and D.J. Williams. Florida middle linebacker Brandon Spikes was an All-American in 2008 and led the Gators with  93 tackles. He also had four interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. Outside linebackers Ryan Stamper and Brandon Hicks provide the Gators with a combination of experience and speed.
EDGE: Florida

CORNERBACKS
Florida sophomore cornerback Joe Haden blossomed into a talented coverman in 2008 and freshman Janoris Jenkins forced his way into the starting lineup with his aggressive play. Haden finished 2008 with 87 tackles and three interception and will likely defend Miami receiver Andre Johnson, another talented sophomore. Miami junior cornerback Phillip Buchanon was a first-team All-American in 2008, his final season with the Hurricanes. He had five interceptions and two forced fumbles that season. In Saturday's dream matchup against the Gators, Buchanon will attempt to limit Florida receiver Percy Harvin. Miami's other talented cornerback, Mike Rumph, will have his hands full against UF receiver Louis Murphy. Canes newcomer Antrell Rolle will be used as a nickelback.
EDGE: Miami

SAFETY
Miami safety Ed Reed might be the best player on the field of this dream matchup between the 2001 Canes and the 2008 Gators. Miami's secondary had 28 interceptions in 12 games, while Florida's secondary totaled 26 picks in 14 games. A major reason for the Canes superior passing defense was Reed, who intimidated opposing quarterbacks and finished the season with nine interceptions. Lining up with Reed in the Miami secondary will be senior James Lewis, a first-year starter who started the season at free safety before switching to strong safety. Florida features a pair of talented sophomore safeties. Major Wright is an aggressive tackler and opportunistic Ahmad Black is a solid tackler who had seven interceptions in 2001.
EDGE: Miami

SPECIAL TEAMS
Both teams will feature All-American kick returners. Phillip Buchanon has a long career ahead of him of returning kicks in the NFL and Florida's Brandon James was an All-American in 2008. Both players have the ability to return a kick for a touchdown. The 2008 Florida Gators blocked nine kicks, tying a school record. Miami (Ed Reed) blocked one kick.
EDGE: Florida

COACHING
First-year Miami coach Larry Coker inherited a wealth of talent and has done well to keep the team focused in the wake of Butch Davis' exit for the NFL. Florida coach Urban Meyer has made a career out beating his teams' rivals and is considered one of the best college coaches of the past few years. He won two national titles in three years.
EDGE: Florida

OVERALL EDGE: Miami 6-5

-jo-

January 20, 2010

RECRUITING UPDATE: Gators have three or four spots to fill; Who do you want?

GAINESVILLE -- OK, the last couple of days have been crazy for Gator Nation. First, Wondy Pierre-Louis' family is affected by the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, then Pierre-Louis allegedly chokes his girlfriend, then Pierre-Louis goes missing, then Pierre-Louis goes to jail, then former UF broadcaster Steve Babik is arrested for allegedly doing really bad things. Man, I didn't get into sports to cover all this craziness!

Let's refocus on some good news. The UF football team is putting together a historic recruiting class for the ages, the universe and everything after. Florida and coach Urban Meyer recently earned the Gators' 25th commitment. Linebacker Michael Taylor of Atlanta Westlake is the new man onboard after de-committing from the Tennessee Volunteers. Taylor is a bit on the small side (6-0, 195 pounds) but what he lacks in stature he apparently more than makes up for with punch. He's a strong tackler and his recruiting stock has risen considerably after he was named a MVP of the Under Armour all-star game.

Rivals lists Taylor as a three-star prospect while ESPN has tagged him with four stars and a national ranking of No. 123. ESPN tends to put more stock into intangible abilities while Rivals usually sticks to measurable talent. (Just my observation.)

A quick side note on Taylor: His high school coach at Atlanta Westlake is former Deerfield Beach and Fort Lauderdale Dillard coach Greg Minnis. Minnis is originally from Miami and is a cousin of Miami native Snoop Minnis of Florida State fame. ANYWAY, Taylor de-committed from Tennessee following the Lane Kiffin fiasco and the Vols' loss was the Gators' gain.

