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Gators Fall Camp Continues

By on August 12th, 2015

The Florida Gator football team completed their second practice with full pads on Wednesday at the UF Dizney Lacrosse Stadium.

Among the players trying to nail down a starting job is junior running back Kelvin Taylor. Taylor says the way he approaches camp is the same way he approaches a game.

“I feel like it’s not different. You have to go out to practice every day focused, work hard with your teammates, and approach it like it’s a game,” he said.

Taylor towers over the other running backs as far as experience is concerned, with 1,073 career yards.

“Knowing that you’re a starter requires a different mentality and it gives you a different approach about the game; like the way you carry yourself in film, how you write down notes, and thinking and acting like a pro,” explains Taylor.

When asked about early standouts on the offensive line, one person quickly came to Taylor’s mind.

“Oh my gosh, Martez Ivey. The guy’s a freak, dude. The guy’s going to be great. He wasn’t a five-star for nothing, trust me. He’s physical, he’s smart, he knows exactly what he’s doing.”

Junior defensive lineman Joey Ivie was also among the players who discussed their progress in fall camp. Just like his teammates, Ivie used the summer as a way to improve himself to help better the team.

“I’ve got my weight up, I’ve definitely picked up some speed off the ball, I’m stronger in the weight room, and my pass rush game has improved a lot.”

Despite all the progress being made in fall camp, a lot of doubt still surrounds critics of the rebuilding Gator football program. However, players such as Ivey uses the negative energy as fuel.

“I think sometimes you need to be an underdog and for people to doubt you.  The worst thing you can do to somebody is doubt them because that just makes them hungrier,” says Ivey.

The Gators will resume practice on Friday.

To hear audio from the players, click below.

Kelvin Taylor 1

Kelvin Taylor 2

Kelvin Taylor 3

Joey Ivie 1

Joey Ivie 2

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Gator Football Back At Practice Today

By on August 12th, 2015

The University of Florida football team is back on the practice field today as the season opener against New Mexico State gets closer. The team will also practice on Friday this week. In other sports news… ** The Lakeland Ledger is reporting that former Gator running back Adam Lane, who reportedly wanted to transfer to a school closer to his Winter Haven home, will transfer to Eastern Kentucky. ** The NFL Draft will return to Chicago next year after being held there this past season after many years in New York. ** A judge has told NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England quarterback Tom Brady to settle in the ongoing deflategate controversy. ** New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith will be out 6-10 weeks with a broken jaw after being “sucker punched” according to his coach, by a teammate. That teammate, a linebacker, has been released. ** Former Gator wide receiver Louis Murphy has been activated by the Tampa Bay

Bucs. ** In baseball, Tampa Bay blanks Atlanta 2-0 and Miami edges Boston 5-4.  

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Gators Practice With Pads; McElwain Gives Injury Update

By on August 10th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 5.59.48 PM

The Florida Gator football team practiced for the first time with full pads on Monday afternoon at the UF Dizney Lacrosse Stadium. Per NCAA rules, teams cannot practice with pads until they reach their fifth practice.

“I was really pleased. You didn’t see anybody back down,” said Florida head coach Jim McElwain. “I think our young guys are doing a heck of a job, especially up front.”

According to McElwain, a few Gators had be sidelined due to injury by the end of Monday’s practice. Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Tavaris Dorsey went down with an apparent leg injury. Sophomore wide receiver C.J. Worton got hurt as well. The status of both players will be monitored in the upcoming days.

“(Dorsey) went down – something with the leg. We’ll find out how it was but he wasn’t able to finish practice. C.J. Worton – same deal, not sure what it is but we’ll get it looked at,” McElwain said.

Additionally, redshirt junior defensive lineman Alex McCalister was held out of practice nursing a hamstring injury. McCalister played in all 12 games and totaled 23 tackles last season.

With the news that running back Adam Lane was granted his release from the program due to personal reasons, opportunities in the backfield are expected to increase for freshmen running backs Jordan Scarlett and Jordan Cronkrite but also for senior Mark Herndon.

Herndon had a good practice on Monday. He was seen taking a handoff from quarterback Jacob Guy, busting through a hole in the left side untouched by the defense for a big gain.

“We’re seeing him for the first time like we’re seeing the other backs,” McElwain said when asked about Herndon. “He’s a guy that’s really important to us. He works hard at it, he’s going to play on every special teams as well… When you’re in that second, third running back role, you got to be a guy on every special team.”

Another player gaining attention is defensive lineman CeCe Jefferson. The freshman out of Baker County has been receiving praise from his teammates.

“He’s one of the young guys doing a heck of a job. He shows up and he’s not the only young guy that’s been stepping up. I’m sure glad that he is here. He’s a guy that can make an impact,” said McElwain. “He’s a guy that’s eager to learn, jumped right in to everything we’re doing.”

