« May 2011 | Main | August 2011 »

4 posts from July 2011

July 27, 2011

RB Demps set to return to Gators

The University of Florida released a statement Tuesday confirming running back Jeff Demps is returning to the football team.

"As I stated last week in Birmingham, Jeff Demps will be joining our football program when our squad reports for camp on August 5th and when we start practice on August 6th," Florida coach Will Muschamp said in a release from the school. "I met with him [Tuesday] and Jeff is looking forward to focusing on football for his upcoming senior season."

Demps also had some words that put to bed any rumors of a professional track career — at least for now.

"When I came to Florida I wanted to compete at a very high level in both sports and I’ve done that," Demps said. "Football has been my first love, but I also love running track. All of my coaches have been supportive and I’ve always been able to concentrate on whatever sport I’m competing in during that season. I concentrated on track this past spring and summer, and I’m now ready to concentrate on football. I’m looking forward to getting back together with my football teammates and having a great senior season."

There you have it. Demps will be back. 


July 21, 2011

SEC Media Days: What they're saying about Florida coach Will Muschamp

While Florida's presence is greatly diminished from previous years, new coach Will Muschamp and the Gators are still a topic of discussion throughout SEC Media Days. Here's what other coaches and players are saying about Muschamp and the Gators:

Georgia coach Mark Richt on his impressions of Will Muschamp and thoughts on an ex-Georgia player being a coach at Florida.
Richt: That's right. I'm sure he's going to tell everybody in Florida he's through and through, all that. I'm sure there's some red and black in his veins. Will is a great person, great coach, great competitor. He understands the game. He understands how to recruit. He gets it. That's why he's where he's at. 
I don't think there's any doubt that he's going to have a high level of success at Florida. Probably going to be a little weird for him, my guess is, when we play. ... I will say, once you play the game, once you kick it off, it changes everything. You know who you're playing for, you know who you're rooting for. ... It won't take him long to know where his allegiance is. 

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley on if working with Muschamp at LSU helped him and their current relationship.
Dooley: Will and I are good friends. Of course, we talked a lot. I know he told you guys that prior to him getting the job at Florida. We still stay in touch. Not as much, obviously. We certainly don't talk about the same things we did before. 
As far as helping, it does help being in this league and understanding this league, understanding the expectations of the fan base and the traditions. I do think it helps. 
But as long as you have an appreciation for a program and an institution and a university, and you open yourself up to how they do things, anybody can really come in this league and have success. You don't have to have a background in the SEC to have success in the SEC. 

On his opinion on the Muschamp hire and how it will affect the coaches' game-planning.
Dooley: Of course, I had mixed feelings. I was proud of him. He deserved it. He's earned it. But I'd rather him been at Texas because he's a friend of mine. I mean, that's just how it is. 
I don't think that has any impact, I really don't, on the game. I think we make this a bigger deal than it is. I don't know him in a way and he doesn't know me in a way that's going to be this difference maker on game day. We're certainly not going to be concerned about the other's well-being on game day. 
I just think it's probably a bigger story than we're making it out to as it relates to the competitive part of it on the game day. 
He's earned it. He's going to do a great job, there's no doubt in my mind. But we got to play each other every year and that's a big game for both programs. 

July 19, 2011

Five topics for SEC Media Days

More than 900 members of the media and coaches and players from each member institution converge on Hoover, Ala., this week for Southeastern Conference Media Days. Football is back, people. Here are some topics that are likely to be at the forefront during interviews Wednesday through Friday. Check back each day as I'll be bringing you daily updates from Hoover.

Scholarship increases — More and more, people are accepting the fact that college football is a business. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier had an interesting proposal at the spring meetings and commissioner Mike Slive is on record in support of “paying for an athlete’s full cost of attendance, which over and above tuition, room and board, books and university fees would also pay for reasonable personal expenses as well as travel expenses when an athlete returns home to see family.” There are many hurdles to be crossed before that’s a possibility, expect a lot of discussion on this.

The Auburn NCAA Investigation — The New York Times reported last week that Auburn coach Gene Chizik had a heated interchange at the spring meetings with the NCAA vice president for enforcement. Chizik reportedly wanted to know why the NCAA hadn’t announced that the investigation was over. He was informed the investigation is ongoing. The feeling is that the NCAA is stepping up its enforcement after a year filled with scandal.  Since 1987, the year of the “Death Sentence” for Southern Methodist University, the SEC leads all conferences in major violations with 13. 

Muschamp/Weis/Brantley — Florida representatives coach Will Muschamp, quarterback John Brantley, receiver Deonte Thompson and defensive end William Green are likely to face one of the larger frenzies of the three-day spectacle. With so much change in Gainesville, there will be questions abound. The public wants to know if Florida is back, if Brantley can step up in a pro-style offense and if Charlie Weis is ready for a return to the college ranks.

Media picks — If Media Days teaches you one thing it’s that the media is notoriously bad at picking a preseason winner. Only four times since 1992 have those behind the notepad and keyboard correctly projected the winner. Florida was the choice in three of those years (1994, 1995, 2008). There’s no clear-cut favorite this year and it will be interesting to see how many votes South Carolina and Arkansas receive compared to the more-popular selections of LSU and Alabama.

7-on-7’s and recruiting rules — Slive sent a letter to the NCAA last month proposing an array of new recruiting rules including forbidding college campuses from holding 7-on-7 tournaments. Expect recruiting and oversigning to be another hot topic this week.


