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VIDEO: Gary Beemer’s TD the highlight of Gators’ senior day

Florida
Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

Florida walk-on defensive lineman Gary Beemer scored his first touchdown ever in the fourth quarter of the Gators' 48-10 win over Appalachian State on Saturday. (AP photo)

In a Florida Senior Day full of emotional moments – Ahmad Black’s prayer in the end zone, Mike Pouncey wearing a helmet for his introduction because he didn’t want everyone to see him cry, half of the lineup swaying to “We Are the Boys” – one stood out above the rest.

Walk-on defensive lineman Gary Beemer scored the first touchdown of his life. Coach Urban Meyer put him in late in the fourth quarter, and it took Beemer three carries to get the most memorable moment of his football career.

“He works harder than anybody on the team. He gave his life to this program too. He don’t get all the fame and all the glory,” said Pouncey. “He’s a special guy to us. We love him like a brother.”

Afterward, he entertained the media for about five minutes, showing anyone in the press room why he’s a favorite among his teammates and coaches. Beemer has already graduated and is working on his master’s degree in exercise physiology. He’ll be back next season as a graduate assistant on the strength and conditioning staff. His goal is to pursue a career in coaching.

For now, though, he’s enjoying his senior day.


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VIDEO: SS Ahmad Black matures into leader, possible NFL prospect at Florida

Florida
Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

Florida senior SS Ahmad Black leads all players with 93 tackles. (Getty Images photo)

Ahmad Black jokes that his coaches moved him from cornerback to safety after his freshman season because he “sucked so bad.”

Now a senior, Black is arguably the best strong safety in college football, at least according to his coaches. As the Gators leading tackler prepares to end his career in The Swamp against Appalachian State on Saturday, he and his coaches reflected this week on how far he has come.

By all accounts, Black came in with the wrong attitude. He’d helped Lakeland to 45 consecutive wins and three state championships and expected to start at Florida.

“He let the watch, the noise, whatever it is, get to his head,” said center Mike Pouncey, who has been Black’s teammate since high school. “When he turned it around, he turned it around a good way.”

As a sophomore, he did. Black started every game at safety. His interception in the national championship game vs. Oklahoma gave him seven for the year, tied for best in the nation.

“He was one of those tag-along guys out of Lakeland, too small, too this, too that,” said safeties coach Chuck Heater, who has coached Black his entire career at Florida. “The reality of which, he was really a tremendous player once he had the opportunity to go show it.”

This season, he leads the Gators with 93 tackles and is tied for the lead with three interceptions. Many games, he is the best defensive player on the field for Florida.

With experience has come maturity, and coaches praise Black as much for his tackling as his leadership.

As an upperclassman, he has developed into one of the team’s leaders.

“Arguably one of the most mature players we’ve had around here,” said coach Urban Meyer. “He was not that. We did not recruit that and inherit that. That’s been developed with coach Heater. Him and coach Heater are attached at the hip.

“He’s one of the best I’ve ever been around as far as a football player and a leader.”

After three more games as a Gator, it remains to be seen if Black will make it to the NFL. At 5-foot-9, 190 pounds, he doesn’t fit the profile. But his coaches argue that his game film should sell him to a team.

For now, though, Black isn’t thinking ahead.

“I regret nothing about this whole ride and I enjoyed everything about it,” he said. “Met some great people, met some great players. I’m just enjoying it.”


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VIDEO: Florida SS Ahmad Black can’t tweet after Magic lose to Heat

Florida
Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

What started with a little locker room trash talk ends now with a week of silence – on Twitter that is.

Florida SS @AhmadBlack35 was slightly confident the Orlando Magic would upset the Miami Heat last week in Miami’s home opener. A fan of LeBron James, QB @TreyBurton8 disagreed. We all know how that ended.

What came next is Twitter silence for Black, who said Monday, “I saw a lot of funny things this morning. I wanted to tweet them all.”

Black said to be ready at 12:01 on Friday, when he returns to Twitter. Burton explains the circumstances and enforcement of the bet.


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VIDEO: Georgia receiver A.J. Green presents matchup problem for Gators

Florida
Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

Georgia WR A.J. Green presents a match-up challenge for the Florida secondary. (US Presswire photo)

A.J. Green reminds Teryl Austin of some players the Florida defensive coordinator used to coach against in the NFL. What Green, the Georgia junior standout, lags behind the likes of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin in size, he makes up for in speed.

Austin coached defensive backs for the Arizona Cardinals and would regularly match his guys up with those two receivers. That Green is in their class presents a problem for Florida.

After a four-game suspension, Green has returned to spark the Georgia offense. The Bulldogs (4-4, 3-3 SEC) have won three in a row and Green is averaging 91.2 yards per game. He has four touchdowns.

“He’s a difference maker for them,” Austin said. “Their offense was functioning well without him, but he’s really opened some things up for him. Obviously, he has the big-play capability that he can make some catches you can’t defend. You can be in great shape and think you’ve got great coverage and he’ll make the catch anyway.”

The Gators’ secondary has been a strength this year, accounting for eight of the team’s 13 interceptions. But Florida has had one in its past three games, all losses.

At 6-foot-4, Green presents a problem for the Florida secondary. Safety Will Hill is the only starter taller than 6-foot-1, and Florida has had mixed results against big receivers. Against Alabama, the Gators contained 6-foot-4 Julio Jones.

A week later, LSU receiver Terrance Toliver (6-foot-5) had 111 yards on six catches and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score with six seconds remaining. On his first touchdown, Toliver dragged 5-foot-11 Janoris Jenkins, the Gators’ best corner, into the end zone.

Florida could get help if 6-foot-2 CB Moses Jenkins returns this weekend. He has been out with an elbow injury and would be a game-time decision, Austin said.

“(Green is) really difficult,” Austin said. “He’s kind of the complete package. He can run after the catch, he’s smooth, he can get open, he can do all those things.”


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