The Gators will resume practice on Wednesday.

To listen to the audio from the story, click below:

McElwain on the injury updates

McElwain on senior RB Mark Herndon

McElwain on freshman DL CeCe Jefferson

McElwain on first practice with pads

 

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HOF FB Player Dies, Baseball, More In Sports Today!

By on August 10th, 2015

We begin our look at sports on this Monday with some sad news.

** Pro Football Hall of Fame member Frank Gifford has passed away at 84.   Gifford starred at USC before joining the NY Giants in the NFL where he won a championship in 1956 and played until 1964.   After his playing days, he became a broadcaster and he is best known of course for being a voice on Monday Night Football from 1971-1997.

** In baseball, Tampa Bay edges the New York Mets 4-3 and Miami beat Atlanta 4-1 on Sunday.   All three of those teams are off today.

** The NFL preseason is officially underway after Minnesota beats Pittsburgh 14-3 in the annual Hall of Fame game last night.

** In NASCAR, Joey Logano wins the NASCAR stop at Watkins Glen, passing leader Kevin Harvick on the final turn as Harvick ran out of gas.   Kyle Busch was second and Harvick third.

** Shane Lowry gets his first ever PGA win, by taking the World Golf Championship Sunday.

 

 

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Gator Football Back At Practice

By on August 10th, 2015

The Florida football team returns to the practice field today, continuing to prepare for the 2015 season.

Florida is scheduled to practice Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week.

In news from Gator camp, running back Adam Lane has been granted his release by UF so he can transfer to a school closer to his home.

With Kelvin Taylor one of the few veterans returning at that position, a freshman may have to play this season at that spot.

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McElwain’s First Gator Practice in the Books; Freshmen Impress

By on August 6th, 2015

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Jim McElwain and Florida Gator football team kicked off their first day of preseason practice on Thursday afternoon.

The Gators held camp at the UF Dizney Lacrosse facility in two groups. The first session included the older, veteran players on the roster, as well as quarterbacks Treon Harris, Will Grier, and Jacob Guy. The second session included the younger and freshmen players.

“A lot of guys looked the part,” said McElwain when speaking about the freshmen. “We have to do a great job of educating and teaching off film – that’s number one. And finding out what they know and hopefully putting them in situations that they can be successful.”

McElwain was quick to note that while he wants to be able to slow things down for the freshmen, he needs to also accelerate teaching at some points to avoid his guys from looking too predictable.

One freshman to keep an eye on is wide receiver Antonio Callaway. The 5’11” wide out attended Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, the same school Treon Harris attended. The 2014 Class 4A First Team selection exhibited his speed and first step in front of the Gator coaches.

“When you’re recruiting at that position, you don’t recruit a guy as slow as I am,” McElwain joked when asked about Callaway. “So it was good to see that he was a little quicker than I was.”

McElwain also explained that he was pleased with the level of communication exhibited by the players, particularly from the offensive and defensive lines, in the first day of practice.

“The one thing I was disappointed in (during) the spring was the lack of communication part,” said McElwain. “And usually when you see big plays or busts, it’s because somebody didn’t communicate.”

One facet that McElwain noticed needs to be improved is the connection between the quarterbacks and the wide receivers. Poor throws were made and catches were dropped as the players practiced without their pads on.

“It wasn’t great by any stretch of the imagination. Pitching and catching is the number one thing we have to consistently get better at. I think it will – no, I know it will,” McElwain said.

Day 2 of training camp resumes on Friday as the team is scheduled to practice at the Dizney Lacrosse Stadium around 3:30 PM.

To listen to the audio from the story, click below:

McElwain says he was pleased with what he saw from the freshmen

McElwain says he hopes to rely on a handful of freshmen this year

McElwain compliments the speed of freshmen WR Antonio Callaway

McElwain says he was impressed with the new level of communication

McElwain’s thoughts on the rhythm of the QBs and the WRs

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Preseason Opens Up For Gator Football With Media Day

By on August 5th, 2015

McElwain

Jim McElwain speaking to the media on Wednesday

Exactly a month from now, the Florida Gators will take the field at The Swamp to square off against the New Mexico State Lobos in their opening game of the 2015 season. Until then, there will be 29 preseason practices allotted by the NCAA for the Gators to prepare for the upcoming season. First year head coach Jim McElwain along with offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, linebacker coach Randy Shannon, and players took the podium for Media Day on Wednesday before the first whistle is blown at the initial practice on Thursday.

One area of interest is who will be taking snaps come fall. McElwain can’t wait to hit the field and figure out who is going to be QB-1.

