ESPN 850 WRUF – Gainesville, Florida

Wednesday Sports Update

By on August 13th, 2014

More Gator football, possible legal issues for Tony Stewart, a former Gator back in the NFL and baseball results in our Wednesday Sports Update…

** Gator football has another open practice today starting at 8:50 am.   It will be at the Dizney Lacrosse Complex.

** The Gator volleyball team, ranked in the top ten nationally, is picked to win the SEC title in a vote of league coaches.   Kentucky is picked to finish second with Missouri third.

** Former Gator quarterback Rex Grossman is back in the NFL after being signed as a free agent by the Cleveland Browns.   He is a 13 year league veteran.

** There is possible legal trouble for NASCAR driver Tony Stewart following that accident over the weekend in which Stewart’s car ran over a driver in a sprint car race.   So far, no charges have been filed in the case.

** The sale of the LA Clippers is now official as Donald Sterling finally is out and in is new owner Steve Ballmer.

** In baseball, Tampa Bay loses 3-2 to the Texas Rangers while the Atlanta Braves lose 4-2 to the LA Dodgers.   Miami blanks St.Louis 3-0.

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Second Week Of Fall Camp Underway; Practice Update From Muschamp

By on August 13th, 2014

 

The Florida football team opened up its second week of fall camp on Monday, following their first scrimmage of the preseason. Gators head coach Will Muschamp updated the status of the team following Monday’s practice.

The good news is that sophomore All-SEC cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III has been rehabilitating his bone bruise injury and is expected to return to practice either today or Wednesday according to Muschamp.

“Vernon ran on the non-gravity treadmill today, so he looks fine,” Muschamp said. “We’re thinking Tuesday or Wednesday he’ll be back.”

Meanwhile, numerous players sat out of Monday’s practice to nurse minor naggering injuries from Sunday’s scrimmage and the first week of fall camp. Running back Kelvin Taylor sustained a hamstring strain and is shooting to be back on the field by the end of the week. Matt Jones and wide receiver Andre Debose did not practice on Monday; both have some knee swelling but will most likely return on Tuesday or Wednesday. Defensive end Jonathan Bullard has an ankle injury and missed Monday’s practice, but should return soon.

Defensive lineman Taven Bryan has strep throat and is day-to- day and freshman defensive tackle Thomas Holley will undergo surgery to relieve discomfort caused by scar tissue from a sports hernia he had in high school. Muschamp said that he is out indefinitely.

“Thomas, from the sports hernia he had in high school, he has some scar tissue built up,” he said. “They are going to go in and shave that down. I don’t know when the timeframe is for that. I want to say the surgery is Tuesday. We are trying to get him in today. That’s not a major procedure. It’s more like having a scope done. But he had some scar tissue that’s built up and it’s very discomforting when he ran. So he’ll be out for some time. I don’t know how much.”

Although the Gators came out of Sunday’s scrimmage with a few minor injuries, Muschamp said he was pleased with the squad’s first scrimmage, and is a happy with where his team is heading into the second week of fall camp.

“We had about 80 to 85 scrimmage snaps Sunday. I thought was pretty good,” he added. “We scrimmaged earlier than we ever have done before. I felt like we needed to get out and let the guys play a little bit – a new offense, let those guys make adjustments on the field, continue to work on being a good situational team. But I thought we got a lot of good things done in the scrimmage.

“I’m pretty pleased with where we are,” Muschamp added. “We still are a work in progress behind Jeff. Those guys were alive yesterday – went against live rush, so we need to get better at getting rid of the football and taking care of the the ball. The ball security at that position was not very good, but I’m very pleased with our wideouts as far as playmaking ability. We need to continue to work on assignments. Pleased with our running back situation.”

Muschamp also praised sophomore Keanu Neal and said he has distanced himself for a starting spot at safety.

“Keanu Neal right now’s our best safety,” Muschamp said.

While true freshmen Will Grier and Treon Harris, and sophomore Skyler Mornhinweg are vying for the back up quarterback position. Muschamp said he isn’t certain when the decision will be made but would like to see more production from the three contenders.

“Behind Jeff at quarterback, we need to make strides, which we haven’t,” Muschamp said. “Not that the guys aren’t working, not that we don’t think we can be productive, but we need more production.”

The Gators will hold another open practice Tuesday at 8:40 a.m. at Dizney Lacrosse Stadium. Offensive coordinator Kurt Roper is expected to meet with media at 11 a.m. and we will continue to bring you updates on ESPN 850 WRUF radio.

