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Legendary Gators fan “Mr Two Bits” passed away this week

Florida Football Insiders

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Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports

College football in general, and in the SEC and at the University of Florida specifically, have many great traditions. One of those at Gators home games involves the famous “Two Bits” cheer to rally the crowd to root the home team onto victory.

The man who came up with the cheer in the 1940s, and had it become a rallying point for hundreds of Gator home games since, died earlier this week.

George Edmondson, who became better known as “Mr. Two Bits,” and could be seen on one hot Saturday after another every fall rallying the crowd at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and Steve Spurrier Florida Field for the Gator fans to “Stand up and Holler.”

As Gatorzone.com detailed, Edmondson passed away at age 97 in Tampa on Tuesday:

It all started, when Edmondson got invited to a 1949 Florida game against the Citadel, and the Gators team was really struggling. He has recounted numerous times that with the fans booing the home team and players that he wanted to come up with a positive way to encourage them by the fans standing up to cheer, even if the play on the field was bad.

Hence, the old playground/high school cheerleader cheer “Two Bits. Four Bits. Six Bits, a dollar. All for the …… stand up and holler.”

Edmondson did this cheer at that game in 1949 and became known for his whistle around his neck to signal the crowd and then soon after would hold up the “Two Bits” sign and start the cheer. This went on for decades and became one of the “institutions” of going to Gator home games.

Edmondson detailed it more in this interview chronicling his story for the school:

Edmondson “retired” from his on field role of leading the cheer in 2008 at age 86 after having led the cheer for over six decades of home games.

However, the tradition has continued with the likes of Gators legend Steve Spurrier leading the cheer, former Olympic Gold medalist Dara Torres, the ’06-07 back to back Men’s hoop champions, and we even wrote about former Gators/NFL star turned broadcaster Cris Collinsworth doing it last year, too.

Again, the traditions and the rabid following of fans is legendary all over the SEC, but what Edmondson started in the middle of the last century still has a legacy for Florida football.

Edmondson is survived by his wife, children, grand and great grand children and they are planning on holding a celebration of life service in August in Tampa for him. And there, you can bet, the “Two Bits” cheer will be held one more time for the man who started it at Gators games.

Florida Gators

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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