As Midseason Nears, Florida’s “Tens” Have Chance to Cement Their Own Legacy

by | Jan 27, 2014 | Gator Basketball, Uncategorized

 

Remind me if you’ve heard this tale before: Florida signs a group of basketball players who all appear to have considerable upside, but feature only one player all the hoops bluebloods wanted, and he’s an unpolished, athletic defender more than a program-changer.On signing day, the Gators class ranks on the edge, or just in, the top ten recruiting classes as ranked by most services. At least one player in the class is an afterthought, and he’s a big man of French descent, thought of mostly as a motor guy with significant athleticism who can help fill out a rotation at a program whose reputation is tempo on offense and pressure on defense. There’s a forward from Tennessee; he’s athletic, tenacious on defense and a Mr. Basketball but not a jump-shooter and it will take time for him to figure things out offensively.  There’s a point guard in the group too. He’s a coaches kid and a gym rat, but he’s not even considered the best in his state at the position. The class lacks a shooting guard, which is concerning because that’s an area where there isn’t a quality reserve. Regardless, Billy Donovan is upbeat about the class, and seems most excited on signing day about the lesser-known commodities. He insists they are players large on potential and even larger on a desire to learn and play basketball. A group of gym rats in the mold of the man who will coach them. The previous years had been tough on the coach, and he seems quietly confident this is the group that ushers in happier times.

 

Now nod your head and say it out loud: that’s a pretty fair description of Florida’s fabled “04’s”. Corey Brewer played the role of McDonald’s All-America, coveted by the sport’s elite despite offensive limitations. Joakim Noah’s role above is obvious, but it bears mentioning that the only “pub” he received from services summarizing Florida’s class had to do with who his father was, not who he was as a player. Al Horford was the eye-brow raiser, a Mr. Basketball who needed to figure things out offensively, but was relatively highly recruited. There is “considerable upside here despite offensive limitations, especially with a body ready to play,” one publication wrote. Taurean Green the coaches son, gym rat and by no means the most coveted point guard in the state of Florida. The class itself was a consensus top ten, but not top five, group.

The program, coming off five consecutive years of first weekend NCAA Tournament agony, was in such need of new blood and difference-makers that many wondered if that type of class was enough. After all, the last two years had ended with the still-young Billy Donovan in tears at a press conference, famously wondering if he needed to do something different. Yes, in March of 2004, Florida had won a postseason game. And they’d fought valiantly against Villanova, probably the hottest team in the country entering that tournament, in the second round. But the general image of Florida basketball before the “04’s” signed was of a program that couldn’t escape the first weekend in the NCAA tournament. And the lasting image, for fans and people close to the program, was still of a tearful Donovan the year prior, after the loss to Manhattan. A young coach in tears and unsure of everything except that he needed to change.

Enter the “04’s.” That class was different. The results: 3 SEC Tournament championships, a regular season conference championship, and back-to-back national championships, are, and will remain, unparalleled in the boring until Norm Sloan history of Florida basketball.

The “04’s”, well-regarded but by and large not coveted, redefined the phrase “Florida Basketball.” What came before them, including under Billy Donovan, was the makings of a nice story, a highly competitive seven years, and a good, but not great, program. What came with them was greatness, and the final affirmation to what perhaps only Billy Donovan (and maybe Jeremy Foley- though that’s a different discussion for another day) thought when he took the job. Florida can be a great program. Florida can be among the nation’s elite. Florida Basketball can be a brand.

Fast forward three years from Al Horford’s “Back-to-Back” shimmie shake at the Georgia Dome, and maybe even Billy Donovan was wondering if Florida’s elite-status was sustainable. Yes, the NIT teams managed to keep the program’s impressive 20 win season streak going, but the lasting images were of a center, Mo Speights, who left for the NBA after a sophomore campaign where he essentially played hard when he wanted to, living, as Billy Donovan himself put it, on the reputation he garnered by “hitting one jump shot in the national title game”; a selfish, defensively disinterested star in Nick Calathes (a more talented, less interested star than Anthony Roberson had been before him); an embarrassing NIT exit at Madison Square Garden, and a hard-fought, but defensively-limited (being kind) squad getting Jimmered out of the NCAA tournament two hours after it started in March 2010.

The press conference questions, and talking head commentary, following the BYU loss were brutal if not inevitable and yes, fair. Were the “04’s” a perfect storm, a tidal wave of talent and ability and chemistry that helped a good program overachieve its way to historical greatness? Or was it fair that Florida suffered regression, even if the regression was worse than most would anticipate? Did Billy Donovan think UF was close? Was Donovan passionate enough, after the Magic flirtation and the return to Gainesville, where he almost certainly already had earned tenure, to again claw his program back towards the mountaintop?

Billy Donovan, rarely one to deflect away criticism or biting questions with coach-speak, did so at the BYU postgame press conference. Donovan talked about being proud of his young team, of how teams “learn” to win games. He lavished praise on Jimmer Fredette and BYU’s coaching staff. He praised the improvement of freshmen guard Kenny Boynton. But he made no promises about the future. It was a fascinating silence.

And so it was on signing day in 2010 Donovan stood quietly at a podium in a not-so-crowded press room and talked about his newest recruiting class. He was cautiously optimistic and thrilled all at once to have Patric Young, the McDonald’s All-American from Jacksonville, who had offers from everyone and many smart analysts, like Jay Bilas, thought was a lottery-pick type big. He was pleased with the group’s eyebrow-raiser, Casey Prather, the program’s third big-time signee from the state of Tennessee, who he felt would fit in seamlessly because he was immensely “coachable”, a favorite Donovan word. One publication agreed, calling Prather “perhaps the best defender in the country, who would fit in perfectly as a minutes guy in Florida’s pressure system.” The offense would come. Will Yeguette, the French kid, was all motor and upside. He hadn’t been playing basketball that long but Donovan loved his defense and athleticism and thought he’d be a difference-maker altering shots and rebounding.  Scottie Wilbekin was a “gym rat”- a phrase Donovan reserves for his most beloved players (yes, this includes Matt Walsh)- and what was more, he was a coach’s son, a well that Donovan had dipped into with Taurean Green in the past with great success, and he felt the youngster fit that mold more than Jai Lucas, another’s coach’s son who hadn’t panned out. Wilbekin was so young, Donovan anticipated he would need time to develop as a person. Donovan vowed Florida would do its best to ensure that happened too. Cody Larson was in this group, too, thought of as a stretch forward with “sneaky athleticism” and Florida’s second big-time recruit from the state of South Dakota. Hopes were high for him as well, but he got into trouble, stayed in Donovan’s doghouse, and ultimately transferred back home to South Dakota State after two years in Florida’s program.  Together, Donovan felt he had a sound and diverse group that could immediately help the program. They all could defend. They all seemed to play smart. For these reasons, Donovan was confident. He was “very excited” to coach these kids. Nearly four years later, he was right to be.

