Highly touted OT Kadeem Telfort decommits from Miami, flips to Gators

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For those of you asking where the four and five stars are: here’s one!

Prized 2017 offensive tackle Kadeem Telfort has decommitted from Miami, and flipped to Florida. He originally committed to Miami last February, but a source tells me he began to waver in recent weeks. Since his commitment to Miami, he earned subsequent offers from Florida, Louisville and Auburn, and this morning he decided to make the switch to Florida.

He’s a great pickup, too.

Depending on who you ask, Telfort ranges from 30-50 in his class at his position. He stands 6’5 and 320, and has decent enough footwork now, going into his junior year, that with a little improvement, he could start right away at Florida as a freshman. The Gators are already loading up on offensive linemen, with Martez Ivey, Tyler Jordan and Brandon Sandifer in this past year’s class, and Stone Forsythe already onboard for next year’s class; this is just the latest step in the right direction toward cleaning up the mess Will Muschamp started on our offensive line.

Credit Randy Shannon for this one.

The Florida-Miami rivalry is no longer played on the field, but it’s only heating up in recruiting. Shannon, the former Miami coach, has now snagged six recruits from the Miami area of four star caliber or better: CB Chauncey Gardner, LB Vosean Joseph, WR Isaiah Johnson, WR Josh Hammond, QB Jake Allen and now Telfort. And to really stick it to Miami, two of those five were formerly committed to the Canes.

It’s not throwing shade to say that Miami has fallen off tremendously, nor is it to say that they’ve been reduced to a Conference USA program in terms of prestige. I’ve always wanted to play Miami every year, but for the first time, I can kind of see why some Gator fans don’t. An annual rivalry with Miami would mean taking a road trip to a de facto Conference USA team’s “home” stadium, where Florida would have more fans than Miami. And if the Gators are going to have more fans than Miami, they may as well just play the game in the Swamp, so UF can collect home game revenue. Miami’s prestige is so low right now that they’re willing to schedule home and home series with Florida International and Florida Atlantic. Those are their new rivals. By comparison, Florida would never be caught dead playing a road game at 40,000 seat structures against such inferior teams.

The larger point is this: if it comes down to Florida and Miami for a recruit’s services, and the kid wants to play at the better program, Florida will win the battle every single time. Whatever chance Miami previously had of landing recruits with a solid interest in Florida is now gone with Randy Shannon anti-recruiting the Hurricanes and recruiting for Florida in Miami territory. Kadeem Telfort is just a drop in the bucket. With Shannon, the Gators have claimed South Florida as their own in totality, with only Florida State to really worry about.

So this is a victory in two ways for Florida. One, they get a big time commitment from a consensus four star offensive lineman. And two, it further diminishes the shine of playing for the Miami Hurricanes- and with the gold mine of talent in South Florida, that’s a huge win for Jim McElwain.

Gators’ complete non conference schedule revealed

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Florida has unveiled its 2015-16 non conference basketball schedule in its entirety. The Gators’ home non conference games include Florida State, West Virginia and Richmond. Their road slate is much tougher, featuring Miami, Michigan State, and Navy. They’ll also face Oklahoma … Continue reading

JC Jackson officially done at Florida

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Regardless of whether or not the legal charges against him are dropped, JC Jackson will not be returning to Florida, according to the Gainesville Sun’s Robbie Andreu.

Jackson becomes the third Gator who figured to get playing time in 2015 to leave the team this offseason. Defensive lineman Gerald Willis transferred to Miami, and offensive lineman Rod Johnson’s career ended due to a chronic spinal injury.

But while the first two of those were somewhat surprising, Jackson’s dismissal comes as no surprise to me, nor should it to anyone else. Jackson was arrested back on April 18th on three felony charges, stemming from a home invasion and armed robbery, which pretty much constitutes the boot in any program in the country. He was then suspended indefinitely by Coach McElwain.

Andreu also said that the State Attorney expects to render a decision on Jackson this week.

Jackson came to UF with extremely high expectations, but his departure doesn’t really hurt Florida too much. Look at the rest of the Gators’ secondary: Vernon Hargreaves. Keanu Neal. Brian Poole. Jalen Tabor. Quincy Wilson. Duke Dawson. DBU and such. Despite his immense physical talent, this ultimately does nothing to hurt the Gators at all.

Interview: Jake Allen talks commitment, says he “made Jim McElwain’s July 4th”

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A few weeks ago, prized QB recruit Jake Allen received an offer from Florida, calling it his “dream offer.” I spoke with him about the offer, and he radiated positive energy and excitement. I could tell it was just a matter of time before he pulled the trigger and committed.

Which he did.

I spoke with him again yesterday, and he exhibited the same sunny outlook he did last month:

Congrats on your commitment! What’s it feel like to be a Gator, and why did you choose Florida?

