Sticking with the NFL Draft stories for a little longer (which honestly will probably turn into quite a bit longer or at least until the event itself has come and gone). Vic Carucci of NFL.com put his thoughts together
regarding some of the tops defensive back prospects. Among the 10 he reviewed are four players from schools in the state of Florida. Those of you that live elsewhere may bow now. Go ahead, it’s easy. Just bow and respect the talent. At the top of the cornerback list is Florida’s Joe Haden
as expected. Haden seems to have disappointed some by running a slower than expected 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine, but my guess is he’s still the first CB off the board come draft day. The overall ability he has is too much to pass up. He’s also the best tackling corner to come out in quite some time. Also on the cornerback list is USF’s Jerome Murphy
. Murphy is even being touted as a possible first-round pick. I have to admit, I’m very surprised by this. I’ll do my best not to bash Murphy, but he is a very up-and-down talent. He possesses great speed and is a ball-hawk who can be a game changer, but discipline on the field is an issue. At times during his career, Murphy was out of position and has serious issues with penalties. And not your run of the mill penalties either. Not to say Murphy can’t make it in the NFL and after a few years become a serviceable CB, but I’m not sure he’s truly worth a high draft pick. At safety, Nate Allen
is expected to go somewhere in the first three rounds. Allen is one of the more disciplined players out there and was an underrated star on the Bulls’ defense. He will be one of the most missed members of the team once the 2010 season opens. Allen has the skills and game intelligence to be in the NFL for a long time.
may not be Tim Tebow
2.0, but in some ways he could be Tim Tebow 1.5. As Brantley gets ready to take over as the Gators’ starting quarterback, he admits he isn’t the second coming of Tebow, but is ready to make his own mark on the University of Florida
. Right away, you can tell he plays the game differently. Much more of a drop-back passer, Brantley will bring a new dimension to the Gator offense. Expect the way Florida aired it out during the Sugar Bowl to become much more common. He mentions he won’t scramble as much as #15 did, as if we didn’t already know that. What he does hope to bring that he learned from three years with Tebow is to be more of a vocal leader and that a good work ethic is a definite plus. As I’ve mentioned, I can’t wait for the Brantley era to start. Some people seem to think that means I wasn’t a fan of Tim Tebow. That couldn’t be less true. It means I’m fully capable of adjusting to new players. Tebow will always be one of the greatest to put on a Gator uniform, but last time I checked, he won’t be doing so again. Time to get ready for what the next guy brings to the table.
With junior days all the rage in college recruiting these days, a few seem to wish the entire process would slow down
. Most of the big schools conduct junior days in order to get the next crop of prospects on campus as quick as possible and hopefully committed. Texas
, for instance, already has 17 players committed as part of the 2011 recruiting class. 13 of those were attendees of their first junior day of the year. But a few schools still don’t go through the process. Penn State
doesn’t have a junior day, because coaches like to invite prospects individually to come visit the campus. They like to do their research on a recruit before inviting him to see the school and football program. Tom Bradley
– Penn State’s defensive coordinator – wishes the entire process would slow down. As he states, the way it is now, you can basically only determine what a kid can do on the field. You don’t have time to look at the kid’s character or background because the scholarship offers come fast and plenty and before you know it, the kid has given his verbal to a rival. As a recruiting follower, I enjoy today’s process because it gives me plenty to do during the offseason. As a fan of a school that has had some issues with character over the past few years, I think slowing down may be a good idea. Of course, I’m perfectly fine knowing there are two recent National Championship trophies on display.
I don’t know nearly enough people with unique names. For example, I don’t know a Jaybo. I know a couple Jays. I even have friends who know a Bo or two. But alas, no Jaybo. That was just a roundabout way of telling you Jaybo Shaw
is leaving Georgia Tech
. Not wanting to spend yet another year behind starting quarterback Josh Nesbitt
, Shaw will transfer
to Georgia Southern
where he’ll have two years of eligibility. And that was just a roundabout way of telling you I predict big things for GT in 2010. Which probably means you should stay as far away from the Yellow Jackets as you can. Good picks don’t typically happen around here. You’ve been warned.
Today’s list has nothing to do with football. I can’t say why. But I can’t say why not either. Just a list. Enjoy. Don’t. It’s up to you, but it is the list. Name still pending.
1. Remember when practically everyone had a White Sox hat?
The Sixth Man: We’re getting dangerously close to that point where Florida is knocked out of contention for a NCAA Tournament bid. With this weekend’s loss to Georgia and last night’s loss to Vanderbilt, the Gators may need a miracle to make it in. If that miracle comes in the form of a win over Kentucky on Sunday, so be it. Over the last 11 games (I go to 11, because there is a belief the selection committee looks at the last 12 games a team plays, not just the last 10), Florida is 6-5 with a chance to be either 7-5 or 6-6 depending on the outcome against the Wildcats. Last season, the Gators were 6-6 in their last 12 regular season games (also 6-6 if you push those 12 to include the SEC Tournament). Their overall record of 23-10 wasn’t enough to get them in. The year before that, Florida was 5-7 in their final 12 (4-8 if you include the conference tourney). A 21-11 record wasn’t good enough that year. The Gators currently sit at 20-10 and while I do believe miracles can happen, I find it hard to imagine Florida going on a ridiculous run and winning the SEC Tournament. Stranger things have occurred, but let’s not count on it. Florida does have some good wins this season and some losses that they realistically should’ve lost, but then there are also the ones the selection committee could remember. People may point to Richmond, but the Spiders aren’t a bad team. The real ones to look at are South Alabama and Georgia. With just those two going the other way, the Gators would be in a much better position. As it now stands, an upset over Kentucky AND a couple of wins in the conference tourney may be needed. If anything, this has been a fun team to watch. At least more so than the versions we cheered for during the previous two seasons. I don’t want to cash in my chips just yet, but I’m looking forward to next season.