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Florida State 37 – Florida 7 (Video)

Video highlights of the Florida State 37-7 win over Florida Saturday afternoon in Gainesville.

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SEC Gameday Links: Afternoon Delights 11/30/2013

gameday-links-150x150Florida State at Florida

1. The 1979 and 2013 Florida Gators have more in common than just losing records.

2. If Florida is to have a chance today, it needs long, sustained drives.

Wake Forest at Vanderbilt

3. Vanderbilt prepares to say goodbye to the winningest group of seniors the school has seen in more than 60 years.

4. Can Vanderbilt keep its starting secondary on the field today?  Lost all four starters in last week game – three to injuries and one to a suspension.  Free safety Kenny Ladler will sit out the first half today.

Georgia Tech at Georgia

5. The Georgia attack will be led today by quarterback Hutson Mason – better known to his friends as “Cole Slaw”

6. Can the Georgia front seven stop the Tech running attack?  Yellow Jackets ground game ranks fourth in the country.

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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Malone’s Recruitment Goes Public

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxMark Richt said this week he believes Josh Malone could make an immediate impact as a freshman at Georgia.

Richt’s probably right. Malone is one of the nation’s most coveted wide receivers from Camp Station High School in Gallatin, Tenn. Richt was also correct when he called Malone a “dynamic player” and said Georgia would “love to have him.”

That’s the key. Georgia doesn’t have Malone yet, at least in terms of his commitment. He plans to announce his decision on Wednesday. What the Bulldogs have from Malone is a signed financial aid agreement.

Normally, coaches aren’t allowed to publicly discuss unsigned prospects. But because Malone signed the aid agreement with Georgia, Richt is allowed to give public praise toward one of the Bulldogs’ top targets in the 2014 class.

Malone also signed with Tennessee, Clemson and Florida State, which means coaches from those three schools are permitted to comment on the standout receiver. And they have.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher agreed with Richt’s assessment on Malone.

“He can be a difference maker with us too,” Fisher said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “He can be a difference maker here and is a guy we want very badly.”

Tennessee coach Butch Jones called Malone a “very, very talented young man.” Malone has been considered the top target remaining on Tennessee’s board.

“He’s a complete football player,” Jones said.

Does this mean we’ll see more coaches making public recruiting pitches to try to land prospects? Yes and no.

Malone is a unique case because he signed several financial aid agreements before actually choosing a school. Most mid-term enrollees have only signed a financial aid agreement with one school.

There will be more undecided prospects like Malone who sign with multiple schools to allow their coaches to have unlimited contact in the final few days before a decision is made. That was Malone’s motivation to sign with four schools.

“With my decision coming soon, I just wanted to give everybody a shot,” he told Rivals.

But that doesn’t mean every coach will get into a public back-and-forth for a prospect. While “never say never” has to apply in today’s world of recruiting, that could be seen more as a turn off to some prospects if coaches get into a heated public battle.

The more likely scenario is what we’ve seen with Malone – coaches making a quick case for the prospect and then moving on. Jones said this week he didn’t plan to comment publicly on Malone, but Jones did make sure to compliment Malone just to make sure he had a quote to go with the other coaches.

As for Malone’s recruitment, it will likely come down to the wire. He told Rivals he hasn’t made his decision and plans to meet with coaches from Georgia, Tennessee and Clemson over the next few days.

It could be a final private sales pitch that helps Malone make his decision.

“Honestly, I’m going to be surprised myself to see what happens,” he said.

 

Sharpe to visit Florida, then announce

Offensive lineman David Sharpe from Providence School of Jacksonville will take an official visit to Florida this weekend before he announces his college choice.

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Muschamp On Recruiting: “It’s Still The University Of Florida”

gfx - they said itStaring down the barrel of a blowout loss to #2 Florida State which would leave his team at 4-8, Florida coach Will Muschamp was asked yesterday how this year’s record is impacting Gator recruiting:

 

“It’s still the University of Florida.  I think there’s some obvious reasons why we are where we are.  We’re a team that won 11 games last year and I don’t think that happened by accident.  We have a really good football staff.  We have some good players on our football team.  We’re going to have a good football team moving forward.  So at the end of the day, this is a great education and it’s a great place to come compete…

The production on the field of our last two classes has been very good.  We have to continue to put another class together like that.”

 

In addition to putting a good class together, Muschamp might add that he needs to find a way to bubble-wrap them and keep them healthy.

According to Rivals.com, Florida currently has the 15th best batch of commitments in the country… which ranks behind seventh other SEC teams (Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Auburn and Ole Miss).  Muschamp’s first two classes ranked third and fourth nationally, again according to Rivals.

