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Sunshine State Report

The latest on college sports in Florida

Former Gators Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer part of gold-medal 4x200 relay team

Former Florida swimmers Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer played integral roles on the American gold-medal winning 4x200 freestyle relay team on Tuesday evening in London.

Lochte swam the opening leg in 1:45.15., giving the United States a one-second lead. Dwyer swam the second leg in 1:45.23, extending the lead to two seconds.  Ricky Berens swam the third leg to give the U.S. a four second lead, and Michael Phelps anchored the race with a time of 1:44.05 to give the Americans a first-place finish and the gold medal. 

It is the second gold medal for Lochte, who won the first gold medal for the U.S. on Saturday in the 400-meter individual medley. He also swam the anchor leg in the 400 freestyle relay, which won a silver medal for the United States.


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Gators' Dominique Easley named to Ted Hendricks watch list

Florida junior DT Dominique Easley has been named to the 2012 Ted Hendricks Award Pre-Season Watch List. The Ted Hendricks Award is in its 11th year and is presented to college football’s premier defensive end.

Easley played in 12 games last season before an ACL injury ended his season. He had 37 tackles, and finished fifth on the team with 7.5 tackles for loss, totaling 25 yards. He also recorded 1.5 sacks, three quarterback hurries and a blocked a punt.

Despite still undergoing rehab in an effort to return to the field this season, Easley has been named to the third team of the 2012 Coaches’ Pre-Season All-SEC Team.

The Hendricks Award is based on on-the-field performance, winning attitude, leadership abilities, contributions to school and community and academic preparedness.

A committee comprised of national media, head coaches, professional scouts and former winners will select the winner, which will be announced on Dec. 5.


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Several Gator lacrosse players, coaches to try out for U.S. National Team

Five members of the Florida lacrosse team (two coaches and three players) will begin tryouts for the 2012-14 U.S. Women’s Senior National Team next week.

Current Gators Brittany Dashiell, Sam Farrell and Mikey Meagher will tryout along with assistant coaches Erica LaGrow (North Carolina ’08) and Caitlyn McFadden (Maryland ’10).

The three-day invitation-only tryout will be held July 27-29 in Catonsville, MD.

LaGrow and McFadden have been members of the national team since 2007 and were key members of the 2009 FIL World Cup Championship team.  

If selected, each player will serve a two-year membership on Team USA and the group will be part of the pool from which the roster is selected for the 2013 FIL World Cup held in Oshawa, Canada. 

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Gators land state's top cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III

Tampa Wharton's Vernon Hargreaves III, the state's top-rated cornerback and one of the nation's best according to top recruiting services, has orally committed to Florida, Hargreaves said on his Twitter account.

Hargreaves said last week he had narrowed his choices to Notre Dame, Florida, Clemson, Vanderbilt and Miami.

"I can officially say I am committed to THE University of Florida!," Hargreaves tweeted. #GoGators "CHOMP CHOMP."

Hargreaves is No. 4 on the ESPN 150 list of the nation's top rising seniors.




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Former Gator Lisa Raymond earns top seed in 2012 Olympics draw

A few weeks after winning the 2012 mixed doubles championship, former Gator Lisa Raymond has earned the top seed in the 2012 Olympics doubles draw.

The 32-team Olympic doubles event will be played on the same courts that have been home to Wimbledon, The Championships. As the top seeds, Raymond and Liezel Huber received the only first-round bye and begin action against the winner of the match between Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska and Urszula Radwanska and Slovakia’s Dominika Cubulkova and Daniela Hantuchova on July 30.

On July 8, Raymond paired with Mike Bryan and won the Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Championship. Mixed doubles will be played at the Olympic Games for the first time since 1924. Teams will be selected and announced in the next few days and play will begin on Aug. 1.

 Raymond helped lead the Gators to the 1992 national championships, and won the 1992 and 1993 NCAA Singles Titles.


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Florida to play Georgetown on the USS Bataan

300xnxbataan-t_jpg_pagespeed_ic_qvfgpzjnsl.jpgThe Florida men's basketball team's Nov. 9 season-opener against Georgetown will be held on the USS Bataan, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown has announced.

"The USS Bataan and crew will find much more than a game in Jacksonville,'' Brown said. "This is a well-earned chance for our city to embrace the national spotlight to show appreciation to the brave men and women who defend our country. On behalf of thousands of service members and veterans who call Jacksonville home, we are grateful to Secretary Mabus (Ray, US Navy) and the Department of the Navy for selecting an amphibious carrier to host the game – and for giving our city a preview of the class of ships being relocated to Mayport starting in 2013."

The game is being billed as the Navy/Marine Corps Classic and kicks off a grueling non-conference schedule for the Gators which includes games against Wisconsin, Marquette, Florida State, Kansas State and Arizona.


[Photo]: Mass Communications Specialist Seaman Apprentice Molly Treece/courtesy of U.S. Navy.



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Florida Gator sprinter Jeff Demps added to Olympic team

Florida sprinter Jeff Demps has been added to the 2012 U.S. Track & Field Olympic team, U.S. Track & Field officials said Tuesday.

Demps will be a member of the 4x100-meter relay pool. He is a replacement for Mike Rodgers, who suffered a stress fracture in his left foot.

With Demps' addition to the roster, Florida has 37 letterwinners competing in the 2012 Olympics - an all-time high for the Gators in a single Olympics.

The breakdown is: basketball (1); soccer (2); swimming (23); tennis (1); track and field (10).

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Florida coach Will Muschamp will be cautious about Penn State transfers

With the fallout from the NCAA sanctions against Penn State on Monday, much of the talk around the college football world is which players will chose to leave Penn State and transfer to other schools.

