ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill compares Florida’s Antonio Callaway to Amari Cooper
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.
ESPN analyst raves about Antonio Callaway
ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill joined The RoundTable on WJOX 94.5 FM — a radio station in Birmingham, Ala. — and had high praise for Florida wide receiver Antonio Callaway. Luginbill even went as far as to compare Callaway to former Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper, a Heisman Trophy finalist and a first-round draft pick. An excerpt from Luginbill’s 15-minute segment:
“One-on-one, he’s almost uncoverable. Even my best corner, I don’t know if I would feel confident putting him on an island with (Callaway) one-on-one. … He is absolute lightning in a bottle. He’s special.”
The full segment can be heard here.
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Athlon Sports: A hypothetical Big Ten-SEC football challenge
Athlon Sports’ John La Fleur on Wednesday proposed a hypothetical Big Ten vs. SEC college football challenge that pairs a team from each conference up for a regular-season game. La Fleur pairs the Gators with the Penn State Nittany Lions. The Gators are 3-0 against Penn State, with all three wins in bowl games. La Fleur’s explanation:
“All previous meetings occurred in bowls played in the Sunshine State.
The Gators have played four times in the home stadium of a Big Ten team. However, they have not done this since a trip to Evanston in 1965. The other three visits occurred before World War II; two of those were to the University of Chicago, a former member of the Big Ten.
Penn State has faced 10 of the current members of the SEC. However, only five of those games occurred in home venues, including at Missouri and at Texas A&M before either had joined the SEC. The Nittany Lions have only faced an SEC opponent in the regular season twice since joining the Big Ten in 1990 – a home-and-home series vs. Alabama in 2010-11.”
The Gators open the 2017 season against Michigan, marking the third straight year Florida faces a Big Ten team (Michigan in 2015; Iowa in 2016).
Jim McElwain’s walk-up song
ESPN.com’s Dan Murphy on Wednesday decided to give each of the coaches of ESPN’s preseason top-25 teams a walk-up song that best fits the coach. For Florida’s Jim McElwain, Murphy went with “Fins” by Jimmy Buffett — yes, the shark story is very much still alive. Murphy’s explanation:
“The only sharks that the Gators’ head man needs to worry about in 2017 are on land. They are the rest of the teams circling the defending SEC East champs.”
Our latest ‘Next Gen’
Ryan Young has the latest installation of our “Next Generation” series with a look at linebacker Lacedrick Brunson, who is ready to prove all of his doubters wrong.
In other Florida football news
- McElwain is one of 19 coaches named to the Dodd Trophy watch list, given annually to the nation’s best college football coach.
- Our 2017 position previews continue with a look at Florida’s wide receivers.
- Tim Tebow is optimistic about Gators quarterback Malik Zaire.
- A closer look at Florida’s latest commitment in four-star offensive lineman Curtis Dunlap.
- The Class of 2018’s No. 1 overall recruit Justin Fields could be visiting Florida this weekend.
- Former Florida DE Dante Fowler was arrested Tuesday night in St. Petersburg for battery and mischief.
Gators in professional baseball
- The Boston Red Sox called LHP Brian Johnson back up to the majors.
- First baseman Peter Alonso hit his 10th home run for the St. Lucie Mets and has a hit in 8 of his last 9 games.
- Tim Tebow is relishing every little step toward his MLB dreams.
Gators in international competition
- Swimming: Ten Florida swimmers will be competing at the FINA world championships in Hungary.
- Volleyball: Team USA’s women’s junior national team is 2-3 in pool play at the FIVB Women’s U20 World Championship after a 3-set loss to Japan on Wednesday. Two Florida players — middle blocker Rachael Kramer and outside hitter Paige Hammons are on the roster.
Let’s keep talking
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What they’re saying on Twitter
Quarterback Malik Zaire
— Malik Zaire (@MalikZaire8) July 19, 2017
Offensive lineman Tyler Jordan
— Tyler Jordan (@tyjordan58) July 19, 2017
Golfer Billy Horschel
Practice all done 4 @TheOpen Absolutely love Royal Birkdale
Truly great test of golf & the champion will truly have played the best this wk
— Billy Horschel (@BillyHo_Golf) July 19, 2017
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