Athlon Sports: 3 Florida football players named preseason All-Americans
Welcome to another installment of Good Morning, Gators, SEC Country’s daily morning column covering Florida athletics with beat writer Jordan McPherson. Here’s a look at what you might have missed on Wednesday.
Three Gators named preseason All-Americans
Athlon Sports released its 2017 preseason All-America list, and three Florida football players made the cut. Cornerback Duke Dawson and kicker Eddy Pineiro landed on the second team, while punter Johnny Townsend was a third-team selection.
Dawson was also named the No. 72 player in the country to watch this college football season by Sports Illustrated.
Florida football’s biggest headache
ESPN.com continued its summer series breaking down different aspects of each of its preseason top-25 teams. The topic for Wednesday was, “Who is the biggest opposing headache for each top-25 team?” Staff writer Edward Aschoff opined that for Florida, the headache is LSU running back Derrius Guice. His explanation:
“Leonard Fournette is gone, but in his place will be uber-explosive and super-shifty Derrius Guice, who is a more elusive home run threat for LSU. Guice will enter the season as arguably the SEC’s most dynamic running back, while Florida’s front seven has a rebuilt new look.”
The Gators, conversely, were not named as the biggest headache for any of the three top-25 teams they face next season (Florida State, LSU, Georgia).
Our latest ‘Next Generation’ piece
Beat writer Ryan Young continued our “Next Generation” series with a look at linebacker Nick Smith, a player with a rich NFL heritage who was born 13 weeks premature.
In other Florida football and recruiting news
- Kerris Jackson, a 4-star wide receiver who played with 5-star quarterback prospect Justin Fields at the NFA7v7 last weekend, discussed how he too is closely following Fields’ recruiting process.
- The Tampa Bay Times’ Matt Baker says Malik Zaire can learn the importance of bringing stability to a football program by looking at Everett Golson, another Notre Dame quarterback who transferred to Florida State to finish his football career.
- The football team’s fan day is set for Aug. 19.
Florida baseball enjoys a day off
The No. 3 national seed Florida baseball team does not play again until Friday after winning its first two games at the College World Series. So on Wednesday, essentially an off day, the team had a chance to explore Omaha, Neb. Their attraction of choice for the day: The Omaha Zoo.
What do #Gators do with an off day in Omaha?
Check out some of the fun we had today: pic.twitter.com/ldTkHRXNB6
— Gators Baseball (@GatorsBB) June 21, 2017
Wait for it… pic.twitter.com/HdhjaVJ7TE
— Gators Baseball (@GatorsBB) June 21, 2017
In other Florida baseball news
- Sophomore Deacon Liput is finding his groove at the plate at the right time.
- Florida’s one-two punch of Alex Faedo and Brady Singer did their job to open the College World Series.
- Two Florida baseball signees who were selected in the first five rounds of the MLB Draft — right-handed pitcher Sam Carlson (2nd round, Seattle Mariners) and catcher Sam McMillan (5th round, Detroit Tigers) — opted to sign professional contracts instead of coming to school.
One last look at the NBA Mock Drafts
Devin Robinson on Thursday looks to be the first Florida men’s basketball player to be taken in the NBA draft since Bradley Beal in 2012. Here’s where various outlets have him going on the eve of the draft:
- Sports Illustrated: No. 51, Denver Nuggets
- Draft Express: No. 52, New Orleans Pelicans
- CBS Sports: No. 44, New York Knicks (Gary Parrish) and undrafted (Reid Forgrave)
Now onto the track
Twenty current and former Florida track and field members will be competing at the U.S. Track and Field Outdoor Championships that begin today in Sacramento, Calif., for a chance to advance to the IAAF World Championships in London. Two former Gators — triple jumper Christian Taylor and 400-meter hurdler Kerron Clement — have already secured spots for the World Championships.
Awards and Honors
- Florida softball’s Kelly Barnhill is one of five nominees for the Best Female College Athlete ESPY and is the lone Gators representative this year.
- Twenty-two members of the swimming and diving team were named CSCAA Scholar All-Americans.
Let’s keep talking
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What they’re saying on Twitter
5-star quarterback prospect Justin Fields
— Justin Fields (@justnfields) June 21, 2017
Florida wide receiver Dre Massey
A lot of people owe me my time back 😤 #RS
— Drè Massey (@D1Masseyy) June 21, 2017
Wide receiver Brandon Powell
ONE MORE MONTH! One. More. Month. 🙏🏾
— Brandon Powell (@_Powellbp4) June 22, 2017
Former Florida forward Devin Robinson
Leaving it in God's hands 🙏🏽
— Devin Robinson (@drobbb3) June 21, 2017
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