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. Gator men's basketball to face challenging non-conference schedule

    Blog

    Florida coach Billy Donovan's efforts to make the Gators' non-conference schedule as challenging as possible will continue for the upcoming 2014-15 season.

    The Gators' will open the season on Nov. 14 vs. William & Mary, then play the front end of a home-and-home series against Miami on Nov. 17.

    Florida will also participate in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas over the Thanksgiving holiday, an event that also includes Butler, Georgetown, North Carolina, Oklahoma, UAB, UCLA and Wisconsin. The draw for Atlantis is expected in August....

  2. Gators' Muschamp and Twitter not a match made in heaven

    Blog

    Will Muschamp has said repeatedly that he has no special love for Twitter.

    Although several of his Gators assisstants use social media very well to promote the program, Muschamp has been reluctant to go all-in on the social media site.

    For one, he hates that the "number sign" (#) is referred to as a hashtag.

    Anyway, this week he tried to use Twitter to his advantage - but didn't have much success....

    Will Muschamp apparently attempted to direct message a recruit on Twitter, but mistakenly sent it to his more than 56,000 followers.
  3. Time Warner, Bright House agree to carry SEC Network

    Blog

    With just 21 days before the scheduled launch of the new SEC Network, Tampa and St. Petersburg area SEC fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

    ESPN announced Thursday afternoon that it has come to an agreement with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks to carry the SEC Network.

    The network will be available to all Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks markets for the start of the first SEC Network football game of the 2014-15 season: Texas A&M vs. South Carolina, on Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. ...

  4. Alabama, Georgia enter SEC season with new quarterbacks

    College

    HOOVER, Ala. — It's time to start over for Georgia and Alabama.

    As the Bulldogs and Tide prepare to open fall football camp, each will be without the veteran quarterbacks who led them to unprecedented success over the past four seasons.

    Georgia will open with first-time starter Hutson Mason, hoping the four years he spent behind All-SEC quarterback Aaron Murray will accelerate his learning curve....

    JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 1: Hutson Mason #14 of the Georgia Bulldogs passes the ball against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl at Everbank Field on January 1, 2014 in Jacksonville, Florida. Nebraska won the game 24-19. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
  5. Tampa Bay players lead Gators preseason SEC list

    College

    HOOVER, Ala. — Players from the Tampa Bay area most likely will play an integral role in whatever success Florida has this season.

    Of the four Gators selected to the preseason All-SEC team chosen by the league's media on Thursday, three are from the bay area: sophomore DB Vernon Hargreaves (Wharton) and junior DB Dante Fowler (Lakewood) first-team defense and senior OL Chaz Green (Tampa Catholic) third-team offense. Green missed all of last season with a shoulder injury. Kick returner Andre Debose, who also missed all of last season with an injury, was named to the second team as a specialist....

  6. Report: Texas would have paid Saban $100M

    College

    Texas Longhorns boosters really wanted Nick Saban as football coach. Like $100 million worth. In his upcoming book My Conference Can Beat Your Conference: Why the SEC Still Rules College Football, SEC insider Finebaum says he was told Longhorns boosters were willing to play between $12 million and $15 million in a signing bonus as part of a $100 million package to get Saban. "I didn't have any conversations with them," said Saban, who signed a new deal with Alabama worth $6.9 million annually. "Nobody offered me anything. So I guess if I didn't have any conversations with them, I didn't have very much interest."...

  7. Three of four Gators on Preseason All-SEC team from Tampa Bay area

    Blog

    Four Florida Gators were selected to the SEC Preseason All-SEC team, chosen by the league's media on Thursday.

    Three of those players are from the Tampa Bay area.

    The Gators were picked to finish third in the SEC East. If it's any consolation for Florida fans, the media has only picked the eventual champion correctly four times in 22 years.

    Sophomore DB Vernon Hargreaves III and DB Dante Fowler, Jr., were both named to the preseason All-SEC First Team on defense....

  8. Targeting rule gets overhaul for this season

    College

    HOOVER, Ala. — Upon further review, the targeting rule that caused so much controversy in 2013 will remain, but with two major changes.

