Antonya English, Times Staff Writer

Antonya English

Antonya English has covered University of Florida sports for the Times since 2001, a tenure that has included three head football coaches and three national champions. A former news reporter, she moved to the sports department at the Gainesville Sun in 1993 for what she thought would be a short stint, and never looked back. She came to the Times from the Dallas Morning News in 1997.

Phone: (813) 226-3389

E-mail: english@tampabay.com

Blog: Gator Report

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  1. Gators Matt Jones gains valuable life lesson from Illness, injury last season

    Blog

    Last season this time, Florida RB Matt Jones was still recovering from the effects of a severe viral infection he became infected with last August.

    A few weeks later, Jones suffered a knee injury that ended what he believed was a very promising season.

    On Saturday when Florida hosts Idado at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in the 2014 season-opener, the junior from Seffner will once again begin what he hopes is an outstanding season - for himself and the Gators....

  2. "SEC Storied" documentary focuses on Steve Spurrier tonight

    Blog

    Former Florida and current South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier will be featured tonight in an ESPN Documentary SEC Storied.

    The film focuses on Spurrier and his long history with the SEC, is co-directed by Kenny Chesney and Shaun Silva, and will air tonight at 8 p.m. on the SEC Network.

    “The Believer” reveals the essence of the most competitive man in the most competitive football conference in the nation," ESPN said in a press release....

  3. Florida Gators pick No. 2 quarterback

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Freshman Treon Harris has been named the backup QB for Saturday's opener vs. Idaho. The Miami native led Booker T. Washington High to the Class 4A state championship in 2012 and 2013. Coach Will Muschamp said the competition between Harris and freshman Will Grier was extremely close, but Harris won — for now.

    "There's really no separation from the backup standpoint,'' Muschamp said Tuesday. ''We met through the weekend and talked moving forward and felt like Treon has some things he can provide for us offensively, but that's nothing that's made for the long-term. No one's been redshirted. No decisions have been made with Will Grier, Skyler Mornhinweg or anyone else. All of those guys did some good things and we're gonna move forward from week to week on that situation there."...

  4. Gators Jeff Driskel looking forward to returning to the field after injury

    Blog

    It has been 10 months since Jeff Driskel limped off of Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium with a broken leg that sidelined him the remainder of the Gators' 2013 season.

    So it should come as no surprise that Driskel is one of tthe Florida players most anticipating Saturday's season-opener aganist Idaho.

    Regardless of the opponent, Driskel's just happy to get back on the field....

  5. Freshman Treon Harris earns backup QB job for Gators

    Blog

    Freshman QB Treon Harris has been named the Gators' backup QB for Saturday's season-opener vs. Idaho, coach Will Muschamp said.

    Harris is a Miami native who led Booker T. Washington High to the Class 4A State Championship in 2012 and 2013.

    Muschamp said the competition between Harris and freshman Will Grier was extremely close, but Harris has won out - for now.

    "The backup quarterback will be Treon Harris heading into this game," Muschamp said. "There's really no separation from the backup standpoint. We met through the weekend and talked moving forward and felt like Treon has some things he can provide for us offensively, but that's nothing that's made for the long term. No one's been redshirted. No decisions have been made with Will Grier, Skyler Mornhinweg or anyone else. All of those guys did some good things and we're gonna move forward from week-to-week on that situation there."...

  6. Tim Tebow determined to become better broadcaster

    Blog

    Tim Tebow's broadcasting career has been brief so far, but some who work with him say he's dedicated to becoming the best he can be at the job.

    Tebow is an analyst on the new SEC Network, and while the former Heisman Trophy winner knows football, he's still learning the nuances of broadcasting.

    Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated spoke with Tebow's colleague Joe Tessitore about the former Gators' dedication to learning....

  7. Former Gator Josh Shaw proclaimed a hero for rescuing nephew

    Blog

    Former Gators safety Josh Shaw will miss part of his senior season at USC after suffering injuries to his ankles in a rescue attempt for his young nephew.

    Shaw, a California native, transferred from Florida in the spring of 2012. He was expected to be a starter for the Trojans this season. He is also a captain on the team.

    He suffered two high ankle sprains when he leaped from a second floor balcony to save his nephew....