The “10’s” aren’t finished playing. In a perfect world, they’ll play at least 19 more games together (the number it would take for Florida to win the SEC Tournament for the fourth time in school history and reach the Final Four for the fifth time in program history). House money after that. To this point, they’ve been a part of two regular season SEC Champion clubs. They’ve won 101 games, the second highest total for a senior class in school history; reached two SEC Tournament finals, and three Elite Eight’s (no other program in America has equaled that feat.) They are currently the architects of the nation’s third longest home winning streak, at twenty-six games and counting. That’s already an impressive resume, and would remain so if the season ended tomorrow. Instead, they’ll play five more games in the O’Connell Center before what promises to be an extraordinarily emotional senior day game against Kentucky March 8th. That game will, in all likelihood, determine who wins the SEC regular season championship. A third regular season title would be tremendous, an accomplishment unmatched by any class, including the “04’s.”

No matter what happens, one thing is clear- and this is typed with all due respect and deference to Kenny Boynton, Vernon Macklin, Chandler Parsons, Erik Murphy and Mike Rosario: it is the “10’s” who restored this program to elite status in college basketball. And it is the “10’s” who have a chance to be generationally great in the coming month and a half.

As we all know, Florida has started the season in splendid fashion, better than most would have imagined given suspensions, their own version of the Shakespearian “plague on both your houses” injury bug that has hammered Florida athletics in the past several months, and a brutal non-conference schedule. They are 6-0 in conference play, including a very impressive win on the road at Arkansas, where the Razorbacks are nearly invincible, without arguably their finest basketball player, “10’s” member Casey Prather, and Saturday’s dismantling of a very talented Tennessee, a team that has been the program nemesis for nearly a decade. Still, there are lingering questions, some fair but most not, about how good this Florida basketball team can be. The answer, both the schedule and empirics suggest, is it can be great, a word we deploy too often to describe a team that is merely good.

What Florida has done thus far this season is impressive.There are quality wins against Florida State (# 26 RPI, # 23 Ken Pomeroy), Kansas (# 1 RPI, # 11 Ken Pom), Memphis on a neutral floor (# 32 RPI, # 32 Ken Pom), Richmond (# 47 RPI, # 59 Ken Pom), and @ Arkansas (# 64 RPI, # 44 Ken Pom), and Tennessee (# 51 RPI, # 29 Ken Pom). The losses are both narrow defeats, @ Wisconsin (# 3 RPI, # 12 Ken Pom), where hardly anyone but the Badgers win, and a buzzer-beater defeat @ Connecticut (#38 RPI, #33 Ken Pom), in front of 9,500 crazies. All of this is good enough to give the Gators a current RPI of # 6, and a Ken Pom ranking at # 10.

Well-documented among Gator fans, but a bit less noticed nationally, is that in both defeats, Florida was short-handed. Florida played Wisconsin without the services of Dorian Finney-Smith, perhaps the most underrated sixth man in college basketball, and Scottie Wilbekin, perhaps the most underrated point guard in college basketball. At Connecticut, Florida fell without Wilbekin in the final minutes, a problem compounded by the absence of talented freshmen point guard Kasey Hill, who missed the game with an ankle injury. This meant Florida was forced to let Michael Frazier II, a capable ball-handler but by no means a point guard, and Dorian Finney-Smith, a good ball handler but a natural forward, run the Gators offense, on the road, in a close game, down the stretch. That it took a fluke bounce on a Shabazz Nappier miss to allow UConn to win at the buzzer may say more about how good the Gators are than any other takeaway from the game.

From a metrics perspective, this Gators team is not quite the world-beater last year’s Elite Eight Team was. Last year, the Gators ranked # 1 or # 2 most the season in the Ken Pom rankings– a set of rankings, for the unfamiliar, that rank teams largely based on statistics, weighing things like offensive and defensive efficiency very heavily. These statistics have, for about a decade, been very valuable in the NBA, but only recently have become trendy among the college basketball rank and file.

This season, the Gators are ranked #10 in the Ken Pom rankings. The disparity between last year’s team and this year’s team is marked on offense (last year they closed at # 12 in offensive effficiency, this year they are # 30), and subtle on defense (last year they closed # 4, this year they sit # 9), but there are  reasonable explanations for these disparities.

First, no team among the elite in college basketball has been hammered by more injuries and suspensions, with the possible exception of Michigan State, who have been without star forward Adreian Payne for several games, and now will be without their best rebounder, Branden Dawson, for a while after he injured himself punching a table. No really. While the Payne injury is a big deal for a team in a tougher league, and the Dawson injury is damaging to the Spartans’ frontcourt depth, Florida’s injury and suspension plague has been something of a pandemic, with Scottie Wilbekin, Casey Prather, Kasey Hill and Dorian-Finney Smith all missing games, forcing Billy Donovan to shuffle starting lineups, and more importantly, player rotations, more frequently than at any time during his tenure. This can adversely impact your ability to run a complicated motion, ball-screen offense, and at times, it has. It also can impact your ability to defend, because when you’re constantly changing rotations on the fly depending on who is and who isn’t on the training table, your ability to scout and gameplan is affected, and when your limited personnel-wise, you are of course open to more mismatches defensively and have to do things you’re not used to doing defensively to compensate. As such, as Florida gets healthy, one would expect them to rise in the Ken Pom rankings. Indeed, Miles Simon at ESPN wrote this week that among the college basketball elite, Florida is perhaps the team that can improve the most down the stretch. (paywall) Even if the Gators Ken Pom ranking doesn’t improve, they are well-situated, thanks to the out-of-conference schedule, to receive a seed higher than last year’s three seed, which, in theory, creates a more navigable path to a Final Four. And, of course, Ken Pom rankings aren’t the “be all and end all”– both Florida’s National Championship teams ranked lower in the Ken Pom totem pole than the 2012-2013 Gators.

Second, there is of course the Chris Walker saga and its impact on Florida. With “Free Chris Walker” tee-shirts and celebrity tweets from the likes of Dick Vitale and Jay Bilas suggesting the NCAA has botched the eligibility questions, Walker’s status is the question mark surrounding this team garnering the most attention. That’s fine, though probably not altogether fair.

Andy Hutchins at Alligator Army wrote a very thoughtful piece on Chris Walker this week, and an underlying point worth remembering with Walker, which has been shouted from the Gainesville hilltops by Billy Donovan and anyone who will listen, is that even if the NCAA decides Chris Walker can play basketball for the Gators, he certainly won’t be a player that immediately makes the Gators the best team in America. Hutchins argues that a “best-case”, realistic, but high expectation for Walker would be that he impacts the Gators the way Donnell Harvey did when he joined the team in the 1999-2000 campaign and helped Florida reach the national championship game. Harvey, of course, was a raw, athletic power forward with no offensive polish or even skillset to speak of, but he helped Florida immensely on defense and is remembered fondly for his ability to alter and block shots, as well as a thunderous Elite Eight dunk against Oklahoma State that essentially iced a Final Four trip for the Gators. By most accounts, Chris Walker is a bit more threatening than Donnell Harvey on the offensive side of the ball, but the defensive comparison is relatively fair. To me, the better “comparison” is something between Donnell Harvey and a freshmen Joakim Noah, who provided great energy for the Gators off the bench and finished fourth on the team in blocked shots and fifth in rebounds, despite being eighth in minutes played.

