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No Surprise: Injured Florida DT Easley Going Pro

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Louisville v FloridaAny Gator fan hoping injured defensive tackle Dominique Easley might return to Florida next season by way of medical redshirt is going to be disappointed.  Will Muschamp confirmed today that the senior will rehab his torn ACL and turn his attention to the National Football League.

Easley was the unquestioned star and leader of UF’s defense.  His injury in practice last week has led to an early baptism for a number of freshmen called upon to replace him.  While that worked versus Kentucky last Saturday, Easley’s absence will likely be felt when the Gators face LSU, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida State before season’s end.

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Florida DT Easley Done With ACL Injury?

mrsec-breaking-newsIt was reported this morning that Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley has suffered a torn ACL which would, in effect, end the senior’s UF playing career.  While Will Muschamp has said that Easley “tweaked” his knee during practice yesterday, he would not confirm reports of an ACL tear.  “We will see how it goes,” the coach said.

But a tweet from Easley suggests that he did indeed suffer a serious injury:

 

“Gatornation thank you for all 4 yrs of sticking with me but god has something else planned and have no worries.”

 

The Gators lost starting quarterback Jeff Driskel to a broken leg during Saturday’s win over Tennessee.  To then also lose their brightest defensive star just four days later would be particularly cruel twist of fate.

Stay tuned.

Update: Florida confirms Easley is out for the season - tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial meniscus in his right knee.

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UF’s Floyd Might Have Created An NCAA Loophole For Other Athletes

Get ready to the name of Florida defensive tackle Shariff Floyd a lot more often.  According to USA Today, the junior might have opened up a loophole in the NCAA rule book that’s big enough to drive a truck — or at least an SEC D-lineman — through.

In 2011, Floyd was suspended two games by the NCAA and forced to repay money (see: extra benefits) that was given to him by a Florida businessman “who had mentored him.”  In response, Kevin Lahn turned around and adopted the 20-year-old Floyd legally.  And now he can give Floyd all the money/gifts that he likes.  He’s a parent now, not a fan, mentor, booster or businessman.

If Lahn’s name sounds familiar, it’s likely because he was dissociated from South Carolina — his own alma mater — in 2011 following an NCAA investigation into the Gamecocks’ program.

Lahn responded to USA Today via email:

 

“(The adoption) was not something we planned, but it’s been a natural fit…

My wife and I love Sharrif and he feels the same way about us.”

 

The issue, obviously, is that any booster or third-party who wants to go through the legal red tape of adopting an athlete — even an athlete already in college and in his 20s — can do so and then provide any benefit he likes to the player.  Why would anyone do that for any reason other than love of the player?  Well, if you’re a cynic like me, because the adoptive parent might see some NFL or NBA dollars rolling back to the player — and his loving adoptive family — at some point in the future.

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UF’s Quinn Happy With “No-Name Defense”

At Georgia, you can run down a list of NFL prospects and “watch list” athletes on Todd Grantham’s defense — Jarvis Jones, Bacarri Rambo, John Jenkins, etc.  But the Bulldog defense hasn’t lived up to its full potential yet, even with everyone back from suspension.

At Florida, the situation is a bit different.  The Gator D has been better than expected without all the hype and star power.  Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn likes it that way, too.

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No Charges Against UF’s Easley

Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley will not be formally charged for an altercation with former Alabama cornerback Reggie Myles outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium after the Tide’s 38-10 win last month.

The Florida State Attorney’s Office decided that both parties behaved badly, but all witness to the episode provided contradictory evidence and some of the witnesses were three sheets to the wind as well.

State Attorney Bill Cervone said: “There are no clean hands in this situation.  There is also no harm done, despite protestations to the contrary, that outweighs these factors.  Any harm to either party is in essence canceled out by the harm to the other party.”

Now that’s a ruling you don’t see everyday.

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SEC Headlines – 10/27/11 Part One

I’m afraid today’s going to be a rushed day with lots of headlines.  Projects away from the site are eating into my time today.  My apologies.

1.  Florida’s defense needs to create more takeaways.

2.  Will Muschamp allowed two players to walk away from his program earlier this week.

3.  Gator defensive lineman Dominique Easley is in hot water after getting into a scuffle with former Alabama player Reggie Myles outside the stadium following the teams’ game this year.

4.  The Florida-Georgia rivalry has had its share of unsportsmanlike acts in recent years… but it was “The Stomp” in 2007 that rekindled the rivalry.

5.  Here are five keys to a Bulldog victory on Saturday.

6.  Georgia wideout Malcolm Mitchell is now “doubtful” for this weekend’s game.

7.  They’re already covering basketball scrimmages in Lexington.  Terrence Jones scored 52 with 16 rebounds last night.

8.  The Cats also have a football game this weekend, and it would help their cause if tailback CoShik Williams could rush for another 148 yards this week.

9.  South Carolina’s Bruce Ellington is questionable for Saturday with a hamstring injury.

10.  Steve Spurrier said earlier this week that Ellington — a receiver — might back up Connor Shaw… showing once again that the coach no longs has his old touch with quarterbacks.

