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Gator Report

Antonya English

Gators Jim McElwain on new OC Doug Nussmeier: "We're like thinkers"

Florida coach Jim McElwain has officially announced the hiring of Doug Nussmeier as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Nussmeier comes to the Gators after one season as offensive coordinator at Michigan, preceeded by two seasons as Alabama's offensive coordinator.

McElwain said his familiarity with Nussmeier played a key role in his decision. The two men worked together at Michigan State from 2003-2005, and Nussmeier took over as offensive coordinator at Alabma in 2012 when McElwain left to become head coach at Colorado State. Nussmeier also replaced McElwain as OC at Fresno State when he left in 2007.

“Doug and I have worked together on the same staff and I’ve known him for years,” McElwain said. “We are like thinkers in that he will adapt to the players we have in the program and develop them as we continue to evolve.”

Nussmeier has a proven track record of producing strong quarterbacks. He helped develop Alabama's AJ McCarron, Washington's Jake Locker and Keith Price, Michigan State's Drew Stanton and Jeff Smoker and the St. Louis Rams' Marc Bulger. In 12 seasons, Nussmeier has tutored four 3,000-yard passers. …

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Michgan offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will become Florida's new OC

Jim McElwain is closing in on his second staff hiring.

The new Gators head coach is expected to hire Michigan offensive coordiantor Doug Nussmeier for the same position at Florida.

Ironically, Nussmeier and McElwain are both former Alabama offensive coordinators.

The two also worked together at Michigan State from 2003-2005 as quarterbacks coach and associate head coach respectively.

Nussmeier was the Tide's offensive coordinator for the two years prior, before joining Michigan's staff for the 2014 season.

He took over at Alabama in 2012 after McElwain left to become head coach at Colorado State. With Nussmeier in charge of the offense in his first season, the Tide went 13-1 and won the SEC and BCS national championship. Alabama QB AJ McCarron had a school-record 30 touchdown passes and running backs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon combined for more than  2,400 yards and 29 touchdowns.

McElwain was hired Dec. 4, but has hired just one staff member - former Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins.

The Gators will play in the Jan. 3 Birmingham Bowl before McElwain completely takes over the program.

 

 

 

 

 

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Gators Jim McElwain taking his time filling out staff

So far new Florida coach Jim McElwain has announced just one hire for his Gators' staff, but apparently that's by design.

McElwain was a guest on 620 WDAE radio in Tampa today and said his biggest focus has been on recruiting, and he's patiently going about gathering a staff.

“We’re in the process of putting it together,” McElwain said. “We’ve got guys that are currently in major bowl games that will probably jump on board, and then some guys that maybe have an NFL game or maybe even some playoff games left. We’re being patient."

This past week McElwain hired former Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins to be DC at Florida.

McElwain was hired Dec. 4, and made his first formal appearance at his introductory news conference on Dec. 6. He immediately hit the recruiting trail because he had just one week before the dead period was set to begin.

At the time, the Gators had seven oral commitments from players. They now have eight. …

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Former Gator Corey Brewer headed to Houston Rockets

Former Gator Corey Brewer will be traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Houston Rockets, sources told Yahoo Sports.

A member of the starting five on Florida's 2006 and 2007 national championship teams, Brewer was reportedly traded for two second round draft picks.

Here's more on the story from Yahoo Sports.

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Gators' QB Treon Harris cited for driving without license

Florida QB Treon Harris is facing a January court date after he was cited for driving without a driver's license.

The story was first reported by the Gainesville Sun.

According to court documents, Harris was in a 2010 Infiniti on Dec. 13 when he was observed by a University Police Department officer  driving 35 mph in a 20 mph zone on Stadium Road. He was stopped as he pulled into The Springs parking lot - a campus dormitory.

When the officer asked to see Harris' license, he informed them he didn't have one. Harris was cited on a misdemeanor charge of driving with no driver's license, failure to have one issued.Court documents show that Harris, a 19-year-old native of Miami, has never been issued a Florida Driver's license.