More importantly, Walker offers more offensively than both (he has the makings of a jump shot), and he could give the Gators devastating depth on the block, spelling Patric Young, Will Yeguette or rebounding machine Dorian Finney-Smith and giving Donovan the ability to play a “big” lineup in the mold of his brilliant Green-Brewer-Horford-Noah-Richard rotation in 2006-07. That’s a significant wrinkle, and one that could assuage what is becoming the “book” on defending Florida, demonstrated rather capably by Alabama last night: limit Prather’s penetration in the line by zoning Florida and force them to take three pointers. It is by its nature harder to do that if Florida can play big, for even limited minutes, and prevent defenses from getting under the screening action that frees up penetration for the likes of Prather and even Finney-Smith. Point being, Walker’s impact can be sizeable, even if his minutes are consistently limited.The only safe thing to say about Chris Walker, though, is we just don’t know if he’ll ever play for Florida, and even if he does, he won’t be close to the most important player on this team moving forward.

The most important players will be the “Ten’s”, who, at 100 wins and counting, have a half-season to cement a legacy of greatness. It isn’t fair to say it is Final Four or bust for them to be remembered fondly, but life isn’t particularly fair and college basketball is a sport where, especially at schools where football matters, March is what people remember most. The “Ten’s” have been a roaring success in March, but a Final Four has remained elusive. If the Gators as a collective unit are to reach a Final Four, it will be the “Ten’s” who get them over the hump.

Scottie Wilbekin has been splendid this season, posting numbers very comparable (actually, better) to the much-more nationally acclaimed Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft, who, in his twenty-seventh year at Ohio State…I digress. More than any other player in that recruiting class, Wilbekin represents who Billy Donovan is as a coach and man and what Florida is as a basketball program. With much less fanfare than hall-of-fame coaching contemporaries like Tom Izzo, Jim Boeheim and Mike Krzyzewski, Donovan prepares young men for life and then for basketball, in that order. Donovan was right when Wilbekin signed that because the Gainesville native was so young, development would be both about maturing as a person and a player. The former took longer, but it would appear Wilbekin, to his credit, has responded to the coaching and accomplished a great deal on both fronts. From a basketball perspective, Florida must have Wilbekin to win against the elite or even above-average teams, as close games this year against UConn, Arkansas, Alabama and to some extent Kansas have bore out– and that won’t change with Chris Walker or without him.

Casey Prather, a deserved midseason Wooden finalist, who Donovan says is “finally playing with a clear head”, has been brilliant as a senior. He is, without question, the guy in the “Ten’s” class that represents what Florida basketball is about on a player development front. Like David Lee, Chandler Parsons and Erik Murphy before him, Prather has improved every season just in-time to shine as a senior. Like the three above, there have been flashes before, though with the other three those flashes were much more prevalent than what we saw with Prather before this season. Prather will remain the key to this team both defensively, where he gives Florida length it needs to play its various zone defenses and the flexibility it needs to confidently guard the best player on other teams in man without worrying too much about mismatches; and offensively, where his ability to get in the lane and draw fouls has moved beyond “keeping defenses honest” on the perimeter to focal point. As Dick Vitale wrote today, Prather has blossomed and become, as SEC play moves deep into January, the guy on Florida you don’t want to beat you.

Patric Young is critical with Chris Walker and remains vital to this team without him. He hasn’t been the lottery pick he was projected to be when he arrived on campus. What he has been is a fantastic student and citizen who has developed into one of the best post defenders in college basketball and a kid with a capable enough offensive game to allow Florida, when they’re at their best, to run their offense inside-out, which is exactly what Billy Donovan’s best teams have done in the past. Young’s frequently inflamed knees must hold up, as must his effort levels, but he’s the body down low that allows Prather to move more freely as a slasher in the lane offensively and he’s the defensive presence that must be accounted for when you try to rebound against Florida. Dorian Finney-Smith’s prowess on the glass is partly about talent, but also about the presence of Patric Young.

Finally, Will Yeguette is Florida’s motor and to some extent, its heartbeat. Yeguette’s defense has long been appreciated, but it is how his length and athleticism affect spacing and allow Florida to press and trap that make him so critical to the Gators’ success. Yeguette’s absence was most felt in this regard when he missed the 2012 NCAA Tournament, and Florida fell short in the final minutes against Louisville largely because they simply lacked enough inside to keep Louisville off the glass and honest in the paint. With Yeguette, Florida probably heads to the Final Four and brings Brad Beal with it– a house money proposition for a team that Kentucky would have had to defeat a fourth time to win a championship. Without him, they fell just points short. Yeguette is probably the one guy, of the “Ten’s”, who is most important in a continued world without Chris Walker– but with Walker– he’s the guy who allows Florida to crush you down low with wave after wave of rotational depth.

These four players, beyond anything else, are the engine of Billy Donovan’s basketball team, and, having now restored the program to consistently elite status, they have one last shot at a Final Four.

Yes, among them there isn’t a lottery pick. The “04’s” had three. Yes, it’s heady stuff to bring the “04’s” and any subsequent group of Gator basketball players up in the same sentence. And yet, I often chuckle when anyone, fan or analyst, says it is unfair to compare Florida players (or players at any program, really) to the great players that came before them. Of course it isn’t unfair. Those players, whether it be Florida’s “04’s” or the great point guards of Kentucky or the waves of stars at Duke or North Carolina, are what make each basketball program “destinations.” History books matter in sports because they help set benchmarks for the future and standards of excellence to pursue. And history books expand, meaning the ability to be appreciated as a stand-alone group and compared to a group formerly great isn’t mutually exclusive. No one is going to argue the “Ten’s” haven’t succeeded at Florida because they haven’t reached a Final Four. They’ve already restored, and perhaps help establish, Florida as a perennial elite powerhouse program. A Final Four is about adding to that legacy, and cementing it, on a “stand-alone” basis, so that when years from now when the names of other Gator greats under Billy Donovan or whomever are on the tips of our tongues, the names of the “Ten’s” are ones we always remember, in sentences separate from the only recruiting class with which they compare, the immortal “04’s.”

 

 

 

 

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LB EJ Lightsey commits to Florida

Photo credit: Keith Niebuhr, 247Sports Linebacker EJ Lightsey (Fitzgerald, GA/Fitzgerald) has just become the newest member of the Gators' 2022 recruiting class. He announced the decision on twitter this morning. Though Florida's fan base does have a propensity to...

Florida CB Jaydon Hill tears ACL, will miss 2021 season

Florida CB Jaydon Hill tears ACL, will miss 2021 season

Photo credit: John Raoux, AP A big part of the small amount of depth the Florida Gators had in its secondary is now gone for the season, as cornerback Jaydon Hill has torn his ACL. Hill suffered the injury in practice on Sunday. Rumblings that Hill would miss the...

Florida Gators 2021 Summer Position Preview: Defensive line

Florida Gators 2021 Summer Position Preview: Defensive line

Photo credit: Brad McClenny, USA Today Having completed the position by position preview of the Florida Gators' offense last month, it's time to turn our attention to the other side of the ball: the defense. It was, for lack of a nicer possible way to put it, awful in...

Four star RB Terrance Gibbs commits to Florida

Four star RB Terrance Gibbs commits to Florida

Photo via Terrance Gibbs The Gators have finally landed a top running back out of high school as opposed to the portal, as Terrance Gibbs (Winter Park, FL/Winter Park HS) has committed to Florida. Though Gibbs is only rated as a four star by both Rivals and 247Sports,...

