Connect with us

Florida Gators

Gators showcased talent in Saturday Spring game

Florida Football Insiders

Published

on

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Off a strong finish to 2018, there’s a lot of optimism for the Gators as they get set for year two under coach Dan Mullen. And the ending of the first phase of their preparation came Saturday with their “Orange and Blue” Spring game.

The Gators football Twitter handle put together an excellent montage’ reviewing some of the bright spots in the over glorified practice scrimmage:

However, as much as you can read into it, quarterback Feleipe Franks did look solid during his time out there, save for the one interception return for a touchdown shown above.

He is expected to be challenged some by dual-threat Reserve quarterback, Emory Jones, who also looked good in Gainesville on Saturday afternoon.

And, it was fitting that the Gators recognized a couple of their former greats during the action with defensive back Leo Shepherd returning a gift pass from Frank’s for a pick-6 that got a rise out of the crowd.

Former standout receiver Chris Doering still has one of the most memorable Gator moments of the last 50 years, when he caught the winning touchdown pass with no time left from Danny Wuerffel in the 1993 game at Kentucky. And Doering, also got into the act starting with a 30 yard head start and catching a wide-open pass, then racing to the end zone

As for Mullen, he has been pleased with their work so far, and told Gatorzone.com after the game:

“I think that our players work hard. We demand a lot out of them and we push them in the offseason and in practice, so we let [this game] be more of a celebration day for them to have fun in front of family and friends,” Mullen said. “Plus, we want to make it a festive activity. I want to make it a lot of fun for the campus.”

The Gators are already preparing to play a week earlier this fall against the University of Miami on August 24th in a prime-time showdown at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.

Florida Gators

Three state receivers look to make Senior Bowl impression

Florida Football Insiders

Published

on

Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

A trio of Florida collegiate pass catchers will look to make an impact at Saturday’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, and it’s very possible that one will be selected the opening night the NFL Draft in April.

First, the Gators have a duo of receivers working out for the South team in this week. As wideouts, Van Jefferson and Tyrie Cleveland have been going through practices and getting attention this week. Obviously, their experience against SEC competition is a key to helping them prepare to take on the North squad Saturday afternoon on the NFL Network.

Cleveland was a late add to the South roster only being notified on late Monday afternoon about the prospect of joining the senior All-Stars in Mobile.

And, as SI.com profiled earlier this week, both Florida guys are anxious to demonstrate what they can do and are grateful that they have each other in Alabama for the experience.

“I’ve seen Mr. Nagy (director of the Senior Bowl), and I heard him say something about Tyrie, so I was like, I was trying to creep in to see what he was talking about,” Jefferson admitted to the site.

“Then he looked at me and said ‘I invited your boy!’, and I asked who and he said ‘Tyrie!’, and so I went and called Tyrie, I’m like ‘Tyrie, where you at?’, and Tyrie’s already in Mobile, so my man, my dawg is here, so it’s just got the week much better, I’m excited to go out there and practice with him for the last time, play in a game with him for the last time, it’s exciting.” 

Jefferson, who’s the son of former NFL receiver Shawn Jefferson, had two solid but not spectacular seasons in Gainesville after transferring from Ole Miss catching for just over 1,100 yards and 12 TDs in 23 games.

Likewise, Cleveland does not have fantastic numbers and some of that had to do with the shaky quarterback play at times during his career at Florida.

Still, they are both large bodied and Cleveland ran a sub 4.4 (unofficial), 40 yard dash this week, too.

Now, the probable first round pick from the state as a receiver is FAU tight end, Harrison Bryant. While he’s not a household name on the national scale, Bryant has outstanding hands and put up monster numbers for a tight end in 2019.

Flourishing and former coach Lane Kiffin’s system Bryant (above) led all tight ends in FBS with 65 catches, 1,004 yards and 7 TDs, as the FAU owls rolled to a second Conference USA championship in 3 years.

Bryant also has some raving about his route running, hands and his blocking from the practices this week in Mobile, too:

Sure, there will be a lot more time for scrutiny of these guys after the Senior Bowl is played from the scouting combine to their individual workouts and team interviews. Still, they are three names to keep an eye on Saturday and beyond, as the draft process continues.

Continue Reading

Florida Gators

Former Gators QB Franks transfers to Arkansas

Florida Football Insiders

Published

on

Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks has decided on a new spot for his final year of eligibility and he won’t even leave the SEC. The Gators starting quarterback on and off for the last three years announced on Monday night that he will be transferring to the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Frank’s ended several weeks of speculation as to where he might land by announcing his plans on social media:

Franks help lead the Gators resurgence two years ago under first-year coach Dan Mullen, including a Peach Bowl New Year’s Six game victory over the Michigan Wolverines. Florida finished 10-3 with momentum headed into this season.

However, with sky high expectations for Franks, Mullen and the Gators this past season (they were a preseason top 10 team)  Franks played inconsistently for a lot of the early part of the season. Then, things ended horrifically as Franks suffered a nasty fractured leg at Kentucky ending his season.

The 6’6 Franks finished his Gator career with 28 starts 4,500+ yards passing and 28 TDs. However, his at times poor play, including crucial interceptions enraged Gator fans. Next, he announced December 1st that he would be transferring for one more season, as a graduate to be eligible immediately.

Arkansas is in desperation to rebuild after having fired coach Chad Morris after two horrible seasons. They hired Georgia former offensive line coach Sam Pittman at their head coach and Franks will be playing for new offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, who spent last season with FSU.

Arkansas is in desperate need of a quality proven quarterback, as they had just three scholarship signal caller options in senior Jack Lindsey, redshirt-sophomore John Stephen Jones and redshirt-freshman K.J. Jefferson. Jones, who is the grandson of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, is considered the most experienced of the group. But to show how bad it is, he’s thrown for just 106 yards and 2 touchdowns with 2 interceptions in six career games.

So, clearly Franks, if/when fully healed from the ankle fracture will be heavily counted on for 2020.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement Shop thousands of officially-licensed NFL items at NFLShop.com

Trending