As it stands today, Florida's recruiting class is currently ranked No.1 by both ESPN and Rivals. ESPN recently released its final Top 150 list of national prospects and the Gators have 16 players on the list! Wily ol' Urban Meyer is stockpiling a mind-numbing amount of talent. By comparison, Texas is second on the ESPN Top 150 list with 13 commitments. Alabama is third with 10. Here are the total number of recruits listed on the ESPN Top 150 of Florida's traditional rivals: Georgia (8), Florida State (7), Tennessee (4) and Miami (3). Miami has apparently adopted a slightly different recruiting philosophy this year. I don't know what it is exactly, but it's noticeably different from years past.

Florida hopes to sign the Southeastern Conference maximum of 28 recruits on Feb.3. If all of Florida's 25 commitments hold pat, then only three spots remain. If one of Florida's recruits defects (say, maybe, Demar Dorsey of Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson), then Florida will have four spots available on National Signing Day.

For the purposes of this blog post, we're going to assume that Dorsey de-commits and heads elsewhere (USC, for example). Some people will probably disagree with this logic, but I don't care. With four scholarships remaining, the Gators' coaching staff must be ultra-selective. These next few weeks are when Meyer can really put Florida's recruiting class atop Mount Olympus. He's supposed to be some kind of great "closer" when it comes to these types of things, so we'll see. Last year, Meyer watched in disgust as Nu'Keese Richardson signed with Tennessee and Greg Reid signed with Florida State. (Save your comments on Richardson, please.)

Here are the top seven recruits on Urban's wish list. Out of these seven, which four do you want to see in orange and blue?

1. Ivan McCartney, receiver, Miramar
Others involved: Miami, West Virginia
The Skinny: All things being equal, my gut tells me Urban would want this player above all others. McCartney is a dynamic receiver who recently helped Miramar win its first football state championship in school history. And, don't forget, Urban would love to pull this player away from the Canes. McCartney (6-1, 165 pounds) has been secretive about his recruiting but he does have a few friends up at West Virginia. Former Miramar quarterback Geno Smith is the Mountaineers' projected starter. Grades could be an issue here for both Florida and Miami.

2. Christian Green, receiver, Tampa Catholic
Others involved: Florida State, Georgia, Miami and South Florida
The Skinny: Christian Green (6-2, 190 pounds) visited Florida this weekend along with Tampa Catholic teammate Chaz Green. From what I could see, Florida assistant coach Dan McCarney was really focusing on the Greens during the UF men's basketball game on Saturday. Christian Green isn't as fast as McCartney but he is stronger.

3. Seantrel Henderson, offensive lineman, St. Paul, Minn.
Others involved: Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Southern Cal
The Skinny: OK, here's a guy who could trump all of the Gators' current recruits. Apparently, Henderson (6-8, 305 pounds) is that good. People are comparing him to Bryant McKinnie, if that tells you anything. He's been hush-hush about his recruiting, so where he ends up is anyone's guess.

4. Chaz Green, offensive lineman, Tampa Catholic
Other involved: USC
The Skinny: Green (6-6, 290 pounds) was injured throughout his senior year but that hasn't stopped the best programs in the country from shying away. He's rated as the fourth best offensive tackle in the nation, according to Rivals. He would be an excellent addition to any team's recruiting class. He has a big frame and long arms, according to the good folks over at Rivals. (I haven't had time to drive to Tampa and measure his arms.) Green still has a visit to USC and he's a big Kiffin fan.

5. Jordan Hicks, linebacker, West Chester, Ohio
Others involved: Texas, Ohio State
The Skinny: From everything I've read, Texas is the leader here. Apparently Hicks has a strong relationship with Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. Still, there's an outside shot Florida could land this 6-2, 220 pound linebacker. Of course, didn't Florida sign a similar linebacker last year? Yep, Jelani Jenkins.

