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.

First 2012 BlogPoll Released; Florida Gators Ranked By Some, Not By All

Let’s pretend it’s not May for a moment. It’s a good thing to pretend in that it might keep us all from losing our minds as we continue down the long road of wait. The 2012 college football season is far from its beginning, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had. Among those things to keep us entertained are polls released much too early, hoping to determine where teams should be ranked and who the favorites for the national championship are. We’ll go crazy questioning the point of polls released this early, so for a moment, let’s move a few months into the future and convince our minds we’re looking at this in September.

The Bull Gator has a vote in the BlogPoll, but didn’t cast a ballot in this preseason version. It’s not because of what was implied above – that this is just too early to go through this exercise – but instead because 10:30am on Wednesday crept up completely out of nowhere with no warning whatsoever. Missing the deadline may actually give us a free pass because we don’t have to determine where Florida would have fallen. The Gators could be a team planted somewhere in the 20s.They could also find themselves out of the top 25 altogether. Overall, they did just that.

In the compiled set of rankings, Florida wasn’t to be found. The Gators found themselves in the “Others Receiving Votes” section at what would be No. 27. Since we don’t typically count hiring than 25, that gives Florida an official rank of NR. However, there were some that believe NR is too low for the orange and blue.

Among those were Alligator Army with Florida at No. 24 and Tomahawk Nation – a great site by the way and one of the best to visit when you need to catch up on the competition – who put the Gators at No. 20. Their own Florida State Seminoles are much higher in their entry at No. 9 and the USF Bulls even make an appearance at No. 24.

Some will say No. 20 is too high, while others will say it’s just about right. It’s doubtful many will say it’s too low with so many questions still to be answered, but all-in-all it’s acceptable. Regardless, of what fans may think of the polls, being ranked is always nice. It lends to a certain amount of confidence even if you’re in the bottom half of the top 25. I won’t go as far as to say it provides justification or credibility, but I’ll settle on confidence. For now, I’ll thank an enemy of sorts and roll with No. 20.

Baseball Recap: USF 5 – Florida 3; Gators Drop Midweek Game To Bulls

The USF Bulls were too much for the No. 2/5 Florida Gators baseball team on Tuesday night. The Gators struggled to find runs in the 5-3 loss. With the defeat, Florida fell to 31-10 while USF improved its record to 28-14.

The Gators 10 hits would top the Bulls nine, but Florida only managed to put runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Being shut out for eight of nine innings isn’t going to win you a lot of games. In the case of the Gators, it pushed their losses to double digits on the season.

If you took a look at the stat lines of junior shortstop Nolan Fontana, junior designated hitter Mike Zunino and senior center fielder Daniel Pigott, you would think all was right in Whoville. The three combined to go 7-for-14 with two homeruns and three RBI. That was just about the only offense the Gators could produce though and USF’s five runs were more than enough to secure the win.

Florida doesn’t have its typical two nights off before the weekend series this week as the Gators are in action on Wednesday night against Bethune-Cookman.

Baseball previews and recaps are sponsored by Ben Versnik and Advocare – a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance.

Baseball Preview: Florida Gators Vs. USF Bulls – April 24, 2012

The No. 2/5 Florida Gators baseball team hosts instate rival (of sorts) USF on Tuesday night at 7:00pm. The Gators will look to find an offensive surge and rekindle that fire that propelled them to so many wins earlier during the 2012 season.

The Facts

Opponent: USF Bulls
When: Tuesday, April 24 – 7:00pm
Where: Gainesville, FL
Records: Florida: 31-9, USF: 27-14
Rankings: Florida: 2 (USA Today/ESPN); 5 (Baseball America), USF: NR
Current Streak: Florida: W1, USF: W1

The Preview

The last time these two met, the Gators were victorious to the tune of 8-1 during the 2011 season. Florida hopes for much of the same this time around. Offense has been something of a surprise lately. While the Gators are still winning many more games than they aren’t, bats haven’t been as hot as they were earlier this season. The hope is that they come back to life before Florida reaches the postseason. The Gators can win on pitching while scoring minimal runs, but they’d rather attack the scoreboard early and often.

If the Gators can be sure of one thing, it’s that they can’t look ahead. The schedule will soon bring ranked SEC foes Arkansas and Kentucky. Those are two very important series for Florida, but the Gators must get past the Bulls first.

Baseball previews and recaps are sponsored by Ben Versnik and Advocare – a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance.

2013 Football Recruiting: Caleb Brantley Chooses Gators; Defensive Tackle Commits To Florida

Adam Lane was alone on the 2013 Florida Gators’ football commitment list for only a short time. On Saturday, the running back was joined by defensive tackle Caleb Brantley ($). Brantley committed to the Gators while attending junior day and although signing day for his class is over a year away, he believes he made the right decision.

“It is really early, but I am a Gator.” – Caleb Brantley, 2013 Defensive Tackle

From Crescent City, FL (Crescent City), Brantley had offers from many instate schools including Florida State, Miami and USF. He chose Florida citing the family feel and ability for his family to see him play on a constant basis. The 6’3″, 285-pound defensive tackle already has great size for his age and the ability to develop into a great run stopper. With another year of high school football ahead of him, Brantley will have plenty of time to continue to develop his talents before he gets to the next level.

With only a few days left until the 2012 class signs, Will Muschamp and the entire Florida staff are already making their mark on 2013. For those that won’t be joining the Gators until then, check out the new 2013 Gators Football Recruiting Class page.

