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April 25, 2011

The Silver Lining: Orange & Blue News

Florida Football & Recruiting: Muschamp's first test | Projected two-deep on offense | Dunlap returns to UF to finish degree, clear name | Muschamp talks Gator football in Lakeland | Early Enrollee Review: Expectations tempered for Driskel | Scholarship Breakdown - Gators 10 under the limit | Coaches Recruiting Areas | 4/15 War Room - Football & Recruiting Edition

In order to make sure Florida Gators-related news stories don't fall through the cracks, once or twice a week The Silver Lining will take on a "news and notes" format to keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.

Left fielder Kelsey Bruder had an amazing weekend for Florida softball, smacking a three-run walk-off home run to help her team top Alabama on Saturday and connecting on an infield single to give the Gators an extra innings victory on Sunday. Bruder's three-week hot streak will likely earn her another Southeastern Conference Player of the Week award as she continues to be second on the team in homers (16) and RBI (60).

In what ended up being a fantastic Easter Sunday for Florida fans, the men's and women's tennis programs each won their respective 2011 SEC Tournament Championship to sweep the titles for the third time in school history and first since 2005. Senior Alexandre Lacroix on the men's side and sophomore Allie Will on the women's side each picked up Most Valuable Player honors and were named to the All-Tournament Team alongside teammates Nassim Slilam and Olivia Janowicz.

Not waiting long to fill out the remainder of his staff, Gators head basketball coach Billy Donovan has hired former Florida director of basketball operations Matt McCall as his third assistant, two sources close to the program confirmed to me on Monday. McCall, who spent seven years under Donovan also holding positions of team manager, head manager and graduate assistant, has been an assistant with the Florida Atlantic Owls since 2008. Donovan holds McCall in high regard and singled him out as his top candidate to replace Larry Shyatt before learning that the Gators would lose all three assistants from the 2010-11 season.

Interviewed by 790 The Zone in Atlanta, GA last week, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow discussed in detail how former head coach Urban Meyer got him to come to Florida rather than commit to Alabama. "You could see something about this guy in his eyes - that fire, that passion - that he's something special, that he's going to do something special," Tebow said. "And I believed I could lead his team to do something extremely special. And I believed that. At the end of the day, that's why I went to Florida. It wasn't because it was close to home; it wasn't because of the spread offense. It was because I believed in the man Urban Meyer."

Not allowing his brave fight with cancer to be pushed to the background, the softball team and a number of current and former Gators student-athletes honored Ian Lockwood with a home run derby over the weekend. Among those participating were former Florida quarterback Shane Matthews, soon-to-be NFL rookie safety Ahmad Black and current player Trey Burton. Matthews won by scoring four points after no one was able to take a ball over the fence.

Gators and marijuana seem to be synonymous terms these days as the program has now officially had four cannabis possession arrests in 2011 alone. In addition to senior cornerback Janoris Jenkins being picked up twice, redshirt freshman linebacker Chris Martin and redshirt sophomore defensive end Kedric Johnson were both cited for possession in January, according to a Palm Beach Post report late Sunday. Head coach Will Muschamp, already faced with a tough decision in regards to Jenkins's future, now has even more to respond to in regards to legal issues surrounding his program.


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