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5 posts from April 2013

April 27, 2013

Miami Dolphins select former Florida Gators linebacker Jelani Jenkins in fourth round of NFL Draft

The Miami Dolphins selected former Florida Gators linebacker Jelani Jenkins with the 104th overall selection during the fourth round of the National Football League Draft on Saturday.

Jenkins, who decided to leave school after his junior season, was regarded as one the nation's best coverage linebackers by ESPN analyst Todd McShay. In three seasons at Florida, Jenkins racked up 182 tackles, 16.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks and three interceptions.

It was thought the 6-0, 237-pound Jenkins would return to school for his senior season after missing extended time last year with several injuries, including a broken thumb, pulled hamstring and a broken bone in his foot.

Still, in Jenkins, the Dolphins get a smart, athletic linebacker who put up 27 repetitions of 225 pounds at the combine. There are some durability concerns, but that's it. Jenkins has the makeup of a longtime pro.

April 24, 2013

Boynton Beach native Jessamen Dunker to transfer from Florida

Still dealing with the fallout from a felony arrest earlier this year, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker will transfer from Florida, coach Will Muschamp announced Wednesday.

A graduate of Boynton Beach High, Dunker was arrested in January and charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle after he was pulled over by campus police on a scooter that was reported stolen. Dunker was suspended indefinitely following the arrest, but a return to the roster was expected at the time.

That door slammed shut Wednesday with Muschamp's announcement that Dunker would leave the program after just one season. According to Muschamp, he and Dunker sat down to discuss his future and the two came to the conclusion that it wasn't going to work out in Gainesville.

"He's got some pretty well-documented off the field issues and he needs a fresh start," Muschamp said. "He felt like he needed a fresh start and I didn't disagree with him."

In addition to the legal trouble, Dunker also was not well-liked by his teammates and struggled to fit in while at Florida, according to multiple reports. He did not play in a game as a freshman after coming to the Gators as the nation's No. 4 offensive guard and the No. 46 overall recruit in the country, according to ESPNU.

It is not yet known where Dunker will seek to transfer.

April 16, 2013

Gators center Patric Young undergoes ankle surgery

Florida center Patric Young on Friday underwent surgery on his right ankle to remove a bone spur.

Young is on crutches and will not be able to participate in lower body workouts for roughly six weeks. A UF spokesman confirmed the surgery to Landon Watnick of The Independent Florida Alligator.

Young played in all 37 of UF's games this season, starting all but one and finishing with an average of 10.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Through the school, Young announced on April 8 that he would return for his senior season. He was projected as a second round pick in the NBA Draft. 

In a press conference held last week to wrap up the season, coach Billy Donovan spoke of wanting to see more out of the 6-9 big man next year.

"With him going into his senior year now, I think if you look at him when he was a sophomore, he averaged 10 and 6. This year he averaged 10 and 6. I really felt that Patric has the potential and ability to rebound more," Donovan said. "People wanted look at his offense, that he has gotten better offensively. But I feel him playing with a consistent motor would not only help him, it would help our team. I think he has the capability of doing those things."

Perhaps playing on a gimpy ankle limited Young in 2012-13, but there won't be any room for that in 2013-14 as Florida has transfers Damontre Harris (6-11, averaged 6.8 pts, 5.5 rebs with 71 blocks as a sophomore at South Carolina) and Dorian Finney-Smith (6-8, averaged 6.3 pts and 7.0 reb as a freshman at Virginia Tech) as well as incoming freshman Chris Walker (6-10) to add to the competition for minutes in the frontcourt.

April 10, 2013

Florida defensive line coach Bryant Young resigns from Gators staff

Citing personal reasons, Florida defensive line assistant coach Bryant Young has resigned from his position, the school announced Wednesday in a press release.

Young joined the Gators staff in 2011 after spending 14 seasons in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers. He worked primarily with the defensive tackles while at Florida, specifically helping Dominique Easley and Sharrif Floyd develop their technique inside.

However, coach Will Muschamp plucked Brad Lawing from South Carolina earlier this offseason to coach the defensive line, and that move appeared to make Young expendable. Not regarded as a premier recruiter, Young was not offered a contract extension following the 2011 season, when then-defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and other assistants were extended and in some cases offered raises.

"We are very thankful for coach Young’s contributions to the program and I respect his decision," Muschamp said in the release. "This is strictly a personal decision and has nothing to do with NCAA compliance, but just an opportunity to evaluate his future path."

For Young, he said in the release that the decision was based on spending more time with his family, including six children.

"After heavy consideration and giving over two decades to the game of football, I have made a personal decision to resign from my position at the University of Florida in order to pursue more time with my family," Young said in a prepared statement. "I am humbled by and grateful for the opportunity I have had to positively influence the hardworking student-athletes and young men whom I will surely miss. However, I have come to the realization that it is time to invest more in my family during this fleeting season in life."

April 04, 2013

Muschamp denies allegation of paying player while at Auburn

Accused of paying a player under the table while working as defensive coordinator at Auburn in 2007, Florida coach Will Muschamp today denied any wrongdoing.

"Totally deny it," Muschamp told Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun. "I don’t know where this is coming from."

The allegations surfaced Wednesday on Roopstigo.com in a story by former New York Times and Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts. The story is centered on former Auburn player Mike McNeil, who is facing charges of armed robbery. McNeil alleges that Muschamp called the player into his office following a practice and paid McNeil nearly $400 for reasons unknown.

According to Roberts' story, here is McNeil's account of the incident: 

"I had no clue what it was about because I’d never directly asked him for anything. He slid about $400 over to me. He went into a drawer and gave me money and said, 'Is this enough? Is this good?' And I said, 'Yeah, I’m good.'"

The story also alleges other serious NCAA violations, including academic fraud, impermissible recruiting benefits as well as local police corruption. Several other players quoted in the story have since backed off their statements, saying they were misquoted or denying certain facts. Roberts, in an interview with Al.com writer Brandon Marcello, defended the story.

Muschamp denied the allegations Wednesday through a spokesman and Thursday through the Sun. His next scheduled media availability is following Saturday's spring game.




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