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August 20, 2013
In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week Orange & Blue News will keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.
Gators on the New England Patriots made plenty of news this week, starting with linebacker Brandon Spikes, who dominated his team's preseason game with two big sacks on Friday. On the other end of the spectrum was quarterback Tim Tebow, who put together one of his worst performances. Though he looked horrendous on national television, Tebow received some support from Bill Belichick, a head coach who certainly does not mince words. "I think if you look at the entire week last week, it would look different than the game did," Belichick said, indicating that Tebow "definitely" improved last week and has been doing so on a weekly basis. It appears as if Tebow will still wind up making the Patriots' main roster but another performance like he had on Friday may put him closer to the cut line. Already on the bubble for New England is LB Jermaine Cunningham, who has been held out of practice and games with a mysterious injury and fell out of favor with the coaching staff last season. Cunningham is expected to be cut before the preseason concludes in two weeks.
According to multiple reports out of Minnesota, the Vikings announced Monday that defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd will miss the remainder of the preseason after the knee he injured in his team's first preseason game required a "minor procedure." Head coach Leslie Frazier noted that Floyd did not have arthroscopic surgery and explained that he should be ready to return for the season opener. Another rookie making headlines this week was Jacksonville safety Josh Evans, who led the Jaguars in tackling with nine total (five solo) on Saturday. Neither Floyd nor Evans is expected to start for his respective team this season but both should see plenty of time as reserves and on special teams.
Though new Gators guard Eli Carter is expected to eventually have his waiver to play immediately approved by the NCAA, there is no guarantee that he will be able to make it on the court for Florida this season. During a loss to DePaul in February, Carter fractured his right fibula and was immediately ruled out for the remainder of the season. The bone broke clean enough that he was told he would be able to avoid surgery, but Carter went under the knife on Feb. 28 and spent nearly a month on crutches. He was initially told that he would not be able to return to running until sometime during the summer, and Florida has not updated his status other than to say that it is still waiting to hear back from the NCAA and Rutgers regarding his waiver.
Out of the NBA after a tryout with the Los Angeles Lakers over the summer, former Gators G Kenny Boynton, the second-leading scorer in program history, has agreed to start his professional career playing for Barak Netanya of the Israeli Basketball Super League, the country's highest division of basketball. It is the second time in three offseasons that a former Florida player has decided to play in Israel as forward Alex Tyus signed with Maccabi Ashdod B.C. for the 2011-12 campaign. After one year in Italy, Tyus has returned to the IBSL and will suit up for Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2013, going head-to-head with Boynton. Tyus is on a three-year, $1.1 million contract with Tel Aviv with the third year standing as a club option.
Reaction to the monster hit levied by Chicago Bears LB Jon Bostic on Thursday ranged from disbelief to celebration but the only thing that can be said for sure is that Bostic, through two preseason games minds you, looks every bit like a legitimate starting middle linebacker in the NFL. In his two professional games thus far, Bostic has registered a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown (off Cam Newton, mind you) and SportsCenter's Top Play. Careers are not made in the preseason but starting jobs can most certainly be earned, and Bostic is taking advantage of an injury to D.J. Williams and proving to his coaching staff that he deserves to lead Chicago's defense starting in Week 1.
Sunday marked the conclusion of the IAAF World Championships. Former Florida track and field stars picked up four medals over the course of the event with two-time Olympic medalist Will Claye grabbing bronze in the finals of the men's triple jump on the final day of competition. The men's triple jump was extremely disappointing for 2012 Olympic gold medalist Christian Taylor, who did not medal in the event and finished in fourth place. Sprinters Tony McQuay and Arman Hall each won gold in the 4x400 meter relay, and McQuay also picked up an individual silver in the 400 meters.