2023 TE Mac Markway commits to Florida

2023 TE Mac Markway commits to Florida

Photo via Mac Markway Tim Brewster has landed another one for the Florida Gators, raiding the Show Me State for a Mac Markway, tight end that schools across the country wanted. Markway, a consensus four star target from St. Louis, chose Florida over Ohio State and...

Report: Florida, UCF close in on two-for-one football series

Report: Florida, UCF close in on two-for-one football series

Photo credit: Phil Sandlin, AP UPDATE: the social media teams of Florida and Central Florida have officially announced the three game series, confirming details of reports listed below. The original story begins below. UCF Knights fans' dreams of playing the Florida...

Florida Gators 2021 Pre-Summer position analysis: tight ends

Florida Gators 2021 Pre-Summer position analysis: tight ends

Photo credit: Courtney Culbreath, University of Florida After a bit of a hiatus, our position by position breakdown of the Florida Gators football roster resumes today with a look at Tim Brewster's tight end room. (Apologies for the delay. Long story. But we're back...

ATH Jamarrien Burt commits to Florida

ATH Jamarrien Burt commits to Florida

After laying dormant for quite some time, the Gators' 2022 recruiting class is picking up some steam at last. A mere four days after Florida added a pair of commitments from linebacker Shemar James and wide receiver Chandler Smith, athlete Jamarrien Burt has joined...

Athletic four star LB Shemar James commits to Florida

Athletic four star LB Shemar James commits to Florida

Photo credit: Scott Donaldson, preps@al.com Florida's 2022 recruiting class just gained perhaps its most highly touted piece yet, as consensus four star linebacker Shemar James announced his commitment this afternoon. James- out of Mobile, AL/Faith Academy- was...

Four star DB Julian Humphrey commits to Florida

Four star DB Julian Humphrey commits to Florida

Photo via TexAgs Not even three months after poaching QB Nick Evers from the Lone Star State, Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators rode west to Texas once again and pulled out another stud in Julian Humphrey, a consensus four star prospect from the Houston metropolitan...

Underrated three star WR Isaiah Bond commits to Florida

Underrated three star WR Isaiah Bond commits to Florida

Photo via Isaiah Bond After a lull the past couple months, the Gators are making moves with their 2022 recruiting class again, this time adding wide receiver Isaiah Bond. https://twitter.com/isaiahbond_/status/1391513186566819845?s=20 247Sports credits Billy Gonzales...

Florida Gators 2021 NFL Draft primer

Florida Gators 2021 NFL Draft primer

Photo credit: Kim Klement, USA Today Happy NFL Draft Day, Florida Gators fans! Today is the day where 32 former college football stars take the first step towards making their lifelong dreams of playing in the NFL a reality. That, of course, will include former Gators...

(Unofficial) results from Florida’s NFL Pro Day

(Unofficial) results from Florida’s NFL Pro Day

Photo credit: Florida Gators Due to the cancellation of the Gators' spring football game, the Florida Gators Pro Day was the closest thing to live football we're going to get this offseason. Luckily for the fans- and much more importantly, themselves- several...

Who should replace Mike White at Florida? (2021 version)

Who should replace Mike White at Florida? (2021 version)

Photo credit: John E. Moore, Getty Images A year ago, after Mike White's coaching malpractice pushed me over the edge for good, I wrote about all the laundry list of candidates I would love to see Florida replace Mike White with. After his horrifying late game...

TE CJ Hawkins commits to Florida

TE CJ Hawkins commits to Florida

Image via 247Sports The Gators got off to a slow start with their 2022 recruiting class. But with the addition of CJ Hawkins, it's officially picking up steam. Hawkins, a tight end out of Tampa, FL/Berkeley Prep, committed to Florida over South Carolina. The Gators...

Athletic OT Tony Livingston commits to Florida

Athletic OT Tony Livingston commits to Florida

Image via BuckeyePlanet.com Florida picked up a major boost for its 2022 recruiting class with the addition of Tony Livingston. Livingston, a consensus four star offensive tackle from Tampa, FL/Carrolwood Day announced his decision on twitter this evening. He also had...

2022 QB Nick Evers commits to Florida

2022 QB Nick Evers commits to Florida

Image via TexAgs.com Coaches will tell you that in every recruiting class, signing a quarterback is a need. For the Gators' 2022 class, Dan Mullen just filled that need in the name of Nick Evers, who just committed with an announcement on twitter. Evers is a consensus...

Videos: highlights from Gator football’s 3/2 practice

Videos: highlights from Gator football’s 3/2 practice

Photo credit: Florida Gators/@GatorsFB The Gators held Day 6 of spring practice today, and as has been the case for several of the prior practices, the program decided to open it up (virtually) to the public, and streamed most of the reps live on the team's Instagram...

Videos: highlights from Gator football’s 2/26 practice

Videos: highlights from Gator football’s 2/26 practice

Day five of full pads. (Image via Florida Gators.) For the third time this week, the Florida Gators football team held a virtual open practice, streaming most of the day's work on Instagram live for all to see. Here are all the videos I managed to capture from Friday...

Videos: highlights from Gator football’s 2/24 practice

Videos: highlights from Gator football’s 2/24 practice

Jason Marshall vs. Xzavier Henderson: something we'll be seeing a lot of in practice for a very, very long time. (Photo credit: Florida Gators) For the second time this week, the Gator football program virtually opened its practice to the public on its Instagram page,...

Videos: highlights from Gator football’s 2/22 practice

Screenshot from Florida's practice today (via Florida Gators) Dan Mullen and the Florida Gator football team hit the field for practice today as usual. One thing that made today's practice different from a lot of the Gators' other practices, though, was that today's...

Kicker Adam Mihalek commits to Florida

Kicker Adam Mihalek commits to Florida

Image via Adam Mihalek The Florida Gators snuck in one last addition to their 2021 recruiting class at the last second: kicker Adam Mihalek. Mihalek, a local from Tampa, has announced his intentions to stay close to home and attend the University of Florida as a...

Four star 2022 DE Francois Nolton commits to Florida

Four star 2022 DE Francois Nolton commits to Florida

With the Gators' 2021 recruiting class all wrapped up, Dan Mullen and his staff have gone to work setting up their 2022 class. https://twitter.com/99_nolton/status/1357739221822418945?s=20 Francois Nolton, a 6'4, 225 lb. four star defensive end from Miami, has...

COVID forces Gator basketball game vs. LSU to be postponed

COVID forces Gator basketball game vs. LSU to be postponed

After an embarrassing home loss to South Carolina two nights ago, the Gator basketball program will have to wait a little longer to get back on the court. Per an SEC press release, Mike White's team is experiencing another COVID outbreak: The Florida at LSU men's...

Gators land former LSU five star TE Arik Gilbert

Gators land former LSU five star TE Arik Gilbert

Dan Mullen remains undefeated in the NCAA transfer portal with the addition of Arik Gilbert. And now, a year after Florida lost unanimous All-American tight end Kyle Pitts to the NFL, the Gators may not miss a beat at that position. Gilbert, a former five star tight...

Way too early 2021 Gator football game-by-game projections

Way too early 2021 Gator football game-by-game projections

With the Florida Gators' 2021 schedule released yesterday, I thought it would be worth taking my first shot at what's become fans' favorite offseason ritual: projecting Florida's record. And in order to have a final record projection, you have to go game by game in...