SB Nation Week 2 BlogPoll Top 25

Lots to catch up on, so this is just one of many. Due to internet connectivity problems (I must have been staying in a solid concrete hotel), I failed to submit my ballot for the SB Nation Week 2 BlogPoll Top 25. It’s still in my head (at least some of it), but was never electronically captured. Instead of boring you with it, I’ll just go ahead and post the final BlogPoll for the week. Here it is in its entirety.

A few things to note: As always, many voters (including myself) base their ballots on results, not projections. LSU is no. 1 here and would have been in my poll too. A big difference between this one and what mine would have been is Oregon. Sure the Ducks lost to my new no. 1, but they also lost. They are 0-1. That’s not good. They would have been much lower for me; if on the poll at all. Sure they’ll rebound and starting putting wins together, but again 0-1. You’ll also notice good old friend USF making the poll. Good for the Bulls and deserved. I’m still a little shaky on the Bulls’ offense, but it was a great win for the program and all-around good fun to see in person.

College Football Rankings 2011

Results for Week 2

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 LSU Tigers (41) 23.63 2.42 Arrow_up 5
2 Oklahoma Sooners (27) 23.14 1.57
3 Alabama Crimson Tide (21) 22.68 3.12 Arrow_down -2
4 Boise St. Broncos (4) 22.16 1.86
5 Stanford Cardinal (2) 19.47 3.32 Arrow_up 2
6 Florida St. Seminoles 18.80 2.92 Arrow_down -1
7 Wisconsin Badgers 18.41 3.13 Arrow_up 1
8 Texas A&M Aggies 16.11 3.70 Arrow_up 2
9 Nebraska Cornhuskers 15.39 4.54
10 Virginia Tech Hokies 14.65 4.33 Arrow_up 1
11 Oklahoma St. Cowboys 13.82 4.99 Arrow_up 2
12 South Carolina Gamecocks 12.77 4.21
13 Arkansas Razorbacks 12.27 4.76 Arrow_up 1
14 Oregon Ducks 12.26 6.03 Arrow_down -11
15 Ohio St. Buckeyes 9.86 4.27 Arrow_up 4
16 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 9.37 4.21 Arrow_up 4
17 Michigan St. Spartans 6.72 4.78 Arrow_down -1
18 Baylor Bears 6.45 6.48 Arrow_up 53
19 Florida Gators 6.26 4.22 Arrow_up 4
20 West Virginia Mountaineers 6.12 3.67 Arrow_up 1
21 South Florida Bulls 5.26 5.93 Arrow_up 15
22 Missouri Tigers 4.03 3.97
23 Penn St. Nittany Lions 2.60 3.77 Arrow_up 4
24 Houston Cougars 2.21 3.95 Arrow_up 7
25 Texas Longhorns 2.13 3.12 Arrow_up 1
Others Receiving Votes: Arizona St. Sun Devils | BYU Cougars | TCU Horned Frogs | Northwestern Wildcats | USC Trojans | Georgia Bulldogs | Michigan Wolverines | Auburn Tigers | Maryland Terrapins | Iowa Hawkeyes | Clemson Tigers | Hawaii Warriors | Syracuse Orange | Central Florida Knights | Utah Utes | Pittsburgh Panthers | Northern Illinois Huskies | California Golden Bears | Cincinnati Bearcats | Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets | Notre Dame Fighting Irish | Utah State Aggies | Rutgers Scarlet Knights | North Carolina Tar Heels | Arizona Wildcats | Ohio Bobcats | Air Force Falcons | Washington St. Cougars | Texas Tech Red Raiders | Virginia Cavaliers | Southern Miss. Golden Eagles | Miami Hurricanes | Arkansas St. Red Wolves | Oregon St. Beavers | Toledo Rockets | Temple Owls | Nevada Wolf Pack | Tennessee Volunteers | Connecticut Huskies | Purdue Boilermakers | N.C. State Wolfpack | Fla. International Golden Panthers | UAB Blazers | Vanderbilt Commodores | SMU Mustangs | Eastern Michigan Eagles
Updated: Sep 7, 2011 10:07 AM EDT

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.

Friday Night Links: Jeff Demps, Tim Tebow, D.J. Humphries, And More

Time once again. It’s Friday and the weekend is upon us. Those of you on the East coast may have already started your weekend while the rest of you count down the final few hours. Here are some links to get you through the weekend. We’re now less than four weeks away from the first game of the college football season. It’s oh so close, but not here just yet, so read up.

Let the links begin…
How will the Gators do this season? (Upon Further Review Sports)
It’s less than 33 days away from the first Florida football game, but earlier this week it was exactly that and #33 was Errict Rhett. (Gator Envy)

Also in the jersey numbers file, Jeff Demps may have a new one. (CBS Sports)

A little USF for you. Could the Bulls wear green helmets in the future? (The Bull Rush)
Lists are fun. Here’s the top 40 players in the SEC according to Athlon. (Athlon)

Denard Robinson was more than exciting last season. This time around, Michigan has a new system. Can Robinson succeed? (National Football Post)

It has been Tim Tebow week. (National Football Post)
We just had to direct you to this again. (Every Day Should Be Saturday)
Purdue has new uniforms. Dislike. (CBS Sports)
Will Muschamp is a man. He’s 40. Be sure to check out all of the 50 for 50 installments while you’re at it. (Alligator Army)

And finally, D.J. Humphries is set to commit tonight. Florida is among the finalists. (ESPN)

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.