6. Christian Jones, linebacker, Winter Park Lake Howell
Other involved: Florida State
The Skinny: Christian Jones apparently visited Florida last weekend on his own dime, so that means he's pretty interested. This kid is a physical specimen (6-4, 220 pounds), and he apparently had a great time in Gainesville. He hit it off with UF's new defensive coordinator George Edwards. FSU remains the leader here, though. Jones' family ties to FSU are pretty strong. Of course, he might always pull a Matt Patchan.

7. Da'Rick Rogers, receiver, Calhoun, Ga.
Others involved: Georgia
The Skinny: Here's a wild card. Rogers is committed to Georgia but apparently his mother likes Florida coach Urban Meyer. Georgia's coaches have told him he'd be the next A.J. Green. Rogers is one of the best receivers in the nation and shining gem of Georgia's recruiting class. Gators fans would totally lose it if Rogers switched to Florida but I don't see it happening. Still, Rogers might visit Florida in the coming weeks.

If I had to pick the top four players on Urban's wish list, I'd go with McCartney, Rogers, Henderson and Jones. Never underestimate the importance of keeping talented players away from your rivals.

-jo-

Former Florida Gator Teddy Dupay and the Great Marijuana Pyramid Scheme

GAINESVILLE -- Teddy Dupay chose a different path. Still, part of me thinks he would have been a great college basketball coach, or maybe the next ShamWow guy.

Check out this story on Dupay. Trust me, it's worth a read. LINK! Now go wash that snake oil off your hands before you feed your herd of alpacas. Say what you want about Dupay, but at least he seems highly motivated and has a plan.

-jo-

January 19, 2010

Florida Gators broadcaster charged with distribution and possession of child pornography

GAINESVILLE -- Longtime broadcaster Steve Babik of the University of Florida radio network was charged on Tuesday in federal court for alleged receipt and distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

"We are deeply disturbed by the charges," said the University Athletic Association in a statement.

Babik pleaded not guilty in U.S. federal court in Gainesville on Tuesday. He was arrested by the U.S. Justice Department. The charges resulted from an investigation by the Gainesville Police Department, Alachua County Sheriff's Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, according to Thomas Kerwin, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, "the information alleges that on numerous dates between Nov. 2, 2009 and Nov. 30, 2009, Babik knowingly received, distributed and possessed materials depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct."

Here's a link to the press release by the U.S Attorney's Office. LINK!

The UAA said in a statement on Tuesday that it first learned of the investigation in November. Babik was immediately suspended from his job responsibilities, according to the UAA, pending the outcome of the investigation. When charges were formally presented in federal court on Tuesday, the UAA fired Babik. On Tuesday, The Associated Press reported that the investigation centered around Babik's home computer. The UAA said on Tuesday that Babik's work computer was not seized by investigators.

Babik was the network coordinator at UF for the Gator radio network and had been employed by the university for more than 20 years. He was a radio and TV broadcaster, hosted the TailGator Pre-game Show, reported from the sidelines during football games and hosted the Urban Meyer Post-Game Show.

Babik was released on Tuesday on his own recognizes. His trail will begin March 1 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Gainesville. If convicted of receipt and distribution of child pornography, Babik faces a mandatory minimum of five years to a maximum of 20 years in prison, up to lifetime supervised release, and a $250,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office press release. If convicted of the second charge, possession of child pornography, Babik faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, up to lifetime supervised release, and a $250,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

-jo-

Gators Wondy Pierre-Louis receives some good news, sort of

UPDATE: Gators cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis appeared in court on Tuesday morning and received some good news. His girlfriend attempted to change the language of her sworn complaint and told a judge on Tuesday that Pierre-Louis did not threaten her.

Pierre-Louis' bond was reduced from $185,000 to $40,000.

