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Former UF, Countryside lineman Tyler Moore signs with Chicago Bears

Former Gators offensive lineman Tyler Moore has signed with the Bears, the team announced Friday.

 

The 6-foot-6, 324-pound undrafted rookie had been with the Storm. Moore, a Countryside High alum, started eight games for Florida last season. Chicago lists him as a guard, although he spent some time at tackle at UF.

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FSU is No. 8, Gators and Canes unranked in coaches' poll

Defensive back Jalen Ramsey and Florida State will start the season ranked eighth in the country in the USA Today coaches poll.

AP photo

Defensive back Jalen Ramsey and Florida State will start the season ranked eighth in the country in the USA Today coaches poll.

Florida State will start the season ranked eighth in the country in the USA Today coaches poll. The Seminoles, coming off of their run to the inaugural four-team playoff, are the only state team in the top 25, which was released Thursday morning.

Miami received 16 votes, Florida received two and UCF received one. It's the second consecutive year the Gators begin the season unranked in the poll.

Defending national champion Ohio State topped the rankings, followed by TCU, Alabama, Baylor and Oregon. The Buckeyes earned  62 of the 64 first-place votes; TCU and the Crimson Tide split the other two.

Seven other SEC teams are ranked: No. 7 Auburn, No. 9 Georgia, No. 13 LSU, No. 15 Ole Miss, No. 20 Arkansas, No. 23 Missouri and No. 25 Tennessee. That sets up a brutal stretch for the Gators, who face six consecutive teams that are ranked or received votes in one midseason stretch. 

In the ACC, Clemson was 12th, and Georgia Tech was No. 17.

The full Top 25:

1. Ohio State

2. TCU

3. Alabama

4. Baylor

5. Oregon

6. Michigan State

7. Auburn

8. Florida State

9. Georgia

10. USC

11. Notre Dame

12. Clemson

13. LSU

14. UCLA

15. Ole Miss

16. Arizona State

17. Georgia Tech

18. Wisconsin

19. Oklahoma

20. Arkansas

21. Stanford …

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Where do Gators, FSU and Miami rank among top 100 teams ever?

The Gators' 2008 national championship squad ranked No. 64 among the top 100 college football teams ever.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Tampa Bay Times

The Gators' 2008 national championship squad ranked No. 64 among the top 100 college football teams ever.

Only three college football teams in state history rank among the top 100 of all time.

That's a surprising takeaway (for me) from Sports on Earth's list, published earlier this month. The site used a mountain of data to come up with a 100 percent objective set of rankings. The numbers aren't perfect, as author Matt Brown acknowledges, but they make for fun fodder until fall practice starts. I'm still trying to figure out how Northwestern has as many teams on its own (all before the Truman administration, mind you) as the entire state, but I digress.

Florida State's only entry on the list was at No. 82. The 1993 Seminoles - led by Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward and Bucs legend Derrick Brooks - won the program's first national title by beating Nebraska that year.

The Gators' 2008 title team is No. 64. Brown gave plenty of credit to the defense, which held another top-100 team - Oklahoma and an offense ranked eighth all time - to 14 points in the BCS title game.

But the top team in state history was Miami's 2001 powerhouse, which could have been higher than No. 45 but was hurt by a schedule ranked No. 2,561. Nonetheless, it's the list's highest ranked team from this century. …

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Chris Leak part of Bucs' new community outreach

On a rainy Saturday morning at Skyway Park near the airport in Tampa, 41 young football players, ranging from fourth grade to high school, took part in the Bucs' first-ever "Cannonfire QB Clinic" youth camp, part of the team's new football development program.

The program, a community outreach effort that's an extension of the Bucs' marketing department, is comprised of a "Tampa 2" of director Darrell Taylor, who has a background with the Boys and Girls Clubs in Orlando, as well as Chris Leak, who was the starting quarterback on Florida's 2006 national championship team and was the Gators' receivers coach last season.

"It's another side of coaching -- developing it from a grassroots level. It's very rewarding," Leak said. "I've been under great coaches, and you see how important it is to build this game from the grassroots level up. It's only my first week, but I've had a great experience already. It's everything that encourages the safety of the game, the integrity of the game and just building lifelong fans." …

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Armwood, Gators WR Alvin Bailey arrested in Tampa

Former Armwood and current Gators wide receiver Alvin Bailey was arrested in Tampa on Saturday on an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court on a May misdemeanor citation for driving with a suspended or revoked license.

Bailey, 20, was arrested at 3:38 p.m., booked at 5:07 p.m. and remained in jail on $5,000 bond four hours later. He had been cited May 12, his second time for driving with a suspended license, and a warrant was issued for his arrest June 9 when he missed his scheduled arraignment in court.

Bailey saw limited action as a redshirt freshman last season but did not catch any passes. He led Armwood to a state championship in 2012, throwing two touchdown passes and catching another in a 40-31 victory against Miami Central.