Side note: I won't be able to attend Friday Night Lights as I'll be in Hoover, but I'll post an update on the blog from a good friend and fellow reporter, Bryan Holt. Check back, it should be a busy week. 



July 14, 2011

Pre-season All-SEC team announced, six Gators selected

The 2011 All-Southeastern Conference Coaches' Team was announced Thursday, and as you may have guessed, Florida did not have a player selected to the first-team. 

The Gators had a sole second-team member, running back Jeff Demps, and six total selections. Alabama led all conference schools with seven first-team selections. Arkansas had a league-high 14 selections, but just one on the first-team. 

Linebackers Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins were both selected to the third-team defense. Kicker Caleb Sturgis made the second-team for specialists, while Andre Debose and Trey Burton were third-team selections. 

While some may wonder why the first-team isn't littered with Gators like usual, understand that this isn't a big deal. It is pre-season after all. Much of it can be attributed to a down year in 2010 and the unknowns that accompany a new coaching staff.

Florida has plenty of talent, but the majority of it is largely unproven. The good news is we are a little more than a month away from the start of the season and some clarity. 

Here are the team listings: 


First-Team Offense

TE            Orson Charles, Georgia                                     

OL           Cordy Glenn, Georgia                                         

OL           Barrett Jones, Alabama                                       

OL           Bradley Sowell, Ole Miss                                  

OL           Larry Warford, Kentucky                                   

C             William Vlachos, Alabama                                   

WR          Greg Childs, Arkansas                                         

WR          Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina                         

QB           Aaron Murray, Georgia                                       

RB           Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina                   

RB           Trent Richardson, Alabama                               

Second-Team Offense

TE           Brandon Barden, Vanderbilt                              

OL           Alvin Bailey, Arkansas                                       

OL           D.J. Fluker, Alabama                                            

OL           Brandon Mosley, Auburn                                  

OL           Rokevious Watkins, South Carolina                  

C             Ben Jones, Georgia                                            

WR          Joe Adams, Arkansas                                           

WR          Rueben Randle, LSU                                            

QB           Stephen Garcia, South Carolina                         

RB           Knile Davis, Arkansas                                           

*RB         Jeff Demps, Florida                                              

*RB         Mike Dyer, Auburn                                              

Third-Team Offense

TE          Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn                           

OL          Grant Cook, Arkansas                                          

OL          Alex Hurst, LSU                                                     

OL         Bobby Massie, Ole Miss                                      

OL         Kyle Nunn, South Carolina                                  

C           Travis Swanson, Arkansas                                   

*WR       Emory Blake, Auburn                                          

*WR       Marquis Maze, Alabama                                     

*WR       Jarius Wright, Arkansas                                       

QB          Chris Relf, Mississippi State                                

RB          Vick Ballard, Mississippi State                           

RB          Onterrio McCalebb, Auburn                            



First-Team Defense

DL           Jake Bequette, Arkansas                                    

DL           Josh Chapman, Alabama                                     

DL           Malik Jackson, Tennessee                                  

DL           Devin Taylor, South Carolina                            

LB           Dont’a Hightower, Alabama                              

LB           Chris Marve, Vanderbilt                                     

LB           Danny Trevathan, Kentucky                            

DB           Mark Barron, Alabama                                       

DB           Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina                      

DB           Robert Lester, Alabama                                      

DB           Morris Claiborne, LSU                                       

Second-Team Defense

DL           Melvin Ingram, South Carolina                         

DL           DeAngelo Tyson, Georgia                                  

DL           Kentrell Lockett, Ole Miss                                 

*DL          Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State                          

*DL          Barkevious Mingo, LSU                                      

LB           Ryan Baker, LSU                                                   

LB           Jerry Franklin, Arkansas                                     

LB           Courtney Upshaw, Alabama                              

DB           Brandon Boykin, Georgia                                 

DB           Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt                               

DB           Tyrann Mathieu, LSU                                          

DB           Tramain Thomas, Arkansas                                  

Third-Team Defense

DL           Corey Lemonier, Auburn                                  

DL           Sam Montgomery, LSU                                    

DL           Travian Robertson, South Carolina                   

DL           Tenarius Wright, Arkansas                               

LB           Jon Bostic, Florida                                              

LB           Jelani Jenkins, Florida                                         

LB           C.J. Mosley, Alabama                                          

DB           Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State              

DB           Dre’ Kirkpatrick, Alabama                        

DB           Neiko Thorpe, Auburn                                      

DB           Prentiss Waggner, Tennessee                            


First-Team  Specialists

PK           Blair Walsh, Georgia                                           

P             Drew Butler, Georgia                                         

RS           Brandon Boykin, Georgia                                    

AP           Joe Adams, Arkansas                                         

Second-Team  Specialists

PK           Caleb Sturgis, Florida                                          

P             Tyler Campbell, Ole Miss                                  

RS           Warren Norman, Vanderbilt                             

AP           Trent Richardson, Alabama                                 

Third-Team  Specialists

PK           Zach Hocker, Arkansas              

*P           Dylan Breeding, Arkansas                                 

*P           Ryan Tydlacka, Kentucky                                    

RS           Andre DeBose, Florida                                       

AP           Trey Burton, Florida                                       

* - Ties

Check back soon as I'll be previewing SEC Media Days and Friday Night Lights.






Powered by TypePad