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May 13, 2013

5/13 Orange & Blue News

  • UF checks in on Valentine
  • Sharpe on the rise
  • UF likes 4-star WR as TE
  • EER: Ivie enjoying both worlds
  • Phillips impresses at Gathering
  • Muschamp Football tidbits
  • Coaches on the road week 4
  • Wynn keeping options open
  • EER: Rolins working way back
  • UF sees 2015 defensive end
  • Davis checks up on Knox
  • UF in top 5 for R100 LB
  • UF sees Rivals250 corner
  • Muschamp tidbits from Tampa
  • Gators offer nation's #2 TE
  • Muschamp talks team
  • One visit enough for Carter
  • SEC/ESPN announce network
  • CWM Gator Gathering Notes
  • Texas lineman offered
  • EER: Anzalone looks at big picture
  • SG Carter transfers to UF
  • UF in top five for 4-star
  • EER: Robinson flashes potential
  • 4-star talks UF visit
  • Eight Gators drafted
  • James Wilson Parting Shots II
  • Young receivers will have a chance
  • Offensive lineman transferring
  • Gators check in on 4-star back
  • James Wilson Parting Shots I
  • Getting to Know: Fulwood
  • Cummings ready for opportunity



    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 athletics had a fantastic weekend all things considered but no team accomplished more than the track & field program, which won five individual titles during the four-day 2013 SEC Outdoor Championship. Sophomore Kyle Strawn (men's hammer throw), redshirt freshman Jimmy Clark (men's 10,000 meters), senior Omar Craddock (men's triple jump), sophomore Ciarra Brewer (women's triple jump) and freshman Marija Vucenovic (women's javelin) all won individual championships for Florida. UF was not as lucky in the team competitions, however, with the men (123.00) coming in second to Arkansas (152.50) and the women finishing in fourth-place. The Gators were hoping to win their ninth SEC team title over the weekend but instead must settle for eight on the 2012-13 athletic season, matching a school (and league) record.

    A bit of news leaked out Friday evening when CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish reported that four-star 2014 point guard Chris Chiozza (Memphis, TN), who will announce his college choice on Tuesday, plans to choose Florida "barring a change of plans." Should he do so, Chiozza would be picking UF over a list of finalists that also includes standout programs like Memphis, Ohio State and Tennessee, among others. A source close to the program told me later Friday that the coaching staff is extremely confident that Chiozza will choose the Gators on Tuesday. The source was also under the impression that five-star power forward Leon Black, Chiozza's teammate and the No. 16-ranked recruit in the nation, is leaning towards joining Chiozza in Gainesville though he certainly has not made a final decision yet.

    Tournament time is here and No. 2 Florida softball made the most of their 2013 SEC Tournament appearance, ousting Missouri 10-4 on Saturday to sweep the league's crowns. The Gators, which were predicted to finish seventh in the conference by its coaches in the preseason, swept the titles for the first time since 2009 and pushed their record to 52-7 on the season. Freshman center fielder Kirsti Merritt was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player; she led the way for Florida by going 5/11 with two home runs, seven RBI, four runs, a walk and two stolen bases in three games. On Sunday, the Gators awarded the No. 2 overall seed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament; UF will host the double-elimination Gainesville Regional from May 17-19.

    On Monday, head coach Will Muschamp released that former Florida quarterback Chris Leak will be rejoining the team as a quality control assistant. Leak has spent the last five seasons playing in the CFL and AFL and even won two CFL Cup rings as a back-up quarterback for the Montreal Alouettes. He has also recently worked as a radio co-host on SiriusXM's College Sports National channel. Leak made 47-straight starts to conclude his collegiate career with a 35-12 record. He played in all 51 games in which he was eligible, compiling 11,213 yards and 88 touchdowns (13 more on the ground) while tossing 42 interceptions and completing 61.4 percent of his passes. Leak was named MVP of the 2007 BCS Championship and still owns school records in career attempts (1,458), completions (895) and yardage.

    Repeating and revenge are on the mind for Gators women's tennis and lacrosse, respectively, as each competes in its 2013 NCAA Tournament. Tennis breezed through the weekend with a pair of 4-0 sweeps over Marist and Georgia Tech, advancing to the round of 16 where it will face Duke on Friday. Lacrosse upended Denver 16-5 on Sunday and moved on to the Elite Eight for the third-straight season. Florida lacrosse will face Syracuse on Saturday, the team that came back from a seven-goal deficit in the second half to force overtime and eventually oust UF on a controversial game-ending score during sudden death. The Gators beat the Orange 14-10 back on March 2 in South Florida but lost both 2012 contests in overtime to their new rivals.

    Spring football was supposed to have two more players joining practices as early enrollees but neither four-star safety Marcell Harris nor JUCO transfer offensive tackle Trenton Brown were able to qualify in time to begin working with the Florida coaching staff. However, Harris, Brown and walk-on QB Chris Wilkes will all be enrolling in Summer A classes by the end of May in part so they can join the workout program as soon as possible. Though Wilkes is not expected to play this season and Brown will have to work his way into a suddenly deep group at tackle, Harris has the opportunity to play significant snaps right away as the Gators' secondary lost both of its starting safeties to the NFL Draft.

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