Florida Gators Transfer Roundup: Tyler Murphy Leads Offensive Exodus from Gainesville

As of the writing of the post, the Florida Gators have seen seven players announce their intentions to transfer. All seven players seeking to play football elsewhere are from the offensive side of the ball.

Tyler Murphy, Florida Gators

Leading the list of those intending to leave the University of Florida and pursue their athletic and academic careers elsewhere is redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Murphy. Murphy, who graduated this past Saturday, will be eligible to play immediately at whatever school chooses to accept him as a graduate student.

Despite being told by head coach Will Muschamp that there will be an open competition for the role of starting quarterback, Murphy decided to finish his career elsewhere. Few believe the competition to truly be open and Murphy was among those skeptics. It has long been believed that, if healthy, junior Jeff Driskel will return to the role he left after his season-ended injury against Tennessee.

Due to Driskel’s return, the decision to play redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg when Murphy was himself hurt, and the impending arrival of recruit Will Grier, freshman Max Staver has also decided to transfer from the program. It was thought that Staver didn’t come off of the Florida bench when Murphy couldn’t play because he was a true freshman and the coaching staff didn’t want to lose his redshirt status to what was a lost season. With the possibility of being fourth or even fifth on the depth chart had Murphy stayed, Staver decided to leave as well.

While some think Murphy’s departure gives four-star prospect Grier a better chance to claim the starting spot at some point during the 2014 season, the incoming freshman may have his sights set on redshirting and learning all he can from the sidelines his first year. While Driskel is the starter and Mornhinweg does have experience at this point, if 2014 is anything like 2013, we may see Grier in action.

Also transferring is sophomore tight end Kent Taylor. Taylor came out of Land O’ Lakes, FL (Land O’ Lakes) as one of the top recruits at the tight end position, but leaves Florida after two seasons and only two receptions. Much more was expected when he signed with the Gators, but Taylor was never able to crack the lineup. A pass-catching tight end, Taylor was also the smallest scholarship player at the position on the roster. Not able to double as a blocker, Taylor was relegated to the sidelines during the 2013 season.

Redshirt junior offensive lineman Ian Silberman actually started four games during the 2013 season, but that was mostly due to injuries along the line. Silberman, like Murphy, graduated and will use the NCAA transfer rule to be immediately eligible with another program where he will look for increased playing time.

Redshirted freshmen Rhaheim Ledbetter and Quinteze Williams both elected to transfer after neither were able to find their way into the rotation on either side of the ball. Ledbetter came to Florida as a defensive back, but switched to fullback before the 2013 season. Williams couldn’t find a consistent role on either of the offensive or defensive lines.

Finally, freshman offensive lineman Trevon Young only needed one season to decide college football wasn’t for him. He is rumored to be hoping to play college basketball going forward.

With all seven transfers announced so far occurring on the offensive side of the ball, the struggles continue to mount for the Gators. In the midst of a slump that hasn’t been experienced in decades in Gainesville, the offense looks to rebuild again in 2014. While many of the players transferring were not contributors and most likely weren’t going to be in the immediate future, there are now seven additional roster spots to fill. With injuries seeming to be a never-ending problem at both quarterback and along the offensive line, you need bodies.

Florida will now turn to recruiting to fill those spots, but each additional day without an offensive coordinator may make that difficult. In December alone, the Gators have added three offensive players to their 2014 commitment list, but that could be difficult to maintain given the uncertainty present at the moment. From coaching to recruiting to the roster to the games, the offense has plenty of questions to answer.

2013 Football Recruiting: Tyrone Crowder Could Bring More North Carolina Talent To Florida

The state of a North Carolina has been good to the Florida Gators football program in recent years. Very good in fact. North Carolina has given the Gators Brandon Spikes, Xavier Nixon and newcomers Jonathan Bullard, D.J. Humphries, Rhaheim Ledbetter and Alex McCalister, who have opened the pipeline down to the Sunshine State. Tyrone Crowder – a star offensive guard in the 2013 recruiting class – could keep it open.

Crowder has 15 offers and has mostly focused on schools in his home state. However, the 6’2″, 325-guard from Richmond Senior (Rockingham, NC) is also considering both Florida and Alabama and has a connection of sorts to the Gators – new strength and conditioning coach Jeff Dillman played at Richmond. That may not be enough to push Crowder to Florida (he hasn’t even narrowed his list down to his finalists at this point), but connections never hurt when it comes to recruiting and if the Gators can find one inroad, that could be enough in the end.

