Q&A with Florida Gators QB Austin Appleby

Austin Appleby met with the media Wednesday for the first time since transferring to Florida in January.

Gators quarterback Austin Appleby throws a pass in practice. (UAA Communications photo by Courtney Culbreath)
Gators quarterback Austin Appleby throws a pass in practice. (UAA Communications photo by Courtney Culbreath)

Our Gators correspondent Luis Torres was there for Appleby’s interview. Appleby is part of Florida’s quarterback competition and passed for 2,777 yards, 19 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in 17 games in his Purdue career. Continue reading “Q&A with Florida Gators QB Austin Appleby”

Gators RB Jordan Scarlett calls Citrus Bowl suspension “humbling experience”

Running back Jordan Scarlett learned a lot during his first season with the Gators.

Jordan Scarlett #25 of the Florida Gators rushes for yardage during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field on October 31, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Jordan Scarlett #25 of the Florida Gators rushes for yardage during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field on October 31, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The former Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas star arrived to Gainesville as a four-star prospect, but he ended his freshman season serving a one-game suspension. Scarlett was suspended for the Citrus Bowl after being charged on Dec. 23 with first degree misdemeanors for marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. Continue reading “Gators RB Jordan Scarlett calls Citrus Bowl suspension “humbling experience””

Video: Former Gators QB Tim Tebow ready to run for political office?

Tim Tebow is used to running for touchdowns, but could he soon be running for political office?

Broadcaster Tim Tebow of the SEC Network speaks on air before the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Broadcaster Tim Tebow of the SEC Network speaks on air before the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

The former Gators quarterback and 2007 Heisman winner didn’t rule it out when asked recently about a possible future in politics. Continue reading “Video: Former Gators QB Tim Tebow ready to run for political office?”

Randy Shannon compares Gators LB Jarrad Davis to Jonathan Vilma, Jon Beason, Ray Lewis

Linebacker Jarrad Davis knew he wanted to return for his senior season right after Florida’s loss in the SEC championship game.

Quarterback Drew Lock #3 of the Missouri Tigers avoids a sack by linebacker Jarrad Davis #40 of the Florida Gators in the third quarter at Memorial Stadium on October 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Quarterback Drew Lock #3 of the Missouri Tigers avoids a sack by linebacker Jarrad Davis #40 of the Florida Gators in the third quarter at Memorial Stadium on October 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

“I knew what I wanted to do after the SEC championship game,” Davis said earlier this month. “Of course, I had to look and see what it looked like. But at the same time, just that bad taste that was in my mouth, I can’t walk away from that. It’s something that I know I have another opportunity and I’m going to come at it full go. I’m going to make sure I take advantage of it.”

And the Gators plan to take advantage of Davis’ return. With the departure of linebacker Antonio Morrison, cornerback Vernon Hargreaves and defensive lineman Jon Bullard, Florida is going to have to rely on Davis to be one of the defense’s leaders. Continue reading “Randy Shannon compares Gators LB Jarrad Davis to Jonathan Vilma, Jon Beason, Ray Lewis”

Mailbag: What should be expected from Gators offensive line in 2016?

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Florida Gators and Florida Atlantic Owls players line up before a snap during the second half of the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 21, 2015 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Florida Gators and Florida Atlantic Owls players line up before a snap during the second half of the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 21, 2015 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

With less than two weeks to go before Florida’s spring football game, it’s time for another Gators mailbag.

If you weren’t able to ask a question this week, send your questions for future mailbags via Twitter, e-mail (achiang@pbpost.com) or Facebook). Continue reading “Mailbag: What should be expected from Gators offensive line in 2016?”

Graduate transfer CB Marshall Taylor considering Florida Gators

Cornerback Marshall Taylor is looking for a new home in his final season of eligibility after four years at Miami of Ohio, and the SEC has a strong chance at featuring the graduate transfer in 2016.

Head coach Jim McElwain of the Florida Gators gives a thumbs-up to the crowd after the game against the New Mexico State Aggies at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Head coach Jim McElwain of the Florida Gators gives a thumbs-up to the crowd after the game against the New Mexico State Aggies at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Taylor told Keith Niebuhr of 247 Sports that Auburn and Florida are two of four programs he’s considering, along with Louisville and Michigan State. Continue reading “Graduate transfer CB Marshall Taylor considering Florida Gators”

Gators coach Jim McElwain has ‘come a ways’ since making $4,723 a year in first coaching job

Jim McElwain is making a lot more money than he used to.