Under the sanctions, Penn State's current players will be allowed to transfer without penalty, meaning they will be eligible to play immediately. 

Reports have already surfaced about several big-time rograms recruiting players, or having players contact them, but Florida may not be one of those in the hunt for the Nittany Lions' defections.

As part of the ESPN's all-day interview segments with various SEC coaches, Florida coach Will Muschamp appeared on the afternoon edition of SportsCenter on Tuesday and said he believes schools have to be cautious when deciding whether to accept new players this close to the start of the season.

"I think you've got to be very careful,'' Muschamp said. "We're very close to the season right now. Our players have worked really hard and I love the chemistry in our locker room right now. You can disrupt your football team very easily by bringing in somebody from the outside that's not the right fit.'' …

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Former Gator WR Louis Murphy, Jr. traded to Carolina

Former Florida standout receiver Louis Murphy, Jr. has been traded from the Los Angeles Raiders to the Carolina Pathers, the team announced today. 

Murphy was a fourth-round pick in 2009 and had 75 receptions for 1,130 yards and six touchdowns in his first two seasons. But he started just one game last season due to a groin injury. He had 15 receptions for 241 yards.

But Murphy was slowed by a groin injury last season and started only one game.

Murphy will be reunited with former Gator QB Cam Newton. Newton, who was a teammate of Murphy's with the Gators, but later transferred to Auburn, is the Panthers' starting QB.

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Gators' coach Will Muschamp to make the rounds on ESPN

ESPN will feature all 14 SEC head football coaches on various parts of its media platforms today and Tuesday, as part of its "Car Wash" event.

Muschamp will be one of the seven coaches involved in multi-interview sessions on Tuesday. Coaches will answer fan questions on Twitter during the live Twitter chat segment.

If you'd like to ask Muschamp a question during his scheduled session on Tuesday, send tweets to the @ESPNCFB account and use the hashtag #ESPNMuschamp.

Below is a schedule of all the appearances for Muschamp Tuesday: 

11:00 am               College Football Podcast
11:45 am               GameDay Radio
12:05 pm               @ESPNCFB Questions
12:25 pm      chat
12:50 pm               Playbook
1:40 pm                 SportsCenter (Live)
1:50 pm                 Twitter chat
2:20 pm                 College Football Live
2:40 pm                 Recruiting Nation
3:00 pm                 SportsCenter Tonight Radio
3:15 pm                 Scott Van Pelt Radio Show
3:35 pm                 ESPNU

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Florida defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd among 50 named to Walter Camp Player of the Year watch list

Florida junior DL Sharrif Floyd is among 50 players to watch for the 2012 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Walter Camp Football Foundation announced today. 

Floyd is among 12 SEC players named to the watch list, including Plant alum and Georgia QB Aaron Murray

Floydwho started in the final 11 games in 2011, led the team with four quarterback hurries while totaling 46 tackles, including 6.5 for loss. In his career, Floyd has played in 24 games with 13 starts, 69 tackles and 13.0 tackles for loss.

The Walter Camp Award is the nation's fourth-oldest individual football accolade. The list will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists in mid-November with a winner announced live on ESPN SportsCenter on December 6.

2012 Walter Camp Player of the Year “Watch List” …

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Gators land seven on media's preseason All-SEC team, predicted to finish third in SEC

Outside expectations for the Gators continue to run low, as Florida's only first-team selection on the SEC Media's preseason All-SEC team is kicker Caleb Sturgis.

Gator DB Matt Elam was a second-team selection on defense, and DL Sharrif Floyd, DL Dominique Easley, and LB Jon Bostic were all third-team selections.

OL Xavier Nixon was a third-team selection on offense, the only Florida offensive player selected.

Andre Debose was selected to the third-team as a return specialist.

Florida was predicted to finish third in the SEC East, behind Georgia and South Carolina. Missouri, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky round out the predicted finish.

LSU was an overwhelming favorite to win the SEC West and go on to become the SEC champions. The last time the Tigers were predicted to win the SEC Championship was 2007, when they went on to win the BCS National Championship. Alabama was picked to finish second, followed by Arkansas, Auburn, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Mississippi.


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Former Gator Preston Tucker signs with Houston Astros

Former Plant standout and former Gator outfielder Preston Tucker has signed with the Houston Astros after being selected in the seventh round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft.

With his signing, all nine Gators selected in June's draft have now signed professional contracts. Tucker has been assigned to Class A Tri-City Valleycats in Troy, N.Y., in the New York Penn league Class A short season - comprised almost entirely of rookies and second-year pros.

Tucker was a first-team All-SEC selection in 2012 after being a first-team selection during his junior season and a second-team pick in 2010. He led UF’s offense with a .393 (11-for-28) performance in NCAA play and became the first Gator to achieve Regional All-Tournament status all four years of his career. He is the only UF player to earn Most Outstanding Player recognition twice (2009 & 2011). In 30 career NCAA Tourney games, Tucker batted .368 (46-for-125) and holds school records in career at bats (125), hits (46), RBI (31), runs (29), homers (11) and doubles (10).  …

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Will Muschamp talks quarterback battle, preparing for second season at SEC Media Days

Florida coach Will Muschamp met with the media on Wednesday at SEC Media Days and talked about an array of issues from the battle at QB between Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel, and why he believes the Gators will be better in his second season.


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Gators' DB Jeremy Brown undergoes wrist surgery

Florida CB Jeremy Brown has suffered another setback in his injury-filled careery.

Gators' coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday that Brown fractured his wrist during offseason workouts and was scheduled to undergo surgery this morning.

Brown missed all of last season with a knee injury.

"It's frustrating,'' Muschamp said. "He's a great kid, great young man. For a guy to put in as much time as he has, it's disheartening.''

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