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Gators' Tebow laughs off LSU talk of takeout

GAINESVILLE — The trash talking has officially begun between No. 11 Florida and No. 4 LSU, who play Saturday night in a prime-time, nationally televised game at Gainesville.

LSU DT Ricky Jean-Francois made the first bulletin-board remark from Baton Rouge.

"If we get a good shot on (Florida QB Tim Tebow), we're going to try our best to take him out of the game," Jean-Francois told the Orlando Sentinel. "With his size and his heart, it's hard to get a clean shot.

"I think every lineman wants to get a good hit on a Heisman Trophy winner. … If he does get hurt, there's a trained medical staff at Florida so you can go to the training room on Sunday.''

Tebow will use Jean-Francois' words as motivation but wasn't upset by the comments.

"I'm a competitor. I think he wasn't meaning it like a lot of people took it," Tebow said Tuesday. "You try to use anything as motivation, but I don't think he really meant everything that he said.

"Part of it was true," Tebow jokingly added, "we do have a good training staff."

UF coach Urban Meyer criticized Jean-Francois' comments.

"There's no place for that," he said. "If our guys say something, we just take him out of the media. You know what I think happens, and I don't know this guy — but people … stick a microphone in a 19-year-old's face, and say, 'Hey give me something to say to this guy.' "

Meyer didn't think Tebow would find any extra motivation.

"I got news — he's going to play real hard," Meyer said, "and it has nothing to do with anything."

USF: Uplifting day

TAMPA — Senior LB Brouce Mompremier, who injured his neck against FIU on Sept. 20, was cleared to participate in conditioning drills.

Defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said it was a lift to have Mompremier, who wore a helmet and no pads, at practice, but said participating in conditioning was only a small step.

"It gives the team a ray of hope that he's back, but really we have no idea," Burnham said. "He is doing this by himself just to be out there with the team."

"Any time Brouce is around it's great," coach Jim Leavitt said. "I'm sure it means a lot to these guys. They think the world of him."

injury update: Leavitt said junior DE George Selvie and sophomore DT Terrell McClain, who suffered ankle injuries against FIU, were again limited in practice. "(Selvie) shouldn't have even played in the last game," Leavitt said. "He's playing on one leg. McClain shouldn't have played either." … Senior T Marc Dile was taken off the field with an ankle injury.

UM: Starting OT out

CORAL GABLES — Miami OT Reggie Youngblood will miss his second straight game, Saturday against UCF, with an injured left lower leg. The three-year starter was injured in a loss to North Carolina on Sept. 27.

UCF MOTIVATED: Knights coach George O'Leary said UCF, with a number of players from the South Florida area who know the Hurricanes players, will have no trouble getting motivated for the game in Miami. "You have to say less to get them ready for this game," O'Leary said. … Junior Michael Greco and freshman Rob Calabrese will compete for the starting QB job.

Times correspondent Joe Rienzi contributed to this report, which used information from the Orlando Sentinel and Times wires.

>>UP NEXT

Miami vs. UCF:

3:45 Saturday, ESPNU

Florida vs. LSU:

8 Saturday, Ch. 10

Florida State at N.C. State: 7:30 Oct. 16, ESPN

USF vs. Syracuse:

Noon Oct. 18, Ch. 28

Gators' Tebow laughs off LSU talk of takeout 10/07/08 [Last modified: Sunday, October 12, 2008 6:30pm]

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