“My biggest thing is I am really excited to see, when we get into team-type drills, to see the people around those two guys at the quarterback spot and how they respond.”

McElwain hopes to bring back the winning culture at Florida. Since 2011, former head coach Will Muschamp led the Gators to a combined 28-21 record with only one bowl win. Muschamp is now at Auburn as Gus Malzahn’s new defensive coordinator.

Like Muschamp, McElwain was a well known coordinator entering his first year at Florida.

As an offensive coordinator for the Alabama Crimson Tide, McElwain was part of two national championships teams in the 2008 and 2010 seasons. During his four year tenure, the Crimson Tide committed the fewest amount of turnovers in the country while breaking multiple school records in the process. McElwain credits the success to his attention to detail.

“There’s so many things that go into a successful football program, to a successful university, to a successful business. It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s all about the little details.”

After that stint, McElwain coached three seasons at Colorado State as the head coach.

For the first time since 2011, the Florida Gators will begin the season with a quarterback not named Jeff Driskel. As for who is going to be starting Week 1 against New Mexico State, that remains to be seen. Sophomore Treon Harris and redshirt freshman Will Grier will be competing for the starting job. Grier was able to separate himself from Harris in the spring, because of Harris missing time for a family matter. McElwain still insists that he does not know who is going to be the starting quarterback.

“Somebody’s going to take the snap on the first play. I don’t know who it is yet. As soon as we know, we’ll let you know.”

On the defensive side of the ball, the Gators will be led by one of the best defensive players in the country, cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III. Hargreaves anchors a loaded secondary featuring players like Jalen Tabor, Quincy Wilson and Duke Dawson.

The Gators will hit the practice field on Thursday for the first time since the spring. Fan Day is scheduled for August 15th in the Stephen O’Connell Center.

For full audio clips of quotes above and more, click below:

McElwain excited to see players react to Grier and Harris

McElwain will say who is QB-1 when he makes up his mind

McElwain on how little details are most crucial

McElwain believes Vernon Hargreaves III is the best defensive player

Nussmeier on the offense’s goal of getting better everyday

Nussmeier on the position of quarterback

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Gator Football Media Day Today

By on August 5th, 2015

The Florida football team holds its annual Media Day today and then begins practices tomorrow in preparation for the 2015 season.

In other sports news…

** Gator football gets a 2016 verbal commitment from defensive back Jayvaughn Myers from Dade City Pasco.   The 6’1″ 180 pounder is the 19th verbal in the class.

** Former Gator football player and current Baltimore Raven Matt Elam will miss the entire season with a biceps tear.

** In baseball, Miami loses to the New York Mets 5-1; Atlanta loses 8-3 to San Francisco and Tampa Bay pounds the Chicago White Sox 11-3.   Those series continue today.

** Gator soccer is ranked eighth in the preseason poll.   UF finished 17-4-2 a season ago.

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Gainesville Native Gets MLB Call Up In Tuesday Sports Update

By on August 4th, 2015

Former Oak Hall High School pitcher Brian Ellington has gotten the call; the Miami Marlins have called him to the big leagues in Major League Baseball.   He becomes the third Gainesville native (Andrew Miller, Tyler Holt) to currently be on a big league roster.

In other news…

** Atlanta rallies to beat San Francisco 9-8; the New York Mets crush the Miami Marlins 12-1 and Tampa Bay beats the Chicago White Sox 5-4.   Those series continue today.

** The Pro Football Hall of Fame will induct its 2015 class this weekend.   Included are wide receiver Tim Brown, running back Jerome Bettis, and defensive ends Charles Haley and Junior Seau.

** Gator football practices for the 2015 season will begin this week.   Florida opens its season against New Mexico State at home.

** NFL training camps are active as teams get ready for 2015 and upcoming exhibition games.

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Sports Update: Gator FB Practice Cranks Up This Week, More!

By on August 3rd, 2015

It has seemed like forever but finally the Gator football team will begin practices for the 2015 season later this week.   Full details to come in the coming days.

In other sports news…

** Former Gator Corey Brewer is holding his annual youth basketball camp at Buchholz High School starting tomorrow.

** In baseball, Tampa Bay beats Boston 4-3; Miami beats San Diego 5-2 and Atlanta downs Philadelphia 6-2.   The Rays start a series tonight with the Chicago White Sox while Miami hosts the NY Mets and Atlanta is at Washington.

** Matt Kenseth wins the NASCAR race at Pocono over the weekend, beating Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon to get the checkered flag.

** Troy Merritt gets his first PGA victory by winning the Quicken Loans National by three shots over Rickie Fowler.

** NFL training camps are in full swing as teams practice in preparation for exhibition games and the 2015 regular season.

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