3 more Florida assistant coaches make strong impressions in first media session
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New defensive coaches bring varied backgrounds to Gainesville
Florida has been rolling out its new assistant coaches to the local media over the last week and a half, and on Tuesday, linebackers coach Christian Robinson, safeties coach Ron English and cornerbacks coach Charlton Warren took their turns.
Robinson, who played for Georgia from 2009-12, talked about what it means to now be on the other side of the storied Florida-Georgia rivalry. Robinson also discussed his strong connection with Gators defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and how he ended up in Gainesville.
English, meanwhile, has been at the helm of the Eastern Michigan program and a defensive coordinator at Michigan, Louisville and San Jose State. He coached the safeties under Grantham and Dan Mullen last season at Mississippi State and is now in the same capacity with the Gators. He talked about “almost starting over” in his career climb and being humbled and motivated working as a position coach again.
And Warren discussed his interesting background, which included 10 years of active duty in the United States Air Force, prior to launching his coaching career. Warren, who spent last season at Tennessee, said his military background influences the standards he expects from his players.
Watch full video of all three news conferences in those links as well.
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In other Florida football news
- Bruce Feldman reported that Rebel Rags, a retailer of Ole Miss merchandise, has filed a lawsuit against Mullen and Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin (both formerly of Mississippi State), the NCAA and NCAA investigator Mike Sheridan. The Clarion-Ledger reports the lawsuit alleges the parties were part of defamation, civil conspiracy and commercial disparagement against Rebel Rags and part of a conspiracy against the retail store. Thomas Goldkamp of 247Sports obtained a statement from Stricklin’s attorney, Charlie Winfield, that says the claims “are wholly devoid of merit.”
- Michigan made it official, formally announcing the hiring of former Gators coach Jim McElwain as its new wide receivers coach. “I am excited to work with this offensive staff and coach [Jim] Harbaugh. There are a lot of great offensive minds in that coaching room and I look forward to learning from them,” McElwain said in a statement.
- SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi takes a look at the Florida players who could be changing positions in 2018.
- The latest edition of the Chomp Chat podcast looks at the talent Mullen is inheriting with this Florida team.
- Robinson also talked Tuesday about what it’s like recruiting for the Gators and how he’ll feel competing against former coach Mark Richt for in-state prospects. Read more here.
- Ge’mon Eaford, a 4-star linebacker from Deerfield Beach, Fla., is one of the most coveted players in the Class of 2019. He said he’s impressed with Mullen so far. “Coach Dan Mullen, I love him. He was there when they were in their prime with Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin, so he’s a great coach. I will be visiting up there during the springtime,” Eaford said. Read more here.
- Major Williams, a 3-star “athlete” from Fort Myers, Fla., announced he’ll be at Florida’s junior day on Saturday.
On the court
- The Florida men’s basketball team will look to get back on track Wednesday (9 p.m. on ESPN2) at Tennessee. The Gators (17-10 overall, 8-6 SEC) have lost two straight and five of their last seven conference games. Meanwhile, the Vols (19-7, 9-5) have the second-best record in the SEC.
Freshman pitcher Jack Leftwich stars for Gators
- The No. 1 Florida baseball team defeated Florida Atlantic 6-1 on Tuesday night to move to 4-0 on the season. Freshman pitcher Jack Leftwich played the starring role, yielding a leadoff single and then retiring the next 13 batters he faced. Overall, he allowed just 2 hits over 4 1/3 innings with 5 strikeouts and 1 walk in his first collegiate start. “I think it was a really, really good test for him because that was an older FAU team. He was really good. That’s about as good a start for a freshman as we’ve had [in my time at Florida],” Gators coach Kevin O’Sullivan said.
- Jonathan India hit his second home run of the season, while Wil Dalton was 2 for 2 with 3 RBI and a run scored. The JUCO newcomer leads the Gators with 7 RBI so far.
- The Gators have 50 hits through four games, including 7 homers and 23 extra-base hits in all.
- Florida hosts Bethune-Cookman at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Around campus …
- The Florida women’s golf team has a budding star in Sierra Brooks, who won her second individual title in just her third event with the Gators. Brooks finished 7 under par to win by 4 strokes at the AllState Sugar Bowl tournament in New Orleans. The Gators also won as a team, finishing a collective 9 over par. Read more here.
- In men’s tennis, Florida’s Alfredo Perez and Johannes Ingildsen are ranked reclaimed the No. 1 doubles ranking in the latest Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. Read more here.
- The Florida softball team hosts a doubleheader with Oakland on Wednesday, starting at 4 p.m. The Gators are off to an 8-1 start.
What they’re saying on Twitter
- Florida WR signee Jacob Copeland posted a photo with Olympic sprinter Justin Gatlin after receiving a very cool honor in his hometown of Pensacola:
Through all obstacles God will always be by your side. It’s truly an honor and blessing to be selected into Pensacola sports Hall Of Fame and to receive the special achievement award. Thanks to Justin Gatlin and the rest of Pensacola highly supporters. 🙏🏾❤️💯 pic.twitter.com/dfFTm5VjP1
— Jacob Copeland 🇭🇹 (@JCope1era) February 21, 2018
- Florida sophomore cornerback Marco Wilson is not content after his strong debut season:
Can never be satisfied in life. It's never enough KEEP WORKING! https://t.co/WvmGBnt7QF
— Marco Wilson (@MJW_era) February 21, 2018
- The official Michigan football account posted this photo of McElwain while officially announcing his hiring:
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) February 20, 2018
- The Florida baseball team broke out some sleek new uniforms Tuesday night:
— Gators Baseball (@GatorsBB) February 20, 2018
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