Florida Gators’ 2021 football schedule revealed

Florida Gators’ 2021 football schedule revealed

When the SEC first pieced together a twelve year football schedule rotation in 2014 that dictated which teams would play who from the other division, the Florida Gators knew that they'd be hosting Alabama as their cross-division opponent in 2021. But now, following...

Gators complete coaching staff with Jules Montinar

Gators complete coaching staff with Jules Montinar

UPDATE: Florida has officially announced Jules Montinar as the newest member of the Gator football staff. https://twitter.com/GatorsFB/status/1353802427313618945?s=20 (Initial story begins below.) With linebackers coach Christian Robinson presumably staying at...

Auburn DL Daquan Newkirk transfers to Florida

Auburn DL Daquan Newkirk transfers to Florida

DaQuan Newkirk is coming home. Daquan Newkirk has decided to return home (or close to it) for his final year of eligibility. And thus, Florida's shaky offseason took a step in the right direction. https://twitter.com/holdthat_2/status/1349757297782829056?s=20 Once a...

Florida LB James Houston to enter transfer portal

Florida LB James Houston to enter transfer portal

Best of luck to James Houston as he searches for a new home. James Houston IV, a junior linebacker from Fort Lauderdale, has told me that he will be entering the transfer portal. Houston was known for making a few of the bigger defensive plays of the last couple of...

Keyontae Johnson placed into medically induced coma

Keyontae Johnson placed into medically induced coma

Keyontae Johnson has been placed into a medically induced coma, according to the USA Today, who spoke with Johnson's grandfather. His grandfather, Larry DeJarnett said in a phone interview that his grandson was transported to Gainesville earlier today after receiving...

Florida vs Tennessee: Film Review – Defense

Florida’s 2020 season has overall been a successful one by most measures. The Gators are 8-1, ranked in the top ten in every major poll and are four wins away from securing the program’s fourth national title. But in order to obtain that national title, there’s a lot...

Several Gators listed as national award semifinalists

Florida's efforts on the field have been rewarded in the sense that the Gators now control their own destiny to SEC and national championships. But for several players, their efforts are being rewarded in more individual manners, too. Four Gators have been listed as...

Rocky Slop: Florida takes down Tennessee to clinch SEC East

The day Dan Mullen was introduced as the Gators’ new head coach, he talked at length about giving relentless effort in all he did to restore the program to a championship level. Last night on Rocky Top, his Gators took a major step toward doing so. Heisman front...

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 31-19 win over Tennessee

Florida didn't play especially well, but did more than enough to beat Tennessee and wrap up the SEC East for the first time since 2016. What were the major takeaways from the game? Florida simply does not have a running game Tennessee came into the game with a five...

Photo Gallery from Florida’s 34-10 win over Kentucky

As we anticipate tomorrow's road matchup with Tennessee,  let’s take one more look back at last week’s game against Kentucky. Our podcast host, Dustin Smith, happens to also be a fantastic photographer. He was at the game last Saturday, and got some great photos of...

Florida RB Iverson Clement will transfer

Florida's deep stable of running backs has just gotten a little thinner. Iverson Clement, a junior tailback from Mount Holly, NJ, has decided to transfer. He departs from Florida having carried the ball twelve times for 94 yards. He nearly scored a touchdown against...

Gators make belated Thanksgiving feast out of Wildcats

Florida was missing key pieces on both sides of the ball a week ago in a sluggish 38-17 win over Vanderbilt. The Gators got them both back today, and the result was fairly similar: Florida struggled for a half against a historically inferior divisional opponent,...

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 34-10 win over Kentucky

It took awhile for Florida to get itself going, but they eventually did do exactly that and rolled away from Kentucky. What stood out in the victory? A tale of two halves Florida's offense was stuck in reverse for most of the first half, mustering a grand total of...

No. 6 Gators overcome sluggish start to run past Vandy

Florida arrived at Vanderbilt’s small stadium a mere hour and two minutes before kickoff, determined to avoid the cramped quarters in the visitors’ locker room at all costs and intent on spending as little time on the premises as they had to. Then the Gators took the...

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 38-17 win over Vanderbilt

It wasn’t pretty, but Florida fought off a tough challenge from Vanderbilt and got out of Nashville with a 38-17 win. What stuck out in the victory? The defense is still a problem. Yes, Florida played better on defense after a miserable first quarter, and sure,...

Photo Gallery from Florida’s 63-35 win over Arkansas

Before we look ahead to Vanderbilt tomorrow, let's take one more look back at last week's game against Arkansas. Our podcast host, Dustin Smith, happens to also be a fantastic photographer. He was at the game last Saturday night, and got some great photos of various...

Trask, Gators run Hogwild in blowout of Arkansas

Trask, Gators run Hogwild in blowout of Arkansas

Feleipe Franks’ dramatic return to the Swamp was the story of the day when his Arkansas Razorbacks faced off against #6 Florida in the Swamp. But it was his long-time understudy, Kyle Trask, who dominated the night. Trask continued his push for a Heisman Trophy by...

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 63-35 win over Arkansas

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 63-35 win over Arkansas

Florida earned its most lopsided win of the season over Arkansas, and former quarterback Feleipe Franks, 63-35. What stood out most along the way? Kyle Trask is now the Heisman frontrunner After several years of hyping up various quarterbacks as Heisman Trophy...

A Tribute to Feleipe Franks: I Will Remember You

A Tribute to Feleipe Franks: I Will Remember You

Hello again, Feleipe Franks. It's been about fourteen months since your Gator career ended in a particularly gruesome fashion. Tomorrow, we meet again. Only this time, your job will be to ruin Florida's season, not enhance it, and our job will be to make you...

Florida 44, Georgia 28: Helmet Stickers and Plays of the Game

Florida 44, Georgia 28: Helmet Stickers and Plays of the Game

Florida's euphoric win over Georgia is still sinking in, but it's time to go through the film and look at this game from an academic standpoint. You can rewatch the game here. First order of business: a blanket helmet sticker is awarded to every member of the team for...

Gators kick Georgia out of Cocktail Party

Gators kick Georgia out of Cocktail Party

Throughout Dan Mullen’s short tenure at Florida, Kirby Smart has had Mullen’s number.  And three minutes into their third meeting in Jacksonville, it looked like that would continue. But then Florida flipped the script and turned the game— and the rivalry— on its...

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 44-28 win over Georgia

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 44-28 win over Georgia

WE DID IT!!! Yes, at long last, Florida has gotten the Georgia monkey off its back and toppled the Bulldogs to take control of the SEC East. What did we learn along the way? Kyle Trask is officially a Heisman Trophy frontrunner He may not win the award, but he has to...

2021 OL Yousef Mugharbil commits to Florida

2021 OL Yousef Mugharbil commits to Florida

A day before the Gators take on Georgia in the Cocktail Party, Yousef Mugharbil kicked off their weekend the right way. Mugharbil, a consensus four star offensive lineman from Murphy, NC/Murphy HS, has committed to Florida. He also had offers from Penn State, Virginia...

