Gator Report

Antonya English

Gators Will Muschamp takes the ALS ice bucket challenge from Nick Saban

Tuesday afternoon, Alabama coach Nick Saban took the ice bucket challenge to help raise money and awarness for ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).

He then challenged Gators coach Will Muschamp to do the same.

Wednesday evening, Muschamp accepted that challenge.

Check it out here:

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Gators Antonio Morrison vowing to put last season in the past

After a tumultuous and disappointing 2013 season, Florida LB Antonio Morrison is ready to put the past behind and focus on the prseent.

Morrison's weight is down from 240 pounds to about 220 pounds, and he said he's much more comfortable in the Gators' offense.

"I’ve been having a pretty good camp," Morrison said. "I got great knowledge of the defense. Lost a lot of weight so I’m moving a lot better this camp and feel good where I’m at."

Gators DL Darius Cummings said Morrison has a chip on his shoulder to prove he's better than he played last year, and that attitude is positively affecting the other defensive players.

Hear more from Morrison about the upcoming season:

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Gators OL Tyler Moore hopes move inside is beneficial

After missing multiple games last season due to injuries - including a season-ending broken elbow suffered in a scooter accident - Florida OL Tyler Moore is back healthy in the Gators' fall camp.

Moore said Tuesday he no longer rides a scooter since the accident for obvious reasons, but said it's not easy getting around.

“It’s hard not to ride them because the parking here is not the greatest," Moore said. "You’ve got to be able to get to campus, especially when you have to get up every day and be here at 6 a.m."

Because of team injuries last season, Moore spent the majority of his time switching positions on the O-line.

Listen to him talk about making the transition from tackle to guard and why having a confident Jeff Driskel is important.

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Still no backup QB as Gators prepare to end fall camp

With three days remaining before fall football camp concludes, Florida coach Will Muschamp said the Gators are still in search of a backup QB, but in many ways he's pleased with the way camp is progressing.

Listen as he breaks down Monday's scrimmage and updates injuries, including the season-ending injury to freshman Thomas Holley, who will undergo hip surgery.

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Lack of depth on offensive line a major concern for Gators Will Muschamp

After 15 consecutive days of practice, Florida will participate in its final open practice of the season on Saturday morning, beginning at 9 a.m.

With 14 days remaining before the season-opener against Idaho, Florida coach Will Muschamp said his biggest concerns are lack of depth on the lines of scrimmage.

"Depth on both lines of scrimmage, especially on the offensive line," Muschamp said. "Again, I feel really comfortable probably with seven guys right now. We need to have eight or nine. That's a critical issue."

The Gators still have not named a backup QB to juniior starter Jeff Driskel, something OC Kurt Roper said he would like to make a decision sometime next week.

"Backup quarterback is a concern there," Muschamp said. "I feel very good about receiver and running back. I feel Joey Ivie and some of the younger defensive lineman have made some moves. Jay-nard (Bostwick) has been better. I mean, those guys have made some strides. I feel very comfortable at linebacker. Again, I like our athleticism on the back end. Our communication from the safety position has not been very good and that needs to improve.”

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Gators DL Dante Fowler dishes on teammate and friend Joey Ivie

Florida DL Joey Ivie has been garnering rave reviews for his improved play during the Gators' fall camp, and teammate and friend Dante Fowler, Jr., said those comments have been well-earned.

But Fowler said there's more to Ivie than people know. Namely, since he's been putting on weight, he's sorta become obsessed with how he looks.

Listen to Fowler talk about what has made Ivie so good in fall camp - about about those looks. It's classic Fowler, you won't want to miss.

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D.J. Durkin likes what he's seeing from Gators defense

CHECK OUT VIDEO OF D.J. DURKIN BELOW

Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin met with the media today for the first time since fall camp began.

Durkin, who is beginning his second season as defensive coordinator, said he isn't concerned about the time CB Vernon Hagreaves has missed due to a bruised knee.

“He just missed a handful of days,” Durkin said. “Unfortunately a lot of guys do that in training camp at some point. Vernon will be fine, he’s prepared really well, he’s a competitor. He’s hopping in as much as he can and he’s back to full speed right now so he’s got plenty of time to get himself ready."

Durkin also said highly-touted freshman DL Gerald Willis will see playing time.

“He can play, he’s good,” Durkin said. “He’ll play and help us. Gerald’s got to keep learning the defense and being in the right spot and all the typical things for a normal freshman. But he’s going to play."

Hear more from Durkin:

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Gators DL Joey Ivie's upcoming season looks promising

With about 20 pounds of extra weight and a move inside on the DL, Pasco alum Joey Ivie is earning rave reviews from the Gators coaching staff during the early portion of fall camp.

Ivie played in three of the Gators' final five games last season. He said the opportunity to play, even sparingly, instead of taking a redshirt year is what has given him an advantage in fall camp this season.

Hear more from Ivie on his progress:

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Gators OC Kurt Roper likes what he sees so far in fall camp

Between the 15 spring practices and the first 1 1/2 weeks of fall camp, new Florida offensive coordinator Kurt Roper is pleased with the progress the Gators are making.

