Fall 2007 Camp Almanac

On some days, Gator Country’s apt to put out over dozens of reports from videos, photo galleries, in-depth reports, and interviews over the course of a single day of practice. Thanks to our Fall Almanac, you’ll be able to keep track of everything on a session by session basis.

You’ll also see at a glance why Gator Country’s legendary practice coverage is the most comprehensive and unmatched anywhere!  The first day’s reports are free to everyone with the rest reserved for paid subscribers. Not a member? Join today and stop missing out!

Thursday, August 9th

Win $100 and $20 gift certificates to the GC Store!

We have a little contest going on right now on the BullGator Den – if you’re the first to guess which freshman gets their black stripe removed, win a $20 gift certifcate that can be used in our online apparel store. Guess the most accurate two-deep depth chart and win $100!

DAY 5: Defense In-Depth Report

After a dominating day by the white shirts, they took the field in full pads for the first time on Thursday. They brought some of the energy they had yesterday, and had some extra excitement for one of their rookies, Major Wright, getting his black stripe removed.

DAY 5: Video interview w/Tony Joiner

The young Gator defense is looking for leaders in 2007. The defending national champions are replacing nine starters on a ferocious defense and there are very few seniors to help lead the way for a repeat. One very vocal and experienced leader of the defense is senior safety Tony Joiner.

This committee is looking very good

Running back by committee. Not exactly words that warm your heart and with good reason. Most of the time when you hear a coach talking about it, it’s because he doesn’t have a whole lot of talent to work with and he’s prayerful that somehow, someway, the ouija board will give him insight to who’s hot this week and who’s not. Then you have Urban Meyer’s dilemma and you understand that running back by committee might not be such a bad thing this year for the Florida Gators.

DAY 5: Five questions w/Jason Watkins

On a group of offensive linemen that looked to be set in stone, the coaches are now stuck searching for a new right guard. With young guys fighting for it, veteran Carlton Medder has recently moved inside to the position. Taking his place at tackle is Jason Watkins. He has been an under the radar player for a long time, but this season looks to be his for playing time.

VIP Insiders Confidential Lunch chat transcript

Earlier today at lunchtime, Gator Country held a VIP “Insiders Confidential” Chat covering football practices with a little recruiting thrown in for good measure at the end. Here’s our transcript for those of you who may have missed it or had a boss who didn’t understand your real priorities at work!

Gator Boosters begin improvement campaign

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Gator Boosters, Inc. and the University Athletic Association have recently launched a new campaign, “Gateway of Champions,” which will raise money for the expansion of the football offices, Gator Room and weight room, while providing a “front door” to the Gator Football program.

DAY 4: Offense In-Depth Report

Yesterday the Florida offense managed to get around a subpar performance from their quarterbacks. 24 hours later, the men in blue jerseys seemed to be drained of their enthusiasm. There were still a few big plays, but the defense had much more enthusiasm on this day.

A.J. Jonesing for more reps

Linebacker A.J. Jones would have benefited tremendously playing as a true freshman. Unfortunately, Jones injured his ankle and was unable to secure that much needed playing time. He is yet another young player who is expected to play a major role because of his talent and a lack of experience playing behind him.

DAY 4: Practice professional photo gallery

Another 100+ photos were added to yesterday’s gallery today – check them out for more photographic fun!

Wednesday, August 8th

DAY 4: Practice professional photo gallery

This time we have 115 professionally shot photos from Wednesday’s action on the field just for you.

Swampie’s thoughts on practice

It was a hazy day and hot but not as hot as I expected.  One lone shower NW of Eustis on the way up it was a large one but didn’t bother the trek up to Gainesville.

DAY 4: Defense In-Depth Report

The defense scored a surprisingly resounding victory in tonight’s scrimmage. The exclamation point was added when true freshman Chris Rainey took the handoff, darted through a hole in the middle of the line of scrimmage and ran about eight yards before suddenly stopping.

DAY 4: Practice Highlight Video

The Gator defense, having been void of big plays over the first three days, stepped it up on Wednesday and made quite a few.  Linebackers Dustin Doe and Lorenzo Edwards and safety Jamar Hornsby had interceptions.  Numerous others had deflected passes and Major Wright had the two biggest hits of the day.

The Rain Man meets The Wright Stuff

There was Chris Rainey, formerly of Lakeland High School, already past the line of scrimmage and into the secondary thanks to a juke move and a jet-pack burst that got him past the linebackers. And then there was Major Wright, formerly of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, just waiting for this chance. He remembered Rainey all too well after being on the losing end to Lakeland in three straight state championship games, the last one back in December. What happened next could best be described as paybacks are hell.

