MUST READ, IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE 2013 SEASON, PLAYERS & TEAM
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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 Orange & Blue News will keep you up-to-date with the latest goings on in the world of University of Florida athletics.
Gators defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (#97) and wide receiver Solomon Patton (#11) will be competing in the 2014 Medal of Honor Bowl for four-year players entering the 2014 NFL Draft. The inaugural iteration of the event, which is set to kick off on Saturday at 2 p.m. on the campus of The Citadel in Charleston, SC, features rosters including players from big and small schools. Jacobs and Patton will both compete on the American team but there will also be a Florida representative across the field with former Gators quarterback Chan Gailey serving as the head coach of the National team.
A hot name since the conclusion of the regular season, Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is expected to interview for a couple NFL head coaching jobs in the coming weeks. Fortunately but also unfortunately for Quinn, Seattle's success in the NFL Playoffs will delay his availability as he will not be able to meet with other teams until the Seahawks are either eliminated or on a bye week before the Super Bowl. Quinn is drawing the most interest from - and considered a top candidate for - the Tennessee Titans job. It would be a rather quick ascension for the long-time NFL assistant, who did not become a coordinator until Florida head coach Will Muschamp hired him as such in 2011. Quinn left UF after the 2012 season to take the same job with Seattle (where he was previously defensive line coach).
The awards continue to roll in for Gators soccer player Savannah Jordan, who on Thursday was named Soccer America's National Freshman of the Year. Jordan was tied for third nationally among all NCAA players in 2013 with 22 goals, the most in a single season for a Florida striker since Abby Wambach booted 31 goals as a senior back in 2001. Jordan on Thursday also made her debut for the U.S. U20 National Team. She helped fuel the United States to a 6-0 win over Costa Rica with a goal at 81'. The match marked Jordan's first cap and start, and she also contributed an assist on the evening's final goal.
On an unquestionable roll right now, Gators women's basketball picked up its second-straight win over a top-25 team with a 59-52 defeat of No. 25 Arkansas on Thursday. Senior guard Jaterra Bonds once again led the way for Florida, scoring a team-high 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting. While Florida is undoubtedly deserving of a their own spot in the top 25 when the newest edition comes out on Monday, the Gators may have to get by a third-straight ranked opponent in order to find a spot on the list. UF faces No. 12 LSU on Sunday in a road game that will air live on ESPNU at 1 p.m.
Returning to the field on Saturday, Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin (hip) is expected to play in just his second game this season. Harvin appeared in a game for Seattle back in Week 11 and looked a bit like his old self, returning a kickoff for 58 yards and catching a 17-yard pass in limited offensive action. But his surgically-repaired hip flared up and he has been sidelined ever since. The Seahawks received a bye as the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC, giving Harvin an extra week to get ready for the playoffs. Seattle expects him to be a full-go on Saturday and (hopefully) for as long as they remain in contention. "Came a time where I thought about maybe just kind of shutting it down," Harvin told the media this week. "But the guys just kept giving it to me, kept giving me that positive energy. So I decided that I was going to give it everything I have and go from there." Harvin will start at kick returner and should see the majority of snaps at wide receiver as well.
So far, Florida's greatest contribution to the world of sport on a global scale has been the creation of Gatorade and its subsequent introduction to the marketplace. According to Reuters, researchers at the school may have something even better to bring forward as Gators engineers are currently in the process of testing protective sports helmets that use fluid-filled pouches to help protect against violent concussions. "The fluid-filled cells within the helmet respond, so no matter the angle of impact, the helmet automatically protects any part of the head," explained professor Ghatu Subhash. Not only does UF hope to manufacture helmets relatively soon, they will also be creating interior panels in order to retrofit current helmets.