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Sunshine State Report

The latest on college sports in Florida

Lorenzo Featherston among FSU football players out Saturday

Florida State defensive end Lorenzo Featherston (knee) is among the Seminoles who won't play Saturday because of injury, the team announced Thursday night.

 Other Noles out for the game: Offensive linemen Abdul Bello (knee), Chad Mavety (concussion) and Cole Minshew (ankle), defensive back Marcus Lewis (knee) and receiver Nyqwan Murray (hand).  Defensive back Ryan Green (St. Pete Catholic) is out for the year with a shoulder injury.

Coach Jimbo Fisher told reporters that redshirt freshman Brock Ruble will start on the offensive line. Corey Martinez (Tampa Catholic) will indeed start at center. Ahead of Alec Eberle, who was slowed this week due to injury.

"I think he's ready to play, and he feels good," Fisher told reporters about Eberle. "Martinez just had a few more days of practice in the game plan."

Fisher also said Trey Marshall will start at the star nickel back position.

 

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Video: Previewing college football's opening weekend

The Times' Matt Baker, left, and Joey Knight preview the opening slate of college football games involving state teams in this video report.

Times Staff

The Times' Matt Baker, left, and Joey Knight preview the opening slate of college football games involving state teams in this video report.

Because the college football season is finally, mercifully upon us, Joey Knight and I sat down to preview the opening slate of games: USF-FAMU, Florida State-Texas State and Florida-New Mexico State, plus UCF-FIU and Bethune-Cookman at Miami. Here's our video.

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Florida Gators name Treon Harris starting quarterback for season opener

Treon Harris, a 5-foot-11 Miami native, was 4-2 as a starter last season.

Getty Images

Treon Harris, a 5-foot-11 Miami native, was 4-2 as a starter last season.

GAINESVILLE - Sophomore Treon Harris will start at quarterback for Florida in Saturday's season opener against New Mexico State, Gators coach Jim McElwain announced after Wednesday's practice.

Harris, a 5-foot-11 Miami native, was 4-2 as a starter last season.

"It was really close," McElwain said.

And it's still not over.

Redshirt freshman Will Grier will also play Saturday. McElwain said both quarterbacks will play a few series at a time to get into a rhythm and help him decide who the starter will be going forward.

"It's a painting in progress," McElwain said. "We've got to figure out what the backdrop's going to be."

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ACC basketball schedules released for Miami, Florida State

The ACC released the complete men's basketball schedules today. Here are the schedules for Florida State and Miami:

FSU

Nov. 2 vs. Lynn (exhibition)

Nov. 9 vs. Southeastern (exhibition)

Nov. 15 vs. Nicholls State

Nov. 17 vs. Jacksonville

Nov. 20 vs. Hofstra (at U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam), 3:30

Nov. 21/22 vs. South Carolina/DePaul (at U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam)

Nov. 23 vs. TBD (at U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam)

Dec. 2 at Iowa, 9:15

Dec. 6 vs. VCU (at Atlanta), 2

Dec. 13 vs. Southeastern Louisiana

Dec. 16 vs. Mississippi State, 9

Dec. 19 vs. Florida Atlantic (at Sunrise)

Dec. 21 vs. Charleston Southern

Dec. 29 at Florida, 7

Jan. 2 at Clemson

Jan. 4 at North Carolina, 7

Jan. 9 at Miami, 5

Jan. 13 at North Carolina State, 9

Jan. 17 vs. Virginia, 6:30

Jan. 20 at Louisville, 9

Jan. 23 vs. Pitt

Jan. 26 at Boston College, 7

Jan. 30 vs. Clemson

Feb. 1 vs. North Carolina State, 9

Feb. 6 at Wake Forest

Feb. 11 at Syracuse, 7

Feb. 14 vs. Miami, 6:30

Feb. 17 vs. Georgia Tech

Feb. 20 at Virginia Tech

Feb. 25 at Duke, 7

Feb. 27 vs. Notre Dame

March 5 vs. Syracuse

 

Miami

Nov. 4 vs. Dowling (exhibition), 7

Nov. 13 vs. Texas-Rio Grande Valley, 7

Nov. 16 vs. Louisiana, 7 …

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Florida Gators updates, on switching quarterbacks and Jeremi Powell

Two quick Gators notes from Wednesday's early availability:

Coach Jim McElwain shared a little bit more information about how he'll use both quarterbacks Saturday. On the coaches' teleconference, McElwain said he will likely leave each player - sophomore Treon Harris and redshirt freshman Will Grier - in for a few series before switching. It's still unclear which one will start the season opener against New Mexico State.

