UF Football Notes: Injury updates, more
Florida Gators football coach Will Muschamp hit on a variety of topics during a Monday news conference, his first meeting with the media in two weeks.
Muschamp touched on injuries, a transfer, other programs pursuing members of his coaching staff, the NFL draft, graduation and, among other things, life after All-American kicker Caleb Sturgis.
The Gators battle Louisville in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the New Orleans Superdome at 8 p.m. on Jan. 2. It’s the eighth consecutive trip to a January bowl for Florida, which has made 19 January bowl game appearances since 1993, more than any other team in the nation during that span.
Muschamp said linebacker Jelani Jenkins (foot) and offensive lineman Ian Silberman (shoulder) had “successful” surgeries to repair their respective injuries. Still, both will miss the bowl game.
“We think he will be fine,” Muschamp said of Jenkins while adding, “we feel like everything is moving in the right direction,” with Silberman’s injury.
Muschamp said junior redshirt offensive lineman Matt Patchan (pectoral) has returned to practice after missing the entire season. He has been able to do some individual work.
As far as other players who could miss the bowl, Muschamp said there were not any others than the ones he mentioned Monday. However, he did say safety De’Ante Saunders would miss the game during a news conference after the team’s regular season finale, a 37-26 win at Florida State.
Life After Sturgis
Muschamp joked “I don’t even like to think about that,” when asked about Sturgis kicking in his final game during the bowl. However, he did have positive things to say about Sturgis’ likely predecessor Austin Hardin, a freshman who redshirted this season.
The team began Monday’s morning practice with a field goal/PAT session.
“Austin Hardin kicked well (Monday),” Muschamp said. “He did before (injuring) his hamstring about midseason. I think he missed about three or four weeks maybe … I thought he did a nice job.
“Brad Phillips is in that (kicking group) and anybody else we feel like can step in there and do a nice job that is hopefully comparative to Caleb at some point.”
Muschamp said he is contacted “daily” by other programs looking to raid his coaching staff.
“We have a good staff and a lot of people want them to coach at their place,” Muschamp said. “We’re very content here and certainly feel like we’ll have our full staff intact as we move forward.”
Fired Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips joined the UF staff as receivers coach on Dec. 3, but Muschamp said interim Bush Hamdan would continue coaching receivers through the bowl game. Phillips is evaluating the Gators’ receiving corps and has been recruiting, though.
As GatorCountry.com previously reported, cornerback Willie Bailey has decided to transfer. The true freshman from Hallendale, Fla., was fitted for a redshirt this season after enrolling early this past January.
“(Bailey) and I met last week and felt like he wanted to move on and we’ll support him in that,” Muschamp said.
Muschamp does not anticipate any additional transfers before the bowl game. He’s had 16 players transfer in his two years as head coach.
“We’re good right now,” Muschamp said. “Obviously, after the bowl game possibly, we’ll sit down and evaluate where a young man is, but right now we’re good to go.”
Applauding the efforts of several players who graduated this past Saturday, Muschamp also acknowledge the work done by his team’s academic staff.
“I’m really proud of those guys and it says a lot about Dr. Keith Carradine, our academic staff and the job that they do with our players,” he said.
Jon Bostic, Frankie Hammond, Omarius Hines, Omar Hunter, Lerentee McCray, Matt Patchan and Sam Robey graduated bachelor’s degrees while Sturgis earned his master’s degree.
Feeling A Draft
Muschamp said he has visited with juniors who are contemplating skipping their senior seasons to enter the NFL Draft. However, he declined to elaborate much as far as which players have submitted their draft paperwork at this time.
“We’ll address that at the appropriate time and it’s after the bowl game,” he said.
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2014 Football Commits
|Davidson (NC) Day|
|Columbia (SC) Spring Valley|
|Fort Myers (Fla.) Dunbar|
|Cross City (Fla.) Dixie County|
|Jacksonville (Fla). Raines|
|Deland (Fla.) High|
|New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine|
|Miami (Fla.) Central|
|Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas|
2013 Basketball Commits
|Clermont (Fla.) Montverde Academy|
|Bonifay (Fla) Holmes County|
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