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June 18, 2012
The Silver Lining: 6/18 Orange & Blue News
FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING: Video Analysis: Four-star Ivie commits to Florida | Top defensive lineman commits | Five-star Tunsil has a top three | Weekend Camp Tidbits - Two Top 50 prospects on campus | 2014 wide receiver commits to UF | Gators offer 2014 quarterback | Florida goes into the lead for four-star out-of-state lineman | Florida making a push for Georgia Bulldog commitment | Roster Review - Defense | Roster Review - Offense | Florida commitments and targets in the Rivals100
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.
Last but not least for Brad Beal as he takes his three pre-draft visits across the country, is a meeting with Charlotte on Monday where he will try to convince the team he is worth the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Beal previously worked out for Washington (No. 3 overall) on Thursday and Cleveland (No. 4, 24 overall) on Saturday with the latter workout veiled in secrecy. According to CBS Sports' Jeff Goodman, Beal went "head-to-head" during the workout with North Carolina small forward Harrison Barnes and came out on top with the "slight edge" when all was said and done. His agent Mark Bartelstein would only say that it "went really well" and that Beal "enjoyed spending time with the coaches and staff."
In Puerto Rico for two weeks playing basketball and trying out, redshirt senior guard Mike Rosario learned Saturday that he officially made the 12-man roster for the Puerto Rico National Team. Rosario and his team will begin competing in the 2012 Centrobasket Championship on Monday, an event in which a strong performance can go a long way to helping them qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. Playing in international competition with the blessing of Florida head basketball coach Billy Donovan, Rosario was ecstatic to learn of his being named to the team and told SNY.tv exactly that. "I'm lost for words right now," he said. "I came down to Puerto Rico knowing that the challenge to make this National Team was going to take a lot of hard work and being professional at all times. I'm so happy because I'm representing Florida, my family and my character. I'm also thankful for [Donovan] giving me the opportunity to come down here to get better. Not only that but just to go for a dream that I've been waiting to come true. I'm humble and hungry right now and I'm not satisfied. I want more and more going into my senior year at Florida. I'm going to keep working hard and keep thanking the man above for giving me the talent that I have. I'm thankful for every last bit of it."
No longer able to play for the Gators next season, right-handed pitcher Lance McCullers (a Florida signee and one of the top high school players in the country) agreed to sign with the Houston Astros on Sunday for $2.5 million (nearly double his $1.25M allocated slot value). Houston, which selected McCullers with the No. 41 overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, saved signing money on its No. 1 overall pick and was able to use much of that to sweeten McCullers deal and pry him away from joining the college ranks. No other player selected in the draft this year will be paid more money over their allotted value.
Involved in professional wrestling now that his playing career was over, former Florida defensive end Thaddeus Bullard (now known as Titus O'Neil) and partner Darren Young won an opportunity to compete for the Tag Team Championship after winning a Fatal Fourway No. 1 contenders match at the WWE No Way Out pay-per-view event on Sunday. Bullard's rise in the WWE has been relatively fast and he even does a version of the Gator Chomp when celebrating. Soon he could be wearing a championship belt around his waist.
Now in his second NFL season, Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey is ready to hit his stride and believes a change in lifestyle will help him reach that goal. "I can get away with [eating fast food]," he told the Sun-Sentinel, "but I changed it up this year just trying to eat more leaner stuff. I hired a chef, so it's been working well for me." Pouncey, who was nearly a Pro Bowler in his rookie season which was one year removed from a rough senior season at Florida in which many wondered if he could play center at the next level, believes this will be his best year yet. "I'm hoping for big things," he said. "I'm coming out as hard as I can. I want to take on more of a leadership role this year."
Gators baseball continues action in the 2012 College World Series on Monday at 5 p.m. (live on ESPN2) as No. 1 Florida plays their first elimination game against Kent State. UF lost to South Carolina in opening round action and now must win four-straight elimination games just to make it to the Championship Series for the second-straight year. Junior right-hander Hudson Randall, the Gators' ace and holder of a school-record five victories in the NCAA Tournament, is on the hill Monday with Florida's season on the line. He is 5-1 with a 2.50 ERA in nine career NCAA Tournament starts and 2-0 this year with a 0.71 ERA through the Gainesville Regional and Super Regional.