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Dupay's world-record quest falls short

His right wrist throbbed, his 36-year-old legs grew rubbery and his bloodstream needed an IV or two.

Yet even in the waning moments of his pursuit of the world record for 3-pointers in a 24-hour span, Teddy Dupay's touch and tenacity remained intact.

The former University of Florida sharpshooter's quest ended Thursday afternoon in a tiny Ybor City gymnasium with his 5,000th NBA-length 3-pointer, less than half the Guinness World Record total (10,381) amassed by Daniel Loriaux in Tigard, Ore., in the summer of 2012. Dupay's 12-year-old daughter, Hannah, was retrieving balls for him when he finished to an ovation from an audience of several dozen.

"Incredibly difficult," said Dupay, who hit 66.2 percent of his attempts (5,000-for-7,555). "I have a lot of respect for the guy who did it."

"There were several times (Wednesday) where I was like, 'Gosh, I'm hurting so bad, it's so painful. I don't think anybody would blame me (for quitting).' But then I thought all these (kids) watching, and they don't know the difference. All they know is that I said you never quit. So I didn't quit."  …

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Former Gator Michael Frazier headed to Warriors' NBA summer league

Former Gators guard Michael Frazier will participate in an NBA summer league after going undrafted in Thursday night's NBA Draft.

"He will play summer league with the Golden State Warriors," Frazier's agent, Matt Ramker said in a text message.

Frazier, a Tampa native, decided to forego his senior season to enter the 2015 NBA Draft. After an impressive showing in the NBA Combine, and workouts for more than a dozen teams, Frazier was projected by some, including ESPN analyst Jay Bilas, as a second round draft pick.

"Michael Frazier as a shooter, he's one of the better shooters in the draft," Bilas said earlier this week. "Michael's got size, and he's got a high release on his shot, and he's a very good shooter.  I'm not sure I would classify him as a great shooter, but he's a very good shooter, and he does a good job running off screens. He sets his feet really well, and his size sets him apart and makes him a more attractive prospect."

But by the end of the draft, Frazier, who averaged 12.1 points during his junior season at Florida, was not among the 10 players from the SEC who were drafted. …

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New SEC commissioner Greg Sankey supports calls to remove Confederate flags

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement Wednesday afternoon he supports calls to remove the Confederate battle flag from public places, including SEC member institutions.

Following the murder of nine people in a church in Charleston, S.C. this past week, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley announced she would ask the state legislature to order the removal of the Confederate flag from the State House. Today, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley followed suit, ordering the removal of the flag from government property.

"I support the calls made to remove the prominent displays of the Confederate battle flag, and applaud the leadership demonstrated around this issue," Sankey said in a statement released by the SEC office. "SEC universities are learning communities filled with people of diverse ethnicities. Through intercollegiate athletics we provide a rallying point for people of all backgrounds and beliefs. We must provide our student-athletes an opportunity to learn & compete in an environment conducive to all races, creeds and colors." …

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Gators softball staff named National Staff of the Year

Florida softball coach Tim Walton and his staff have been named the 2015 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I National Coaching Staff of the Year, the NFCA announced today.

It is the first NFCA national honor received by the UF staff in program history.

Walton and his staff were previously named NFCA Southeast Region Coaching Staff of the Year four times (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011).

The honor is bestowed upon Walton, assistant coach Jennifer Rocha and former assistants Kenny Gajewski and Stacie Pestrak (volunteer). Gajewski left the staff earlier this month to become the head softball coach at Oklahoma State. 

Walton and the staff led the Gators to a 60-7 record in 2015, an SEC title and a its second consecutive national championship.  UF reached the 60-win plateau for just the third time in history and posted its third-highest win percentage (.895).

The Gators ranked first nationally in winning percentage, tied for first in wins, were first in fielding percentage (.981), fourth in ERA (1.63), 11th in on-base percentage (.438), 22nd in scoring (6.55 runs per game), 29th in slugging percentage (.514) and 32nd in home runs per game (1.19). …

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Gators add junior college All-American Justin Leon to roster

Florida picked up a much-needed post player for the 2015 season with the addition of 6-foot-8 forward Justin Leon.

Leon will be able to compete immediately and has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

He joins a class of three incoming freshmen, all ranked in the top 80 of the ESPN100 recruit rankings for the 2015 class: KeVaughn Allen, Kevarrius Hayes and Keith Stone.

Leon was a junior college All-American at Shawnee (Ill.) Community College this past season, averaging a double-double (21.5 ppg., 10.0 rpg.). He shot 50.4 percent from the field.

A native of Conway, Ark., Leon is one of four players in Division I NJCAA to rank in the top 20 in points (16th) and rebounds (20th) last season. He had 16 double-doubles, scored a season-high 31 points twice, reached 20 or more points 20 times and scored double figures in every game, also posting a season best of 19 rebounds.