 

Muschamp on Hargreaves Injury

Muschamp on Sunday’s scrimmage

Injury update from Muschamp

Muschamp pleased with team’s progress

Muschamp on competition for backup QB spot

Muschamp says Keanu Neal is the best safety

Muschamp on Thomas Holley

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday Sports Update

By on August 12th, 2014

Gator football practice, baseball, good news for Gator soccer and more in our Tuesday Sports Update…

** The Gator football team is dealing with some minor injuries as practice resumes today.   Players like defensive backs Vernon Hargreaves III and Duke Dawson, running back Kelvin Taylor and others did not practice Monday because of injury.

** The Gator soccer team is picked to win the SEC championship in a poll of league coaches.   Texas A&M is predicted to finish second with South Carolina third.

** In baseball, the Kansas City Royals have taken over the lead in the AL Central after the Detroit Tigers lost and the Royals won their eighth straight game on Monday.

** The Miami Marlins use two homers by Giancarlo Stanton to beat St.Louis 6-5; Atlanta loses to the LA Dodgers 6-2 and Tampa Bay blanks Texas 7-0.

** The long awaited SEC Network debuts this Thursday and each team in the league will have programming dedicated to their school in the coming days to kick off the network.

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Gators Open Second Week Of Fall Camp Today; Muschamp Pleased With Team’s Progress

By on August 11th, 2014

The first week of fall training camp is in the books and the Gator football team opens up the second week of practice today.

The biggest news of Florida’s fall camp thus far was the minor injury to sophomore All-American cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III. Florida released a statement from Gators coach Will Muschamp saying Hargreaves is day-to-day with a bone bruise on his left knee but he will be just fine and is receiving treatment.

Starting quarterback Jeff Driskel is looking comfortable and confident in offensive coordinator Kurt Roper’s new up-tempo shot-gun spread offense. He’s been very consistent with his accuracy and decision making and Roper’s scheme seems to be the perfect fit for him. The battle for the backup position is still up for grabs and the competition is still brewing. True freshmen Will Grier and Treon Harris have continued to split reps with the second team along with sophomore Skyler Mornhinweg.

Muschamp added that the process may take a while and the decision may not be determined until the final rep of the final practice. He also mentioned that he’s seen a lot of great qualities in Harris and Grier that he admires.

“Those guys have shown some really good things as far as arm talent and poise,” he said. “The number one thing that strikes me with both young men is they have a positive way about themselves with the players. I think they call it the “it” factor – as far as how the players respond to them.”

Meanwhile, quite a few underclassmen are really stepping up and contributing to the squad. Defensive back J.C. Jackson made some great plays and is proving that he is a physical specimen. Quincy Wilson has also made his presence felt at the cornerback position. He really held his own in contact drills against the receivers and looked great in coverage.

Sophomore wide receiver Demarcus Robinson is another guy who’s loaded with talent. He’s without a doubt the most consistent Gators receiver with great hands and is turning heads at every practice. On Friday night, he had two touchdown receptions once leaping to catch a ball in the corner of the end zone, then grabbed a second during red zone drills.

Sophomore linebacker Jarrad Davis is also a player to keep an eye out for throughout camp. Davis worked his way into the starting lineup as a true freshman and showed signs of becoming a big time playmaker last year. With his high-motor and relentless attitude he’s poised to have a breakout season. Davis said despite arriving at Florida as only a three star prospect, he’s ready to make a big impact on his squad.

“Muschamp sat us down in that team meeting the first time we got here and said two star, three star whatever – we don’t care,” Davis said. “As long as you work hard and go out there and give it your all you can get on this field. So I took what Muschamp said and I went out there and gave it my all.”

“I was still shocked because I was a freshman and a young guy,” he added. “But hey, they needed somebody and I stepped up and like I said I’m always going to do it for my teammates and go as hard as I can to show what type of guy I am and hopefully motivate them as well.”

Florida’s center Max Garcia agreed with Davis and indicated that it’s the intangible things such as a player’s burning desire to succeed that truly makes a team.

“Picking each other up, building each other up, not bringing each other down,” he added. “Just really humbling ourselves and realizing that we went 4 and 8 together and that this season is about us staying together, being together because at the day we are all we have – and all we need.”

The Gators next open practice will be held on Monday at 8:40 a.m. at Dizney Lacrosse Stadium.