Defensive coordinator Geoff Collins said linebacker Jeremi Powell (Pinellas Park) is looking like a productive player as he enters his redshirt junior season.

"He's a special kid as far as being able to come off the edge and generate pass rush, and he's done a good job in coverage for us," Collins said. "Coach (Randy) Shannon's done a great job with him, simplifying it for him and making it where he's' able to run fast, make plays. The presence he brings energy-wise has been phenomenal." 

 

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Report: UCF's George O'Leary could stay AD, leave coaching

George O'Leary was named the school's interim AD over the summer and is in his 12th season as the Knights' coach.

AP photo

George O'Leary was named the school's interim AD over the summer and is in his 12th season as the Knights' coach.

UPDATE, 3:09: O'Leary told the Orlando Sentinel that he plans to keep doing both jobs well and that his new contract expires in 2020. Here's the Sentinel's story. 

 

UCF football coach George O'Leary would like to become the school's full-time athletic director and end his coaching career after the season, according to a report from USA Today.

O'Leary was named the school's interim AD over the summer and is in his 12th season as the Knights' coach.

According to USA Today, offensive coordinator Brent Key would be the most likely replacement for O'Leary as head coach.

This isn't the first time rumors have circulated about O'Leary's future. Although he did tell the Orlando Sentinel in the winter that he might retire before his coaching contract expires in 2017. 

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TC alum Corey Martinez named Florida State's starting center

While Monday's focus at Florida State was on Everett Golson being named the starting quarterback, the Seminoles made another noteworthy announcement: Tampa Catholic product Corey Martinez will start at center for the season opener.

"That's a position like quarterback - you can snap it or you can't," coach Jimbo Fisher told reporters. "Getting those guys all there is very critical."

"Those guys" means redshirt freshman Alec Eberle and redshirt sophomore Ryan Hoefield. Eberle is out with an injury, and Hoefield started the first four games last year. Both could challenge Martinez at the position in the coming weeks.

Martinez is a 6-foot-4, 295-pound redshirt freshman and a four-star recruit. 

 

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Everett Golson named FSU's staring quarterback

Everett Golson, left, pictured next to linebacker Reggie Northrup, will be Florida State's starting quarterback to start the season.

AP photo

Everett Golson, left, pictured next to linebacker Reggie Northrup, will be Florida State's starting quarterback to start the season.

Florida State's month-long quarterback competition ended Monday evening when coach Jimbo Fisher officially named Everett Golson the starter.

Golson, a graduate transfer from Notre Dame, beat out redshirt junior Sean Maguire to earn the right to start Saturday's season opener at Texas State.

The 6-foot, 199-pound Golson is familiar with Doak Campbell Stadium. The last time he took a meaningful snap there, he threw for 313 yards in Notre Dame's 31-27 primetime loss to FSU.

In Golson's 25 games at Notre Dame, he threw for 5,850 yards and 41 touchdowns. He also rushed for 581 yards and 14 scores.

Despite the close battle, Fisher said Golson won't be in danger of losing his starting spot quickly.

"I'm not going to short-leash anybody," Fisher said during Monday's weekly news conference. "When I played, I don't want somebody looking over my shoulder every mistake I made. I don't coach that way. In the end, I'll put the guy in the game that I think can win the football game."

And Saturday, that will be Golson.

 

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Everett Golson or Sean Maguire? FSU not ready to say yet

Jimbo Fisher won't say whether Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson or redshirt junior Sean Maguire, pictured, will start Saturday's season opener.

AP photo

Jimbo Fisher won't say whether Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson or redshirt junior Sean Maguire, pictured, will start Saturday's season opener.

Florida State remains mum on its quarterback battle.

Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said he has a "good idea" whether Notre Dame transfer Everett Golson or redshirt junior Sean Maguire will start Saturday's season opener, but he wouldn't say which way he was leaning.

We'll know here very soon," Fisher said in his weekly news conference in Tallahassee.

Fisher said he will tell the team before he announces his decision publicly. He said he has been pleased with both players and that some of his decision will come down to how the other 10 offensive players work around the quarterback.

