Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gators have plenty to smile about

I know the last two years have been down years as we have gone 15-13 and finished both seasons unranked. However, did you know Florida has the longest current stretch of winning seasons (24) and the longest current stretch of non-losing (.500 or better) seasons (32). So despite the lackluster years, we have managed to keep the streak alive, which is more than any other major program has been able to do over the past three decades.
This season will be better than the last two and I think Florida will challenge for the SEC East title. Their defense, which ranked eighth nationally in total defense (299.5 yards per game) and second nationally in third down defense, holding opponents to 48 first downs in 176 attempts last year. We return 10 starters on that defense and 14 of our 15 top tacklers.
Offensively, we will have a more experienced and deeper offensive line and our quarterback situation will be in better hands as both sophomores have been battle tested and have shown this spring that they have a much better handle on running the offense.
Additionally, the Gators had a top 5 recruiting year and some of the recruits will help immediately with depth and increase the competition for starting jobs, making us better overall.
Yes, Gator fans, there will be plenty more to smile about in the coming year.

Monday, May 7, 2012

UF Linebacker Graham Stewart to Transfer

For Florida Gator Graham Stewart one season in Gainesville was enough, he has announced his intention to transfer from the program. In high school Stewart led Xavier to a 13-0 record and a state championship. Widely recruited he chose Florida over Boston College, UConn, Iowa, Syracuse and Temple. He was a a four-star member of UF’s 2011 recruiting class, playing in 12 games this past season, mostly on special teams. Stewart also blocked a punt during the season finale game against OSU in the Gator Bowl.

Graham Stewart, who is from Connecticut has sited personal reasons for the transfer request. He is hoping for a NCAA waiver that will allow him to play next season for the University of Connecticut. Stating the need to be closer to his family Stewart has asked for a hardship waiver. Stewart is quoted as stating" “I appreciate my time in Gainesville and have nothing but good things to say about Coach Muschamp and the staff at Florida, but some things are more important.  I really need to be closer to home.”

Eligibility rules to change in 2016

In 2016, freshmen will have to meet new, more rigorous academic standards in order to play sports. They will be required to take and pass 16 core classes with at least a 2.3 GPA, up from 2.0. This is a good thing for schools, as students will have to take high school academics more seriously in order to play at the next level. For more on this story see ESPN's SEC Blog.