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Welcome news for arriving Florida Gators: Playmaker Harvin will play

FORT LAUDERDALE — The Gators arrived on Friday afternoon armed with the good news that junior WR/RB Percy Harvin is expected to play in Thursday's BCS title game.

Harvin, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the Florida State game and missed the SEC championship win over Alabama, was upgraded to probable earlier in the week.

"He's playing," coach Urban Meyer said. "He's playing, unless there's a setback."

Florida is playing in its second national title game in three years, and Meyer and QB Tim Tebow said the experience of having been in this situation is beneficial. Tebow was a freshman backup when the Gators won in 2006.

"I think it's different, but I think you do get a little bit of wisdom and knowledge about how to approach the situation and approach the big game," Tebow said. "We know how to handle the week and the preparation and the events. We're being cordial and courteous, but at the same time we know it's a business trip."

Meyer said with the exception of a few plays that involve Harvin, the Gators have implemented their entire game plan. Because Harvin hasn't practiced, those plays will be put in during the remaining practices.

TEBOW FILES NFL PAPERS: Tebow, a junior, said he has officially filed his paperwork to the NFL Draft Advisory Committee to get information about his potential draft status. Harvin and junior LB Brandon Spikes had previously submitted theirs.

"It's filed," Tebow said. "I'm not even worried about it. I'm excited to be here in Miami, and I'm ready to go play the Sooners."

MASSIVE UNDERTAKING: Orange Bowl and Miami Dolphins officials have a big job to do over the next week as Dolphin Stadium will host three games in a span of seven days. Virginia Tech and Cincinnati played Thursday night in the Orange Bowl, the Dolphins host an NFL playoff game Sunday and the BCS title game is Thursday.

Virginia Tech checked out of its hotel early Friday, giving staff time to prepare rooms for the Gators.

"Having the three games, frankly that's mostly a Dolphins issue because they run the stadium and they are professional management," said Daniel Ponce, Orange Bowl president. "But they've already done it before. They changed from a World Series game to a football game in 24 hours. Earlier this year, they went from a Florida State-Miami game that ended about 12 o'clock at night on a Saturday night, and by Sunday morning they had it ready for the Dolphins against the Chargers."

SOONERS GET BUSY: Oklahoma arrived in Miami on Friday afternoon and went to practice immediately. The Sooners have lost their last four BCS games, but whether their mind-set has changed this time around remains to be seen, coach Bob Stoops said.

"It's too early to tell," he said. We'll see how they handle the week, how they go through practice and how we prepare for the game. … Now being here it will increase our focus. Not that it hasn't been there, but each day the game's getting closer, and we've got to get more prepared to play."

Welcome news for arriving Florida Gators: Playmaker Harvin will play 01/02/09 [Last modified: Friday, January 2, 2009 10:33pm]
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