Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gators' Andre Debose aims to score return record

WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times (2011)

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times (2011)

Andre Debose (above) wouldn't be human if he didn't allow himself to think about it every now and then. The thoughts come more often as the season gets closer.

Debose, a sixth-year senior, needs one touchdown on a kickoff return to take sole possession of the SEC career record. Debose currently has four — joining Brandon Boykin (Georgia), Felix Jones (Arkansas) and Willie Gault (Tennessee).

"I mean, it's definitely something that comes across my mind, but it's not something that I'm thinking about every day, like 'I must get another return,' " Debose said.

Debose might already have had the record had he not missed all of last season with a torn ACL suffered in fall camp. He's back on the kick return team this year, and he hopes that if the record comes, it comes quickly.

"I'm trying to score every time I get the ball, so I definitely hope it happens fast — early in the season — so I can get that out of the way," Debose said.

To surpass such former SEC greats would make a tough Gators career more than worth it, he said.

"Oh, it would mean a lot," Debose said. "It'll mean a lot to me being I made history and I can brag and say I'm the best in the SEC to do it. It's something that I'm looking forward to and I hope I accomplish it."

Scooter madness

If coach Will Muschamp had his way, scooters would go away forever. The Gators have had more than their share of injuries over the past couple of years due to scooter accidents, including OL Tyler Moore, who broke his elbow and missed the final four games of last season. This month, S Keanu Neal injured his finger in a fall on his scooter. But Muschamp isn't going with an all-out ban.

"I've talked to them a lot about it," Muschamp said. "It's hard sometimes. A young man can't afford a car, only can afford a scooter. Needs transportation. Many a night I've thought about trying to ban them, but I don't know if it's the right thing. It's kind of like Twitter, social media, and you tell a guy you can't do it. Just be smart. Let's be responsible. No texting, no scootering at the same time. We have that rule. … It's something we emphasize with our players. We tell them about it. They've got to understand being careful. They can't live in a glass bubble. That's just something that can't be done."

Final eight

The 2014 roster includes eight players left from the final two signing classes of former coach Urban Meyer: Gideon Ajagbe, Neiron Ball, Mack Brown, Debose, Quinton Dunbar, Chaz Green, Leon Orr and Michael Taylor.

They have seen their share of ups and downs, including the resignation — then return — of Meyer, then his final departure. They have played with three different offensive coordinators and a multitude of assistants. And last season, they were part of the worst Florida team since 1979.

The players insist they chose the Gators for more than Meyer, and have no regrets. But you can bet each is hoping to go out with a much better season than last year. Muschamp wants that for them, too.

"All of those guys I've got great respect for," Muschamp said. "Coming in and competing, going through some change philosophically and some things with the way they've gone about things and handled things. Quinton Dunbar, Andre. Who else is there? Gideon. All those guys have been through tough times, anytime you're in a program for five years."

By Antonya English, Times staff writer

Gators' Andre Debose aims to score return record 08/25/14 [Last modified: Monday, August 25, 2014 7:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. FSU, Gators, USF and Miami all in Athlon preseason top 25

    Blogs

    The college football preseason magazines are trickling in, as our Joey Knight wrote earlier.

  2. Bucs' Jameis Winston rising in fantasy football rankings

    Blogs

    We're still probably three months away from most fantasy football drafts, but it's not too early to appreciate that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has taken a major step up in the rankings entering his third NFL season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is ranking much higher in fantasy football rankings entering his third NFL season.
  3. A new look at the top of women's tennis: It's wide open

    Tennis

    ROME — Asked Sunday if she believed, as the oddsmakers do, that she is the French Open favorite, Simona Halep dissented.

  4. Jake Odorizzi has a winning record for his career when pitching on five days of rest. He’s 12-9 in 34 starts. Pitching on a normal four days of rest, Odorizzi is 15-17 in 34 starts. On six or more days rest he is 6-6 in 18 starts.
  5. Sebastien Bourdais has surgery, likely out for rest of IndyCar season (w/ video)

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — IndyCar driver Sebastien Bourdais is recovering from pelvis surgery after his car slammed into a barrier, and he is expected to miss the rest of the season.

    Sebastien Bourdais wrecks during Indy 500 qualifying, resulting in fractures in his pelvis and a fractured right hip. He says he appreciates the support and well wishes.