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Former Gator now Eagles TE Trey Burton gives more insight on “Philly Special”

Florida Football Insiders

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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It’s likely going to be the one play that everyone remembers 10 years from now, and maybe forever, from Super Bowl LII. The Eagles use of the reverse-pass to QB Nick Foles known as “Philly Special,” scored them a touchdown on a fourth and goal at the end of the first half.

And, of course since it involves ex-Florida Gators receiver/tight end, Trey Burton, as the hero, we obviously pay attention even more. We wrote about Burton’s involvement in gadget play and how, the Eagles were waiting for just the right situation to spring it on the Patriots Sunday night.

Well, after participating in the Eagles raucous parade Thursday in Philly (above), that was attended by at least 700,000 people to celebrate the first football championship in 58 years, Burton appeared on the Fox Sports 1 cable show “First Things First” Friday morning to talk about the throw that has made him famous.

Burton did reveal something interesting in the clip, which is: the play is a “run first” option, but if Foles is wide open (which he was Sunday night) Burton can throw it, and he did.

Further, as host Chris Carter pointed out, Burton chose to leave his right glove on (playing with them even indoors) as to not give away the surprise element of “Philly Special” that he could be throwing the ball.

And the Pats are just the kind of franchise that would have picked up on something like that.

No, as Carter also chided Burton, a former Venice H.S. QB, his toss wasn’t a great spiral, yet it was effective. Consider, that WR Danny Amendola on a very similar trick play in the first half, put too much juice on his throw to Tom Brady and it fell incomplete.

Burton obviously did his job well-make sure Foles could catch it.

It has also been widely reported that the “Philly Special” play had been practiced and was in the game plan for the correct situation and defensive look from the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game.

However, the Eagles had gotten the play from watching the Bears use it against those same Vikings the year before. And, with the Eagles racing out to a large lead in the first half against Minnesota, they never chose to use it-saving it for two weeks later in Super Bowl LII.

It’s also interesting that NFL Films microphones on the sideline picked up Foles telling coach Doug Pederson during a timeout that they should run “Philly Special” before the critical fourth down play call. Pederson obviously agreed, and Burton and Foles made him look like a genius.

Just like Kirk Gibson’s walk off World Series homer for the Dodgers, or Michael Jordan’s jumper to beat the Utah Jazz for a sixth NBA title, or even Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa’s bomb TD in overtime to win the College Football Playoff  a month ago, there are certain plays in championship settings that will stick with you.

Burton’s “Philly Special” throw is in that category.

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Gators announced home and home series with Cal Friday

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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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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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