-jo-

GATORS WONDY PIERRE-LOUIS JAILED IN ALACHUA COUNTY

GAINESVILLE -- University of Florida football player Wondy Pierre-Louis was jailed in Alachua County at 2:16 a.m. on Tuesday.

The Gainesville Police Department issued an arrest warrant for Pierre-Louis on Sunday based on a sworn complaint filed by Pierre-Louis' girlfriend. The woman told police that Pierre-Louis broke into her apartment, strangled her and temporarily detained her. Police charged Pierre-Louis with four felonies and a first-degree misdemeanor. His bond was set at $185,000.

-jo-

January 18, 2010

Arrest warrant issued for Gators Wondy Pierre-Louis

GAINESVILLE -- The Gainesville Police Department issued an arrest warrant on Sunday for former Gators football player Wondy Pierre-Louis after his girlfriend filed a sworn complaint, alleging domestic abuse.

According to police, Pierre-Louis allegedly attempted to strangle his girlfriend early Sunday morning after forcing his way into her apartment. He faces five felony counts: domestic battery by strangulation, burglary, battery, false imprisonment and hindering communication to law enforcement. Pierre-Louis, who played high school football in Naples, told the Southwest Florida News-Press on Sunday, "It's a lie. We will go through a process to prove it's a lie."

A native of Haiti, Pierre-Louis recently learned that his family's home in Haiti was destroyed during last Tuesday's earthquake. Pierre-Louis said that his immediate family escaped serious injury.

Pierre-Louis completed his football eligibility this season and is a few credit hours short of graduation.

According to police, Pierre-Louis allegedly cornered his girlfriend in her apartment's bathroom and said, "I could kill you." She escaped and called for help, according to police. 

-jo-

January 17, 2010

Tim Tebow aligns himself with James Dobson and Focus on the Family with pro-life Super Bowl ad

GAINESVILLE -- You thought those little eye-black patches were polarizing? You thought Tim Tebow was done espousing his beliefs once he got to the NFL? Wrong. Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow is just getting started. 

Tebow recently completed work on a pro-life television advertisement for the upcoming Super Bowl as a celebrity figure for Focus of the Family, a Christian ministry. The 30-second spot will feature a brief story about Tebow and his mother Pam, who told ESPN in December of 2007 (Heisman week) that doctors advised her to end her pregnancy while carrying Tim.

"Tim and Pam share our respect for life and our passion for helping families thrive," said Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the family, which is based out of Colorado Springs, Colo. "They live what we see every day -- that the desire for family closeness is written on the hearts of every generation. Focus on the Family is about nurturing that desire and strengthening families by empowering them with the tools they need to live lives rooted in morals and values."

Here's a link to Focus on the Family's press release. LINK!

I hope everyone is paying attention here. This is fascinating stuff. Pro athletes, especially those as recognizable as Tebow, hardly ever take public stands about anything let alone something as divisive as abortion. Thoughts?

Tebow hasn't even been drafted and already he's aligning himself with ultra-conservatives. This isn't exactly ideal for mainstream marketing, sponsorship and image branding. I'm sure Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Gatorade and all the rest are taking notice. Obviously, when you do Super Bowl ads for Focus on the Family you are automatically associating yourself with James Dobson, Focus on Family's public voice, cash cow, controversial leader and political arm. Do a Google search on James Dobson if you are unfamiliar with is work.

-jo-

January 15, 2010

Important recruiting weekend could solidify Gators' recruiting class; Find out who's coming to Gainesville and who might commit

GAINESVILLE -- Several of the nation's top-rated recruits will be visiting the University of Florida this weekend. A strong effort by the Gators' coaching staff could solidify Urban Meyer's class of 2010 as the nation's best. Here's the run down of who's coming to Hogtown: Quinton Dunbar, receiver, Miami Booker T. Washington; Lynden Trail, defensive end, Miami Booker T. Washingon; Gideon Ajagbe, linebacker, Miami Ransom Everglades; Darrin Kitchens, linebacker, Homestead; Mark Brown, running back, Lithonia, Ga.; Dominique Easley, defensive tackle, Staten Island, N.Y.; Jeremy Deering, safety, Tampa Leto; Chaz Green, offensive lineman, Tampa Catholic; Christian Green, receiver, Tampa Catholic; Matt James, offensive lineman, Cincinnati St. Xavier.

