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Florida Gators

National Signing Day will be family affair for several in Florida

Florida Football Insiders



Photo by Icon Sportswire

The barrage of high school football stars donning a college cap to indicate where they are headed commences Wednesday morning, as the National Signing Day 2017 circus gets underway.

We at F.F.I. only pay slight attention to the mayhem of names and places, and of course, the numerous “ranking services” feeding the eager fan bases with their “stars” to tell them what kind of help is or isn’t on the way.

Nevertheless, Floirda is such a hot bed of stud high school recruits, you have to give it some brain space. So, we’ve decided to go with the “bloodline angle” of players who have famous college and/or NFL dads that you will recognize.

Adam Boselli, TE Jacksonville (Episcopal), committed to N.C. State.

Former Jags #1 Overall Pick OT Tony Boselli awaits word Saturday night whether he gets into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But, his son’s college future is already set. The 6’4″ younger Boselli is pass catching threat headed to a pass happy offense in the ACC.

Kivon Bennett DT  Ft. Lauderdale (St. Thomas Aquinas) committed Tennessee

Kivon is the son of former all world Alabama and four time Super Bowl participant with the Bills,  LB Cornelius Bennett. At 6’3″ 265lbs., the younger Bennett is regarded as one of the top 30 D-Linemen in the country. And it is a wild twist that he chose Butch Jones and his father’s arch SEC rival, the Vols.

Griffin Alstott, QB, St. Pete (Northside Christian) committed Purdue

Griffin is a gunslinger who has been coached by his famed father Mike Alstott, and led Northside to back to back playoff appearances. Mike is a former All-American at Purdue and Pro Bowl FB with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is largely regarded as the most punishing running fullback of the last 25 years in the NFL. Griffin  is a 6’2″ 195lbs. and threw for a decent 1,700 yards and 15 TD’s last season at the smaller private school division.

Speaking of QB prospects with prominent dads…

Davis Koetter, QB, Tampa (Berkley Prep) committed Portland State

The son of Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter (above), is a 6’2″ 185lbs. thrower, as well. His father just led the Buccaneers to their first winning season in 6 years and has been largely responsible for the pro developments of Jameis Winston and Matt Ryan, before that. So, there is obvious QB DNA for Davis. The younger Koetter led his high school team to the playoffs this past year also. And, he will now go all the way diagonally up and across the continent from Tampa to play in Div 1-AA Portland, Oregon. (The Koetters are originally from Idaho, btw).

And finally, a prized recruit in South Florida that isn’t available yet…

Patrick Surtain, Jr., CB Plantation (American Heritage) Class of 2018.

The younger Surtain is the son a former Pro Bowler with Dolphins and the Chiefs, and Patrick Surtain, Sr., like Mike Alstott, was his son’s high school coach. At 6’0″ 180lbs. the younger Surtain is regarded as the #1 high school defensive back in the nation! Hello.But Surtain has scholarship offers from 30 big time programs, but, there is belief that LSU, and newly promoted coach Ed Oregeron are the favorites. However, he may choose a Florida school, as well. This is a cliff hanger that will go on for another year!

Again, we won’t be detailing very much with National Signing Day, but those are some compelling names to help you seem smarter, if you are in the recruiting discussions today or later this week.

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Florida Gators

College programs continue November domination of our power rankings

Jamil King



Another week has come and gone in the football world. Already in November, the season is flying by. Some teams are hitting stride, others are falling flat, and some are treading water. With that let’s get right into the rankings:

5. Jacksonville Jaguars- The 5th spot might as well be cursed. Almost every time I put a team here they lose. So, sorry Jacksonville. Out of all the teams to lose they showed the most upside. The Jags came into the season with championship hopes. What they are now looking at is a team that is trying to make a late-season push for the playoffs. They finally got Lenard Fournette back in the lineup, and he showed that he is the centerpiece to the offense. He had 30 total touches for 109 yards and two touchdowns. The Jags are two games out of the second wildcard, and if they have any playoff aspirations, they need to start a win streak immediately.

4. FAU Owls-  The Owls were not flying last Saturday- they were running, running, and running. Devin Singletary became the first running back in school history to top over 4,000 yards career yards. He also had a modest 148 yards rushing and two touchdowns and his running mate Kerrith Whyte, Jr. had 163 yards rushing and two touchdowns of his own. The Owls would handle Western Kentucky 34-15. Owls are picking up steam in C-USA.

3. Florida Gators- Felipe Franks was able to quiet the crowd and lead the Gators to gritty come from behind win Saturday. One thing though this was a home game. Franks gave the crowd “the shhh motion,” with his finger over his lips not once, but twice. The Gators put up 21 unanswered second-half points leading them to a win over former coach Will Muschamp and the Gamecocks. The Gators finished 5-3 in the SEC and will hope for an easier time with Idaho this week and a lot more cheering than boos and quiet gestures.