Thanks! I just felt the timing was right to commit. I absolutely loved my last visit there, and I was able to really see myself in orange and blue. The offense Coach Nussmeier runs played a big role in my decision. It fits me really well. I love the coaching staff. My personal QB coach, Eric Kresser, played QB for them once upon a time. And I’ve always been a huge Tim Tebow fan, so that didn’t hurt either.

Who would you say came in second place for your services?

Honestly, and no offense, but that doesn’t matter. I didn’t have a second place team. I’m a Florida Gator, and that’s that. Not trying to be rude or anything but that’s how solid my commitment to UF is.

I love that! How did you break the news to Coach McElwain, and what was his reaction?

I sat down with my head coach and called him up over the phone and said I’ve decided to become a Florida Gator. And Coach McElwain got really excited. He said I made his entire July 4th weekend.

You’re going to have to be competing with Will Grier and/or Treon Harris for snaps. Thoughts on that?

I’m really excited, honestly. Competition is a great thing. You have to love it.

Now that you’ve committed, what are your goals for the rest of your high school career? What do you want to improve on before you get to UF?

Getting my commitment over with is great. Now I can put it aside and focus on winning two more state championships for St. Thomas Aquinas, and hopefully even win a national championship as well.

Thanks Jake. By the way, Gator fans love you!

Thanks! I hope so!

Video: Florida vs. Georgia 2008 (Full Game)

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Yesterday was the Gators’ SEC Network Takeover, 24 hours worth of Gator glory broadcast on the SEC Network. Unfortunately, it had to end; today is Georgia’s day for the SEC Network Takeover.

So in honor of both those things, I decided to post the complete Florida-Georgia football game from 2008. Enjoy!

Full game:

Condensed 15 minute version:

Top QB Jake Allen commits to Florida

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Congratulations, Jim McElwain. You’ve landed your first QB commit as the head coach of the Florida Gators.

Jake Allen (Fort Lauderdale, FL/St. Thomas Aquinas) has announced that he has committed to Florida. He becomes the 2nd member of the Class of 2017. His most impressive offers have come from Miami, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati- but don’t let that fool you.

As you can see from his Hudl page highlights, Allen possesses natural athletic ability, with a strong arm and very good accuracy. The reason he isn’t a five star recruit and doesn’t boast a laundry list of offers is because there are still 19 months before his National Signing Day. Florida just offered him really early, before he had a chance to rack up offers and stars. Which is good.

He may have to bulk up a bit before he arrives in Gainesville, but he’s a smart, quick thinking kid who if nothing else finally provides the Gators with some depth at the QB position. I say that because by the time he arrives in Gainesville, Will Grier (or maybe Treon Harris) will be entering his third year as the full time starter. Benching whichever one of those guys eventually wins the starting job in favor of a true freshman seems highly unlikely regardless of how much Allen impresses in practice. But there will come a day where both of those guys are gone- either 2018 or 2019- and McElwain will have to find a new starting QB. And Allen, who would likely be a redshirt freshman or sophomore at that time, with two years of learning McElwain’s system, figures to be the guy.

I spoke with Allen a few weeks ago, and he sort of gave me the impression that he was just biding his time, waiting for the right moment to commit. He also radiated confidence, something that a lot of recruits do but only at certain moments in the conversation. Allen sounded 100% ready to be a Florida Gator through and through.

And I’m ready for him to be a Florida Gator, too.

Florida Gators Season Preview: Game Three, Kentucky Wildcats

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PREVIOUSLY PREVIEWING New Mexico State Aggies East Carolina Pirates @ KENTUCKY WILDCATS Coach: Mark Stoops, 3rd year (7-17) 2014 record: 5-7 (2-6 SEC) Last meeting: Florida 36, Kentucky 30 (3OTs) (2015) All time series: Florida, 48-17 Streak: Florida, 28 The skinny: Kentucky is a strange program. … Continue reading

Florida Gators Season Preview: Game Two, East Carolina Pirates

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Florida’s first game of the season should be no problem. It’s what happens in games two through twelve that will define their season. And that stretch starts with a (sort of) familiar foe. PREVIOUSLY PREVIEWING: New Mexico State Aggies EAST CAROLINA PIRATES Coach: … Continue reading

IAKOW Mailbag 6/26/15: OL, Michigan State basketball series and McElwain discipline

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Welcome to our first edition of the IAKOW Mailbag! This is the perfect opportunity for our readers to directly ask about whatever they want. We’ll try to do them once or twice a month; email me questions at any time to … Continue reading

Photo Collage: Florida Gators wallpaper (lock screens, header photos and more)

With the countdown to Gator football approaching 70, I took it upon myself to do something to make the rest of the time from now until kickoff go even faster: play around on photoshop and create some potential backgrounds for … Continue reading