National Signing day is Feb.3. Just to recap, Florida has 24 oral commitments and 11 of those players are already enrolled at UF. Per SEC rule, Florida can only take four more players for the 2010 recruiting class. Now we'll outline a few of the players visiting this weekend ... hooray for recruiting!

QUINTON DUNBAR, Miami Booker T. Washington
POSITION: Receiver
VITALS: 6-3, 170 pounds
STRENGTHS: Natural speed, length and leaping ability provide Dunbar with all the tools to be one of the nation's best receivers of the 2010 recruiting class.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Like most elite high school football players entering college, Dunbar is a raw talent with several areas improvement needed in his game. If Dunbar can improve his route running, strength and muscle mass, blocking technique and study skills in the classroom, then his ceiling will have no limit. With hard work, Dunbar can be a special football player.
STATUS: COMMITTED TO FLORIDA

LYNDEN TRAIL, Miami Booker T. Washington
POSITION: Defensive end
VITALS: 6-7, 220 pounds
STRENGTHS: Another recruiting coup for the Gators coaching staff, Trail is a prospect from Miami-Dade with considerable potential. Height, speed and quickness are his strengths.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Trail obviously needs to put on weight and muscle mass to compete in major college football. Trail needs to dedicate himself to the weight room. In time, he will be a significant contributor if he remains serious about gaining weight and improving his strength.
STATUS: COMMITTED TO FLORIDA

GIDEON AJAGBE, Miami Ransom Everglades
POSITION: Linebacker
VITALS: 6-2, 197 pounds
STRENGTHS: Elite speed and a knack for game-changing plays.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Ajagbe is a raw talent but will likely be one of the coaching staff's favorite newcomers. His ability to learn combined with natural athletic ability will could make him an immediate contributor on special teams. With hard work, Ajagbe could crack the line-up by 2011.
STATUS: COMMITTED TO FLORIDA

MACK BROWN, Lithonia, Ga.
POSITION: Running back
VITALS: 5-11, 185 pounds
STRENGTHS: Another prospect with limitless potential. Brown's speed combined with his fearlessness make are a nice combination.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Brown was injured his senior season, so his medical status is an immediate concern. The Gators are not lacking at running back depth, so Brown should have plenty of time to get health and gain weight. Added muscle mass will make Brown a more durable runner.
STATUS: COMMITTED TO FLORIDA

DOMINIQUE EASLEY, Staten Islan, N.Y.
POSITION: Defensive line
VITALS: 6-3, 258 pounds
STRENGTHS: Physically gifted, this defensive lineman could play either defensive tackle or defensive end at the next level. The top-rated player in New York and ranked seventh nationally by Rivals.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Easley will need to gain weight to match up against SEC offensive linemen.
STATUS: COMMITTED  TO FLORIDA

CHRISTIAN GREEN, Tampa Catholic
POSITION: Receiver
VITALS: 6-2, 200 pounds
STRENGTHS: Big-time athlete here. He could play receiver or running back in college but will likely focus on receiver. He could also play safety.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: General football techniques at the receiver position need improvement.
STATUS: NOT COMMITTED 
SUITORS: Florida, Georgia, Florida State, South Florida, Miami
SKINNY: Green is ranked No.61 in the Rivals Top 100 and is one of the main targets in the final days of the 2010 recruiting cycle for Florida's Big Four and Georgia. It will likely come down to Florida, Florida State and Georgia and the Bulldogs could have the edge. A strong push this weekend by the Gators could even the field. Florida can afford to let this player get away but if Green, a Rivals Top 100 recruit, goes to rival Georgia that would be frustrating for Urban Meyer.