    The rule will continue to penalize a player who targets or initiates contact at the head or below, or with the crown of the helmet. But this season, if the penalty is overturned during replay, the 15-yard penalty will not be enforced.

    The rule also has been modified to include the words "initiate forcible contact" against an opponent, which is designed to make it easier for officials to determine when to throw a flag....

  9. Maty Mauk steps up role for Missouri

    College

    HOOVER, Ala. — When former Missouri quarterback James Franklin sprained his shoulder in October, the Tigers' fate was placed in the hands of redshirt freshman Maty Mauk.

    A season later — with experience and confidence instilled from being thrown into the fire — Mauk is primed to become the starter. And he should probably send thank you cards to the Florida Gators before the season kicks off....

    The game against Florida was a defining moment for Mauk, a redshirt freshman last season. 
  10. Gators Jeff Driskell named to Davey O'Brien Watch List

    Blog

    Florida QB Jeff Driskel is among 39 quarterbacks named to the Davey O'Brien Watch List today.

    The Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award is presented annually to the nation's best college quarterback, and is the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award.

    This year's list was selected based on player performance during the previous year and expectations heading into the 2014 college football season. All nominees were required to have started at least one college game previously....

  11. What do SEC football and World Cup soccer have in common? Passion

    College

    HOOVER, Ala. — When you were watching the World Cup over the past month, did it feel like SEC football Saturdays?

    Dan Mullen thought so.

    Florida fans may fondly remember Mullen as the offensive coordinator who helped lead the Gators to two national championships. The Mississippi State coach — whose mother is a British citizen who grew up in North Wales — is also a huge soccer fan. And during the World Cup madness, he couldn't help but notice something similar to what he's used to in the fall....

  12. Spurrier's new plan: Just keep winning

    College

    HOOVER, Ala. — When Steve Spurrier abruptly walked away from his highly successful coaching career at Florida after the 2001 season, he had a plan.

    It involved a few more years of coaching, then a lifetime of leisure for his remaining days.

    "Obviously you never know what your path in life is going to lead to," Spurrier said Tuesday during his appearance at SEC Media Days. "When I left Florida after 12 years, I thought I was going to coach NFL five or six years and retire to the beach, and play golf a bunch, and travel around, this, that and the other. But that was a bad plan. It was. Later you found out that was not a real good idea. But that's the way I was thinking back then."...

    South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier is about to become the first to coach at two SEC schools for 10 years or more.
  13. Make no mistake, Steve Spurrier says he has great respect for Alabama

    Blog

    South Carolina Steve Spurrier took an opportunity Tuesday morning to clarify his thoughts and opinions on Alabama coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide football program.

    Earlier this summer, Spurrier was quoted as saying Saban had underachieved because of the talent and number of No. 1 recruiting classes he's amassed at Alabama - resulting in just two SEC championships.

    But Spurrier said during his appearance at SEC Media Days today he has great respect for Saban, saying he runs his program the right way. Spurrier said his comments may have been taken too literally....

  14. QB Jeff Driskel eager for his and UF's return

    College

    HOOVER, Ala. — Jeff Driskel knows the critics are out there watching.

    The Florida junior quarterback is well aware that the Gators' 4-8 record and his early season-ending knee injury have left many wondering whether this is a team on the rise with a brand new offense or one that's about to completely crumble.

    And that's quite all right with Driskel. For him, it just comes with the territory, all part of being the quarterback at Florida....

    “Rest was what I needed to do,” Florida QB Jeff Driskel says. “I did that, and now I’m 100 percent. I’m good to go.”
  15. SEC's Mike Slive reiterates need for NCAA change or else

    Colleges

    HOOVER, Ala. — With his opening remarks at the kickoff of SEC media days, league commissioner Mike Slive reiterated Monday that change must come to college football and NCAA approval of autonomy for the five power conferences is paramount among those changes.

    The NCAA is set to vote Aug. 7 whether to grant the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 more power to govern its 65 member schools, while remaining a part of the NCAA. Slive reiterated that, otherwise, power conferences could form a division of their own....

    "The summer is for timing on the offensive side," Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel said. "We're going to have to throw a lot and get our timing down. You can't go back into fall camp without being in rhythm." [DANIEL WALLACE | Times]