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Urban Meyer On Aaron Hernandez: “Wrong And Irresponsible” To Blame Florida, Coach Or Staff

gfx - they said itThe investigation into the murder charge against Aaron Hernandez has put the spotlight back on his time at the University of Florida under former coach Urban Meyer.  The Ohio State coach addressed the situation, for the last time according to Pat Dooley, in a text he sent to the Gainesville Sun.

 

I just received an email from a friend where there is an accusation of multiple failed drug tests covered up by the Univ. of Florida or the coaching staff. This is absolutely not true. Hernandez was held to the same drug testing policy as every other player.

“He was an athlete at Florida 4-to-7 years ago and there are some comments being made that our not correct. Our staff, myself and our families worked very hard to mentor and guide him. Prayers and thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim. Relating or blaming these serious charges to Univ. of Florida, myself or our staff is wrong and irresponsible.”

 

Meyer says Hernandez was suspended for the 2008 opener against Hawaii because of a failed marijuana test but claims his former tight end didn’t fail another one.

He also addressed another Hernandez-related charge.  About the 2007 shooting incident in Gainesville in which several Florida players were questioned,  Meyer was told about it by an assistant coach. “I didn’t think about it again until a couple of days ago.”

Meyer’s wife and daughter recently took to Twitter to defend the coach with the coach’s daughter tweeting, “There’s this thing called self accountability. It exists, I swear. God Bless.”

Update: Reporter Kevin Brockway provides this perspective.

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Florida Impresses Recruits In Win Over LSU

Prospects couldn’t help but be impressed by Florida’s 14-6 win over LSU on Saturday.

Start with wide receiver Marquez North from Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte, N.C. He made his first trip to Gainesville this past weekend and scored the official visit a “10″ on a 1-10 scale.

“They helped themselves a lot because I learned more about Florida and what it’s all about,” North told the Gainesville Sun. “I loved spending time with coach (Will) Muschamp and his staff. They said most of their receivers aren’t as tall as they would like, so they want some more size at the position and I could see why by watching the game.”

North, who named Tennessee his leader last week, said the Vols still lead for his services. North plans to visit Florida again in November along with trips to Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and Ohio State.

Defensive tackle Montravius Adams from Dooly County High School in Vienna, Ga., hasn’t named a leader but called his visit to Florida the best recruiting trip he’s taken.

“It made me want to be a part of Florida and I could see myself going there one day,” Adams told the Gainesville Sun. “I liked everything about their defense and they did a lot better than I thought they would.”

Adams’ trip to Florida was an unofficial visit. He said he will “most likely” return to Gainesville on Dec. 8 for an official visit.

Florida State commitment Ira Denson was present for Florida’s win over LSU and has already decided to return on Oct. 20 when Florida hosts South Carolina.

“It was great,” Denson said of the Florida-LSU game. “Muschamp coached them hard. When they were down, he kept telling them to battle and that winners never quit. And they stuck with it and won. They came in the second half like a whole different team.”

Did Florida help sway Denson’s decision? Tough to tell. The offensive lineman from Madison (Fla.) High School is still committed to Florida State.

“They’re still my favorite team,” Denson said. “Nobody has really been talking to me since I committed. Florida is just coming into the picture and we’ve started talking again. We had a relationship back in the summer and we’re just getting it back now. This is a life-time decision and I just wanna be sure I make the right one.”

Florida’s 2013 class is ranked No. 3 nationally by ESPN RecruitingNation. More success on the field could help the Gators land the top class in the country by the time Feb. 6 arrives.

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Lineman Johnson Commits To Florida

Florida received a commitment from offensive lineman Roderick Johnson from American Heritage High School in Delray Beach, Fla., during the weekend.

Johnson, who had offers from such schools as Louisville, South Florida and West Virginia, gave his pledge to the Gators after watching a spring practice session on Saturday.

“I loved it,” Johnson told the Gainesville Sun. “It was high tempo and high intensity, which is how we practice at my school. So I was very comfortable. I felt like strapping up.”

Johnson will have a chance to do that early in his career at Florida. The Gators are looking for help on the offensive line.

“The coaches discussed the depth chart with me and I was quite astonished by it because I will have the opportunity to see the field as a young player,” Johnson said. “That means a lot to me. I’m fired up about it.”

Florida’s coaches should be fired up to have their first commitment on the offensive line for the class of 2013. Johnson is Florida’s 11th commitment for 2013.

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SEC Recruiting Headlines – 12/8/11

1. Georgia has running back Keith Marshall committed. And the Bulldogs want to add another tailback to the class.
1b. Clemson has offered a scholarship to that UGA target, Mike Davis.