CHAZ GREEN, Tampa Catholic
POSITION: Offensive tackle
VITALS: 6-6, 290 pounds
STRENGTHS: An intelligent and athletic offensive lineman of the highest caliber. Green could play all five positions in college. Potential here is considerable.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Green was injured for most of his senior season but that didn't stop some of the nation's best programs from recruiting him.
STATUS: NOT COMMITTED.
SUITORS: Florida, Tennessee, Southern Cal
SKINNY: Green was favoring Tennessee but all that could change now that Lane Kiffin is at Southern Cal. Green is visiting Southern Cal on Jan.22. The Gators would like to wrap up a commitment this weekend from Green, listed in the Rivals Top 100, and convince him not to visit USC. That likely will not happen. At this point, Florida should be considered the leader for Green. Can Urban Meyer close the deal on one of the state's best players?

MATT JAMES, Cincinnati St. Xavier
POSITION: Offensive line
VITALS: 6-8, 290 pounds
STRENGTHS: A big kid with NFL potential. Above-average GPA.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Technique
STATUS: NOT COMMITTED
SUITORS: Florida, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Cincinnati
SKINNY: Probably Ohio State's to lose at this point, but Meyer will be looking for a commitment this weekend. Another Rivals Top 100 player. James likely won't leave the Midwest but anything seems possible after what Florida has been able to pull off over the last two weeks.

-jo-

January 14, 2010

Gators Wondy Pierre-Louis update: Parents and family accounted for

GAINESVILLE -- The parents and family of Florida Gators cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis living in Port-au-Prince have been accounted for and have escaped the natural disaster without serious injury. Pierre-Louis' house was destroyed in Tuesday's earthquake.

Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund.

-jo-

January 13, 2010

Lane Kiffin takes one last jab at SEC and Gators Urban Meyer

Former Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin was asked by a Tennessee recruiting website if he was going to "miss not being able to needle Urban Meyer, or will you still needle him from the West Coast?"

"No, it's good," Kiffin said. "Now I can do it and not get fined for it."

So, the editorial board at Gator Clause polled a few experts this morning and came up with a Top 10 Man Crush List. Yep, Lane Kiffin's love of Urban Meyer landed at No.7.

TOP 10 MAN-CRUSH LIST
10. Michael Jackson and Elvis

9. Landon Donovan and David Beckham

8. Lex Luther and Superman

7. Lane Kiffin and Urban Meyer

6. Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire

5. Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins

4. Joey Porter and Bill Belichick

3. Rush Limbaugh and Bill Clinton

2. Matthew Stafford and Tim Tebow

1. Nick Saban and Nick Saban

-jo-

Lane Kiffin to USC? What's next, Blagojevich to the White House?

GAINESVILLE -- Here's what freshly retired Kentucky coach Rich Brooks wrote via Twitter on Tuesday night when he learned Lane Kiffin leveled Rocky Top: "How crazy is this profession! I have seen it all now!"

Rich, my man, you got out at the right time. College football, at this special moment of its existence, needs three things: 1) straight jacket; 2) padded cell; 3) Thorazine drip. Lane Kiffin to Southern Cal? Are you kidding me? Lane Kiffin is college football's Josh Baskin. You know Josh Baskin. He's the dork who dropped his quarter into Zoltar's mouth and got his wish to be "big."

So, Baskin is now coaching USC. That's just great. What's next? Blagojevich to the White House?

On Tuesday night, Florida coach Urban Meyer seemed just as shocked as the common football fan about the breaking news of Kiffin's exit from Tennessee. Meyer and wife Shelley stood courtside during the first half of the Gators' basketball game against Kentucky on Tuesday night. No.2 Kentucky defeated Florida 89-77. At one point, Meyer sent a pair of hand signals -- 'U' and 'T' -- along with a big smile across the court to athletics director Jeremy Foley, who was seated on press row.

