Florida Gators Recruiting: Athlete Deiondre Porter Commits to Florida

Jefferson has been good to Florida. The Tampa, FL high school gave the Gators the Caldwell brothers and has now given Florida it’s latest star, Deiondre Porter. Porter committed to the Gators on Monday night over Central Florida, Miami, and South Florida. If Porter turns out to be anything like Reche Caldwell–another Jefferson quarterback turned Gators’ wide receiver–we’ll be looking back fondly at his career one day.

Deiondre Porter, Florida Gators

What position Porter does play at Florida remains to be seen, but wide receiver is as good of a guess as any other. However, there are also many who believe Porter will end up playing defensive back as his raw athletic ability could turn him into a better-than-average cornerback. The Gators have some experience with one of those as well. Joe Haden came to Florida as a quarterback-turned-athlete. He turned into one of college football’s better cornerbacks. All Haden has done since is be selected to the 2013 NFL Pro Bowl while making his first All-Pro team as a second team selection. Porter has two great former Gators to model himself after, depending on which side of the ball he ends up on.

As for where he wants to play, Porter said during his announcement that he’ll play wherever Florida coaches feel he’ll help the team the most. It’s a good guess that Will Muschamp and staff will evaluate further once he gets to Gainesville to find the best place for him and the team.

A one-time USF commit, Porter reopened his recruitment upon receiving offers from the Gators and Hurricanes. When he visit went well this past weekend, it was a good indication he would commit to Florida. Porter becomes the 22nd member of the Gators’ 2014 recruiting class.

Florida Gators Recruiting: Athlete Deiondre Porter to Announce Monday Night

Tampa, FL (Jefferson) athlete Deiondre Porter is ready to commit. The former South Florida commit, will make his announcement on Monday night at 6:00pm and will be deciding between Central Florida, Florida, Miami, and South Florida. For those of you in the greater Tampa Bay area, the announcement will be shown live on Bright House Sports Network.

Deiondre Porter

Receiving offers from the Gators and the Hurricanes was a turning point for Porter. Previously committed to the Bulls, he decided to take another look around when the state’s bigger programs came calling. Porter scheduled an official visit to Florida almost immediately and decided he was ready to announce shortly after. The timing of the visit to Gainesville and his upcoming announcement Monday night has led many to believe he will be committing to the Gators.

Porter’s visit went well, very well. He gave Florida high marks and stressed the opportunity the coaching staff mentioned he will be given. With all going about as well as it could, the Gators may find themselves with another commit come Monday night.

While playing a lot of quarterback at Jefferson, Porter is listed as an athlete and that’s exactly what the Gators want him to be. Will Muschamp and the staff feel he has the versatility to play a variety of positions and they would want to get him on campus and in practice before deciding where to ultimately put him.

Porter receives three stars from each of the major recruiting services. In addition to athlete, 247 lists him as a dual-threat quarterback while ESPN has him listed as a pocket passer. While he did pass for 3,199 yards during his senior season, he also rushed for 1,499, giving 247 the edge when it comes to evaluating Porter as a quarterback. Scout believes he could also play safety and ranks him as the nation’s No. 30 prospect at the position. The 247 Composite ranks Porter at the No. 124 athlete and No. 1,353 prospect overall.

While some of those rankings may seem lower than the average fan’s liking, Porter’s raw athletic ability is what has the Gators interested. Florida feels he can grow at the next level and, once given a permanent position, excel.

2013 Football Recruiting: Alvin Bailey Commits To Florida; Gators Add 4-Star Wide Receiver

While basking in the glory (?) of the Florida Gators season opening win, good news was delivered to Gainesville. 2013 Seffner, FL (Armwood) wide receiver Alvin Bailey has made his choice and it’s the orange and blue. The 5’10”, 170-pound four-star WR committed to the Gators over UCF and Notre Dame.

Bailey joins a Gators class that now has four wide receivers and they couldn’t come at a better time. The Gators need playmakers to make Brent Pease’s offense go. Bailey will bring speed and talent to the position immediately and should make an impact from day one.