11.  Tennessee receiver Da’Rick Rogers — who showed up quarterback Matt Simms with some serious head-shaking following an incompletion last week — is happy to have the “gunslinger” Justin Worley under center.

12.  Vol coaches want to get more out of defensive end Jacques Smith.

13.  James Franklin isn’t interested in talking about Vanderbilt’s bowl chances just yet.

14.  The Commodores are bracing for Arkansas’ passing game.

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Ex-Bama Players Accuses Curent Florida Player Of Assault

Now here’s a weird one for you.  After Alabama finished assaulting Florida at The Swamp last Saturday night, one former Tide player claims that he was assaulted outside the stadium by a current Gator player.

University of Florida police are currently investigating whether UF defensive lineman Dominique Easley attacked former Alabama defensive back Reggie Myles (1998-2001).  UFPD says that they have not yet confirmed that Easley was the attacker.

Myles claims that he was tackled from behind and that the action was totally unprovoked.  The attacker dropped a cell phone which Myles picked up and gave to police.  According to Myles, Easley’s “parents were asking me for the phone back.”

Myles was subsequently charged with public intoxication and criminal mischief.

“It was based on the way he was behaving when we were trying to sort everything out,” a police spokesman said.  “It stemmed from him being attacked.  The battery, him being battered, is a separate case.  The charges against him were entirely based on his disorderly behavior following that, and I understand he was extremely agitated.  He’d just been hit from behind by an unknown assailant, and was scraped up pretty good.  I understand him being upset.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t get him to calm down.”

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Gators’ disappointing season ends in embarrassing loss to rival FSU

Florida
Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

Chris Rainey's fumble was one of four turnovers by the Gators. (Photo by Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel)

It didn’t take an embarrassing loss to Florida’s biggest rival to point out what has been obvious much of this season.

But with the regular season over, it gave coach Urban Meyer occassion to finally admit to his team’s failings.

Work ethic wouldn’t be one. Despite an unprecedented five losses during Meyer’s tenure, no one has questioned the players’ drive to improve.
Injuries seem to be a factor, but mostly sound like an excuse. Unfortunately key players were hurt throughout the year – see Jeff Demps, John Brantley, the entire offensive line at some point – but all that revealed was a lack of depth.

Even execution, the players’ and coaches’ popular explanation for the team’s shortcomings, didn’t get the blame on Saturday.

The Gators are not a good team, and Meyer will be spending this offseason figuring out why.

“It’s injuries. I’m not ready to comment on that. I have not have the reflective moment,” he said. “Usually I wait until after the recruiting season to do all so I’m gonna get real busy. Obviously we’re not going to play in a championship game.”

Before Florida’s bowl game and into the spring, Meyer and his staff will look at what went wrong. Some suggested places to start looking:

– Three-quarterback system. Throughout the preseason, Meyer talked about John Brantley finally getting his time and the Gators adjusting the offense to fit the skills of a dropback passer. They didn’t, and this remains arguably the biggest disappointment to the staff. Florida stuck with a Tim Tebow offense with a quarterback nothing like Tebow. To make up for that, they brought in two other players each with a narrow set of skills. It hasn’t worked.

– Attitude problems. The Gators have had several issues with highly touted freshmen who have five-star attitudes. Dominique Easley and Ronald Powell skipped practice in the preseason. They’ve since come around to contribute, but Jonathan Dowling was kicked off the team and Florida has had other problems. That redshirt freshman Andre Debose was dancing on the sideline late against FSU might show the maturity level of some of these young players.

– Assistant coaches. Meyer said he was “not going to get into” coaching changes after the game, but he might want to review it at some point. Yes, the Gators lost plenty of NFL talent last season. But Florida seemed ill-prepared to fill those holes. At an elite university with one of the nation’s top recruiting classes, why didn’t that talent develop? If it is there, why didn’t Florida use it?

– Head coach. With his track record, Meyer’s job is likely safe as long as he wants to be at Florida. But, he delegates responsbility to his assistants and clearly some have fallen short. With his well-publicized health issues a year ago, it’s probably not best for Meyer to take more on. But he does have to make sure the assistants he relies on can get the job done.


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Dominique Easley not on travel team for “a lot of reasons,” Urban Meyer says

Florida
Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

Florida freshman defensive tackle Dominique Easley did not travel with the Gators to Vanderbilt for “a lot of reasons,” coach Urban Meyer said.

Easley, a five-star recruit who has played in four games this season, didn’t travel because he’s “Just not part of the team right now,” Meyer said.

Asked later whether that was Easley’s status with the team permanently, Meyer added that, “He’s not part of the travel team.”

It doesn’t seem like the same type “not with the team” response that resulted in Chris Rainey missing five games after his arrest.

But this is not the first sign of trouble for Easley, who was ranked second at his position coming out of high school.

Easley was one of two freshmen to skip practice in the preseason because of criticism from the coaches.


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