  8. 2014 Florida Gators football schedule

    College

  9. Max Garcia will be in center of Gators' action

    College

    GAINESVILLE

    Max Garcia was at the Gators' postseason banquet at the end of last season when coach Will Muschamp approached him with a question completely out of the blue. "He asked me if I had ever snapped the ball before," Garcia said. "I kind of chuckled at him and I was like, 'Nah.' But I knew what he was hinting at." In fact, the 6-foot-5, 294-pound senior had never played center in his career. After transferring from Maryland and sitting out 2012, he alternated between left tackle and guard for the Gators last season. But with the departure of starting center Jon Harrison, the Gators desperately needed a replacement and there was no obvious candidate. "I just (went) with the decision and have just taken it as an opportunity and ran with it," he said. "Obviously coaches trust me in this position. They trust me to do it, I have to trust in myself that I can get the job done." The transition hasn't been seamless. Garcia struggled in the spring, most notably with his snaps. He spent countless hours over the summer working on getting the timing right. After practice, he has stayed for 10-15 extra snaps daily. Teammates said they now see the results of the hard work he put in....

    Max Garcia says of Florida’s QBs: “We really feel like that’s on us, we’re supposed to take care of the quarterback.”
  10. Gators' Andre Debose aims to score return record

    College

    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)....

    WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times (2011)
  11. Analyzing the 2014 Florida Gators by position

    College

    Quarterback

    After missing 9½ games with a broken leg in 2013, junior starter Jeff Driskel returns with a new offensive scheme that's more suited to his style of play and hoping to prove he can lead Florida's comeback season. The Gators need him to stay healthy because the two vying for the backup position — Treon Harris and Will Grier — are true freshmen....

    Gators cornerback Vernon Hargreaves is not only first-team All-SEC, but Athlon named him first-team preseason All-America.
  12. Idaho to kick off season vs. Gators still in search of starting QB

    Blog

    While Florida enters this week still trying to make a decision on a backup quarterback to starter Jeff Driskel, its season-opning opponent Idaho has QB issues of its own.

    The Vandals have not settled on a starting QB and most likely will play two when Idaho takes on the Gators Saturday night at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

    The battle for the position is between redshirt freshman Matt Linehan and sophomore Chad Chalich....

  13. Gators to enter Idaho game week still undecided on backup QB

    Blog

    Florida will take the weekend off, then reconvene on Monday to begin game-week preparations for the Gators season-opener against Idaho.

    And after three weeks of fall camp, Gators coach Will Muschamp said he has not decided on a backup QB to starter Jeff Driskel. It is one of several key positions still up in the air including secondary, kicker, OG and three in the secondary.

    “We’ll release a depth chart next week," Muschamp said. "We haven’t made any decisions as far as backup quarterback, place-kicker, who’s starting in the secondary. None of those decisions have been made. We’re going to meet as a staff (Friday afternoon) and review today’s film. We’ll go from there.”...

  14. Will Muschamp awards Clearwater's Michael McNeely a scholarship

    Blog

    Michael McNeely, a Palm Harbor University alum, is one of two walkon Gators players who were awarded a scholarship Friday by coach Will Muschamp.

    McNeely, a redshirt senior, is a WR who has made an impact on special teams.

    "Mike has been a fantastic special teams player, and just a wonderful young man, and has done everything we've asked him to do," Muschamp said.

    Kicker Frankie Velez was also awarded a scholarship. When starting kicker Austin Hardin struggled last season, Velez was called into action. He played in five games....

  15. Explaining the new college football playoff system

    College

    Are you ready for the playoffs? If you're like most college football fans, you've been waiting for this for a very long time. Now two years after university presidents voted to approve it, a four-team system takes affect this season. The semifinalists will be announced Dec. 7. "The (selection) committee will select the best four teams, period, no strings attached," said Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff (and executive director of the now-dead BCS). "We think the playoff gives us the best of both worlds. Our goal with the BCS going into this was to maintain the best regular season in sports. We've done that with the playoff. Four teams is not too many. It does not go too far. It goes just far enough. It also preserves the bowl system and the bowl experience for student-athletes top to bottom, which is very important to us." Does that mean when this season's national champion hoists the trophy Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas, the controversy that often surrounded the BCS title will fade? Most likely not. Expect teams at Nos. 5, 6 and maybe even 7 to have their gripes. But that's a discussion for another time. For now, here are a few things you need to know about the system....

    Auburn’s Chris Davis returns a missed field goal for a touchdown to beat Alabama last year.