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Gulf's Leon Orr returns for signing ceremony

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Wed. February 3, 2010 | Izzy Gould | Email

NEW PORT RICHEY - Leon Orr stood up from a table where he sat alongside four other Gulf athletes, and thanked his coaches and teachers for putting up with him for four years.

"I'm a very difficult person to get along with," Orr said before a room full of laughs. "Everybody that was paid to be around me, they should have been paid more."

It was classic Orr, always amusing and heartfelt.

Orr is already enrolled at Florida where he will play football next season. He had a new look - a cleanly shaven head that gave way to his signature dreadlocks.

Orr returned at Gulf coach Jay Fulmer's request. Orr wanted to partake in a pep rally held in the school's gymnasium filled with music and cheers and cheerleaders.

"We worked hard to get there," Orr said of his teammates. "I wanted to be with them to share the moment."

Life has already changed for the 6-foot-5, 320 pound TE/DE. Instead of being in awe of the Gators, he is now one of them.

"Before you went to UF you would see Brandon Spikes and Dustin Doe and you would be like, 'Oh, snap! Those are UF players,'" Orr said. "Now I walk in the locker room and I see them every day. ...I'm getting over the, 'Oh!,' and now they're my teammates."

Alongside Orr were teammates Will Burbridge and Madison Burr.

Burbridge signed with Jacksonville University. He finished with 70 carries for 585 yards and six touchdowns. He also had 15 receptions for 230 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, he had 68 tackles and five sacks.  

Burr, who signed with Wofford, threw for 866 yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 749 yards and eight touchdowns. Defensively, he had 54 tackles and four sacks.

"When you can get three signings out of 23 (varsity) players that's a pretty good percentage," Fulmer said. "We still have some other kids we're working on. Hopefully, they'll be later this spring."

Gulf girls basketball player Kianna Mills signed a scholarship with Coppin State last fall, and softball player Brittany Mayhill will sign with South Florida.

igould@tampabay.com

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