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 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.”...

  2. 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....

  3. How does the new College Football Playoff work?

    College

    Are you ready for the playoffs?

    If you're like most college football fans, you've been waiting for this a very long time. Now two years after university presidents voted to approve a College Football Playoff, the new four-team system takes effect this season. Semifinalists will be announced on 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. "It's important to keep that in mind. 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."...

  4. Seven Florida Gators are preseason All-SEC

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Junior DL Dante Fowler (Lakewood High) and sophomore CB Vernon Hargreaves (Wharton) were each first-team selections to the coaches preseason All-SEC team, voted on by the league Thursday. Fowler and Hargreaves were also named to the ESPN preseason All-SEC team.

    Florida was one of only three schools to have multiple defensive players selected to the first team. Senior OL Chaz Green (Tampa Catholic) was a second-team selection on offense, and junior OL D.J. Humphries and junior RB Matt Jones (Armwood) were third-team selections. Junior LB Antonio Morrison was a third-team selection, and senior Andre Debose was a third-team return specialist selection. Hargreaves, a first-team All-SEC selection as a freshman last season, is among the players to watch on five postseason award lists, including the Walter Camp Player of the Year Preseason Watch List....

  5. Relationships with players key to Kurt Roper's coaching style

    Blog

    When Florida offensive coordinator Kurt Roper first got into the coaching profession, he was just following in his father's footsteps. He just wanted to coach

    But along the way, he has learned that a crictical part of coaching for him is the relationships he develops with his players. Throughout fall camp, Roper has been earning rave reviews from Gators players about his willingness to spend the extra time trying to get to know players away from the field....

  6. Gators Will Muschamp takes the ALS ice bucket challenge from Nick Saban

    Blog

    Tuesday afternoon, Alabama coach Nick Saban took the ice bucket challenge to help raise money and awarness for ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).

    He then challenged Gators coach Will Muschamp to do the same.

    Wednesday evening, Muschamp accepted that challenge.

    Check it out here:

    ...

  7. Jeff Driskel confident as Gators close camp

    College

    GAINESVILLE — As Florida closes fall camp today, offensive coordinator Kurt Roper said QB Jeff Driskel will begin the season more confident than when the two first met last spring.

    "I guess since I've been here, he's a confident guy," Roper said about what has changed with Driskel. "He's got a great look in his eye. He's a bright-eyed guy. I don't think he's ever lacked confidence. I think where you see the confidence growing is in understanding what we're doing offensively. The more understanding you have, the faster you can make decisions, the faster you can play, which you have to be able to play fast and be decisive."...

  8. Gators Antonio Morrison vowing to put last season in the past

    Blog

    After a tumultuous and disappointing 2013 season, Florida LB Antonio Morrison is ready to put the past behind and focus on the prseent.

    Morrison's weight is down from 240 pounds to about 220 pounds, and he said he's much more comfortable in the Gators' offense.

    "I’ve been having a pretty good camp," Morrison said. "I got great knowledge of the defense. Lost a lot of weight so I’m moving a lot better this camp and feel good where I’m at."...

  9. Gators OL Tyler Moore hopes move inside is beneficial

    Blog

    After missing multiple games last season due to injuries - including a season-ending broken elbow suffered in a scooter accident - Florida OL Tyler Moore is back healthy in the Gators' fall camp.

    Moore said Tuesday he no longer rides a scooter since the accident for obvious reasons, but said it's not easy getting around.

    “It’s hard not to ride them because the parking here is not the greatest," Moore said. "You’ve got to be able to get to campus, especially when you have to get up every day and be here at 6 a.m."...

  10. USF Bulls drop names from players' uniforms

    College

    TAMPA — In an otherwise innocent effort to create team unity, coach Willie Taggart might have created a firestorm among the USF fan base with his confirmation Monday the Bulls will not have names on the back of their jerseys this season.

    Instead, THE TEAM will be listed above the numbers.

    "We're going to represent the Bulls," Taggart said before Monday evening's workout. "That's not to say that (the names) won't come back some time, but our football team is focusing on the team. That's where it needs to be."...

    The back of USF’s jerseys will look like this in 2014. Bulls fans reacted quickly — positively and negatively — on social media.
  11. Still no backup QB as Gators prepare to end fall camp

    Blog

    With three days remaining before fall football camp concludes, Florida coach Will Muschamp said the Gators are still in search of a backup QB, but in many ways he's pleased with the way camp is progressing.

    Listen as he breaks down Monday's scrimmage and updates injuries, including the season-ending injury to freshman Thomas Holley, who will undergo hip surgery.

    ...

  12. Gators have high hopes for TE Jake McGee

    College

    GAINESVILLE — When Jake McGee first visited Gainesville in late spring, he was in search of a new school at which to finish his collegiate football career. His host, Florida junior quarterback Jeff Driskel, was well aware of how valuable a big-time tight end like McGee could be to the Gators' struggling offense.

    But Driskel played it cool. He didn't put on the full-court press. Instead, he let the situation speak for itself....

    UF tight end Jake McGee, a fifth-year senior, led Virginia last year with 43 receptions for 395 yards. He graduated in May.
  13. Florida releases 2014-15 men's basketball schedule

    College

    Florida opens its men's basketball season Nov. 14 against William & Mary and closes March 7 at Kentucky in the schedule released Friday.

    A highlight is a Jan. 3 home game against defending national champion Connecticut, which beat the Gators in last season's NCAA Tournament semifinals.

    Also, 17 of the Gators' 18 SEC games are on national TV.

    The schedule:

    NOVEMBER:

    14 — William & Mary, SEC; 17 — Miami, 7, ESPNU; 21 — Louisiana-Monroe, TBA; 26 — Georgetown (Battle for Atlantis Tournament, Bahamas), 9:30; 28 — TBD (Battle for Atlantis, Bahamas)...

  14. Healthy Gators ready for break

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Last year at this time Florida was well on its way to becoming a team with almost more injured starters than healthy ones. So after 15 straight practices this year, coach Will Muschamp said today's planned two-hour final open practice will begin at 11 a.m. and last approximately an hour. Players will wear helmets, no pads.

    The Gators have had only minor injuries, most recently a high ankle sprain for OL David Sharpe on Friday morning. Bryan Cox (shoulder sprain) is the only other player expected to miss today's practice. RB Matt Jones and OL Trip Thurman will return today. The Gators will get their first day off since Aug. 4 on Sunday, and the coaching staff will begin serious consideration about roster spots....

  15. Lack of depth on offensive line a major concern for Gators Will Muschamp

    Blog

    After 15 consecutive days of practice, Florida will participate in its final open practice of the season on Saturday morning, beginning at 9 a.m.

    With 14 days remaining before the season-opener against Idaho, Florida coach Will Muschamp said his biggest concerns are lack of depth on the lines of scrimmage.

    "Depth on both lines of scrimmage, especially on the offensive line," Muschamp said. "Again, I feel really comfortable probably with seven guys right now. We need to have eight or nine. That's a critical issue."...