His commitment comes as no surprise. Bailey has been a fan of the Gators for what seems like forever. Once the offer was extended, it was only a matter of time before he would commit. (Although I did hear one recruiting analyst on the radio this past week say he thought Bailey was a lock for the Fighting Irish. Oops.) Bailey joins high school teammate Matt Jones, who didn’t look too bad in his Gators’ debut.

Pease still has his sites set on a few other receivers in the 2013 class, but it will be hard for the Gators to add a fifth or sixth at this point. The position may be considered full by uncommitted prospects.

Both 247Sports and Rivals give Bailey four stars. 247 put him in their top 247 at No. 212 overall and at No. 24 among wide receivers. Rivals has him in their Rivals100 at No. 93 and puts him at No. 13 at his position.

Florida Gators Remain No. 1 After 5-0 Week

A perfect second week helped the Florida Gators maintain the No. 1 ranking in the Baseball America Top 25.

The Gators went 5-0 last week with a win over No. 19 UCF. The strong showing was more than enough to keep Florida atop the rankings early this season. The 7-1 Gators play one three-game series this week as they travel to face No. 12 Miami (7-0). A series victory over the Hurricanes would secure the top spot for Florida for another week.

Even though Vandebilt fell out of the top 25, the SEC kept six teams in the rankings. Four of those six are in the top eight and an even more impressive three are in the top four. Don’t forget future conference member Texas A&M currently sitting at No. 6.

Baseball Recap: Florida Gators 8 – UCF Knights 0; Gators Record First Shutout

The No. 1 Florida Gators recorded their first shutout of the season on Wednesday night when they defeated the No. 19 UCF Knights 8-0. With the win, the Gators improve to 4-1 this season.

The night once again belonged to senior outfielder Preston Tucker. Tucker tied Brad Wilkerson’s school career record with his 214th RBI. It won’t be long before Tucker holds the title all by himself.

Junior catcher Mike Zunino had his fourth straight multi-hit game and in doing so raised his batting aversge to a team-leading .474. If Zunino is looking to repeat as the SEC Player of the Year, he’s off to a great start.

Four pitchers combined for the shutout and held the Knights to only six hits. Sophomore Jonathon Crawford got the win, his first.

The Gators have Thursday off before a weekend series against William & Mary in Gainesville.

Baseball Preview: Florida Gators Vs. UCF Knights – February 22, 2012

The No. 1 Florida Gators face the No. 19 UCF Knights Wednesday night in Gainesville in another one-gamer. The Gators will look to hold on to their top ranking while the Knights hope to climb the polls.

The Facts

Opponent: UCF Knights
When: Wednesday, Feb. 22 – 7:00 PM
Where: Gainesville, FL
Broadcast: Fox Sports Florida, GatorVision
Records: Florida: 3-1, UCF: 3-0
Rankings: Florida: 1, UCF: 19
Current Streak: Florida: W1, UCF: 19
Runs Scored: Florida: 6.3, UCF: 11.0
Runs Allowed: Florida: 4.8, UCF: 3.0

The Preview

We’ll keep this one quick because the game is about to start and we’re running a little behind on the day.

The Gators and Knights face off in this instate matchup. Both teams are ranked, as you know, and one will be looking to hold on to that ranking while the other will look to take down the nation’s best team. Florida is on the top of the heap and is the smart pick to win it all this year, but UCF can make some noise as well.

For those of you in the state, this one is televised on Fox Sports Florida, so sit back and enjoy your Wednesday night.

Baseball previews are sponsored by Seattle Mariners’ minor league pitcher Ben Versnik and Advocare – a world-class nurtrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance.

Miami’s Situation And Its Impact On Recruiting

There is much to be taken out of Miami’s situation. After Hurricanes’ booster Nevin Shapiro told all through an investigative report by Yahoo! Sports Charles Robinson, we could be discussing literally anything and everything. From the death penalty to the impact to other programs, it’s all fair game at the moment.
I’ve chosen to focus on recruiting, and as long as it’s recruiting talk, you can find it at Alligator Army. Miami currently lays claim to one of the larger 2012 recruiting classes. 24 individuals are committed to the Canes and suddenly 24 have some seriously thinking to do. Their decision – whether they stick with it or not – has been influenced and will continue to be. Other programs will jump at the chance to prove without a doubt that they offer more to recruits than Miami does.
If you believe what you read and know the facts of the report, Miami could be in serious trouble; enough to make the effort of convincing high school athletes to become Canes incredibly difficult. Florida, FSU, USF, UCF and practically every other school will try to take advantage. It’s open season for every one of those 24 and anyone else who has Miami near the top of their list. The road will only get rockier for the Canes and recruiting will experience plenty of bumps along the way.

