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July 14, 2014

Odds and Ends: Florida at SEC Media Days

Florida made its annual stop at Southeastern Conference Media Days in Hoover, Ala., on Monday. ITG looks at the news of the day and what was said as the Gators bounced around the conference rooms of a suburban hotel.

- Gainesville Sun columnist Pat Dooley mentioned during a radio interview that freshman cornerback Jalen Tabor received a citation for marijuana.

Court records show Tabor received a misdemeanor possession of marijuana (less than 20 grams) citation on May 27 and has already accepted a deferred prosecution agreement. Will Muschamp named Tabor as one of three players battling for a starting job at cornerback during his press conference. Muschamp later confirmed through Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun that Tabor has already been disciplined for the incident.

- Only two players will not be full-speed when the Gators report to fall camp on Aug. 3 and start practice on Aug. 4. Freshman offensive lineman Nolan Kelleher had back surgery after missing all of spring practice. He will be redshirted for the 2014 season, and Muschamp had no determined dates on a possible return for him.

Freshman defensive back J.C. Jackson is still recovering from shoulder surgery he had during the spring. Jackson is taking part in summer workouts but will begin fall camp as a non-contact participant. Muschamp said he expects Jackson cleared for contact "shortly thereafter."

- After opening more than half of their spring practices to the public, the Gators will again take the fan-friendly route this fall by opening eight practices on Aug.7, Aug. 8, Aug. 9 (only to season ticket holders), Aug. 11, Aug. 12, Aug. 13, Aug. 14 and Aug. 16 (fan day).

Times have not yet been announced. Most fall practices take place at the Dizney Lacrosse Stadium.

- Dante Fowler Jr. on his expectations for himself heading into the 2014 season: "My expectations for Dante Fowler are to be a leader, put his team on his back when he needs to and being able to get my team to the SEC Championship and get these Ws we need. That's my job."

- Quarterback Jeff Driskel called Florida's new offense under Kurt Roper "the polar opposite" of what the Gators have tried to do the last three years.

"Before we were kind of putting our focus on time of possession and controlling the ball. That really worked for us in 2012," he said. "But I think the game is moving toward you've got to score points and you want to get as many plays in as possible. That's Coach Roper's mindset. He's a positive coach. He's going to put players in position to be successful."

- Driskel and Fowler both pointed to sophomore wide receiver Demarcus Robinson as a player they expect to have a breakout 2014.

"He's really talented," Driskel said. "He's got all the skill in the world."

- Fowler was asked about the new College Football Playoff system by Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News. He said he didn't know the playoff was in place until he arrived at SEC Media Days and saw the new trophy. He added that he does not pay much attention to the administrative side of football and only focuses on himself and his team.

- Vernon Hargreaves III got a chance to play at LSU, Missouri and South Carolina as a freshman. But his favorite SEC road environment so far? Kentucky.

"They were loud, the fans were crazy and yelling at you," Hargreaves said. "As a corner, I kind of like that. It was fun playing there."

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