Here’s a gallery recapping first week of fall camp:

 

Muschamp on Harris and Grier

Jarrad Davis on being a leader

Jarrad Davis on joining starting lineup as a freshman

Max Garcia on team’s chemistry

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday Sports Update

By on August 11th, 2014

Gator football practice continues, a tragic accident in auto racing, a come from behind PGA win and more in our Monday Sports Update…

** Gator football practice continues today at 8:40 am at the Dizney Lacrosse Complex; the practice is open to the public.

** The auto racing world mourns the death of 20 year old Kevin Ward Jr. in a NASCAR race in New York over the weekend.   Ward did not like the way fellow driver Tony Stewart collided with him during the race and he got out of his car to confront Stewart when Stewart’s car hit him.   Stewart did not race in a scheduled event on Sunday.

** In the NASCAR race on Sunday, AJ Allmendinger wins his first ever NASCAR race, beating Marcos Ambrose.

** Rory McIlroy is certainly on a hot streak as he comes from behind to win the PGA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky.   He wins his fourth major by beating Phil Mickelson by one shot.

** In baseball, Tampa Bay loses 3-2 to the Chicago Cubs and will now start a series with the Texas Rangers.   The Miami Marlins lose 7-2 to Cincinnati and the Marlins will now host St.Louis.   Atlanta beats Washington 3-1 and the Braves will start a series with the LA Dodgers in Atlanta.

** The NCAA is going to appeal at least part of the recent ruling that allows athletes to receive money when their likenesses are used in video games.   A judge ruled players in football and basketball should receive at least $5,000 a year for rights to their names and likenesses.

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Gators Continue To Make Progress On Football Field

By on August 9th, 2014

The Florida football team held another open practice Friday night at the Dizney Lacrosse Complex on the UF campus and according to Gator coach Will Muschamp, progress again was made.

Once again, starting quarterback Jeff Driskel looked sharp but Muschamp said no decision has been made on naming a backup quarterback and he added that process could take a while.

With Vernon Hargreaves III out with his bruised knee, a freshman, Quincy Wilson, got some reps and looked very good in coverage.   Another freshman, defensive lineman Gerald Willis, has also impressed the coaching staff according to Muschamp and he is vying for playing time right away.

Florida will practice Saturday and Monday’s practice at 8:40 am will be open to the public at the Dizney Complex.

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Vernon Hargreaves III Leaves Gators First Open Practice With Knee Injury

By on August 8th, 2014

 

Gators sophomore All-American cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III suffered an apparent knee injury Thursday night during the 10th period of Florida’s first open practice of the season.

The incident occurred after a tackling drill turned into a brief “brawl” between the wide receivers and the defensive backs. Hargreaves came out of the group of players limping and was helped off  by two trainers. The trainers iced and taped up his left knee and players checked in on him before he was carted off the practice field of Donald R. Dizney Lacrosse Stadium.

The extent of the injury is unknown at this time, but later reports said Gator head coach Will Muschamp believes the injury is a bone bruise and the status of Hargreaves is day to day.  There could be an update on his condition on Friday.

The practice Friday showed off the skill of starting quarterback Jeff Driskel who looked sharp during drills and seemed to show a nice command of new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper’s offense.

Muschamp wants to find a number two quarterback that will play in Florida’s season opener against Idaho but after the performance of the rest of the quarterbacks on Thursday it didn’t seem one of them took firm control of that spot.

The competition there will continue at Florida’s second open practice, scheduled for Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Dizney Lacrosse Stadium.

Here’s a gallery from the Gators first open practice:

 

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Friday Sports Update

By on August 8th, 2014

Gator football practice, baseball, some NBA news and more in our Friday Sports Update…

** Gator football practices continue this weekend with Friday night’s practice open to the public at 7:40pm at the Dizney Lacrosse field.   The Gators got a scare when defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III went down with an injury Thursday but Gator coach Will Muschamp says he is day to day with a bruise.

** As expected, a measure that will allow the Power 5 conferences in college football to have more autonomy in decision making passed a vote taken yesterday.   Some of the things the big schools want to do is to provide more of a stipend to athletes and to provide better medical and safety coverage.  The measure must still survive a 60 day override period to become effective.

** Most NFL teams play their first exhibition games of the year this weekend.   Miami is at Atlanta and Tampa Bay plays Jacksonville Friday.

** The PGA Championship continues all weekend long in Louisville, Kentucky.   Two former Gator golfers, Matt Every and Billy Horschel, are in the event.

** The USA National Team will not have Kevin Durant playing for it as he withdraws from the team, citing mental and physical fatigue.

** In baseball, the Miami Marlins will play at Cincinnati this weekend.   The Tampa Bay Rays are at the Chicago Cubs while the Atlanta Braves host the Washington Nationals.