Depending on the guy doing the selling, a bad season can be a bad thing or a good thing on the recruiting trail.  Most players want to play right away, so pointing to the current team’s shortcomings is certainly one way to convince a kid, “You can step right in and contribute immediately.”

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Embarrassed In The Swamp, Florida Loses To FCS Program

postgame-links-150x1501Georgia Southern 26 – Florida. Video Highlights

1. Gators drop sixth straight game as Georgia Southern rushes for 429 yards. First loss ever for Florida to FCS program.

2. Eagles didn’t complete a single pass as triple-option attack confounds Florida.

3. Coach Will Muschamp focuses on the offense: ”You’ve got to be able to change the scoreboard, and we just struggled scoring points offensively. It’s been a week-in, week-out occurrence.”

4. Florida has lost 18 players to injury this year.  Georgia Southern has lost 19.

5. Gators now assured of first losing season since 1979.

6. Gators freshman receiver DeMarcus Robinson hit with second suspension of the season – will not play against Florida State.

7. Florida guard Jon Halapio: “The morale on this team is at an all-time low.”

8. And the questions intensify about the future of Muschamp.  ”(Florida AD Jeremy) Foley has a huge mess on his hands.”

9. Headline: “Gators Choke On A Cupcake”

10. Pat Forde: “I like Muschamp personally. But if it were my call, I’d thank him for his service and hand him a buyout check.” 

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Florida D-Coordinator Durkin Likes The Fight In His Gators

gfx - they said itFlorida hasn’t just been bitten by the injury bug in 2013.  The Gators have dealt with an infestation of injury bugs.  By our count, at least nine players have been lost for the season due to ailments, breaks, tears, bumps and bruises.  Many of those individuals have been lost from DJ Durkin’s defense.

But after watching his squad stymie Georgia in last weekend’s second half (turning a 23-3 halftime deficit into a 23-20 barnburner), Florida’s defensive coordinator says his guys aren’t hanging their heads:

 

“… look how the guys responded in the second half (against Georgia) and how they played.  I think our guys, we have great morale in our locker room.  They continue to play hard and fight, and I expect them to do that his coming week and the weeks to come.

I was really proud of our guys (and) how they responded.  Obviously, that first half was not the way we wanted it to go, but they came out and fought and put us right back in it and we had a chance to win the game.  It’s been one of those deals here, but I think our guys, that really spoke to what their character is and what the morale is of the team.”

 

The Gators will need that fighting spirit over the next four weeks.  At 4-4 they need two more wins to go bowling and three of their last four contests figure to be tough — Vanderbilt, at South Carolina, then Florida State in the season finale.  In the middle of that run comes a home game with Georgia Southern.

Florida fans might feel like hanging their heads, but their team can’t afford to.

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Suspended Mississippi State D-Tackle Evans Arrested For Driving Violations

cop-lightsWhen you’re suspended from your team, the best thing to do is not get arrested.  Getting arrested just isn’t the best step for a guy expected to walk the straight and narrow.

Unfortunately for Quay Evans, arrested is what he be.

The sophomore defensive tackle was nabbed by Mississippi State campus police yesterday afternoon for driving without a license and “a violation of a traffic control device.”  Evans was also popped for driving without a license and a seat beat violation in August.

Evans was suspended for last Thursday’s 28-22 victory over Kentucky due to the dreaded “violation of team rules.”  Mullen had said that he would reevaluate Evans’ situation — leaving it open that he might have played at South Carolina this weekend — but his traffic violations will likely nix that possibility.

Evans was a bit of a recruiting coup in 2012 when State landed the top prospect from the Magnolia State over Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Southern Cal, and Ole Miss.

This season he has recorded just three tackles.

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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Aggies Hope For Good News

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxDefensive end Myles Garrett from Martin High School in Arlington, Texas, will announce his college decision on Saturday.

Expect the choice to be Texas A&M.

Garrett, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 2 weakside defensive end by Rivals, is considering the Aggies along with Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State and Texas Christian.

Garrett will visit Texas A&M on Saturday, although he told AggieYell.com the visit will be to see his sister, who attends Texas A&M. Still, Garrett plans to attend the Aggies’ game Auburn and will likely do so as an Aggie commitment.

There won’t be a big ceremony for Garrett’s announcement. He told AggieYell he wants to create a little suspense before he calls each school to inform the coaches of his decision.

“I just want the last little bit to be a surprise,” Garrett said. “I don’t want to name a favorite.”