Stay tuned.

 

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Florida Gators' Antonio Morrison (knee) will play Saturday

Linebacker Antonio Morrison, right, sustained a serious knee injury in the Birmingham Bowl.

Getty Images

Linebacker Antonio Morrison, right, sustained a serious knee injury in the Birmingham Bowl.

Florida's defense will get a big, perhaps unexpected boost Saturday.

Linebacker Antonio Morrison is listed as the starting middle linebacker and will be able to play, eight months after sustaining a serious knee injury in the Birmingham Bowl.

"It's unbelievable what he's done," Gators coach Jim McElwain said. "Really proud of what he's done."

Morrison was a second-team all-SEC selection last fall and a team captain. He led UF with 101 tackles - the first Gators linebacker with that many since 2007.

McElwain said UF will limit Morrison, so he won't play the full game as he continues to recover.

In other injury news, five-star freshman lineman Martez Ivey (leg) and starting safety Keanu Neal (leg) won't practice today, but neither has been officially ruled out for Saturday's season opener. 

 

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2016 recruit Zach McCloud signs agreement with Miami Hurricanes

Four-star recruit Zach McCloud has signed a grant-in-aid agreement with Miami, the Hurricanes announced Monday morning.

McCloud, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker, had almost 120 tackles as a junior for Santaluces High in Palm Beach County.

 Three other 2016 recruits have also signed such agreements - which aren't binding like national letters of intent: quarterback Jack Allison, linebacker Shaquille Quarterman and linebacker Michael Pinckney. 

 

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Florida Gators release depth chart for season opener

Florida released its depth chart for Saturday's season opener against New Mexico State, but - spoiler alert - there's no news at quarterback.

Sophomore Treon Harris OR redshirt freshman Will Grier will start, but the Gators still aren't saying who will take the first snaps. Both will likely see playing time.

The starting offensive line: LT Mason Halter, LG Trip Thurman, C Cam Dillard, RG Antonio Riles and RT David Sharpe.

Antonio Morrison is listed as the starting middle linebacker, despite the serious knee injury he sustained during the Birmingham Bowl. Pasco High alum Joey Ivie is listed as a starting defensive lineman, along with end Jon Bullard, tackle Caleb Brantley and rush Bryan Cox Jr.

Keanu Neal, who has been sidelined with a leg injury, is listed as a starter at safety.

 

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Miami Hurricanes' Gus Edwards out for the year

Miami junior running back Gus Edwards is out for the season with a left foot injury, the Hurricanes announced late Sunday evening.

"Gus worked extremely hard for the last nine month to prepare for this moment," UM coach Al Golden said in a statement. "He set a high standard and did a great job leading and being unselfish. We are tremendously disappointed for him, but we will be there with him on the road to recovery and anxiously await his return."

The 6-foot-2, 241-pound Edwards averaged 5.7 yards per carry as a sophomore, rushing for 349 yards. He scored 11 touchdowns in his first two seasons with the Hurricanes.

With Edwards out, Joe Yearby and Mark Walton are listed as the top two backs on UM's depth chart.

 

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Report: Florida Gators to host Colorado State in 2018

Florida will host Colorado State on Sept. 15, 2018, according to a report from the Coloradoan newspaper.

A reporter from USA Today dubbed it the Jim McElwain Buyout Game, because it was part of the agreement when McElwain and the Gators bought out his contract as Colorado State's coach.

UF will pay the Rams $2 million for the game. 

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Introducing the new Sunshine State Report blog

You can probably tell from the new name and logo, but we're making a few changes around here. So let me welcome you to the Sunshine State Report, our new college sports blog.

The Sunshine State Report takes the place of our Gators blog. That doesn't mean we're abandoning our coverage of Florida (the university); it means we're revamping our coverage of Florida (the state).

We will still cover UF and the first season of new coach Jim McElwain. But we're going to cast our net wider, with more Florida State information, as well as Miami, UCF and anything else that pops up. The content and colleges will vary, based on the season, the week and the day's big stories, but this will be a landing spot for news, information, analysis and links.

Like anything new, this won't be perfect. We'll tweak the blog and our overall approach as necessary, so your feedback is welcome and encouraged. Hit me up on Twitter (@MBakerTBTimes) or via email (mbaker@tampabay.com). 

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