** Landon Donovan is going to retire at the end of the current MLS season.   He is 32 years old and is the top goal scorer in MLS history.

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Fall Camp In Full Swing; Gators Gearing Up For 2014 Season

By on August 7th, 2014

The Florida football team‘s fall training camp is well underway and the Gators are gearing up for the 2014 season.

Sophomore defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III, offensive lineman Chaz Green, running back Kelvin Taylor, and defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard talked Wednesday about the start of  fall camp.  The Gators opened up fall practice just four days ago and all eyes have been on the team’s new and improved up-tempo offense that’s been implemented under new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper. Taylor said he’s a fan of the new offensive scheme and thinks it’s the perfect recipe for improving his running game.

“I think we fit into his offense great,” the standout sophomore said. “We can play into space – it’s a downhill offense it’s very explosive; you can get a lot of different matchups in his new scheme. I feel like we’re going to have a really explosive offense this year with a lot of big plays. I’m really excited about it.”

Taylor, who began his career with the Gators as a young boy with a dream – says he’s now a man on a mission.

“I’m just ready to go out there and keep working hard every day,” Taylor added.  “Just trust my offensive linemen and I think everything else will fall into place. I can’t wait to get back on the field, but it all starts in practice today.  So I’m going to just keep working hard every day and try to get better at the little things.”

The first few days of camp consisted of split squad practices with the veteran players taking the field in the morning and the less experienced players at night. Wednesday night the team practiced in shells and the first day in full pads is Friday.

Chaz Green elaborated on all the hard work, dedication, and long hours that goes into fall training in preparation for the season. He said the Gator grind is intense,  but will certainly be worth it when the Gators hopefully bounce back from last year’s disappointing season and finally redeem themselves.  Green says they have a lot to prove not only to fans but more importantly, to themselves.

“I think everyone is embracing the opportunity after the year we had last year,” Green said. We don’t like to think about it but it’s something you have to face and I think the mindset this offseason was put the work in, don’t do any talking – let’s just get back to where we’re capable of being.”

“That’s the mindset going into every season,” the redshirt senior added. “You want to feel positive going into the year and I think camp let’s you know how you produce based on what you’re expecting going into it.”

The first of eight fall open practices is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday night at Dizney Lacrosse Stadium prior to the season opener which is scheduled for August 30th against Idaho.

Kelvin Taylor on new offense

Kelvin Taylor on upcoming season

Chaz Green on team’s mindset

Chaz Green on bouncing back

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Vanderbilt Commodores 2014 Season Preview

By on August 7th, 2014

The Vanderbilt Commodores football program is getting ready for the 2014 season after one of their best seasons in recent memory when they went 9-4 overall and 4-4 in SEC play a year ago.

The Commodores will enter the season under control of new head coach Derek Mason. Previously the defensive coordinator at Stanford since 2011, Mason led them to 2013 and 2014 appearances in the Rose Bowl and the Cardinal ranked among the NCAA national top 15 in defense for three consecutive years.

“What he preaches is SEC title and you don’t hear him talk about anything less,” said linebacker Adam Butler. “We don’t want to be complacent… that’s his message, and that’s what I love about him.”

The new coach has also brought a change to Vanderbilt’s defense.

“We switched from a 4-3 to a 3-4, so we have a couple of guys changing position, but I feel like they are all making smooth transitions,” said junior safety Andrew Williamson.

This season the Commodores will have a total of 11 returning starters: six on offense, four on defense, and one on special teams. With quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels, who is 10th on the program’s single-season total offense chart gone, Mason is looking for a replacement.

Mason plans to keep the position competitive, but sophomore Patton Robinette, who saw action in 10 games last season including two against SEC opponents Florida and Texas A&M , is on his radar.

“Any time you have a young man who has played in games, it’s something you can’t replicate,” said Mason. “I think Robinette has the leg up, but what I want is a quarterback competition.”

Another key returner for the Commodores will be defensive end Caleb Azubike. Azubike ended last season with 10 tackles for loss and shared the team lead with four sacks.

“Now what he’s really working on is full comprehension of what we do and how we are going to move him around in order to find him in the match-ups we are going to need, especially when we have to rush the passer,” said Mason.

The junior defensive end has missed about a week of practice due to the death of his grandmother and Mason has not put a time on his return.

The Commodores will open their season on August 28th against the Temple Owls.

To hear more from Mason and the Commodores click below.

Butler on Coach Mason

Williamson on new defense

Mason on quarterbacks

Mason on Azubike

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