Should Meyer be smiling about this news? Well, yeah. Meyer likes Kiffin just about as much as Tupac liked Biggie or Space Ghost liked Spider Woman, so Meyer probably isn't too sad to see Kiffin out of the SEC. Immediately, Meyer might be able to lure a recruit or two away from Tennessee. See: linebacker Michael Taylor of Atlanta, Ga. Long term, however, Kiffin's departure from Tennessee could affect the Gators negatively. How so? Well, it's just my opinion, but Meyer was never going to be out-coached or out-recruited by Kiffin while he was at Tennessee. It will be interesting to see who Tennessee hires. Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is apparently Tennessee's No.1 target. Is Muschamp ready to be a head coach? Was Kiffin? If I'm a Tennessee supporter, trading Kiffin for Muschamp seems like an upgrade.

There's also another dynamic to this story to consider. How will Kiffin's move to Southern Cal affect the Gators' 2010 recruiting class? Kiffin is putting together a talented coaching staff at USC. Monte Kiffin will be the defensive coordinator. Ed Orgeron will be the recruiting coordinator. Norm Chow will be the offensive coordinator. That's an all-star cast. Expect Orgeron and Kiffin to go hard after Florida recruit Ronald Powell, the defensive end who orally committed to Florida during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. And if you didn't think college football recruiting was a slimy business already, check out this story. LINK! 

Powell is from Southern California and might reconsider sticking around. Personally, I doubt Powell de-commits from Florida. He has stated publicly that he wants to get out of the Los Angeles area and likes the college-town vibe of Gainesville. Plus, he loves Meyer.

While Powell will be a long shot for Kiffin's staff, one upper-crust recruit has apparently already signed on with Kiffin. Receiver Kyle Prater was reportedly considering Florida after Pete Carroll left for the NFL, but not anymore. He's enrolling early at USC to play for Josh Baskin.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
A large crowd of shocked Tennessee students gathered outside the Vols' football offices on Tuesday night to express their displeasure with Kiffin's sudden move to Southern Cal. UT defensive end Ben Martin was among the students and yelled a suggestion to a Knoxville News Sentinel reporter.  

"Call Phil," said Martin, referring to former UT coach Phillip Fulmer. "Get him his [expletive] job back."

That, of course, would Rocky Top all.

-jo-

January 12, 2010

Robert Kraft sighting at the O'Dome

GAINESVILLE -- Fresh off of his team getting bounced in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is here at O'Connell Center for tonight's men's basketball match-up between the Florida Gators and No.2 Kentucky. Kraft is friends with Billy Donovan and Urban Meyer.

-jo-

January 11, 2010

Ahmad Black returning for his senior season

GAINESVILLE -- Junior strong safety Ahmad Black is returning to Florida for his senior season, according to his father.

Bruce Black informed The Miami Herald on Saturday night that Ahmad "decided to stay in school and get his stock up in next year's NFL Draft." Ahmad, a two-year starter for the Gators, had a breakout season in 2008 and followed it up with another excellent effort in 2009. Black had 70 tackles this season.

Black is one of two returning starters among the Florida Gators secondary. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins will be a junior next season.

-jo-

Major Wright is going pro

GAINESVILLE -- Florida junior safety Major Wright told The Miami Herald on Monday evening that he will enter the 2010 NFL Draft and forego his senior season of eligibility.
-
"I'm going to the NFL," Wright said in a text message.
-
A three-year starter at Florida, Wright was a mainstay for some of the best defenses in Florida football history. A devastating tackler since his days at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Wright's most memorable hit of his college career came during the first quarter of the 2008 BCS national championship game on Oklahoma's first offensive series. Wright leveled Oklahoma receiver Manny Johnson on a fly pattern, setting the tone for the game. UF defeated Oklahoma 24-14.
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Wright finished his career at UF with 165 tackles, 10 passes defended, eight interceptions, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Check out the updated magic-number blog by clicking right here.