DAY 4: Video interview w/Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas, someone who Hollywood Bob has followed from high school all the way to the collegiate level, talks about switching from the free safety position to strong safety during practices and more in an exclusive video interview with Gator Country!

DAY 4: Five questions w/Ryan Stamper

Combine this year’s freshmen class and last year’s at the linebacker position, and you get a pretty deep group of athletes. But a man outside of those two classes seems to be the forgotten man, and he could be the most versatile of them all.

DAY 4: Video interview w/Markihe Anderson

Sophomore cornerback Markihe Anderson is fighting off the others in his attempt to be a starter for the defending national champion Florida Gators. Anderson has practiced extremely well this week and joins Gator Country for this exclusive video interview.

Mid-week practice overview & analysis

With three days of practice wrapped up for the University of Florida football team and the entire squad finally meeting for the first time last evening. We can take a general look at where some of the rookies may fit into the game plan. I took a little notes in between filming and came up with a few things that stood out to me in the first day of half pads (shoulder pads and helmets).

DAY 3: Practice Professional Photo Gallery

Last night’s practice as a bit more exciting as the Gators finally put their shells on and engaged in more hitting than usual. We have nearly 300 professional quality photos to capture the action like no other on the field for you from us at Gator Country!

Tebow named to Manning Award watch list

Tebow was named to the team’s Football Leadership Committee for the second straight season.  The Committee is charged with acting as spokesmen for the team and handling situations related to team policy issues, academic affairs, off-campus circumstances and other topics.

Video interview w/Jarred Fayson

The Florida Gators are trying to find some options at the tailback position and one player ready to take on the challenge of helping in the backfield is sophomore wide receiver Jarred Fayson. He’s a natural in the backfield having been a dual threat quarterback in high school and he loves the opportunity to help his team and show his skills at the same time.

Tuesday, August 7th

Football Fan Day set for August 19th

The University of Florida football team will hold Alltel Football Fan Day on Sunday, August 19th from 1 – 3 p.m. in Florida Gym.  Admission is free and the doors will open at Noon.

Why we hate August but love January

GAINESVILLE – Here we are several days into football practice for America’s defending national collegiate champion and already we paid observers are chasing down rumors, making projections and hoping that we aren’t jumping to conclusions. But this is what we do.

Video interview w/Lawrence Marsh

With all the questions along the defensive line for the defending national champion Florida Gators, there have been a few bright spots this spring and so far this fall. One has been stalwart freshman lineman Lawrence Marsh. Marsh was moved from defensive end to tackle this fall and really likes what he is doing.

Q & A w/Ingram and Anderson

Two players on opposite sides of the ball who will play a major role in the Gators fortunes this season take a moment to talk about the summer, practice, and projections. Receiver Cornelius Ingram and cornerback Markihe Anderson provide some commentary.

DAY 3: Five questions w/A.J. Jones

AJ Jones has found a home at the outside linebacker spot for the Gators. Some saw him as a safety at the college level, but Jones has shown a combination of quickness and toughness that moves him near the top of the depth chart. He still has a headhunting safety mentality, only a little bit closer to the action.

DAY 3: Five questions w/Louis Murphy

Merely a few months into the off-season rumors were swirling that the Florida football team has a new fastest man. It wasn’t the Caldwell, Harvin or Haden expected by many. Louis Murphy had stepped up his game and work ethic. After a stellar performance in the Orange and Blue Game, expectations are high for Murphy. A good spring game performance is one thing, but a solid fall is another.

DAY 3: Offense In-Depth Report

Day Three of football practice for the Florida Gators means that upper body pads can go on. While contact still has to be somewhat limited, fans in attendance were treated to a little bit of contact for the first time since spring. This gives Urban Meyer and his coaches an opportunity to see where there offense is at not only with their speed, but with their mental and physical toughness.

DAY 3: Video interview w/Carlton Medder

Four starters along the offensive line return for the defending national champion Florida Gators but that doesn’t mean there is any complacency going on. As a matter of fact, the offensive line is one of the biggest movers and shakers this off-season, seeing players that started fourteen games at one position last year move to another position.

Meyer calls first day in pads “very average”

Twenty minutes after his first practice with the freshmen and veterans combined, Urban Meyer didn’t sound like a happy coach. What he wanted to see was the kind of effort he saw on one special night in January when the Florida Gators walloped Ohio State in the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game in Glendale, Arizona.