Harris was riding with freshman CB Jalen Tabor and freshman DB J.C. Jackson and the police report states two bags of marijuana were found in the car. But because the car did not belong to Harris or either of the passengers, no charges were filed.

The three could face further discipline from the University of Florida student conduct board. There is also the issue of how their conduct will be viewed by new head coach Jim McElwain, who was hired on Dec. 6. …

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Gators DL Byran Cox undergoes surgery, will miss Birmingham Bowl

Florida DL Bryan Cox, Jr.. will not play in the Jan. 3 Birmingham Bowl due to an injury.

Cox underwent surgery on Monday to repair a hip problem, Gators interim coach D.J. Durkin said.

"Bryan Cox had surgery and will be out for the bowl," Durkin said. "It's a hip injury, something that was deteriorating over time that he needed to have done."

Cox, a redshirt sophomore, played in all 11 games this season with 29 tackles, including four sacks.

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Gators' D.J. Durkin denies reports of new job

Florida interim coach and defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin today denied reports that he has accepted another job.

Rports out of Texas Thursday morning said Durkin is scheduled to be hired as the new defensive coordinator at Texas A&M. But Durkin said the only job he has as of right now is with the Gators.

"I have not accepted any sort of job anywhere, here or anywhere else other than the job as interim coach for the bowl game," he said.

Durkin, who has been with the Gators five years, said he's focusing solely on getting the Gators ready to play in the Jan. 3. Birmingham Bowl and is looking forward to the challenge of being the head coach - even if only for one game. …

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Gators Vernon Hargreaves to be honored with All-American brick on UF campus

Florida sophomore cornerback Vernon Hagreaves III has been named a First Team All-America selection by the Sporting News, which means his accomplishment will forever be commemorated on the UF campus.

Hargreaves, a Tampa Wharton alum, will receive a brick outside the Gators' football facility to be placed among the numerous All-Americans that have come before him.

The Gators recognize players with a brick when they are first team All-Americans selected by one or more of the following organizations: Sporting News, Associated Press, Walter Camp, Football Writers Association of America and the American Football Coaches Association.

Also today, freshman CB Jalen Tabor was named to the Sporting News Freshman All-America team. DL Dante Fowler, a Lakewood alum, was named to the All-America Second Team.

Fowler, who has said he will not return for his senior season and declare for the NFL Draft, is currently projected by Mel Kiper as the No. 7 pick in the 2015 Draft.

 

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Jim McElwain's first Gator commitment is TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe

About 24 hours after his introductory press conference on Dec. 6, new Florida coach Jim McElwain hit the recruiting trail.

On Tuesday, he received his first oral commitment as the Gators' head coach.

Georgia TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe announced via Twitter that he plans to attend Florida.

Imatorbhebhe, who is 6-4, 227 pounds, said on his Twitter account: "Thank you to all the people/coaches that have supported me and given me an opportunity to play at their schools. . . . I'm extremely proud to announce that I will be attending the University of Florida!!!! #GatorNationWhatUP"

Imatorbhebhe is a 3-star recruit who is ranked No. 24 among tight ends. He is expected to enroll in January.

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Gators cornerback Vernon Hargreaves selected to AP All-America second team

The awards continue to come for Florida sophomore CB Vernon Hargreaves III.

Today, Hargreaves was named to the Associated Press All-America second team - the only Gator to be named to the first, second or third teams.

This past week, Hargreaves was selected for the AP All-SEC first team and was a first team All-SEC selection by the league's coaches.

Hargreaves led the SEC with 13 pass breakups on the year, and also had two interceptions and two recovered fumbles.

You can check out the full list of the AP All-America teams here

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Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins to join Gators staff

Florida coach Jim McElwain has hired Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins to become the new defensive coordinator at Florida.

Collins, 43, was Mississippi State’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach the past four years. He was a 2014 Broyles Award nominee for the best assistant coach in the nation.

“His defenses have been successful everywhere he has been,” McElwain said. "It was important to maintain some of the same philosophies and concepts that have made the defenses around here successful with this hire and our players will continue to progress under his direction.”

