Sunday, April 22, 2018
Colleges

New Gator Trenton Brown is a big deal

At 6 feet 5, 315 pounds, there aren't many men that offensive lineman Tyler Moore has to look up to. It's really hard to impress the Nebraska transfer with size. "I'm not used to looking up at guys," Moore said. "I'm used to looking at them or looking down, I haven't looked up in a while." That is, until junior lineman Trenton Brown arrived in Gainesville this past spring. Brown, a transfer from Georgia Military Academy, is 6-8, 363 pounds. How large, you ask? So much so that nearly every Gators player has mentioned his size during fall camp interviews with adjectives like "huge," "massive" and "the biggest thing I've ever seen." And they aren't alone. Even the coaches can't help talking about it. "He's the biggest kid I've ever seen out there," said offensive coordinator Brent Pease, a 22-year coaching veteran. "That kid has created frustration a lot with the guys he has to go against. He's got a lot of ability. … When he's in a one-on-one situation he's very talented. He's big, he's strong, and he can move, so he's going to be a real good football player." A real big, good football player. "We all felt like we were in third grade again," Moore said of Brown. "We're looking up him."

Icing on top that comes with a scholarship

Mark Herndon was a die-hard Gators fan growing up in Ocala, but he never once got to see a Florida football game in person. The cost of attendance was too much for his family. But hard work, and the opportunity that arose because of an injury to teammate Matt Jones, helped Herndon earn a scholarship last week. Herndon said the announcement by coach Will Muschamp brought him and running backs coach Brian White to tears. Want to know how a football scholarship can change a young man's life? When asked what perk excited him the most, Herndon said the ability to eat decent meals. "I know this is going to sound funny but I would say food," he said. "I'll be honest, there were some nights I didn't eat because of financial (constraints). I didn't eat a full-course meal like every night. But now with the training table (dining hall for athletes) and all kinds of stuff, I might gain a few more pounds. But it's probably the biggest thing."

The Louisville effect

It has been eight months since Florida's humiliating 33-23 loss to Louisville in the Sugar Bowl, and most of the Gators say they have been motived in the offseason by the memory of that game. The win has propelled the Cardinals into the national spotlight. They are ranked No. 9 in both the Associated Press media poll and USA Today coaches poll, one spot above the Gators. But for junior FB Hunter Joyer, there's been more at stake. To this day, the Wesley Chapel alumnus, who also attended Tampa Catholic, still has to listen to his older brother, Kamran, a Louisville offensive lineman, talk about that game's outcome.

"He's still talking a little trash even now," Joyer said. "It's getting a little aggravating now; it's a little too much. Even in the offseason, just a whole bunch of ridiculous stuff. Hopefully we'll get another opportunity against them, and if we do, we have to capitalize."

Hunter Joyer knows Louisville's win over his Gators has been beneficial for the Cardinals.

"They have high expectations this year, obviously, coming off that big win," he said. "They are expecting to be really good."

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