Five takeaways from Florida’s 41-17 win over Missouri

Five takeaways from Florida’s 41-17 win over Missouri

Florida bounced back from a rough loss to Texas A&M three weeks ago with a statement win against Missouri. What stood out in the process? The defense isn't great, but it's getting better. Even without three starters in the secondary (and without Zachary Carter in...

Gators down three starters in the secondary against Missouri

Gators down three starters in the secondary against Missouri

Florida's defensive backfield- already shaky at full strength- is now going to be decimated tonight against Missouri. Starting cornerback Marco Wilson, as well as safeties Shawn Davis and Donovan Stiner, are all out tonight, according to various reports. The reasons...

For Gators, a new season begins against Missouri

For Gators, a new season begins against Missouri

Three weeks ago, Florida completed its preseason portion of the 2020 schedule with a good deal of promise, but well aware of what it had to work on. One ugly COVID outbreak and three weeks later, and the Gators begin the meat of their schedule- a seven game stretch...

2022 Safety Sam McCall commits to Florida

2022 Safety Sam McCall commits to Florida

Just as things are getting back into full swing for the Gator football team, things are heating up on the recruiting trail, too. Florida has nabbed a commitment from 2022 athlete Sam McCall, a consensus five star recruit from Lakeland, FL/Lake Gibson HS. He chose...

2021 Edge rusher Jeremiah Williams commits to Florida

2021 Edge rusher Jeremiah Williams commits to Florida

Defensive end Jeremiah Williams, a consensus four star prospect out of Birmingham, AL/Ramsay HS, has committed to Florida, giving the Gators yet another dynamic piece for their 2021 recruiting class. Signs were pointing towards Gainesville for the highly touted edge...

Florida-Missouri game postponed to October 31

Florida-Missouri game postponed to October 31

According to multiple sources close to the team, the Florida-Missouri game scheduled to take place on October 24th will now be pushed back one week, to Halloween on October 31st. In All Kinds of Weather first reported yesterday that the game was extremely likely to be...

Florida-LSU game postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak

Florida-LSU game postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak

Multiple sources have confirmed that the Florida-LSU game scheduled for this Saturday is going to be postponed. An announcement could come as early as Wednesday afternoon. The news comes less than 24 hours after an outbreak of COVID-19 within the Gators' football...

COVID-19 outbreak places Florida-LSU game in jeopardy

After just three games, the novel coronavirus that has wreaked havoc on pretty much everything in 2020 appears to have found its way into the Gator football program. And predictably, the COVID-19 outbreak has thrown up a blockade in front of the season. A few days...

Texas A&M forces Florida to address defensive issues

Texas A&M forces Florida to address defensive issues

Throughout the game on Saturday in College Station, Florida seemed to be one step ahead of Texas A&M. Until they weren't. And then it was too late to do anything about it as the Florida program trudged off the field following a familiar fate- a loss to Jimbo...

Five takeaways from Florida’s 41-38 loss to Texas A&M

Five takeaways from Florida’s 41-38 loss to Texas A&M

Florida suffered its first loss of the season against Texas A&M today, an ugly 41-38 setback that’s far more irritating than damaging— but one that exposed a great deal of Gator shortcomings. What stood out in particular? (Spoiler alert: a lot of them are...

Imperfect Gators outlast South Carolina to start 2-0

Imperfect Gators outlast South Carolina to start 2-0

The various struggles the Florida Gators have endured on defense didn’t matter too much in their first two games against Mississippi and South Carolina. They might in their next game. And they almost certainly will later in the season. Kyle Trask tossed four touchdown...

Clemson RB Demarkcus Bowman to transfer to Florida

Clemson RB Demarkcus Bowman to transfer to Florida

The Lakeland-to-Gainesville pipeline has continued, albeit via a detour. Demarkcus Bowman has chosen to transfer to Florida. Mere days after announcing his decision to enter the transfer portal, Bowman told Gators Territory of his decision. Bowman, a former five star...

Trask’s career day propels Florida past Mississippi

Trask’s career day propels Florida past Mississippi

Dan Mullen returned to the place he once called “The School Up North” in his new set of colors for the first time. And he provided that school up north with a first class education in just how lethal his new offense is. Kyle Trask went wild, completing 30 of his 42...

Five takeaways from Florida’s 51-35 win at Ole Miss

Five takeaways from Florida’s 51-35 win at Ole Miss

The Gators opened their 2020 season with a somewhat convincing 51-35 victory over Ole Miss in Oxford. In doing so, Florida knotted the all time series score against the Rebels at twelve wins apiece. Here are my five initial takeaways from the game: Kyle Trask is...

2020 Gator football position preview: secondary

2020 Gator football position preview: secondary

Our position previews of the 2020 Gator football team conclude today with a look at the defensive backfield. Can the unit colloquially known as "DBU" move forward without CJ Henderson? Previously previewing: quarterbacks | running backs | wide receivers | tight ends |...

2020 Gator football position previews: linebackers

2020 Gator football position previews: linebackers

The penultimate piece of our position preview segment takes us to the Florida linebackers- a unit that was very good in 2019, but will look a bit different in 2020. Let's get right into it. Previously previewing: quarterbacks | running backs | wide receivers | tight...

2020 Gator football position preview: defensive line

2020 Gator football position preview: defensive line

Having completed our offensive position previews, today we move to the defensive side of the ball. And as is the case everywhere in the SEC, it starts up front. Previously previewing: quarterbacks | running backs | wide receivers | tight ends | offensive line The...

2020 Gator football position preview: offensive line

2020 Gator football position preview: offensive line

Fresh off our preview of Florida's tight ends, our 2020 Gator football position preview rolls on with a look at perhaps the key to the entire team: the offensive line. Last year, was so-so a year ago in pass protection, but really let the team down in the ground game....

2020 Gator football position preview: tight ends

2020 Gator football position preview: tight ends

With kickoff just around the corner, our position by position previews of the 2020 Gator football team are about to start hitting the presses rapid-fire. Having already published our previews on Florida's quarterback, running back and wide receiver rooms, the first of...

2020 Gator football position preview: wide receivers

2020 Gator football position preview: wide receivers

Having previously broken down Florida's quarterbacks and running backs, our position preview segment moves along today with a look at Florida's receivers. It's a unit that lost four of its top playmakers from 2019 (Van Jefferson, Freddie Swain, Josh Hammond and Tyrie...

2020 Gator football position preview: running backs

2020 Gator football position preview: running backs

After a bit longer of a gap between position breakdowns than I intended, the series rolls on today with a look at Florida's running backs. What do the Gators have in stock in their RB room this year? The leader: Dameon Pierce The leading returning rusher from 2019 has...

Snapshot: the 2020 Florida-FSU chart

Snapshot: the 2020 Florida-FSU chart

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my distinct honor and privilege to present to you, the 2020 Florida-FSU chart. Many of you already know what I'm referring too. For those who don't, "The Chart" is an annual In All Kinds Of Weather tradition that compares the Florida Gators...

2020 Gator football position preview: quarterbacks

2020 Gator football position preview: quarterbacks

With kickoff at long last in sight, it's time to break down the 2020 Gator football roster, position by position. Who's back, who's going to start, how good are they, and so on. Man, it's great to finally be talking about that again. So with that said, let's start...

