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December 2, 2011
The Silver Lining: 12/2 Orange & Blue News
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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.
Languishing on the sideline most of the year, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper has seen extensive action over the last three weeks filling in as a starter for Jeremy Maclin. While Cooper performed quite admirably over his first two games, he struggled Thursday and assisted in Vince Young throwing two of his four interceptions. Young's second pick went right through Cooper's hands, into the air and into the arms of a defensive back, and on his fourth one, Cooper failed to slow down to try and corral the ball on a deep route down the left sideline. He did, however, finish the game with team-highs in receptions (five) and yards (94) and has gone for over 70 yards in each of the last three games.
In order to help his team help stop the Denver Broncos former teammate quarterback Tim Tebow on Sunday, Minnesota Vikings WR Percy Harvin has sat down with the coaching staff this week and gone over some specifics about Tebow's game. Though Harvin is helping, it is QB Joe Webb filling in for Tebow during Vikings practice that is probably helping the team the most. A top-10 run defense, Minnesota will be tough for Denver to take advantage of on Sunday, so one may see Tebow throwing the ball more than he has at any point this season.
Now that Tebow has taken the NFL by storm and is 5-1 in the six games he has started this season, players, coaches and media are starting to take notice. So much so, in fact, that Tebow will grace the cover of the premiere issue of NFL Magazine set to hit newsstands and bookstores on Dec. 13. "Tim Tebow is current. He's a talking piece. You love him or you hate him," Mike Dunphy, publisher and editor of NFL Magazine, told the Associated Press. "What better relevant topic than Tim Tebow?" Tebow replaced Cam Newton, who was originally scheduled for the cover, and is featured with the headline: "TEBOW TIME: NFL's Hottest Player?" The magazine will cost $4.99 per issue.
Instead of picking one out of thin air, Sports Illustrated has allowed its writers to make nominations in the form of full columns for the 2011 Sportsman of the Year award, which the publication will announce on Dec. 6. Two athletes nominated for the award are Gators - former soccer striker Abby Wambach (the leader of the United States' 2011 Women's World Cup team) and Ryan Lochte, arguably the best male swimmer in the country right now. Of Lochte, SI's Kelly Anderson believes he "may soon leave a mark on the sport that's far more permanent than fading footprints on the pool deck. Of Wambach, SI's Chris Mahr believes she is a "soccer luminary" and one of the "most prolific scorers in U.S. history" male or female.
Never fully healthy last season due to a wide variety of injuries and an ailment for his newborn daughter, Miami Heat guard/forward Mike Miller was entering the 2011-12 season on the edge of potentially being waived by the NBA's new amnesty clause. On Thursday, former Gators power forward Udonis Haslem announced that Miller could miss up to eight weeks of action after undergoing hernia surgery a few days ago. Miller only played 41 regular season games a year ago and may very well be on the chopping block for Miami, which is looking to bolster its roster after failing to win the NBA title last season.
Gators linebacker Dee Finley confirmed Thursday that he will be transferring to play for the North Alabama Lions next season, a team that dismissed cornerback Janoris Jenkins currently plays for after being dismissed by Florida head coach Will Muschamp this year. While Finley's success at UNA remains to be determined, Jenkins is playing very well this season as a starting defensive back and punt returner. In fact, he is No. 24 on Mel Kiper, Jr.'s big board for the 2012 NFL Draft and has a legitimate shot at being a first-round pick if he can find a way to overcome the character concerns that teams will obviously have considering his trio of marijuana arrests while at UF.