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Random things I learned at Florida Gators media day

GAINESVILLE -- Here is my knowledge ...

1. Jaye Howard calls Omar Hunter, Omar Nagurski.

2. Omar Hunter calls Jaye Howard, Ndamukong Howard.

3. T.J. Pridemore hates it when Omar Hunter sings Lynyrd Skynyrd.

4. Omar Hunter's favorite Skynyrd song: "Simple man."

5. T.J. Pridemore's dad taught Omar Hunter how to shoot a gun when Hunter was a sophomore in high school. (Hunting is a pretty big deal in Buford, Ga.)

6. Brandon Spikes' New England Patriots teammates apparently tried to cut his hair, according to some of the Gators. Spikes fought them off.

7. The Gators' pass rush was designed for Spikes and Carlos Dunlap last year on third down. This season, the defensive tackles are going to have a chance on third down, according to Howard. That means less 3-4.

8. A side note to that thought: There are a few theories out there that the Gators are going to actually play more 3-4 defense this year just because Teryl Austin is the new DC. Don't count on it, says I. The Gators' defensive line is loaded with talent -- deeper than its been since 2006. Clearly, the Gators' strength is 4-3. And ... you play to your strengths.

9. Jonathan Dowling's mom drove him to the tattoo parlor when he turned 18.

10. Dowling wanted "sleeves" since he was a little kid, and that's what he got.

11. Tight end Jordan Reed is a big-time Yankees fan.

12. Reed's favorite player is Jeter.

13. We both agreed that Jeter has done things the right way.

14. Which is to say, Jeter is still single.

15. Punter Chaz Henry kicked a football 65 yards this summer.

16. In the air!

17. The ball hung in the air for 5.48 seconds.

18. I asked Henry if he took out an insurance policy for this season.

19. He laughed. I was serious. This guy is going to be in the NFL for a long time if he remains healthy.

20. Marcus Gilbert's dad retired from the Secret Service in May.

21. He served for 22 years.

22. Now he has a cushy job working for Pepsi ... in Chicago.

23. President Obama is ... from Chicago.

24. Wish I knew the President.

25. William Green is from Hoover, Ala., but he hates the Lynyrd Skynyrd song, "Sweet Home Alabama."

26. I only mention this because Omar Hunter appeared sincerely hurt when he learned this on Tuesday.

27. John Brantley likes to fish on a lake in Hawthorne, according to his teammates.

28. Dominique Easley is going to regret saying this: "Ronald Powell is Chris Bosh, Sharrif [Floyd] is Dwyane Wade and I'm LeBron [James]."

29. In the words of veteran Gators defensive lineman Jaye Howard: "Everyone gets knocked down to Earth."

30. Tight end coach Brian White landed recruit Ronald Powell.

31. White had a good relationship with Powell's high school coach ever since White coached at Wisconsin.

32. If you're assuming that White landed Josh Shaw, you'd be wrong. That was all Urban Meyer.

33. An old connection when Meyer coached at Colorado State.

34. White and quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler will be the offensive coaches in the booth on game days this season.

35. DC Teryl Austin still hasn't decided which defensive coaches will be in the booth on game days.

36. Coaches didn't like me pressing about the booth questions. Whatever.

37. Recruiting coordinator Stan Drayton is in charge of recruiting Miami-Dade County. But Drayton didn't pull in the Gators' haul of current Miami-Dade frosh. Drayton came on late and was in charge of landing running back Mack Brown.

38. I met Cody Riggs and liked his haircut. It's a very puffy mo-hawk.

39. I have mad respect for Jeremy Brown. And I'm also worried about him. Read my story in Tuesday's Herald for details.

40. Don't forget to watch my Gators video reports on the sports section's front page of the website.



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