Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Colleges

For Tampa's Scott Peek, Florida Gators football is family affair

GAINESVILLE — His father was a Florida Gator. So, too, was his grandfather.

So for Florida RB Scott Peek and his family, Saturday's 23-0 win over Jacksonville State was an extremely emotional day. The former walk-on out of Tampa's Freedom High was among the 18 seniors who played their final home game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

"It really was a dream come true," Peek said summing up his time with the Gators. "When I was a little kid, that was all I ever wanted to do; to be a Florida Gator, to run out of the tunnel into the Swamp. It was pretty crazy having it all end (Saturday). It seems like it flew by, but it was the best experience of my life."

Peek broke his shoulder during a preseason game of his senior season at Freedom, derailing his hopes of a scholarship entering college. He was awarded one last season.

"I never really thought my dream was going to be able to come true," said Peek, who hasn't carried the ball this season but saw action late Saturday. "It just ended up being the best experience of my life. I was so glad I was able to follow in both my father's and grandfather's footsteps."

DRISKEL'S RETURN?: Whether Florida will have starting QB Jeff Driskel available for Saturday's game at Florida State remains to be seen. The sophomore sprained his right ankle against Louisiana-Lafayette on Nov. 10 and sat out against Jacksonville State.

"I think it's much better than it was," coach Will Muschamp said. "He's not in a walking boot or a brace anymore. We'll see how it progresses through the week. I'll probably know more on Monday and certainly know more on Wednesday about where he is.

ELITE COMPANY: Muschamp became the third Gator coach with 10 wins in his second season. Steve Spurrier went 10-2 with an SEC title in 1991, and Urban Meyer went 13-1 with an SEC and national title in 2006.

MATT JONES RESPONDS: RB Matt Jones got his opportunity to play significant minutes and made the most of it. The graduate of Seffner's Armwood High had eight carries for 65 yards, earning the right to play more because of his improved work ethic. The freshman also tied his career long with a 17-yard run

"He's practiced well," Muschamp said. "That's been questionable through the year, and I challenged him on that. I said you've got to practice well if you want to play. And I think he's a guy that's a heavy guy. He throws it up in there. We've developed more of a downhill run game, and he's a guy that certainly, as we move forward, needs to continue to mature."

INJURIES: Former Tampa Catholic standout and Wesley Chapel alumnus Hunter Joyer injured his thigh early, but Muschamp said he expects him to play this week. … RT Chaz Green (Tampa Catholic) reinjured an ankle but also should play. … LG Ian Silberman has a torn labrum and is out for the season.

Another injury: The mystery surrounding DB De'Ante "Pop" Saunders continues. Muschamp said Saunders, who was suspended for two games earlier this season, will not play the rest of the season because of a knee injury. But he ran out of the tunnel Saturday.

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