DAY 3: Defense in-depth report

It wasn’t exactly a banner evening for the young Florida defense. We saw a little bit of hitting tonight as the team worked out in helmets, shoulder pads, and shorts.  The hitting was very limited though. Please bear in mind that this was the first contact for the younger players.

DAY 3: Practice highlight video

They say championships are won along the lines of scrimmage. Today the defending national champion Florida Gators donned their shells and butted heads along the line of scrimmage.  With helmets and shoulder pads cracking, the running game got a little work and the linemen learned a little more about their assignments.

Monday, August 6th


DAY 2: In-depth practice report

The Gators had their second day of practices and the offense seemed to be the victors on the day.  Gator Country was there from very early morning into the wee hours of the night to bring you as much coverage as we can on practice.  Here is my look at what I saw during both morning and evening practices.

DAY 2B: Five questions w/Justin Williams

When you look at the current group of wide receivers for the Gators, many would argue it as one of the best from top to bottom. While Bubba Caldwell and Percy Harvin sit at the top, it’s the depth accumulated by Coach Meyer that sets this group apart.

DAY 2B: Five Questions w/Lorenzo Edwards

If you were to sit outside the Florida football practice field and watch the freshmen walk out, you could take a pretty good guess at who will play based on body types alone. Lorenzo Edwards looks as one of, if not the most impressive freshmen on the field. While he is still learning to play the linebacker position, it’s obvious that he has the ability to be an outstanding player for the Gators.

DAY 2B: Video interview w/Percy Harvin

One of the main targets for new Gator quarterback Tim Tebow is definitely going to be sensational sophomore receiver Percy Harvin. Harvin has already been dazzling everyone at practice in the first couple of days as you’ve seen from our prior highlight videos.

Finding a backup quarterback a big concern

There was never a doubt last year that Tim Tebow was going to play and play often for the Florida Gators. Even with a three-year starter returning at quarterback in Chris Leak, Tebow had to see the field and not just in mop-up roles. There was 2007 to prepare for and Leak and Tebow were the only two scholarship quarterbacks on the Florida roster.

DAY 2B: Practice Professional Photo Gallery

Professional photographer Tim Casey sent us well over 200 photos from this evening’s action on the field as the players get more into learning and re-learning the system in time for Fall Football 2007 behind Tim Tebow.

DAY 2B: Video interview w/Javier Estopinan

The defending national champion Florida Gators have some questions along the defensive line replacing five of their top six players from last season. Defensive Line Coach and Co-Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison likes what he sees along the line and one of the leaders of the group is junior defensive tackle Javier Estopinan who is back after an injury suffered in the middle of the season.

DAY 2B: Q and A with Riley Cooper

Sophomore wide receiver Riley Cooper was an impact player for the Gators last season as both a gunner on special teams and in mop up duty at receiver. Cooper rocked an LSU receiver on the second half kickoff that was recovered by the Gators for a safety.

DAY 2B: Video interview w/Percy Harvin

One of the main targets for new Gator quarterback Tim Tebow is definitely going to be sensational sophomore receiver Percy Harvin. Harvin has already been dazzling everyone at practice in the first couple of days as you’ve seen from our prior highlight videos.

DAY 2B: Practice Video Highlights

The receivers and defensive backs squared off again in day two of the veterans part of practice. The receivers seemed to get the upper hand Monday for the most part. Sit back and enjoy the second session of day two Fall camp of the Florida gators in this exclusive highlight reel from Gator Country.


Fall Football Practice schedule changed

The Gators have changed up their practice schedule as of today. Here’s the latest times and dates for the public.

DAY 2A: Practice Professional Photo Gallery

The Gators started today’s practice during the wee hours of the morning under a dark, cool sky. Here’s our professional photo gallery of 145 photos that captured the action as the sun rose over the defending national champions of the collegiate football world…

So just why is Greg Mattison smiling?

Last year, Greg Mattison’s troops were on auto-pilot. He had his defensive linemen coached up so well that he didn’t have to make decisions about substitutes. They knew themselves so well they made the subbing decisions themselves and if you want a pretty good idea about how well it worked for the Florida Gators, just ask Troy Smith.

DAY 2A: Practice video highlights

The defending national champions displayed their number one recruiting class on day two of the fall practice session Monday morning. It was dark and early as the squad took the field about 5:45am or so for a two hour workout.  The practice showed the ill effects of an early morning and the freshmen looked sluggish.

