Athlon Sports: Jim McElwain ‘holding steady’ after first two seasons at Florida
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 over the weekend.
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Publication says Gators coach on the right track
Athlon Sports on Monday assessed every Power 5 college football coaching hire over the past five years. The full list can be found here. Florida’s Jim McElwain, who was hired to replace Will Muschamp in 2015 and has won the SEC East in each of his first two seasons, was one of 13 coaches ranked in the publication’s “holding steady” category. This was the second highest of seven categories and was described briefly as “on the right track, but yet to win big.”
Athlon Sports’ explanation for categorizing McElwain where it did:
“Back-to-back SEC East titles speak for themselves. But McElwain’s teams haven’t made any apparent headway on Florida State or Alabama at the end of the schedule, and even within the division they’ve arguably lost ground to Tennessee. Until McElwain finds a quarterback he can trust, the Gators are just treading water.”
In other Florida football news
- We begin our 2017 Florida football position previews by breaking down the quarterbacks.
- Georgia’s preseason love ‘fuels the fire’ for the Gators, who are an East underdog yet again.
- Safety Marcell Harris is embracing his starring role after a breakout close to the 2016 season.
- The Gators are battling several powerhouse programs for in-state cornerback recruit John Dixon.
- Steve Spurrier’s first conference title set the stage for a remarkable SEC run.
- Florida wide receiver Antonio Callaway was named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list on Monday. Callaway also reached a plea deal following his marijuana citation in May, as first reported by the Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar Thompson.
Mike Zunino is on a tear
Former Florida catcher Mike Zunino has been dominating at the plate since being recalled by the Seattle Mariners on May 23. In 43 games since his return to the majors, Zunino is hitting (38 for 143) with 13 home runs and 37 RBI. On Monday night, he continued that success by going 2 for 3 with 3 RBI and a clutch solo home run in the eighth inning (video here) that helped the Mariners defeat the Houston Astros, 9-7, in 10 innings.
In other Florida baseball news (both college and professional):
- 15 players from Florida’s national championship-winning team have begun play in summer ball leagues around the country.
- Catcher Mark Kolozsvary, selected in the seventh round by the Cincinnati Reds, is hitting .429 with 3 runs scored early in his professional career with the Reds’ rookie-ball affiliate — the Billings (Mont.) Mustangs of the Pioneer League.
- Tim Tebow had a three-hit game and Peter Alonso blasted a home run in the St. Lucie Mets’ 7-3 win against the Fort Myers Miracles.
Let’s keep talking
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What they’re saying on Twitter
Running back Mark Thompson:
The disrespect is crazy… I can't wait till we beat the brakes off Michigan 😤
— Mark Thompson (@InMarkWeTrust) July 17, 2017
Linebacker Vosean Joseph:
Pull up to ur city like we own it 😎🐊 pic.twitter.com/IUu3Xycdlu
— Vosean Joseph (@gloryboy_Sean) July 17, 2017
Former offensive lineman Rod Johnson:
My legacy gone forever be here idc how many people come in Ima always be the best to wear 55 don't @ me pic.twitter.com/DnEB8rZe5r
— Rod Johnson #⃣5⃣5⃣ (@Almighty_rod55) July 17, 2017
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