Head coach Jim McElwain of the Florida Gators enters the stadium before the game against the Mississippi Rebels on October 3, 2015 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Head coach Jim McElwain of the Florida Gators enters the stadium before the game against the Mississippi Rebels on October 3, 2015 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

The University of Florida announced Friday that McElwain received a $750,000 annual raise, bumping up his annual compensation from $3.5 million per year to $4.25 million per year. The second-year Gators head coach’s contract still runs through the 2020 season.

That’s a lot more money than McElwain made in his first coaching job in 1987 at Eastern Washington. Continue reading “Gators coach Jim McElwain has ‘come a ways’ since making $4,723 a year in first coaching job”

Florida Gators: 3 things we learned from first full spring scrimmage

The Gators held their first full spring scrimmage Thursday.

Running back Mark Thompson receives a handoff during the Gators' first day of spring football practice Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at the Sanders Practice Fields in Gainesville, Fla. / UAA Communications photo by Allison Deutch
Running back Mark Thompson receives a handoff during the Gators’ first day of spring football practice Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at the Sanders Practice Fields in Gainesville, Fla. / UAA Communications photo by Allison Deutch

For the first time since the scrimmage, Jim McElwain addressed the media Monday. It sounds like McElwain came away from the scrimmage with a smile on his face. Continue reading “Florida Gators: 3 things we learned from first full spring scrimmage”

Notebook: Jim McElwain pleased with Gators’ first spring scrimmage

GAINESVILLE — Florida held its first spring scrimmage on Thursday, allowing Jim McElwain to evaluate his team in game situations for the first time this month.

Head coach Jim McElwain of the Florida Gators watches the action during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field on October 31, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Head coach Jim McElwain of the Florida Gators watches the action during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field on October 31, 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Overall, the Gators’ second-year coach was pleased with the scrimmage.

“Really felt good about the scrimmage on Thursday,” McElwain said. “We got about 117 snaps in, not counting special teams. Got a lot of guys some, I thought, valuable reps, especially some of the young guys.” Continue reading “Notebook: Jim McElwain pleased with Gators’ first spring scrimmage”

Photos: Demolition phase begins for O’Connell Center renovation

The O’Connell Center is getting a facelift.

(Photo provided by Tim Casey / UAA Communications)
(Photo provided by Tim Casey / UAA Communications)

A major step toward that facelift took place last week with the beginning of the demolition phase. The $64.5 million renovation of the O’Connell Center is scheduled to be completed in December 2016 for the University of Florida’s fall semester commencement.

[Florida Gators make Jim McElwain highest paid coach in SEC East]

[Gators OT Fred Johnson continues to impress despite inexperience]

“It’s really exciting. It’s a culmination of 21 months since we had our first construction meeting,”  UF Executive Associate Athletics Director for Internal Affairs Chip Howard said in a statement. “The design team and construction management firm have worked really hard, so it’s a big day to finally get underway with a very important, critical project here for the university.”

The renovation plans for the O’Connell Center include a seating bowl update, the addition of premium seating areas, installation of a state-of-the-art center-hung scoreboard, upgrades to team spaces and an enhanced concourse to improve the fan experience.

While the renovation is taking place, Florida’s girls volleyball team will play its 2016 home schedule at Santa Fe College. Florida’s basketball teams will also be displaced for most of the non-conference portions of their 2016-17 seasons, as they plan to play some of those games around the state of Florida, in cities and venues to be determined.

“From a sound and lighting standpoint, we’ll have an all-new sound system, a new LED lighting system, a center-hung scoreboard, supplemental scoreboards to enhance the fan experience, expanded restrooms, expanded gates, a 360-degree concourse, premium seating that we’ve never had before in the O’Connell Center, as well as brand new systems – HVAC, plumbing, electrical,” Howard said of the renovation.

Here are more photos of the early demolition activities …

Photo provided by Tim Casey / UAA Communications.
Photo provided by Tim Casey / UAA Communications.
Photo provided by Tim Casey / UAA Communications.
Photo provided by Tim Casey / UAA Communications.
Photo provided by Tim Casey / UAA Communications.
Photo provided by Tim Casey / UAA Communications.
Photo provided by Tim Casey / UAA Communications.
Photo provided by Tim Casey / UAA Communications.

Here are artist renderings of the finished product …

Artist rendering of O’Connell Center provided by UAA.
Artist rendering of O’Connell Center provided by UAA.
Artist rendering of O’Connell Center provided by UAA.
Artist rendering of O’Connell Center provided by UAA.
Artist rendering of O’Connell Center provided by UAA.
Artist rendering of O’Connell Center provided by UAA.