-jo-

Florida Gators Carlos Dunlap and Maurkice Pouncey declare for NFL Draft; Mike Pouncey returning

GAINESVILLE -- Junior defensive Carlos Dunlap and junior center Maurkice Pouncey announced their intentions to enter the NFL Draft on Monday. Mike Pouncey will return to Florida for his senior season.

"I'm very excited to come back and wear the Orange and Blue for the 2010 season," Mike Pouncey said. "I'm looking forward to being a leader on the team, having the opportunity to play center and continuing to learn from coach Steve Addazio. It has been an honor to play here, so I can't wait to run out into The Swamp for another year."

Florida safety Major Wright said on Monday that he is still considering his options. Wright, a junior, is a three-year starter for the Gators.

Gator Clause continues to update its post on UF's available scholarships as news breaks. Here's the link. CLICK ME!

-jo-

Tim Tebow making money for Senior Bowl with record ticket sales

GAINESVILLE -- The Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., set single-day ticket sales records on Saturday and Sunday following Tim Tebow's announcement to play in the game. Tebow should demand a cut.

"It's amazing the affect that Tim Tebow has had on our ticket sales over the past 24 hours," Senior Bowl president and CEO Steve Hale told the Mobile Press-Register. "In my 16 years with the game, I have never seen a single player spark so much interest from our ticket buyers. We have reached record numbers since his announcement, and our staff is working overtime to fulfill the needs of college football fans.
 
"This is a true testament to the way college football fans feel about Tim's illustrious career."

The Senior Bowl sold 1,200 tickets on Saturday when news broke that Tebow would play in the postseason all-star game. On Sunday, the Senior Bowl sold 1,800 tickets. Monday will likely bring more records. Tebow is out to prove that he can succeed as a pro quarterback and his first impression (post college, of course) will be in Mobile's Ladd-Peebles Stadium at 4 p.m. on Jan.30.

"I'm very excited," Tebow said. "It's something where I get to an opportunity to play with a lot of great players and get coached by a lot of great coaches in the NFL and an opportunity to work in the an NFL system and do things that a lot of people haven't seen me do like go under center and take the drops and be in a pro-style system."

Tebow will play for the South all-star team during the Senior Bowl and will be instructed throughout the week by the Miami Dolphins' coaching staff. (Thundercat Offense anyone?) Players arrive in Mobile, Ala., on Jan.24.

-jo-

How many football scholarships can the Florida Gators award on Feb.3? We're projecting the field, sort of!

EDITING THIS POST AS WE GO...

GAINESVILLE -- OK, many friends of Gator Clause have been emailing the editorial board and asking many important question that revolve around one central theme: How many players can Florida sign on Feb.3, National Signing Day? In this space, I will attempt to answer some of these excellent questions. Keep them coming. Gator Clause doesn't have scheduled Q&A's like other blogs because, well, this is a blog and we try and interact with our fellow bloggers each and every day. Except for John in Pinecrest. He hates this blog now and wants nothing to do with us, our questionable methods and our punk-rock ways. (Just kidding, John.)

Understand, before we attempt to put a number on the amount of players UF can sign for the 2010 recruiting cycle, you need to keep in mind that Florida's coaching staff probably doesn't even know the exact number. The number could change if another junior turns pro, someone transfers, someone gets kicked off the team (let's hope not), etc... As Florida likes to say, it's a "fluid number." So, I've poured through the roster of returning players and it appears, as of this evening (Jan.11, 2010) that 60 scholarship players are returning. That number leaves UF with 25 available scholarships for the 2010 recruiting cycle and Florida has already received commitments from 24 players. Here is the complete list of returning players we believe are on scholarship. (We assume these players are on scholarship because, at beginning of their careers, they signed scholarships.)

Continue reading "How many football scholarships can the Florida Gators award on Feb.3? We're projecting the field, sort of!" »


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