The Bull Gator On Gator-Knights

After reading about it over and over and over again, it’s finally time I pick up my proverbial pen and add my thoughts to George O’Leary’s plea to college football fans to join UCF’s cheering section.

Those of you new to this site see “The Bull Gator” and probably think of the Florida boosters well known throughout the state. Those of you that have been around for a while know that’s only part of the tribute. Back in 2008 when I started the site, the name came easily to me. I attended both Florida and USF, have had football season tickets at different times for both the Gators and Bulls, and cheer for both teams. I am, by all accounts, a Bull Gator. Although I suppose O’Leary would refer to me as a Gator-Bull because as I’ve stated numerous times before, I’ve had a fling with the Bulls for quite some time, but I’m married to the Gators. (Side Note: Let’s not get into this again; the name is remaining what it was the day this site came to life.)
I’ve never seen anything wrong with this. Some others do – you may remember a certain commenter who resurfaces about once a year to tell me what a disgrace this site is to the University of Florida (he’s a treat!) – but for the most part many understand. Many are actually in the same boat. They have their one true love and they have their mistress. They are a diehard fan of one program and enjoy seeing the other do well.
For me, the USF connection is there for many reasons. I attended USF and watched the Bulls program grow from an idea to the team you will see take the field at Notre Dame in a few weeks – and yes, I’ll be there. For most of my life, I have lived within 15 miles of USF. I’m sure O’Leary would classify them as my “hometown” team. I have had season tickets in the past and while I don’t anymore, I still attend between two and four home games each season. I have cheered for the Bulls in every game they have played except one and even in that instance I was accompanied to that game by six USF fans including Mrs. TBG who sat next to me in the sweltering Florida heat cheering on the Bulls. 50 years from now, I’ll still be a Gator and bleed orange and blue, but I’ll be tuning in to every Bulls game to see how the green and gold are doing.
Not long ago, I halted my coverage of USF on this site. It had everything to do with refocusing my efforts and nothing to do with dropping the Bulls from my radar. Since I started this site, other USF blogs have surfaced and they are among my daily reads. Just because I don’t write about the Bulls anymore doesn’t mean I don’t have a special place reserved for them.
All of that said, I support the idea of a “Gator-Knight” in theory, but O’Leary has gone about it in the wrong way. I became a Bull Gator because of the connections I had to both programs. I wasn’t told or asked to be one. No one openly pleaded with me to cheer for USF when I wasn’t doing so for Florida. No one ever said “hey, the Gators aren’t playing this weekend, why don’t you put on a green shirt and head down to Ray Jay?” It didn’t happen and it never had to. Again, connections made me a Bull Gator.
What O’Leary is doing is asking, almost desperately. He thinks he is asking you to route for your hometown team and in some ways he is, but he’s also pleading with you to wake up one day and magically transform into a hybrid fan. Is there anyone out there who thinks “this guy has a point, let me print out the Knights’ schedule?” No, because it can’t be forced. There will be those that go to UCF games because they love the team and there will be those that go because they love college football, but who is actively seeking another program to cheer for? Plenty cheer for one, some of us cheer for two, but none of us are trying to find our next team. They find us. They aren’t forced upon us and we definitely don’t pick them because “why not?”
True college football fans are a different breed because they have a connection to the program they support. That connection lies deeper than “my team isn’t playing today, so let’s go Knights!” For me, I cheer for USF for reasons stated here and others not. The Bulls were never picked as a backup. To me, there is no such thing to a college football fan. A diehard Seminole also might cheer for the Bulldogs because of a connection. A Cane may watch every Longhorn game because of a connection. A Gator may start a site and give the occasional shout out to the Bulls because of a connection. No one will pick a backup because of a coach’s misguided pleas.
O’Leary comes across as someone asking for support (and some could even say money) desperately. It may not be what he intended to do, but go ahead and look around and see how most are taking it.