Crowder plays tackle at Richmond, but projects as a guard at the college level. He’s known to have quick feet and is a tenacious blocker with a mean streak. 247Sports, Rivals, Scout and ESPN all give Crowder four stars. He peaks on 247 as their No. 54 overall player in the 2013 class. He plans to narrow down his list of choices to his top five over the next couple of weeks.

2012 Football Recruiting: Florida Gators Add Alex McCalister; Defensive End Verbally Commits

The train started on Saturday with the commitments of 2012 defensive end Brian Cox Jr. and 2013 running back Adam Lane and continued into Monday with the announcement of 2012 defensive end Alex McCalister. McCalister becomes the seventh defensive line commitment the Gators have picked up and the second in three days to be considered a fit for the buck position.

McCalister – listed at 6’7″, 212 pounds – chose Florida over Georgia Tech and North Carolina. He will have to add considerable bulk before he’ll see significant playing time in a Gators’ uniform, but his quickness off the line makes him an intriguing prospect. Out of Clemmons, North Carolina (West Forsyth), McCalister becomes the latest in a line of recent recruits from the state of North Carolina to commit to Florida. There are three others in the 2012 class alone – Jonathan Bullard, D.J. Humphries, Rhaheim Ledbetter – Xavier Nixon will be back in a Gators’ uniform this upcoming season and we can’t forget about Brandon Spikes.

McCalister makes it 20 commitments for Florida with more to come as National Signing Day approaches.

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Friday Night Links: FNL, Madden, Pro Combat Jerseys, UNC, And More

We rarely post on the weekends around these parts. One Eyed Willy has offspring and I have an XBOX. Unless something monumental (and by monumental, I mean monumental to us) happens, it’s typically quiet at the TBG home office on Saturdays and Sundays.

Because of that, we have created this weekly installment for you. Friday Night Links honors Florida’s annual camp – Friday Night Lights (see how that works?) – and provides you with reading material to get you through your weekend. When it’s posted, you are probably happy houring it up somewhere without a care in the world, so it waits patiently for you. You may have seen some of these stories throughout the week, you may not have. We hope you enjoy and orange and blue your way through the weekend. Remember, there aren’t that many more left before they’re filled with football.
Let the links begin…
Do NOT go for two in the first half of a game. Just don’t do it. (Smart Football)
Shameless self promotion, but it’s a Friday Night Lights recap of sorts. (Alligator Army)
The NFL is back and there are 10 reasons you should be excited. (SB Nation)
First Rhaheim Ledbetter committed. Now Carlos Watkins is seriously interested. Florida could be looking at a North Carolina trifecta. (Only Gators Get Out Alive)

No pro combat jerseys this year. Thank you! (Alligator Army)

Some prospects won’t change their mind about UNC. Butch Davis may be gone, but one recruit remains committed to the Tar Heels. (Rivals)
You already knew this, but it’s not wise to always trust what you read. Especially on Twitter. (Jason Schreier)
If you ever collected sports cards, you know there were some very odd versions created over the years. In 1995, Fleer had one of their own. (SB Nation)
Who should replace Butch Davis? (Every Day Should Be Saturday)
Oklahoma State has new uniforms. What do you think? (Nike Blog)
A little bit of the Bulls for you. Jamius Gunsby left USF for Georgia Military College. He left Georgia Military College after three weeks. (USF Sports Bulletin)
Chad Ochocinco is now a member of the New England Patriots. Former Gators tight end Aaron Hernandez is too. Hernandez wears no. 85. I think you know where this is going. (ESPN)
And finally, how to put together your preseason preview pieces. (Team Speed Kills)

Recruit Report: Rhaheim Ledbetter, S, Crest

The latest recruit report is up at Alligator Army and this one highlights the most recent Florida commit. Safety Rhaheim Ledbetter committed to the Gators on Friday, which was neither a surprise or a shock.

Many expected Brandon Spikes’s little cousin to join the Gators one day and Friday was the day. There is still a little concern over the rumored “package deal” he is with high school teammate Jonathan Bullard, but for now (and according to him, for good) Ledbetter is a member of the Florida program.
Ledbetter is a hard-hitting safety who despite his love for blowing up wide receivers still has an intelligence for the game. He sticks to his assignments and makes the smart play while making those coming across the middle fear him. While the Gators have more than enough depth at defensive back, you have to welcome a player of Ledbetter’s skill set.
Florida is off to a furious pace when it comes to recruiting at this point in the summer. Keep your fingers crossed that this continues as the season starts.