Georgia Bulldogs 17 – Florida Gators 9; Jordan Reed, Hold Your Head Up

Jordan Reed came to the Florida Gators in 2009 out of New London, CT. He was recruited as a quarterback and was considered one of the better dual-threat QBs in the nation. There weren’t many out there that expected him to stay at the position, but he would…at first.

Jordan Reed - Will Muschamp - Florida Gators

Reed redshirted in 2009–his first season on campus. In 2010–as the Gators would look nearly everywhere for a serviceable quarterback–he got the chance to play his high school position at the college level. Reed was efficient, but not overly so. Still, he put together a passer efficiency rating of just under 120 and had some memorable moments. Against Vanderbilt that season, Reed went 11-for-19 through the air for 130 yards and ran for another 84. He would pass for one touchdown and score another on the ground. There were flashes, but nothing spectacular. Ultimately, it was fairly obvious he would have more success at another position–tight end.

Having played some tight end in 2010, Reed went to the position full-time for the 2011 season. There were some growing pains as a TE, but Reed turned himself into a solid player with great promise as a pass catcher and a big target. Reed was putting together a good 2012 despite Florida struggling to find it’s way as a passing team. There were already whispers of where he might go in the NFL Draft in a year or two. On Saturday–while down 17-9 to the Georgia Bulldogs–the Gators went to their reliable (and now possibly even “star” tight end). As Reed sprinted toward the end-zone looking to get the Gators closer to a possible eighth victory, he fumbled. The air was let out of every orange and blue balloon at the same exact moment.

It could have happened to anyone, but it didn’t. It happened to Jordan Reed. It happened to a hard worker that switched positions and became one of the most reliable and productive players on the Florida roster. It happened to the player Jeff Driskel was looking for when the Gators were nearing the end-zone.

It’s not Reed’s fault the Gators lost. He obviously took it hard–anyone would–but the Gators turned over the ball five other times. Florida gave Georgia the ball in great position to score and while the defense held as tight as they could for most of the night, they couldn’t do it on every play. Reed plays one position and will be remember for one unfortunate play. He was chased from behind by one of college football’s best players–Jarvis Jones–and fumbled the ball into the end-zone where the Bulldogs recovered. There’s no blame to be put on Jordan Reed. Far from it. He should hold his head high, as hard as it will be to do that. Much more than that contributed to Florida’s loss. This has been a particularly odd season as it is and a six turnover game almost seems par for the course. Reed didn’t fumble that game away, something else entirely did.

The Long Snapper (6/7/10)

College football.  Quick and to the point.
The Rivals100 and MaxPreps Top 100 are both out and have a couple of things very much in common.  Those two things are Jadaveon Clowney and James Wilder Jr.  Both are very good.  Great in fact.  Actually more than great.  These are two of the defining athletes in the 2011 recruiting class.  Clowney ranks as the top overall player on the Rivals list and is number two according to MaxPreps.  Wilder comes in third with Rivals and tops the MaxPreps Top 100.  Clowney has mentioned Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina as the top three schools that intrigue him, but anything could happen.  The star defensive end has offers from virtually everyone and could earn immediate playing time at any school.  Many think Florida and Miami could be the top two schools vying for Wilder’s services, but he may be more open than that.  He mentions FSU, Georgia, and USC a lot as well and has always said he will end up at the best place to further his career.  Wilder expects to make a decision sometime during the summer.
Former USC linebacker Jarvis Jones is looking for a new home and the Gators could be among those he considers.  Jones is leaving the Trojans after a neck injury USC didn’t think he could come back from.  The former high school star got clearance to play and sent that clearance to a number of schools including Florida and Georgia.  The Bulldogs pushed hard for his services during recruiting and will make another big push for the linebacker, but they’ll have some competition.  Jones will receive plenty of interest and would be a welcome addition to any program.  He can also play anywhere immediately.  After sitting out a year due to transfer rules of course.
Hot.  Hot.  Hot.  Hot.  Hot.  Florida will open the 2010 season against Miami (OH) at Noon.  Those of you going, enjoy the glorious heat of a Florida summer.  The game will be broadcast on ESPN.  No time has yet been announced for the following week’s matchup against USF, but, for my sake, I hope it’s an evening or night game.  Two of the Gators’ conference rivals will play Florida at the time they do more often than not.  Both Tennessee and Georgia will take on Florida at 3:30 on CBS.  The schedules seem to be rounding out with more times being announced.
USF is getting dangerously thin at running back.  Mike Ford, gone.  Jamar Taylor, likewise.  Tiger Powell, off to junior college for possibly the next two seasons.  Powell may not have contributed in 2010, but 2011 seems to be open to just about anyone after Mo Plancher has moved on.  The top three for now are Plancher, Demetrius Murray (one of the many TBG favorites…yes, I have lots), and Bradley Battles.  Newly converted wide receiver Lindsey Lamar could always come back to the running back position if absolutely needed.  Hopefully the injury bug doesn’t hit the Bulls’ ball carriers during the fall because things could get interesting.

Tomorrow is Christmas Signing Day

Wednesday is like Christmas for college football junkies. It’s our version of the NFL Draft. But it’s better. A program like Florida doesn’t get one first-round pick. There is no order the schools have to follow. A great program with a solid history may get a good number of elite players. We love it and we hate it at the same time. But every year we can’t wait for it. It’s signing day.

To this point, both Florida and USF have put together good classes by their standards.

From 2004 to 2008, the Bulls pulled in commitments from seven players ranked by Rivals.com to be four-star talents or higher (Mike Ford was the lone five-star). This year, USF has six four-star players who are currently committed, led by Armwood’s (Seffner, FL) Ryne Giddins. Rivals rates Giddins as the third best weak-side defensive end in the nation and the 61st best player overall. For Giddins, it came down to the Bulls or the Gators and for the first time ever, USF won out in a head-to-head battle with Florida.

Florida – expected to have a smaller than usual class – currently has 16 commitments, but has an average rating on Rivals of 3.88. By comparison, the Gators’ last three classes averaged 3.89, 3.89, and 3.82. So for those of you out there that think this is a down year by Florida standards, it’s not. Especially when you consider the Gators are still very much in play for standouts Joshua Evans, Jelani Jenkins, Jarvis Jones, and Denard Robinson. Evans, Jones, and Robinson are all rated as four-star prospects, and Jenkins is #10 on Rivals Top 100 list.

Tomorrow we will sit on needles. There could be a signing day switch or two that could upset us, but just remember both schools appear to be in good shape and putting together classes fans should be proud of. Until tomorrow, don’t stress, just sit back and enjoy the game that is recruiting.