Matt Baker - Colleges and Recruiting Reporter

Colleges and Recruiting Reporter

I love college football more than everything but my son, my wife and my dog, so I have the perfect job covering the sport for the Tampa Bay Times. Even though I grew up in a basketball state (Indiana) and graduated from a non-football power (Northwestern University), I’m fascinated by the game, the traditions and the pageantry. I joined the Times in July 2011 after stops at the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader and Tulsa (Okla.) World. Since then, I’ve covered almost everything — high schools, the Bucs, the Rays, the Lightning and auto racing — before becoming a full-time college sports reporter before the 2015. When I’m not working, I’m usually on a run, chasing a toddler around and waiting for kickoff.

  1. Arch Manning, the most hyped prospect of the modern recruiting era, orally committed to Texas on Thursday.
  2. Florida Gators coach Billy Napier is, by all accounts, a nice guy. That's important for his chances of success in Gainesville.
  3. Lakewood High edge rusher Isaiah Nixon flipped from UCF to the Florida Gators.
  4. Florida Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson, seen here with coach Billy Napier during spring practice, has apologized for his speeding citation.
  5. USF continues to move toward building an on-campus football stadium, which could look like this rendering.
  6. The Gators and Seminoles, along with the Hurricanes, are no longer among the sport's elite programs, according to The Athletic.
  7. BetMGM would love to see the Lightning celebrate another Stanley Cup triumph.
  8. Haley Cavinder (left) and her twin, Hanna, announced a deal with Boost Mobile on July 1, the first day college athletes could monetize their name, image and likeness.
  9. The Outback Bowl has a new name: the ReliaQuest Bowl.
  10. The SEC held its spring meetings at the Hilton Sandestin.
  11. The Florida-Tennessee rivalry was one of the biggest games in the sport in the 1990s.
  12. Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher addresses reporters during the SEC's 2022 spring meetings at the Hilton Sandestin.
  13. Lane Kiffin worked with first-year Florida Gators coach Billy Napier at Alabama.
  14. Florida Gators coach Billy Napier addresses reporters before the 2022 SEC spring meetings at the Hilton Sandestin.
  15. Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz and former Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen had an, uh, interesting history together.
  16. Florida coach Billy Napier starts his first season with the Gators this fall.
  17. Tyler Van Dyke and the Miami Hurricanes are the top team, according to ESPN SP+ advanced metrics.
  18. Mick Hubert is retiring as the voice of the Gators after 33 years.
  19. Mike Norvell and the Seminoles will have at least two primetime games this season.
  20. UCF coach Gus Malzahn, right, is getting the Knights ready for the Big 12.
  21. Emory Jones' last appearance with the Florida Gators came in the Gasparilla Bowl at Raymond James Stadium.
  22. Will Anthony Richardson join the Georgia player trying to sack him here (No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker) in the league next year?
  23. Sickles High product Chris Oladokun started his college career at USF and ended it at South Dakota State. He was a seventh-round pick Saturday.

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