FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING: Hearns chomping at the bit | Thursday Notebook: Elam NFL Ready | 2014 cornerback has UF offer | Impact Analysis - third UF decommit in a week | Driskel Injury Update | Hunter dishes on Powell, Floyd, Jacobs, defense and more | Johnson was surprised, flattered by request | Impact Analysis: Second decommitment of the weekend | Recruiting Roundtable - Where Florida stands | Impact Analysis: Another commitment off the list | Friday Notebook: Injuries piling up | Scholarship Breakdown - five under the limit | Impact Analysis: Story transfers | Five-star freshman starting | Offense creating confusion
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.
Latching on to a new program on Friday is former Gators wide receiver Ja'Juan Story, who decommitted from Florida this month after spending being redshirted last season. Story, who was a good student and teammate but did not feel like the Gators were right for him, has decided to play at TCU as first reported by Rivals affiliate PurpleMenace.com.
In an interview with The Gainesville Sun, freshman guard Michael Frazier's high school basketball coach conveyed just how excited his former player is to be donning the orange and blue this season. "Living in the state of Florida, he has an incredible desire to play well for the Florida Gators. You may hear kids say it is their dream to play for the Gators, but for him, it's a passion, it's an obsession," said Kevin Boyle. He also notes that the coaches are already very high on Frazier's on-court abilities. "I'm hearing that the coaches up there are very pleased with him, that they think he may even be a little better than they thought he was when they first recruited him," Boyle said.
Now set to travel and play a rare regular season road game at a relatively small school, Florida head coach Billy Donovan received some props recently from Yale head coach James Jones for ensuring that his team would visit Rhode Island as part of a home-away-home series. Jones spoke with ESPN's Andy Katz about the game; Katz also noted that Donovan has a history of scheduling these types of games as Florida "once played at UNH [as a "home game"] for New Hampshire native Matt Bonner."
In 2017, Donovan has committed the Gators to what is expected to be a very special 16-team event (two separate eight-team tournaments) set to be held in Oregon in honor of Nike co-founder Phil Knight's 80th birthday. Florida will be joined by other prominent Nike-sponsored programs like Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Michigan State, Connecticut and Georgetown, according to Katz. The event is set to be held in Nov. 2017 meaning that the games will count towards each team's regular season record. It will undoubtedly be an interesting way to begin a college basketball season with so many prominent teams competing against each other in two tournaments.
New York Giants team officials began and ended Thursday with two former Florida football players on the team's roster though it took some movement to ensure that would be the case. Though undrafted free agent safety Will Hill remained on the team all day, the Giants cut defensive end Justin Trattou in the early afternoon and replaced him with free agent defensive tackle Marcus Thomas in the early evening. Thomas has been a free agent all offseason after failing to come to an agreement with the Denver Broncos following the 2011 season. He recently said that he would play for "training camp money," and with New York being in desperate need of help on the defensive line his signing was almost a no-brainer. Trattou has been injured most of the offseason and was waived by the Giants. The team will continue paying him until he is deemed to be healthy or the two sides can come to an injury settlement.
Gators athletics officially begins the 2012-13 season on Friday as No. 21 Florida soccer hosts Miami at 7 p.m. in Gainesville, FL. The Gators, which fell in the finals of the SEC Tournament last season and were knocked out in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, are looking to bounce back in 2012 and win their first conference title (either regular season or tournament) since 2010. Florida had won five-straight SEC regular season titles before failing to accomplish that feat last year.
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