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August 2, 2014
8/2 Orange & Blue News
PARTING THOUGHTS: MUST READ, IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE 2013 SEASON, PLAYERS & TEAM
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 wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr. may somewhat follow in the footsteps of David Nelson as an undrafted free agent pass catcher who has been able to make an impact in the NFL. According to the Kansas City Star, Hammond is drawing rave reviews from his teammates for his efforts in training camp, where his "explosiveness" has been evident throughout. "He's been dominant," said quarterback Aaron Murray, formerly of Georgia. "I think he's one of the top two or three guys so far this camp with the amount of catches he's had. So, he's had a fabulous camp. I don't think he's really dropped any balls, and he definitely looks good out there." Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson told the paper that Hammond's efforts on the practice squad in 2013, coupled with his improved physicality at the line of scrimmage, have him catching the coaches' eyes as well. He is one of 13 wideouts in camp battling for half as many spots. If he continues making plays like he has been, Hammond may crack the roster after all.
ACC coaches going through the "car wash" at ESPN do not get the same hype as those out of the SEC, so this nugget from Duke head coach David Cutcliffe did not get much run during the week. In an interview with Tony Barnhart on The Paul Finebaum Show, Cutcliffe was asked how his former offensive coordinator, Kurt Roper, can help Florida turn things around in 2013. Cutcliffe explained that Roper's "outstanding" ability to organize an offense and his roster will come in handy, as will his toughness both on and off the field. "He is going to have them practicing with great habits," Cutcliffe said of Roper. "There's no question - no question - that Florida will be a better team on offense for Kurt Roper, because they're going to do it well every single day and every single practice." Gators head coach Will Muschamp has mentioned multiple times this offseason that the amount of offense Florida was able to install in spring surprised him, and he is feeling great about the unit in Roper's hands.
Third-year defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. is primed to break out for Gators the way the team - and its fans - always thought Ronald Powell might one day. He is planning for this by trying to be consistent and an ultimate team player, both as a leader in the locker room and on the gridiron. "I'm trying to find ways to be a dominant player," he told the Orlando Sentinel's Edgar Thompson. "Dominant players take the film room seriously, dominant players practice hard and dominant players are consistent every game." While Fowler is looking to be a big-time force for Florida, he claims he is not at all looking ahead to the NFL Draft like so many players due before their junior seasons. "It's something I'm not really worried about right now because I still have another season to play," he claimed. "You never know what can happen. I'm just worried about my team and getting us back on track."
One week ago, new Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons was seen out at the famed restaurant STK in Los Angeles, California, with one of his agents and three ladies. Two of those women happened to be Kardashian-related, and Parsons was noticed by onlookers as being particularly close with 18-year-old personality Kendall Jenner. In other words, Parsons is now in the gossip pages. According to E! News, "Kendall and Chandler had 'immediate chemistry.' She was laughing, smiling and they seemed to be having great conversation with each other." Of course, "a second source insists that the duo's outing was 'not at all a date or romantic," according to the outlet. This will not be the last time Parsons is discussed by the gossip rags as he looks to join Tim Tebow and Ryan Lochte (not to mention Erin Andrews and Jenn Brown) as former Gators who have recently become targets for paparazzi.
Reflecting on his time at Florida, former offensive coordinator Steve Addazio (now the head coach at Boston College) believes he and then-head coach Urban Meyer were too forthcoming about the Gators' offensive style and likely should have been more secretive. "I think sometimes there is a tendency, when you have a good going on, maybe not to give out information. I think when we were at Florida, one of the things we did that we probably would have done differently - we were on the cutting edge of what we were doing and everyone wanted to visit us and talk about our empty package, our this and our that," Addazio recently told ESPN.com's Ian Maisel. "Urban and I have talked about it since then. It's almost like we probably should have kept our mouth shut and not gone out and given away all of the ingredients. People started using it and scheming us. They knew our scheme as good as we knew our scheme. And then it got crazy at the end."