Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

3 Florida Gators make All-SEC preseason team

Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel hands off to running back Matt Jones last season. Jones, a former Armwood standout, is on the  preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top RB.

Associated Press

Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel hands off to running back Matt Jones last season. Jones, a former Armwood standout, is on the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s top RB.

HOOVER, Ala. — Florida placed eight players in nine spots on the media's preseason All-SEC teams, including three first-team selections, on Thursday.

The Gators had two first-team selections on defense: DB Loucheiz Purifoy and DL Dominique Easley. P Kyle Christy was also a first-team selection.

OL Jon Halapio, a St. Petersburg Catholic alumnus, and CB Marcus Roberson were second-team selections for Florida.

OL Jonotthan Harrison, LB Ronald Powell and former Armwood RB Matt Jones were third-team selections. Jones, a sophomore, also was named to the preseason Doak Walker watch list, an award given to the nation's top running back (Doak semifinalists will be named Nov. 14). Purifoy was also a third-team selection as a specialist.

The Gators were picked to finish third in the SEC East behind Georgia and runnerup South Carolina. Alabama was picked to win the West.

ACTIONS SPEAK: While Heisman winner Johnny Manziel was in Los Angeles on Wednesday night at the ESPY Awards, Alabama QB AJ McCarron was in Tuscaloosa participating in his second set of team workouts. It was clear from his words and demeanor during Thursday's final day of SEC media days that McCarron doesn't want any comparisons to the Texas A&M sophomore QB.

"I've never been one to ask for the spotlight or to want to be in any type of spotlight," said McCarron, who has led Alabama to back-to-back national titles. "I'm just trying to never bring any type of bad light on my last name or the university in any type of way. So I'm just trying to do everything the right way and leave the University of Alabama where all they can say is he won and did everything he was supposed to do."

The fifth-year senior said he could be in the spotlight if he wanted, but he chooses not to, turning down "unlimited amounts" of invitations.

As for an alleged rift between McCarron and Manziel? McCarron wouldn't comment. They were roommates at the Manning Passing Academy when Manziel was abruptly dismissed last week. He said he overslept. McCarron didn't oversleep.

"I can't answer on Johnny Manziel's part. My name's AJ. He's his own man," McCarron said when asked about Manziel's conduct. "I'm not going to speak on another man's business. That's how I was raised. If it don't have nothing to do with you, don't speak of it."

YEAH, ABOUT THAT: On Tuesday, South Carolina All-America DE Jadeveon Clowney said he believes some players are afraid to play against him, including Georgia QB Aaron Murray. On Thursday, Murray and UGA coach Mark Richt said neither was offended. "I don't know about those guys in particular, but I would think some guys are scared of him," Richt jokingly said. "I'd be scared of him if I was in the game, this guy was coming after me. … I'm sure he said it, you know, while he was smiling and grinning."

3 Florida Gators make All-SEC preseason team 07/18/13 [Last modified: Thursday, July 18, 2013 11:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. L.A. delay could re-open Super Bowl chance for Tampa in 2021


    Construction delays on the NFL's new stadium in Los Angeles mean the Rams and Chargers won't be playing there until 2020, a year later than expected, and the ripple effect could give Tampa another chance at landing a Super Bowl in February 2021.

    Tampa and Raymond James Stadium last hosted a Super Bowl in 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Arizona Cardinals.
  2. Bucs' Gerald McCoy, Jameis Winston honored in NFL top 100


    Helping fans pass time through the offseason each summer, NFL Network has been unveiling its top 100 players for 2017 as chosen by the players, and the Bucs' Gerald McCoy and Jameis Winston are the first Tampa Bay players revealed, coming in at No. 52 and 57, respectively.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis WInston and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, shown in the 2016 season finale against the Panthers, have both been named to the NFL Network's top 100 players for 2017.
  3. The play occurred in the third inning when Angels rookie Nolan Fontana, making his major league debut, tried to slide past the tag of Rays second baseman Michael Martinez.
  4. Former Gator Caleb Brantley paying a steep price for nothing


    It turns out Caleb Brantley isn't quite the dirtbag that millions of people presumed. It's too bad the damage to his reputation and bank account is already done.

    Caleb Brantley, who dropped to the sixth round of the draft, works out during Browns rookie minicamp. [Associated Press]
  5. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Daniel Robertson walks off the field after being left stranded at first base to end the game.