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SEC should keep graduate policy, even if Gators lose Malik Zaire

Florida Football Insiders



(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

As the SEC considers this week in Destin, FL, whether to relax it’s graduate transfer policy, we at F.F.I. have a stance: leave the policy, as is.

This, even if it costs the mighty Gators a chance at getting Notre Dame QB Malik Zaire to help them, immediately.

Currently, a graduate seeking to transfer and to be immediately eligible, supposedly has to go to a school offering a graduate program that’s not available at their school (this is shaky). However, the SEC took it a step further. And this part, we agree with and applaud:

The SEC implemented a policy that if the graduate transfer doesn’t actually follow through and get his post-graduate degree within a year of playing, then the school must wait over a three year period before it can accept another such transfer.

Look. We all know the whole “student-athlete” part of the NCAA and its schools mantra is a fallacy. But, this is a good policy. It says to the SEC schools: don’t make a sham out of the whole premise and abuse the “immediacy” advantage of the transfer rule.

And, this brings us back to the issue with the possible transfer of Zaire to Gainesville.

As that articles lays out, Florida abused the graduate transfer already with not one, but two of them failing to follow through and get the degree. So, why should they not have to suffer the consequence of the policy that everyone understood/currently understands: if they don’t get the degree, you are screwed from more graduate transfers.

We know the Gator QB situation is up in the air with Luke Del Rio’s off season shoulder surgery, plus a couple of inexperienced others like Felipe Franks, etc. And, Zaire would likely be an immediate solution to help.

Reportedly, Zaire has picked the Gators over numerous other choices, but awaits the Southeastern Conference to vote. And, you have to believe that rivals like Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, etc. aren’t going to be willing to just go along with what’s being discussed this week. This, when, the Gators could become dramatically better at the most important position with Zaire.

Are we too idealistic? Probably. Are we going to hear Commissioner Greg Sankey step up to the podium and actually say to his schools: “This is why we have the rule we do about graduate transfers?” Not likely.

But, you have rules with consequences for a reason. And, it they shouldn’t be voted away just because there’s a consequence hanging in the balance for a prominent member.

No. The SEC should keep this graduate transfer policy/consequence.

And Gator fans, if Malik Zaire was attempting to transfer to Georgia, or Tennessee who couldn’t take him, you would be shouting from the top of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium: Enforce the rule!


Florida Gators

Gators announced home and home series with Cal Friday

Florida Football Insiders



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



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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