Collins will be McElwain's first hire since he was hired on Dec. 4. He spent his first full week on the job recruiting - the only time he had to try and win players over before the NCAA dead period began this week. Several recruits said McElwain told them last week he plans to retain offensive line coach Mike Summers, but the status of the other Florida assistants remains unknown. …

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Will Muschamp to earn $3.7 million from Florida and Auburn

Auburn will officially introduce Will Muschamp as its new offensive coordinator today, 28 days after he was fired as the Gators' head coach.

"I'm excited to welcome Will back to Auburn as our new defensive coordinator," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement. "Will is a one of the top defensive minds in college football who has great passion and energy for the game. He is a tremendous addition to our staff."

A news conference is scheduled for this morning in Auburn, Ala. Muschamp, who coached Auburn's defense in 2006 and 2007, will reportedly earn $1.6 million annually.

That will make him the highest paid assistant coach in college football.

And while he's working for Auburn, he's also going to be getting paid from Florida.

Muschamp's contract with the Gators does not have a clause in it that deducts future salary in the event he found another job - often a standard clause in coaches' contracts.

So for at least the next three years, Muschamp will earn $3.7 million between his salaries from Auburn and Florida. Florida owes Muschamp approximately $6.3 million to be paid in installments over the next four years. …

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Gators adjusting to life without Will Muschamp

Two weeks after former Florida coach Will Muschamp coached his final game for Florida, the Gators are adjusting to life without him.

Florida is preparing for its Jan. 3 game against East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl, and interim coach D.J. Durkin said the Gators are working hard despite all the outside distractions they've been through during the past month. But, he said, it hasn't been easy.

“Change is always a difficult thing, but it is a part of life – not just football, but a part of life," Durkin said. "Our guys are going through the process and responding well to it. I told the team that life does not stop for anyone. You have to keep going, and our guys understand that. We had a great practice (Thursday) and they are going to be ready to go.”

Durkin is part of a Gators' staff in transition for the second time during his tenure - he was on Urban Meyer's staff when Meyer abruptly resigned. But he said he doesn't consider his role as the interim coach added pressure. …

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Gators expect Eli Carter to return vs. Texas Southern

Florida G Eli Carter is expected to play Friday night when the Gators host Texas Southern, but how much and the extent to which he'll be able to contribute is unknown.

Carter, a redshirt junior, suffered a mid-foot sprain on Nov. 20 and has played sparingly since. He has not played in the past two games (Kansas and Yale). The injury, which was originally feared to be more serious, has kept him out of the lineup for the past six games.

"He practiced (Wednesday)," Florida coach Billy Donovan said today. "He’s still having some soreness and some pain, but he wanted to give it a go. He’s going to practice again today. He’s cleared, and I would expect him to play and be available to play tomorrow. I don’t know how much yet. But he pretty much did everything in practice. I still think he’s not moving as well as I’d like to him to move. I don’t know if that’s him being cautious or him feeling some pain there, but he feels like he can go. Like I said, he’s cleared and it’s really on him now and he’s at a place where he wants to do it."

The Gators are 4-4 entering Friday night's game.

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Gators Treon Harris, Jalen Tabor named to SEC All-Freshman Team

Treon Harris, the Florida freshman QB who began preseason as the third string QB, but eventually won the starting job, has been named to the SEC All-Freshman Team, the league announced today.

Also joining him on the team, which is selected by the SEC's coaches, is Gators DB Jalen Tabor.

Harris was inserted into the Oct. 4 game at Tennessee late in the third quarter and went on to lead the Gators to a come from behind win.

He eventually led Florida to three wins and an upcoming appearance in the Jan. 3 Birmingham Bowl after he took over the starting job in the Nov. 1 game against Georgia.

Harris, a Miami native, passed for 896 yards and seven touchdowns with a quarterback rating of 142.36. He also rushed for 297 yards and three touchdowns, including two TD's against Vanderbilt.

Tabor has played in all 11 games for the Gators, with four starts. He had 28 tackles (19 unassisted) with four tackles-for-loss, two sacks and seven pass breakups.

Here is the full list of the SEC All-Freshman Team.

 

 

 

 

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