Florida Gators seniors games recap

Three all-star games down and one to go featuring former Florida Gators football players.

Perhaps the final one will yield better results than the first three for UF’s best senior, although one player, linebacker Jon Bostic, does not appear on the official roster for next Saturday’s Senior Bowl.

Statistics and playing time have been as sparse as the crowds at these senior games, but as one GC member pointed out, it’s how these players performed in front of NFL scouts in the week of practices leading up to the game that counts the most.

Caleb Sturgis, a record-setting kicker at UF, made the biggest impact in an actual game when he scored seven of the East team’s points in a 28-13 loss in the annual East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

Sturgis split the uprights on 48- and 38-yard field goals and also added an extra point in the victory. Because of a turnover and offensive struggles, Sturgis didn’t even set foot on the field until he lined up for the 48-yarder with 1:48 remaining in the first half. It cut the West’s lead to 7-3.

By design, he squibbed the ensuing kickoff. He put two other kickoffs in the end zone before booting the 38-yarder with 1:24 remaining in regulation. An onside kick attempt that followed failed.

Safety Josh Evans was the only other Gators player in the game. He came up in run support to make a stop on a running back early in the game and may get credited for an assisted tackle in the second half, although official defensive statistics have not been made available. Evans traded possessions throughout the game, so his playing time was limited.

Florida linebacker/end Lerentee McCray opted not to play in the game to allow his banged-up body to heal from the season, according to his agent.

Defensive lineman Omar Hunter participated in the inaugural Raycom College All-Star Classic in Montgomery, Ala., on Saturday. He got strong push into the backfield, unofficially finishing with a tackle and a quarterback hurry in the first half alone. Official statistics have not been made available.

Last weekend, a pair of Florida receivers, Frankie Hammond Jr. and Omar Hunter, took part in the Casino Del Sol College All-Star Game in Tucson, Ariz. Hunter did not record any statistics, but Hammond had one reception for six yards and a rushing attempt for six yards.

If Bostic has decided not to participate, that means running back Mike Gillislee and offensive tackle Xavier Nixon will be Florida’s lone representatives in the Senior Bowl, which is scheduled to air live on the NFL Network at 4 p.m. Saturday from Mobile, Ala.


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Mike Capshaw brings a wealth of experience to the Gator Country team. He’s been overseeing all editorial aspects of GatorCountry.com and Gator Country magazine by managing our team of staffers, interns and freelancers. He is now moving into a bigger role as a reporter by covering the football and basketball beats as well as providing coverage of all sports on campus. Mike’s 15 years in the business has included more than six years of covering SEC sports and recruiting at a daily newspaper in Arkansas. He has also helped launch a newspaper, magazines, websites and even a sports talk radio show. Because Mike puts family ahead of his career, he left the place where he was established when his wife received an opportunity to further her career at UF. He took a leap of faith that he could find a job in the Gainesville area and worked for a year at a newspaper group before joining the Gator Country family in November, 2011. Mike has won Florida Press Association awards for Best Sports Game Story and Best Sports Feature Story in the past two years as well as a company-wide award at his former newspaper group that includes some 60 publications, for Excellence in Sports Reporting. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeCapshawGC.