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The latest on college sports in Florida

Florida players get inspirational messages from two Gator legends



The biggest part of the weekend for Florida was its 33-23 victory over Tennessee tonight, but the Gators also had pregame and postgame messages delievered over the weekend by some very impressive former Gators. Former QB and Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel spoke to the team on Friday night at their hotel, delivering a powerful message as he recovers from Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare nerve disorder.

“What an amazing man he is,’’ UF coach Will Muschamp said. “He’s a lot better person than he was a football player.’’

And in the postgame locker room, the Gators heard a message from former All-American RB Emmitt Smith.

“When you have a guy like that that’s played and had the success that he’s had, when he talks, people listen. They

will listen to his message. And his message was simple: ‘You guys have got a good football team, you play with a tremendous passion and energy, you play with enthusiasm, you play together, you play as a team.’ And all the things you talk to your team about, he reiterates when he stands up and talks to them. It was a great message.’’

Smith was in Gainesville on Saturday to promote his new book, “Game On: Find Your Purpose- Pursue Your Dream.” He had a two-hour book signing at the University Book Store, then later was recognized on the field prior to the game. The NFL Hall of Famer was among the Gators’ biggest cheerleaders from the sideline during the game, and later spent some time reminiscing with Florida OL coach Frank Verducci, who was the offensive line coach at Dallas the year Smith broke the NFL rushing record.

[Last modified: Saturday, September 17, 2011 10:03pm]


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