2. Arkansas’ recruiting is starting to heat up while Bobby Petrino works on his coaching staff.

3. Tennessee found its point guard of the future in Travon Landry from Madison, Ala.

4. Can Georgia’s basketball team make a run at highly-touted forward Tony Parker?

5. South Carolina remains in the mix for linebacker Keilin Rayner from Leland, N.C.

6. Ole Miss and Mississippi State are in play for defensive end A.J. Jefferson from Summit, Miss.

7. College coaches are changing the way they recruit at high school championship games.

8. Zach Abolverdi answers recruiting questions for the Gainesville Sun.

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Three SEC Schools Lead For Lineman Miller

Patrick Miller appears to be the next player in a long line of standout prospects from Dwyer High School in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The offensive lineman told the Gainesville Sun he currently favors Auburn, Florida and LSU. He also has offers from such schools as Florida State, Miami and Notre Dame.

“I want to play in the SEC,” Miller told the Gainesville Sun.

The Sun’s Jeff Barlis has a video interview with Miller, which you can see here.

The pursuit from Florida should be worth watching. The Gators have signed several players from Dwyer in recent years, including Matt Elam, Gerald Christian, Robert Clark and Jacoby Brissett, who joined Florida’s most recent class in February.

“Obviously they all try to promote Florida, which is great,” Miller said. “It’s a good resource to have. … It seems like Dwyer kids do really well at Florida.”

Miller said he doesn’t have a leader and that his top three schools are even.

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Florida Basketball Looking Toward 2012

The Florida basketball team appears to be set with its two signees for the 2011 class.

The Gators have signed guard Bradley Beal and big man Walter Pitchford, and that could be it for Florida this year.

Florida had shown interest in post player Joseph Uchebo, but he doesn’t appear to be considering Florida.

That could mean that Florida is content on saving its scholarships and trying to make a big run with the 2012 class. For more, click the link above. Kevin Brockway of the Gainesville Sun has plenty of information.

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How Will Florida Handle Offensive Numbers in 2012?

Florida is looking to sign a larger class in 2012 after signing only 19 players last month.

The Gators have received five commitments for next year and project to sign close to 25 players in February.

How will Florida handle its numbers on the offensive side? Edward Aschoff answers that question in the Gainesville Sun.


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Florida Lands Brissett Despite Mother’s Objections

Florida added another signee to its 2011 class during the weekend when quarterback Jacoby Brissett announced his decision to play for the Gators.

Brissett signed his letter of intent with Florida this morning, according to Laura McKeeman of Scout.com.

The decision by the Dwyer High School product was not accepted by his mother, however. Brissett’s mother, Ellicia Brown, wanted her son to play for Miami.

Not my choice,” Brown said, according to the Gainesville Sun. “I’m very disappointed. I didn’t like the way Florida handled the process. I’ve never been able to meet the head coach. … I’ve never met (Will Muschamp) face-to-face and I find that very disrespectful and I’m just hurt with the whole process with the Gators. I was hoping that he would respect me and go to ‘The U’ because ‘The U’ showed respect to his mom.”

I would hope that Brown would have been more respectful of her son during the recruiting process. Had she done that, she might have learned that Muschamp wasn’t allowed to make an in-home visit to meet Brissett’s mother.

Edward Aschoff of the Gainesville Sun reported on Saturday that during the time in which Muschamp visited Dwyer he was unable to make an in-home visit with Brissett during the contact period. Because he made his trip down there he couldn’t make an additional trip to Brissett’s home.

Brissett’s mother could have visited Muschamp at Florida but didn’t, of course.

Brissett’s decision to attend Florida gives the Gators 19 signees for the 2011 class. Florida’s class was ranked No. 14 in the nation by Rivals.com before Brissett chose the Gators. His inclusion should help Florida rise a spot or two.

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Former Florida Commit Pagan Chooses Clemson

Defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan from Asheville (N.C.) High School has committed to Clemson.

Pagan, who was committed to Florida until he reopened his recruitment in November, gave his pledge to the Tigers during an official visit to Clemson this weekend.

“Clemson’s the closest thing to my family and my home,” Pagan told TigerIllustrated.com.

It will be interesting to see if any school has a chance to sway Pagan from his decision. He said earlier this week that he was still considering other schools, including Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

Pagan even expressed an interest in visiting Florida later this month to see what the Gators have to offer with new coach Will Muschamp.

“I’d love to be coached by somebody like that,” Pagan told the Gainesville Sun.

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Hounshell Won’t Enroll Early At Florida

Offensive lineman Chase Hounshell won’t enroll at Florida this month as he previously planned.

Hounshell, who attends Lake Catholic High School in Kirtland, Ohio, wrote the following on Twitter: “I have decided today I will not be enrolling early at Florida. I just don’t feel like rushing the most important decision of my life.”

Hounshell remains committed to Florida but appears to be looking around. He told Edward Aschoff of the Gainesville Sun that he plans to visit Florida and Notre Dame some time this month.

Hounshell said he wants an opportunity to meet new Florida offensive line coach Frank Verducci, who was hired earlier this week by new coach Will Muschamp.

“I just didn’t want to move down without even talking (to) or meeting my position coach,” Hounshell told the Gainesville Sun.

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