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Gator basketball to face Oklahoma State in Orange Bowl Classic

Florida will make its 17th appearance in the annual Orange Bowl Classic basketball tournament when the Gators play Oklahoma State on Dec. 19.

It is one of two trips the Gators have scheduled to South Florida in December. Florida will play at Miami on Dec. 8.

Also in that tournament, Florida State will play FAU.

Florida has a 14-2 record at the Orange Bowl Classic, but it will be the first appearance for new head coach Michael White.

The Gators and Oklahoma State last met in the Elite Eight of the 2000 NCAA Tournament in which Florida won and advanced to the Final Four. This will be the first appearance for the Cowboys in the Orange Bowl Classic, while Florida State will be making its seventh appearance and FAU will make its third appearance.

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Gators athletic program finishes fourth nationally in Learfield Cup

With the aid of 13 top-10 finishes in national championship action - including a pair of NCAA championships in gymnastics and softball - the Florida athletics program earned its seventh-consecutive top-four finish in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup.

Florida is the only program to finish among the nation's top 10 in each of the last 32 national all-sports standings.

The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup, presented annually by the nation's athletics directors, recognizes the schools with the best overall sports performances in an academic year. Points are awarded based on finishes and participation in 20 NCAA Division I sports.

Stanford won its 21st consecutive Directors' Cup this season.

The Gators' 13 top-10 national team finishes equals the second-highest in school history. At least 10 Florida eams have turned in top-10 finishes in each of the last 14 seasons. The program's record of 14 top-10 finishes came in 2009-10. …

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Gators' Maquis Dendy named National Men's Field Athlete of the Year

Florida senior Marquis Dendy has been named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Men's Field Athlete of the Year.

One of the most decorated jumpers ever, Dendy won six of his seven national titles in the past three consecutive NCAA Championships. He owns both the long and triple jump school records indoors, and the school record in the triple jump outdoors.

Dendy is both the indoor and outdoor 2015 USTFCCCA National Field Athlete of the Year and has the second-best all-conditions long jump in the world this year, and the third-best all-conditions triple-jump performance in the world entering the USA Outdoor Championships next week back in Eugene.

Dendy finished his collegiate career last weekend with seven national titles, 13 All-America honors and seven SEC Championships between the long and triple jump events. He's swept both at every championship meet since 2014 NCAA Outdoors, including 2015 SEC and NCAA Indoors, SEC and NCAA Outdoors.

He was the 2015 USTFCCCA Indoor National Field Athlete of the Year and the SEC and USTFCCCA Outdoor Regional Field Athlete of the Year.

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Ex-Alonso star Alex Faedo to start for Gators tonight in CWS

Alex Faedo (5-1, 3.36) will take the mound for the first time since the Gators’ third game of the NCAA Gainesville Regional against Florida Atlantic on May 31.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Alex Faedo (5-1, 3.36) will take the mound for the first time since the Gators’ third game of the NCAA Gainesville Regional against Florida Atlantic on May 31.

Freshman right-hander Alex Faedo, an Alonso alum, will make his first career start for the Gators tonight against Miami in the College World Series in Omaha.

No. 4 Florida (50-17) and No. 5 Miami (50-16) will face each other for a fifth and final time this season at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha tonight at 8.The game will be televised on ESPN.

On Monday, the Gators lost to Virginia in a winner’s bracket matchup, 1-0, ending its season-high 10-game winning streak. The Hurricanes used a walk-off single to defeat Arkansas, 4-3 in an elimination game.

Faedo (5-1, 3.36) will take the mound for the first time since the Gators’ third game of the NCAA Gainesville Regional against Florida Atlantic on May 31 (6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K). He has faced Miami before, pitching 1.1 innings of scoreless relief in the series opener with the Hurricanes on Feb. 20.

In the CWS opening round this past Saturday, the Gators earned a 15-3 win over the Hurricanes, the  20th victory over Miami in the last 25 meetings. The Gators will need to defeat Miami tonight and then down the Cavaliers twice to advance to the CWS Championship Finals. …

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Gators coach Jim McElwain gives $5,000 to help former Colorado State player in dire need

Florida coach Jim McElwain may be busy trying to help rebuild Floria's football program, but apparently he still has compassion and concern for many of his former players, including those from Colorado State where he was head coach before joining the Gators' program this past December.

McElwain has pledged $5,000 to a GoFundMe account for former Colorado State DL Eli Edwards.

According to The Coloradoan, Edwards' wife Isa Edwards died on June 6 from complications of lupus.  Since then, Eli Edwards and his daughter, Ellyse, have been in New Zealand — where Isa was receiving treatment — unable to afford to fly back to the United States and hold a funeral for his late wife.

The fund was started on June 8, and so far McElwain has given the largest donation.

More on the story here.

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