Gators learn four of ten kickoff times for 2020 season

Gators learn four of ten kickoff times for 2020 season

Three of Florida's first four games of the 2020 season carry the potential to be broilers. The Gators' season opener against Mississippi in Oxford on September 26th will kick off at noon, and air on ESPN. The following week, Florida will return home and again play in...

#GreatestGatorEver Sweet 16 bracket breakdown

#GreatestGatorEver Sweet 16 bracket breakdown

Having announced the tentative plans for the schedule of the remainder of the #GreatestGatorEver fan voting tournament (update; the tournament resumes tomorrow on twitter and Instagram stories), it's time to refresh our memories regarding the final sixteen contestants...

#GreatestGatorEver tournament schedule update

#GreatestGatorEver tournament schedule update

For those who have been keeping track of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament, the excitement level has reached yet another all time high, as it does with the completion of each round. For those who haven't, it's not too late to be introduced to the event. Here's (a very...

Gators’ 2020 football schedule unveiled

Gators’ 2020 football schedule unveiled

At long last, the Florida Gators 2020 football schedule has been released. Here it is, in full. Florida Gators 2020 football schedule Week Date Opponent 1 9/26 @ Mississippi 2 10/3 S CAROLINA 3 10/10 @ Texas A&M 4 10/17 LSU 5 10/24 MISSOURI 6 --- BYE 7 11/7...

Four key Gators sit out first fall practice

Four key Gators sit out first fall practice

For the time being, it looks as though the SEC is going to give its college football season a go in 2020. But at least for today's inaugural practice, the Florida Gators football team launched its fall season down four critical pieces. As first reported by Sports...

Florida Gators 2021 Recruiting Big Board update: mid-August

Florida Gators 2021 Recruiting Big Board update: mid-August

The Gators' recruiting recent endeavors can be summed up with a synopsis not unlike a bunch of little kids swinging away at a dangling piñata. After much time and effort hacking at it to no avail, one well-placed swing and the fruits of their labor suddenly began...

DT Desmond Watson commits to Florida

DT Desmond Watson commits to Florida

Florida had been suffering through a bit of a lull on the recruiting trail earlier this month, a period that was low lighted by Clinton Burton flipping his commitment from Florida to Boston College. But if the past couple of weeks didn't vault Florida out of that rut,...

Gators flip OL recruit Jake Slaughter from FSU

After a bit of a lull on the recruiting trail, Florida has suddenly picked it up over the course of the last week. Last Saturday, safety Donovan McMillon committed; less than 48 hours later, receiver Marcus Burke followed suit to rev the engine a little bit on a 2021...

Top Jacksonville WR Marcus Burke commits to Florida

Top Jacksonville WR Marcus Burke commits to Florida

The Gators' 2021 recruiting class got a boost Saturday with the addition of Donovan McMillon. Today, Dan Mullen & Co. built on that momentum with the addition of receiver Marcus Burke. https://twitter.com/CERTIFIED_MB4/status/1285296008747003904?s=20 Burke, a...

Safety Donovan McMillon commits to Florida

Safety Donovan McMillon commits to Florida

Clinton Burton out, Donovan McMillon in. McMillon, a borderline three/four star safety from McMurray, PA/Peters Township High School, has committed to the Gators. The move provides Florida fans with a bit of relief following the decommitment of fellow defensive back...

#GreatestGatorEver tournament set to heat up

#GreatestGatorEver tournament set to heat up

Welcome to the part of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament where things really start to get interesting. For those who are just catching wind of the tournament, a quick explanation of how it works. Created with the goal of deciding the greatest Florida Gator athlete of...

Gators announce six new positive COVID tests within football program

UF confirms 11 positive COVID-19 cases since April

The University of Florida has acknowledged that eleven different positive tests for COVID-19 have taken place since April. The news comes a week and a half after the announcement that no returning Gator football player had tested positive. From Florida senior...

2021 CB Jordan Young commits to Florida

2021 CB Jordan Young commits to Florida

It may be one of the slowest times for sports in recent memory, but the inverse has been the case in the world of Gator football recruiting. 2021 cornerback Jordan Young (Tampa, FL/Gaither) has committed to Florida. A consensus three star prospect with offers from...

Kamar Wilcoxson re-commits to Florida for a third time

Kamar Wilcoxson re-commits to Florida for a third time

Kamar Wilcoxson is back on the Gators' commitment list- and he says this time, it's for good. https://twitter.com/KamarWilcoxson4/status/1274100941369806850?s=20 I think at this point, most Gator fans are familiar with who he is, and if you're not, I'll explain why I...

Safety Dakota Mitchell commits to Florida

Safety Dakota Mitchell commits to Florida

It probably got lost in the news of yesterday’s news that the Florida band will stop cueing up the “Gator bait” chant due to the term’s racist history, but while Florida football lost a ritual, it gained a commit. Safety Dakota Mitchell (Winter Park, FL/Winter Park)...

Gator football gets the green light to proceed with practice

Gator football gets the green light to proceed with practice

One thing that COVID-19 has proven is that it possesses an uncanny ability to screw up all different types of plans, and there's no concrete evidence that it's finished doing so. That's something that has to be kept in mind for the duration of this article, as well as...

Gator baseball pitcher Tommy Mace to return in 2021

Gator baseball pitcher Tommy Mace to return in 2021

Tommy Mace has just pulled perhaps the biggest offseason surprise in the world of Florida Gator athletics. Mace, the ace of the Gator baseball pitching staff, has decided to return to Gainesville for another season after going undrafted in the MLB Draft. Per...

Former Florida WR Reche Caldwell murdered outside his house

Former Florida WR Reche Caldwell murdered outside his house

Photo credit: Sports Illustrated Ex-Florida wide receiver Reche Caldwell has died from injuries sustained in a shooting right outside his home in Tampa, according to multiple different reports. The story was first broken by TMZ, and confirmed by ESPN's Adam Schefter....

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 15 Regional

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 15 Regional

The sixteenth and final Regional of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament gets underway later tonight. Thus, our Regional previews conclude with a look at the 15 Regional: The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.) (1)...

Lorenzo Lingard granted immediate eligibility for Florida

Lorenzo Lingard granted immediate eligibility for Florida

Happy birthday, Lorenzo Lingard. Florida's newest running back addition has announced on twitter that his waiver to be able to play in 2020 has been granted: https://twitter.com/d1champ99/status/1266464118950723584?s=20 Florida's running back room wasn't bad to begin...

#GreatestGatorEver tournament set to heat up

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 2

The penultimate Regional of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament is just about set to get underway. As is customary by now, let's acquaint ourselves with the sixteen player field a little more first. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 10 Regional

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 10 Regional

Round one of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament is drawing to a close. Today, we take a look at the third-to-last of the sixteen Regional brackets to be played: the 10 Regional. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.)...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 7 Regional

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 7 Regional

We are officially three quarters of the way through of the first round of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament. Tomorrow morning, we begin the first round of the fourth quarter of the bracket- the 7 Regional. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order...