Sunday, August 5th


DAY 1A: Five questions with Chas Henry

Rumors were already spreading from summer workouts that Chas Henry had a cannon of a leg. Those rumors were confirmed on Sunday afternoon. Most fans were watching seven-on-sevens taking place on the close field, but every time Chas Henry would kick the football on the back field a different onlooker would point as his kicks sailed through the air.

VIDEO: One on one w/Lorenzo Edwards

The Florida Gators have a lot of questions on defense and three new starters at linebacker.  High school All-American Lorenzo Edwards of Orlando wanted to be a safety in college but has already matured to 240 pounds. Edwards had a great first day of practice and talked about it in an exclusive Gator Country video interview.

Urban’s back in his element once again

Urban Meyer was back in his element Sunday afternoon. Maybe the heat index on the field read 110 and maybe the humidity was chainsaw-cutting thick, but it was football practice starting again. For the first time since the spring game ended back in April, the coach of the Florida Gators felt he was exactly where he belongs.

DAY 1A: Practice Professional Photo Gallery

The heat index hit 110 degrees out on Florida’s practice fields as the players and coaches kicked off their first fall practice of the season. Despite the lack of pads and hitting, there was plenty of action to be seen, especially of the freshmen. Here’s over 140 photos of the action from Tim Casey for your visual pleasure!

DAY 1A: Highlight Video

The defending national champion Florida Gators took to the practice field for the first time this 2007 season on Sunday.  The nation’s top freshman class was going through a tough workout in torturous heat, Gator Country was there in full force to bring you highlights of the first practice and came away with some nice video highlights.

DAY 1A: In-depth practice report

It was a really hot and wind-less day on the practice fields at the University of Florida and the nation’s number one recruiting class took the field for the first time as Gators. The class as a whole looked as billed and some youngsters stood out on the first day.  Gator Country was there in full force, here is a little synopsis before we head out to the practice field for session two and the “old guys.”


DAY 1B: Q and A with Justin Trattou

True freshman Justin Trattou is expected to play a major role on a Florida defensive front that is in desperate need of filling some vacancies. The 6-4, 250 former Don Bosco Prep star is a long way from New Jersey, but appears to be settling in nicely.

DAY 1B: Practice Professional Photo Gallery

The night was a bit cooler but the action no less hot on the field as the “old guys” took to the field for the first time and shook of the dust. Here’s over 133 photos of the action from Tim Casey for your visual pleasure!

The William P. Harvin Experience: Oh my!

Let’s just call this “William Percival Harvin Experience,” a three-step, out of body, hips went this way and the torso went the other move that there isn’t a college football cornerback in America capable of covering. Markus Manson, who is going to be a fine corner someday soon but right now is still trying to figure things out after spending the last three years lining up at tailback for the Florida Gators, didn’t have a prayer. Markus could have been the best of Jarvis Williams, Lito Sheppard and Ryan Smith and it wouldn’t have mattered. Not on this move.

DAY 1B: Practice Video Highlights

The returning scholarship Gator football players returned to the practice field Sunday night and Gator Country was there to capture the action in this exclusive video.

DAY 1B: In-depth practice report

The old timers took the field Sunday night for the first time this fall.  The returning scholarship football players minus their championship rings went through drills and competed against each other for the first time this fall. Gator Country was there as usual to try and bring you the best surveillance this side of the Swamp.

A look back at first day of practice

The first few days of practice don’t offer much along the lines of scrimmage. In fact, they really offer little in terms of every facet simply because things are so different when the pads are strapped on. Still, it’s an interesting twist on ‘Breakfast with the Gators”. We’re here to see who gets toasted and burned in those drills.

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Publisher/Owner -- Back when I was a wee one I had to decide if I wanted to live dangerously and become a computer hacker or start a website devoted to the Gators. I chose the Gators instead of the daily thrill of knowing my next meal might be at Leavenworth. No regrets, however. The Gators have been and will continue to be my addiction. What makes this so much fun is that the more addicted I become to the Florida Gators, the more fun I have doing innovative things to help bring all the Gator news that is news (and some that isn’t) to Gator fans around the world. Andy Warhol said we all have our 15 minutes of fame. Thanks to Gator Country, I’m working on a half hour. Thanks to an understanding daughter that can’t decide if she’s going to be the female version of Einstein, Miss Universe, President of the United States or a princess, I get to spend my days doing what I’ve done since Gus Garcia and I founded Gator Country back in 1996. Has it really been over a decade and a half now?