He met with the media for the first time this fall today. Here is some of what he had to say:

 

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Pasco alum Joey Ivie making impact in Gators' fall camp

The Florida media guide describes Joey Ivie as a player who "could play both end and tackle", but for now he's making his biggest impact at defensive tackle.

Florida coach Will Muschamp said Monday that Ivie has been moved to tackle and he's pleased with his progress so far.

"He's done some really nice things," Muschamp said. "He's up to 285-290. But he's a guy that's really playing square, really playing blocks well. I'm very pleased with his progress in camp."

Ivie, a Pasco alum, saw action in three of the final five games of the 2013 season. He had three tackles against Georgia Southern and saw time in the defensive line rotation.

He has been consistent in his play during open practices, and is clearly making a strong push for a starting job. …

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Several Gators nursing minor injuries after first week of practice

Several Florida players were held out of Monday's practice nursing injuries.

Running back Matt Jones and WR Andre Debose each had knee swelling and did not practice. Jones missed six games last season with a knee injury. Debose missed all of last season after he suffered a torn ACL in preseason camp.

Florida coach Will Muschamp said Jones most likely will return to practice on Tuesday and Debose should be back on Wednesday.

Sophomore CB Vernon Hargreaves III, who suffered a bruised knee on Thursday, is progressing.

"Vernon Hargreaves ran on the the non-gravity treadmill, so he looks fine," Muschamp said. "We’re thinking tomorrow (or) Wednesday (he'll return to practice)"

More from Muschamp on injuries: …

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Gators' Will Muschamp hopes to have backup QB by week 3

Florida QB's Skyler Mornhinweg, Will Grier and Treon Harris are all making a solid push for the Gators' backup quarterback position, coach Will Muschamp said Friday.

"All three guys are even and we have been trying to get guys — to be fair — get guys different looks with different units," Muschamp said. "And we'll continue to rotate those guys with the different offensive lines and different skill kids to make sure those guys get the fair opportunity."

Early on Grier and Harris have been impressive in their first camp.

Those guys have shown some really good things as far as arm talent and poise," Muschamp said. "The No. 1 thing that strikes me with both young men is they have a very positive way about themselves with the players. I think I call it the ‘it factor.’ They both have that as far as how the players respond to them. You can see a reason why they were where they were in high school and the accomplishments they have are very easy to see. They’re very talented guys, but I look at more the intangible part of that position, and they both have that.” …

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Weight loss proves beneficial for Gators' Trenton Brown

A double-digit weight loss is turning out to be a good thing for Gators OL Trenton Brown.

The junior college transfer has lost more than 15 pounds and is currently battling with Tyler Moore for the starting right tackle position.

He looks much different - and it's showing in his play, he said.

"Right now, I’m about 24 percent body fat," Brown said.

How much of that is due to  a change in eating habits?

"A lot," said Brown, who's now listed at 350 pounds. "As you know, I’ve said before I used to eat Zaxby’s like every day."

Brown admits he struggled on the line in his first season of SEC play last year, saying it was tough to grasp the offense.

"After those first couple games I saw I wasn't playing and I wasn't really getting a grasp of the offense because it was a lot," he said. "I really did want to redshirt but they needed me to play, so I played and tried to make the best of it."

Brown said he - and the rest of his teammates - grasped new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper's offense fairly well this past spring and are now perfecting it in fall camp. …

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Gators FB Hunter Joyer hoping for expanded role in new offense

For three years, Florida FB Hunter Joyer has defined the role of ultimate team player. Although he was accustomed to carrying the ball during his days at Tampa Catholic and Wesley Chapel, Joyer has been more of a blocking back with the Gators.

That may be changing some this year.

With the installation of a new spread, up-tempo offense, Joyer is hoping he'll see an expanded role this season.

"It's kine of iffy right now, but it's more kind of like a mix between a fullback and tight end," Joyer said. "As practice goes on, it'll become more clear and I can kind of create my own role by how I produce in practice."

Joyer has appeared in every game since he joined the Gators in 2011. He had seven starts at fullback last season. He has 23 career rushes for 101 yards.

Joyer called the opportunity to potentially carry the ball more this season "very exciting."

"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "We'll see how it goes and hopefully I can make some plays in practice to earn the trust of the coaches. We'll see how it goes and take it from there."

Florida coach Will Muschamp said Joyer's versatility could be key for the Gators. …

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Gators rank No. 6 in merchandise sales

Florida may have had a terrible football season, but the Gators still managed to finish ranked No. 6 nationally in merchandise sales over the past year, according to the annual list released by The Collegiate Licensing Company today.

The rankings represent royalties reported July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 on all collegiate merchandise sold on behalf of CLC-represented institutions.
 
The retail marketplace for college-licensed merchandise in 2013 was estimated at $4.59 billion. Royalties generated from the sale of officially licensed collegiate products go back to the universities to support student scholarships, and enhance other initiatives on campus and in the community.

Texas ranked No. 1 in sales for the ninth consecutive year. Florida State, on the heels of its national title, moved up from No. 21 to No. 8.

Five of the Top 10 selling-programs are from the SEC: Alabama (2); Georgia (5); Florida (6); LSU (7) and Texas A&M (9).

Check out the full list here:

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