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Alabama student called in bomb threat to Florida-LSU game

Florida Football Insiders

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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night’s high-scoring dramatic LSU defeat of the Florida Gators in Baton Rouge had another subplot going that we’ve only become aware of in the last couple of days.

That’s when Alabama authorities have announced that a freshman at the school called in a bomb threat to Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge in an attempt to halt the finish of the game.

As the Tuscaloosa News reported on Monday night and followed up on Tuesday afternoon, nineteen-year-old Connor Croll was taken into custody Sunday and being held without bond after confessing to phoning in the threat.

Alabama spokesman Kris Bryant made this statement Monday evening,

“We are aware of the arrest of a UA freshman over the weekend. Threats and pranks can have serious ramifications and necessitate an appropriate response. The university and UAPD are cooperating fully with the investigation, but we cannot provide any additional details on a pending matter.

“UA will follow its student conduct policies and procedures. The LSU community has always been gracious to us, and we regret these events.”

LSU media relations director Ernie Ballard said they couldn’t comment on the specifics of the threat that Croll made but did have this to say about the arrest,

“It is important for the general public to know that LSU Police and officials, along with federal and local law enforcement agencies on location, have protocol in place to respond immediately and appropriately to real and perceived threats at Tiger Stadium and all campus facilities,” he said.

“In this case, protocol was followed efficiently and effectively to quickly ascertain the source of the threat. That protocol including an immediate sweep of the stadium and a multi-agency investigation, which led to the suspect being identified within minutes and arrested soon thereafter. LSU appreciates the cooperation of all agencies and the University of Alabama and UAPD in this very serious matter. There is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of the public on campus.” 

Over 100,000 fans were in attendance Saturday night for the battle between two of the top teams in college football, so far this season.

The gossip site TMZ reported that Croll confessed quickly to Alabama authorities that he made the call, because a friend of his was on the verge of losing a large bet in the game. Florida was a 14-point underdog and led the game 28 – 21 early on in the third quarter.

LSU, behind Heisman Trophy candidate QB Joe Burrow, rallied for 21 unanswered points to win 42 – 28.

It’s unclear as to whether the 19 year old will need to be extradited to Baton Rouge to face charges or not?

As of Tuesday night, Croll had not been charged with anything in the Baton Rouge court system.

However, the Tuscaloosa paper reported the Louisiana State Police told them, that the terrorizing law that exists in Louisiana is a felony and the Croll could be facing as much as $15,000 in fines and up to 15 years in jail for making the bomb threat.

Florida Gators

Gators announced home and home series with Cal Friday

Florida Football Insiders

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Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators continued their philosophy of striking “home-and-home” deals with Power 5 opposition, when they announced on Friday that they will be doing so with the Cal-Berkley Bears out of the Pac-12 coming later in this decade.

The Gators made the announcement through their website and social media mid-day Friday that they will play Cal at home first and then travel to Berkeley the following year:

A.D. Scott Stricklin has broken up the long tradition that Florida would only play two home out of conference games in September and usually, against much lesser competition before entering SEC play. Stricklin has been very outspoken that in the age of the College Football Playoff, strength of schedule is emphasized and the selection committee holds schools responsible for not playing top-notch out of conference opponents, at least some of the time.

With that in mind, the Gators opened the 2019 season in Orlando against the Miami Hurricanes and won a sloppy game. And, they already have other Power 5 schools laid out to play home and away.

As we previously wrote, Florida will be playing the Texas Longhorns first in Gainesville in 2030 and then. return the game the following year in Austin.

Florida had previously announced last year that they will also play the Colorado Buffaloes out of the Pac-12, again with the first game in Gainesville in 2028 and then, returning it to Boulder the following season.

It’s interesting with Friday’s announcement that Stricklin and the football program are working backwards with the schedule. And, they will now play Cal before Colorado in September of 2026, and then will be opening on the Berkeley campus the following season.

Florida and Cal have only met two times, having played first in Gainesville in 1974 as the Gators wo 21 – 17 and then, they also met in Tampa to open the 1980 season with a Florida 41-13 blowout victory.

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Florida Gators

Second National Signing Day recap for top state schools

Jamil King

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

National Signing Day 2020 has come and gone, and several in state schools were able to improve their classes heading into spring ball. The University of Florida watched rival Georgia secure the number one overall class, but the Gators were still able to land the best class in the state with the number eight class overall.

The Gators officially signed former five-star receiver Justin Shorter from Penn State, and Florida stayed in the family today as well, Xzavier Henderson officially joined the Gators. He’s the ounger brother of  former DB C.J. Henderson.

Dan Mullen also able to dip into the state of Texas inking four-star DE Princely Umanmielen. It wasn’t all great news for the Gators, as they missed out on a few key guys, including losing out on arguably top state safety Avantae Williams to in state rival Miami. Overall it was a good cycle for the Gators both recruiting and in the transfer portal.

The Miami Hurricanes continued an impressive offseason on National Signing Day. The Canes made arguably the biggest move in the state by landing Williams and keeping him Florida. Williams became the highest rated Hurricane in the class and propelled the U to the number 13 spot.

Miami has the second-best class in the ACC behind Clemson. With an impressive offseason in the books, once again excitement will be in the air in Coral Gables. The question is: will they live up to it in year two for Manny Diaz?

Florida State and new coach Mike Norvell have been working hard to get this class rolling last minute. After a good early National Signing Day Norvell looked to keep the momentum going. The Noles took a big hit Wednesday though, with the loss of Venice four star WR, Malachi Wideman, who flipped to Tennessee.

The Noles came back from that by landing a handful of other recruits. They got the number six Juco running back La’Damian Webb, ass well as, Robert Scott, an offensive lineman and Corey Wren, an athlete/running back.

Replacing Cam Akers will be tough for Norvell and building the offensive line is a top priority. The former Memphis coach came in late like he did, yet he finishes with a decent class sitting at 22 on 24/7.

Now the work begins turning around the former powerhouse.

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