Class of 2021 RB/WR Charles Montgomery commits to Florida

Class of 2021 RB/WR Charles Montgomery commits to Florida

Charles Montgomery will be suiting up in orange and blue on Saturdays. On an instagram live feed, Montgomery announced that he was choosing Florida over Maryland. A consensus four star prospect out of Seffner, FL/Armwood, Montgomery also had offers from Alabama,...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 14

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 14

Time to complete the upper right hand corner of the #GreatestGatorEver bracket with the 14 Regional. Y'all know the drill by now; let's get to it. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.) (1) Kelly Barnhill (softball,...

Florida unveils plan to bring athletes back to campus

Florida unveils plan to bring athletes back to campus

Photo credit: University of Florida COVID-19 has pretty much shut down college athletics since it made its way over to the United States a couple of months ago. Now, the first steps are being taken to see their resumption. Earlier today, SEC school presidents have...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 3

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 3

Up next in our #GreatestGatorEver tournament is the 3 Regional. Before voting gets underway, let's take a closer look at the field. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.) (1) Al Horford (basketball, C/F-...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 11

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 11

Eight Regionals down, one underway, and seven more to go in Round One of our #GreatestGatorEver tournament. Next up is the 11 Regional. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.) (1) Jack Youngblood (football, DE/DT/K-...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 6

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 6

We're halfway through the opening round of our summer long #GreatestGatorEver tournament. Now, we shift to the right side of the bracket, and start at the top with the 6 Regional, which gets underway tomorrow morning. The bracket Regional participants (Players are...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 12

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 12

The eighth and final Regional on the left half of the 256 player #GreatestGatorEver tournament is set to get started tonight. Another way of putting that: after tonight's 12 Regional voting, we will officially be halfway done with the opening round of this summer long...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 5

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 5

Our #GreatestGatorEver tournament rolls on today with Round one of the 5 Regional. As was the case for the previous Regionals and will be for all ensuing Regionals, let's take this opportunity to refresh our memories regarding what, exactly, the sixteen players in...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 13

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 13

With the 4 Regional of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament currently winding down, it's time to preview the Regional it's paired with in the Sweet 16: Regional #13. The 13 Regional bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.)...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 4

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 4

Our #GreatestGatorEver bracket is set to continue tomorrow with the opening round of the 4 Regional. Let's get to know that 4 Regional: The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.) (1) Emmitt Smith (football, RB-...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 9

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 9

Our #GreatestGatorEver bracket is set to continue later today with the opening round of the 9 Regional. With voting in the 8 Regional closing soon, let's familiarize ourselves with said 9 Regional: The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 8

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 8

Our #GreatestGatorEver tournament is off and running. Voting for the opening round of the 1 Regional has been completed; the 16 Regional is underway and will wrap up this afternoon. Shortly after its conclusion, the 8 Regional will get underway. So, let's get to know...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 16

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 16

Yesterday, voting began in our #GreatestGatorEver bracket in the 1 Regional. Today, voting will continue with the 16 Regional, but before the polls open, let's preview the field and refresh our memories on the players' accomplishments. The bracket Regional...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 1

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 1

Voting for the #GreatestGatorEver bracket begins this afternoon. In the name of eliminating potential recentism in the voting, I thought I'd set the stage by previewing each Regional before the voting gets underway. Today, we'll take a look at Regional 1, which of...

2021 guard Kowacie Reeves commits to Florida

2021 guard Kowacie Reeves commits to Florida

Mike White's 2021 recruiting class is off to a great start. Kowacie Reeves (Macon, GA) has committed to Florida. Reeves, a highly sought after four star, also earned offers from North Carolina, Texas, Auburn, Georgia and Seton Hall, among others. This commitment might...

Introducing the Greatest Gator Ever bracket

Introducing the Greatest Gator Ever bracket

Part of what has helped fans make it through a long, frustrating quarantine is the abundance of fan polls on social media. In particular, 64-team, March Madness themed brackets that allow fans to vote on the winner of each matchup in each round have captured a lot of...

Michigan F Colin Castleton transferring to Florida

Michigan F Colin Castleton transferring to Florida

Colin Castleton is coming home, and Florida is adding some more frontcourt depth for the future- potentially even next season. Castleton, who spent the last two seasons at Michigan, will be transferring closer to home and joining Mike White's Gator basketball squad....

Recapping the Gators’ weekend in the 2020 NFL Draft

Recapping the Gators’ weekend in the 2020 NFL Draft

The 2020 NFL Draft has just concluded, and once again, the Florida Gators were very well represented. Below is a list of all the selections from Florida. Click on the player names for further analysis on what they bring to their new teams. Florida Gators in the 2020...

Tebow, Spikes, James inducted into UF Hall of Fame

Tebow, Spikes, James inducted into UF Hall of Fame

Three members of the Florida Gators' 2008 football team- universally regarded as one of the best in college football history- are finally getting the ultimate recognition they deserve- spots in the UF Hall of Fame. Explosive kick/return man Brandon James posted a...

Scottie Lewis to return for sophomore year

Scottie Lewis to return for sophomore year

Florida’s basketball team got a sort-of-but-not-really-surprising boost today, as shooting guard Scottie Lewis announced that he will be coming back for his sophomore season. Lewis, a ridiculously athletic kid from southern New Jersey, arrived in Gainesville last fall...

The “Kyle Trask Emory Jones” debate: why not both?

The “Kyle Trask Emory Jones” debate: why not both?

The "Kyle Trask Emory Jones" debate is in full swing. Yes, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that has, among other things, lengthened college sports fans' offseason, the fanbase-wide argument regarding who should be the starter at the most important position of...

Coronavirus abruptly ends 2019-20 NCAA athletic season

Coronavirus abruptly ends 2019-20 NCAA athletic season

Photo credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images UPDATE 5:10pm: although it feels wholly logical to assume that college baseball and softball are over for 2020, the language in the two released statements- from the SEC and NCAA, and which you can read below- left one pair of...

TE Nick Elksnis commits to Florida

TE Nick Elksnis commits to Florida

Tight end Nick Elksnis (Jacksonville, FL/Episcopal) has announced his decision to be a Gator, thus netting Florida its first commitment of its Junior Day weekend. In doing so, Elksnis effectively flips from Penn State, from which he decommitted last week....

2020 Florida Gators’ Junior Day visitors list

2020 Florida Gators’ Junior Day visitors list

The Gators' second Junior Day event in Gainesville is upon us, and it's important to keep an eye on because more often than not, Florida uses it to add members to its list of commits. This time around, the chances of the Gators doing so are increased appreciably-...

For Gator basketball, time is running out to figure things out

For Gator basketball, time is running out to figure things out

For much of Saturday's game against Tennessee, Florida couldn’t score. When they finally remembered how to score, they couldn’t come up with the critical stops. In other words, it was a typical basketball game for Mike White’s Gators on the heels of an impressive win....

Four star TE Gage Wilcox commits to Florida

Four star TE Gage Wilcox commits to Florida

Congratulations to Gage Wilcox. You, sir, have just become the first commit for Tim Brewster. Wilcox, a four star tight end from Tampa's Jefferson High School in the Class of 2021, committed on an Instagram Live video, as captured by twitter user @CurtisK421....

Florida takes step forward by throttling LSU

Florida takes step forward by throttling LSU

Photo credit: Florida Gators Maybe this is another mirage, the latest peak in a dizzying array of sine waves for Mike White’s Gator basketball team. Or maybe, after we all erroneously thought this team had turned the corner several times before, this is the game that...