In the history of Florida’s program, Mr. Two Bits has never executed a sit-out spinebuster.
Current World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar and former Gator defensive lineman Titus O’Neil will serve as Florida’s honorary Mr. Two Bits this weekend against Kentucky.
O’Neil, known at Florida by his real name of Thaddeus Bullard, played for the Gators from 1997-2000. His career at Florida includes a 1998 Citrus Bowl victory over Penn State, a 1999 Orange Bowl victory over Syracuse, UF’s Most Improved Defensive Lineman award as well as the university’s Goodwill Gator Award for community involvement.
The opportunity to serve as honorary Mr. Two Bits was initially not possible for O’Neil due to his busy work schedule, but WWE moved his commitments around to provide the open date. The former UF Student Body Vice President said the company understands the importance of the talent being able to go back to their alma maters for events like this weekend.
“Anytime you have a chance to go back and do something on this level with the university it’s very special and so a lot of times the company, WWE does try to be very accommodating for big moments and big occasions for the talent,” O’Neil said.
Like many Gators, O’Neil’s roots run deep with the university and are apparent in his sports-entertainment career. During O’Neil’s early time with the company, his athletic career at Florida was mentioned by the broadcasters. Eventually O’Neil would start doing the Gator Chomp, and occasionally those in SEC states such as Tennessee and Georgia will hear O’Neil express his support of the Gators, usually to a chorus of boos. However the sports-entertainer has found seen support for his school as well.
“The good part about it is also I’ve come to find that there are a lot of Gator fans not just in SEC towns but worldwide,” “In the crowd, so we’re definitely everywhere so it’s good to find; I think it makes it extra special for that particular fan.”
Since graduating from the university in 2000 with a degree in sociology, O’Neil has been back to Florida multiple times, meeting with basketball coach Billy Donovan as well as sitting in head coach Will Muschamp during National Signing Day last year. O’Neil looks forward to going back and seeing members of the school’s administration and athletic department that were there when he was a student.
The former defensive end is also excited to see the team’s attitude this year, as well as a current Gator he has family ties with.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Fred Taylor’s son [Kelvin], one of my former teammates,” he said. “It’s kind of crazy to know he’s got a son in college. I’m looking forward to seeing him play and being physical.”
As for an eatery for his return Gainesville? O’Neil picked Ballyhoo Grill or The Swamp, depending on when he gets into town.
Serving as Mr. Two Bits also gives the WWE Superstar another chance to spend on the field with his two sons, Thaddeus, 10, and Titus, 8. The younger Bullards have enjoyed some fame after they were featured in an Ad Council fatherhood PSA, and are studying previous honorees for their dad.
“They’ve been Youtubing videos,” O’Neil said. “They watched Errict Rhett last night and they were like ‘Dad you need to beat them, have this kind of energy,’ all that kind of stuff so, they’re definitely trying to coach me along.”