FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING: Simonton Says - UF-UT Breakdown | Playmakers emerging in Florida offense | Pease Notebook - Nothing personal | McCray fighting for family | Holt: Gators back on the right track | Uncensored Sound off - UF-UT reaction | UF-UK running visitor list | Scenes from Saturday (free UF-TN photo gallery)
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.
Leading the way amongst Gators in the NFL over the weekend was Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin, who took a career-high 12 receptions for 104 yards on the afternoon. Harvin caught 12 of the 13 balls thrown his way and was also used in the running and kick return game. It appears that Minnesota head coach Leslie Frazier has finally realized what Urban Meyer did years ago - use Harvin as much as you can for as long as you can to maximize the production you get out of him. He is under contract with the Vikings through the 2013 season and Minnesota, as of press time, has been hesitant to give him a well-deserved raise and extension.
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In a story first reported by Rivals on Monday, three-star power forward Schuyler Rimmer (Boone, FL) has decommitted from Florida and decided to open his recruitment back up. Rimmer, who ITG in August that committing to play for the Gators was a dream come true, was apparently going to walk-on as a freshman and be awarded a three-year scholarship after he completed his first year with the team (in which he likely would have redshirted). Instead it appears he has plenty of (what he considers to be) better offers on the table and will go in another direction. Florida is still looking to add to its 2013 class and one name to keep an eye on is three-star center Joel Embiid (Gainesville, FL), a seven-foot Cameroon native who first played for Montverde Academy before transferring to The Rock School for this season.
New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez became the second former Gators player to go down with a serious injury in as many weeks. Hernandez, in the first quarter of his team's game against Arizona on Sunday, went down hard and grabbed his ankle. Early expectations were that Hernandez would be out six weeks with what was assumed to be a high-ankle sprain; however, it has since been reported that Hernandez suffered a regular ankle sprain and has a timetable of 4-6 weeks with it possible he returns on the lower end of the spectrum. Buffalo Bills wide receiver David Nelson tore his ACL in Week 1 and is now sitting out the remainder of the 2012 campaign.
In speaking with former Florida offensive lineman Shannon Snell over the weekend, he communicated to me that all of the praise surrounding the Gators' big men for their performance against Tennessee on Saturday is more than justified. In his words: "Neyland Stadium is an incredibly tough place to play for a visiting offensive line due to the fact that it is insanely loud. With offensive linemen, communication is 90 percent of the battle. So if there is no communication among that unit, chances are high that they are not going to perform very well. I think for the Gators' unit, it was their most impressive performance to date. I'm not saying that every play was blocked to perfection but under the circumstances it was an incredible performance for a line that has received a lot of criticism lately."
Lot everyone made it out of Knoxville, TN healthy on Saturday. In fact, for the second-straight year, a Tennessee player has been lost for the season while taking on Florida. The school announced early this week that starting free safety Brian Randolph will have right knee surgery and miss the remainder of the season after he got injured late in the game. Randolph's ailment occurred when he was trying to stop redshirt senior wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr. at the end of his 75-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. Hammond stiff-armed Randolph, who fell to the ground in a heap and did not get back up until trainers tended to him.
Gators soccer and volleyball both had solid weekends though it was the latter team that really shined in its performances. Soccer (4-3-1, 1-1-0 SEC) fell 2-1 to Kentucky on Friday but took a big 2-1 overtime victory over Auburn on Sunday. Volleyball (8-2, 2-0 SEC), on the other hand, beat both of its SEC opponents. Florida took down Arkansas 3-2 in a hard-fought match on Friday before sweeping No. 24 Kentucky 3-0 on Sunday. Junior middle back Chloe Mann led the Gators with a combined 25 kills.