2. FIU Panthers- The Panthers pounced all over Texas-San Antonio last week by the score of 45-7. QB James Morgan broke the schools single-season touchdown record with his 22nd of the season. Morgan would add two more along with 291 yards. The Panther defense forced four turnovers in the win. A road date with Charlotte is on the schedule for next week before ending with Marshall as the Panthers look to win the C-USA East division and potentially host the Title Game.

1. UCF Knights- The Knights won yet again, and at this point, it feels like clockwork. McKenzie Milton tossed a pair of touchdowns and ran for one. Greg McCrae topped 100 yards rushing with Adrian Killins adding 83 yards rushing. The Knights have gathered more national attention with College game day making the trip to Orlando over the Notre Dame Syracuse contest. The Knights will have their toughest test of the season under the bright lights against Cincinnati, who just took out USF. UCF wanted attention. They now have it.

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Florida Gators

Gators have lots to smile about after late comeback

Florida Football Insiders



Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Through a lot of reasons that Gator fans should be smiling on Saturday night after Florida roared back to defeat South Carolina 35 – 31 at the Swamp.

They should be smiling because, when it appeared all was lost when South Carolina took a 31-14 late in the third quarter, the Gators showed guts and heart that makes the difference in battles like these. Honestly, it’s the type of deficit that the Gators would have thrown in the towel on in the last few years.

Further, smiling because it came at the expense of Will Muschamp, their former coach, who was his usual animated-maniac self as South Carolina unraveled in the 4th quarter.

Smiling because Felipe Franks, for all the criticism of the last couple of weeks and talk of him being benched, played one of his best games of his Florida career. Frank’s completed 15 of 21 passes for 161 yards with a TD pass  and ran for two critical scores, including the game-winner on a fourth-and-goal (above) with four minutes remaining.

Yes, there is some controversy over him putting up the finger to his lips to “shush the Swamp,” as it was cheering him. This was as if to say: stop criticizing me, yet cheering me. Now, in fairness, a lot of those people that were cheering that 4th and goal touchdown had been the same ones calling for Frank’s to be benched. They’re happy and Franks is now happy with the comeback.

Smiling because the Gators put two running backs, Jordan Scarlett and LaMichael Perine, both went of 100 yards and Florida put together three long scoring drives late in the game, when they had to have them.

Smiling because For the first time in three games, the Gators defense finally came up with a takeaway and it was huge, as CJ Henderson’s pick in the fourth all but iced the game.

Smiling because Dan Mullen, his staff and their players demonstrated there was no quit in them, yet again. It was the second time in a month that Florida was down by at least 17 points, Vandy was the other, yet, they rallied to win. And you can tell his players love playing hard for him:

Smiling, because the win has the Gators at 5 and 3 in the SEC and in Prime position to have a New Year’s Day bowl game in Florida, probably at either the Outback Bowl in Tampa or the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville.

No. It wasn’t easy, but it was memorable Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

And the smiles will last for at least while.

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Florida Gators

Gators backup QB Trask apparently suffered serious knee injury Wednesday

Florida Football Insiders



Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Well, if the Gators were in fact looking at another quarterback to possibly replace starter Feleipe Franks, they were dealt a bad injury break Wednesday afternoon.

That’s when reserve quarterback Kyle Trask was injured in a non-contact situation during the Gators practice. He was carted off the field and there has been no official update given.

Thomas Goldkamp, Gators beat reporter with 24/7 Sports, was the first to report the injury Wednesday evening:

The Gators had another struggling Saturday offensively at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, when they were beaten decisively 38-17 by Missouri for a second straight loss. Trask actually replaced Franks the second half of the game, and he threw a fourth-quarter touchdown. That gave some Gator fans hope that coach Dan Mullen might be contemplating a switch for this week’s match-up with South Carolina.

Trask, who is a redshirt sophomore, was a high school star in Texas, who redshirted in 2016. However, he also had an injury last year and never played.

With Mullen and his new staff taking over, their was an off season competition for who would start this season. Franks eventually won that competition and has been the Gators starter the entire year.

As of Wednesday night, Florida had not confirmed Trask injury or the severity of it.

Our Matt Zemek had written earlier Wednesday about the “pros and cons” of remaining with Franks or going to another QB.

The Gators also have dual-threat quarterback freshman Emory Jones, who they could turn to, should they still want to bench Frank’s for this game or later in the year.

Jones has played sparingly this season, including two weeks ago during the loss to Georgia. He only carried the ball out of the “Wildcat formation” four times for 12 yards in the game with the Dawgs. It’s also believed that Jones has struggled to pick up Mullen’s offense in his first season, and was not ready to be the guy to replace Franks, unless it’s an emergency.

Now, if Trask is done for the year, Jones may be that guy right behind Franks.

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