The Sixth Man (6/29/10)

College basketball brought to you by the first man off the bench.
The powers that drive the NCAA tournament are trying to determine if 68 teams is where the dance is headed.  Instead of one play-in game, the idea of having four is being thrown around.  The problem is that most schools don’t seem to like it.  The big schools aren’t in favor of play-in games and neither are the small schools.  But think of it this way, 68 is much better than 96.  We were close to reaching tourney overload.
It’s already time to start thinking about who the NBA will steal from college next year.  Take a look at the top prospects and it seems very clear one-and-done will continue as long as it’s allowed.  Five of the top nine on this list will only be freshman during the upcoming season and another three are international players.  Expect this trend to continue as long as the NBA only requires draftees to be one year removed from school.
One name that won’t appear on the list for at least another year is that of James McAdoo.  McAdoo had toyed with the idea of heading to UNC a year early, but decided to stick around for his senior season in high school.  It’s hard to say how the NBA would deal with McAdoo had he decided to become a Tar Heel a year early and then enter the draft.  The rule doesn’t just revolve around age, but also being a year removed from when your high school class graduated.  Luckily, David Stern doesn’t have to deal with things like that just yet.
UCF will have both of Michael Jordan’s sons playing for them during the 2011-2012 season.  Jeff Jordan – who played for three years at Illinois – will transfer to UCF where he’ll john younger brother Marcus Jordan.  The older Jordan will have to sit out this season before being eligible to play.  Fun fact: Marcus scored more than twice as many points in one season at UCF as Jeff did in three at Illinois.

The Sixth Man (6/15/10)

College basketball brought to you by the first man off the bench.
Florida returns five starters from a team that took a definite step forward last season.  With the starting lineup intact and a number of freshmen at all positions coming in, the Gators could make a further run in the tournament.  The key is sophomore guard Kenny Boynton who at times looks like a legitimate star, but needs to up his shooting percentage.  When Boynton’s hot, so are the Gators.  As he grows, Florida will improve.  Although many fans are jaded when it comes to the Gator basketball team (expectations have been high ever since Florida won back-to-back championships), Billy Donovan has them back in a position to compete again.  With important parts actually returning (Alex Tyus nearly left two years in a row, but is back for his senior season), don’t be surprised if the Gators make some noise.
Someone who won’t be part of the Gators’ potential resurgence is former Florida guard Ray Shipman.  Shipman decided to transfer in order to get an opportunity for more playing time and a bigger role in a team’s offense.  We don’t know yet whether he’ll get his first wish, but he definitely won’t get his second.  Shipman has transferred to UCF to play defense and only defense.  Why you ask?  He’s going to be a safety on the Golden Knights’ football team.  So maybe playing time and his offensive role weren’t really the issues considering Shipman isn’t even sticking with the sport.
Tom Izzo sure is taking his time to decide whether he wants to stay with Michigan State or move on to the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers.  There can only be one reason.  LeBron James.  Unfortunately for Izzo, he’ll have to make his decision long before James has to make his.  The decision is much easier than he thinks.  Stay with the Spartans.  There.  Done.  Izzo will obviously make more in the NBA and if (gigantic, huge if) James does remain with the Cavs, good for him.  But what are the odds of that happening?  Some say pretty good, but it’s a chance.  A big one.  One that if it doesn’t happen, Izzo will be stuck with a team that isn’t even playoff worthy.  At Michigan State, he’s the head of one of the nation’s most successful program.  Izzo is Michigan State.  LeBron, the Cavs, and more money.  All great things.  If all three come together.  They may not.
Could Kansas be happier with how the expansion wars ended?  The Big 12 is still intact and its proverbial powers in terms of basketball remain in the conference.  The Jayhawks remain at the top of the Big 12 basketball world and don’t have to worry about what comes next.  No independence.  No new, lesser conference.  The Kansas and the Big 12 move on together.