Damon Sayles of ESPN RecruitingNation agreed that “all signs are pointing (Garrett) to wear Aggie maroon next year. But let’s not count out TCU just yet.”  Sayles pointed to TCU’s proximity to Garrett’s home and the fact TCU scored an upset commitment from Dallas offensive lineman Ty Barrett.

Garrett would be an important commitment for any school. He’s one of the nation’s top prospects from a key recruiting area. ESPN’s scouting report wrote in part:

“Garrett possesses a lot of natural ability and tremendous upside. He is a good player with some exciting upside. Possesses a lot of tools to work with and can potentially develop into one of the top defenders in college football.”

Texas A&M is still developing into one of the nation’s top destinations for recruits. The Aggies’ 2014 class, which has 14 commitments, is ranked No. 14 in the nation by Rivals. No school ranked ahead of Texas A&M has fewer than 15 commitments.

Garrett is one of several highly-touted prospects remaining on Texas A&M’s board. Other key targets for the Aggies include defensive back Jamal Adams from Carrollton, Texas, defensive end Qualen Cunningham from Chandler, Ariz., and wide receiver Speedy Noil and defensive tackle Gerald Willis from New Orleans.

Texas A&M hopes its commitment from Scottsdale, Ariz., quarterback Kyle Allen might help influence Cunningham and offensive tackle Casey Tucker, Cunningham’s teammate at Hamilton High School.

Cunningham has been considered a “longtime Aggie lean,” according to 247Sports, but Tucker is favoring Stanford.

“A&M is still working diligently to get Tucker down for a visit this fall, hopefully the Vanderbilt game, but that’s not set in stone at this point,” Taylor Hamm wrote for 247Sports.

Garrett’s commitment isn’t set in stone yet either. But Texas A&M will go into Saturday feeling good about its chances.

Update:

 

Auburn commit Williams planning all five visits

Linebacker Tre Williams from St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile, Ala., remains committed to Auburn.

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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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SEC Recruiting Notebook: Malone, McMillan Headline UGA’s Visitors

sec-recruiting-notebook-gfxGeorgia is expecting several high-profile visitors this weekend for a highly-anticipated game against LSU.

Wide receiver Josh Malone from Gallatin, Tenn., and linebacker Raekwon McMillan from Hinesville, Ga., will make their official visits to Georgia this weekend.

McMillan, who’s ranked the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker by 247Sports, will be making his first official visit. He also plans to take trips to Clemson (Oct. 18), Ohio State (Oct. 25), Alabama (Nov. 8) and Florida (Nov. 29).

McMillan told 247Sports he hopes to learn more about Georgia and its defensive coaches during his visit to Athens this weekend.

“They really have to sell it to my parents during my official,” McMillan said. “I got to get a good relationship with the players and they need to give me the inside feedback on the linebackers’ coach and defensive coordinator. I just want to know how it really is at Georgia.”

Georgia is probably hoping to have a better understanding where it really stands with Malone. The nation’s No. 6 ranked receiver by 247Sports has shown strong interest in the Bulldogs, Tennessee, Clemson and Florida State.

Malone hasn’t named a leader, although Tennessee has appeared to gain momentum with its successful run of in-state recruiting. Georgia has remained in good shape with Malone, who’s been impressed with the Bulldogs’ offense under head coach Mark Richt.

“I really like (Georgia’s) offense,” Malone told 247Sports. “It’s a very balanced attack, and they like to throw the ball downfield. I feel like that’s the type of wide receiver I am — a big wide receiver, and I like to go downfield — but, also, they really run every route on the route tree. Really, I like the coaches, too, and I just feel kind of comfortable at the place.”

Georgia expects to have two high-profile unofficial visitors on campus this weekend.

Defensive end Lorenzo Carter from Norcross, Ga., and offensive lineman David Sharpe from Jacksonville, Fla., will both make return trips to Athens. Carter took his first official visit to Florida last weekend.

It will be interesting to see how Georgia manages its number of scholarships for the 2014 class. The Bulldogs received their 17th commitment for the class on Thursday from defensive end Keyon Brown from Wauchula, Fla.

Georgia’s staff has known for some time to include Brown on its list of commitments. That’s because he admitted to 247Sports on Thursday that he’s been keeping his commitment to the Bulldogs silent.

“Honestly, I’ve been committed for like three months,” Brown said. “I chose Georgia because when I went there on a visit, I felt comfortable. It felt like home. Great coaching staff. Coach Richt is a good, honest, Christian man. I enjoyed my time there, and it’s a great program.”

With LSU coming to town along with several top prospects, Georgia is hoping this turns out to be a great weekend.

 

Moses ends recruitment… kind of

Dylan Moses committed to LSU’s 2017 class earlier this week.

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