It’s a good thing Antonio Callaway already has the number on his speed dial.
Category Archives: Gators, Gators…
David Wunderlich, whom some of you might remember as Team Speed Kills’ Year 2 in a former blogging life, breaks down the rosters of the SEC East’s three traditional powers, based on the average numerical value from the 247 Sports Composite for the players on the teams’ rosters as publicly available on their official websites as of a couple of days ago.
Cutting to the chase, of the eight position groups he ranks, Georgia tops seven of them. On a cumulative basis, it’s not close between the Dawgs and their rivals, either.
Florida and Tennessee are fairly close in talent. A scoring system that hands out three points for first place in a position grouping, two for second, and one for third would give the Vols a score of 13 and the Gators a score of 12. They’re about even, though both are far behind Georgia’s 23 points.
The only position where Georgia hasn’t accumulated the most talent is wide receiver, but even there, it’s not a place where the other two have much of a gap over the others. As Wunderlich explains,
Wide receiver has been a position of weakness at UF for about as long as quarterback has been, but the Gators win this grouping outright. The best player at the position, Antonio Callaway, is only sixth in the talent ratings too. Sophomores Tyrie Cleveland, Josh Hammond, and Freddie Swain are all above him, as are 2017 signees James Robinson and Daquan Green. The Gators have a lot to like at the position, but much of it is still more about potential than proven performance.
That said, Georgia and Tennessee are in similar situations. The Bulldogs have the solid if unspectacular Terry Godwin leading a group of unproven young talent, and the same largely goes for the Vols with Jauan Jennings and the rest there.
That all being said, what could be his most profound observation is about the defenses of the three.
Defense was largely what won Florida its two division titles under Jim McElwain, but that was also mostly with players who signed with Will Muschamp. That well is almost dry at this point and McElwain simply hasn’t recruited defenders at the same high level. The ratings for the defense show it well…
The top lines of the depth charts for all three teams are in good shape, in other words. UGA and UT are better equipped to handle injuries, though, as Florida would have to turn to some of those talented true freshman before too long.
To illustrate, the Gators finished third in all three position groups on that side of the ball. Yes, the mighty have fallen a bit.
Now, obviously, there are no guarantees to take away from this. But if you start with the premise that Georgia’s schedule is favorable, add to it rapid talent improvement in personnel compared to the other two East squads, what you’re left with in assessing the chances for any of the three to emerge as the 2017 division champs boils down to a couple of other factors.
The Gators’ starters will be competitive with the Volunteers’ and even the Bulldogs’ starters. What the talent comparison shows, however, is that UF doesn’t have much margin for error. That’s true for the defense especially. Florida can win the East for a third straight year, but it’s going to take high-quality coaching and a bit of injury luck to make it happen.
There are two relevant parts to coaching here. One is game day management; the other is player development. The Georgia staff is in its second year on the job. How it manages the learning curve in those departments, at a time when it’s typical to see improvement, will tell us much about how this coming season plays out.
It appears the Georgia-Florida game will remain in Jacksonville five more years. The pot is definitely being sweetened.
The latest agreement in the storied rivalry has a total of $2.75 million in incentives for the schools over the life five-season contract. Each school will receive $125,000 as a “signing bonus” and $250,000 in guaranteed payment each year to both schools, which didn’t exist under the prior contract.
Both schools are also getting an increase in their travel and lodging stipend to $60,000 – which is a $10,000 increase from the previous agreement. The city is covering the University of Georgia’s air travel up to $350,000 each year.
And some of you thought Georgia was at a disadvantage flying to the game. Not in the way it matters to Butts-Mehre.
By the way, I’m happy about it.
Jesus, Gators. Grow up.
Omar might have told University of Florida vice president, general counsel and university secretary Jamie Keith it probably wasn’t the best idea to cultivate Huntley Johnson as an enemy. At least not if you couldn’t finish the job.
The Gainesville Sun speculates that the battle between the two high-powered attorneys may have started over a complaint filed against Johnson’s client, UF football player Antonio Callaway.
According to an ESPN report, a woman who alleged that Callaway sexually assaulted her opted to file a complaint with the university rather than a police report about the incident.
Callaway was cleared last August after the alleged victim boycotted her Title IX hearing because a UF booster and student-athlete-turned-lawyer was overseeing the proceeding.
In January, the UF legal department hired Tallahassee attorney Mark Herron to investigate Johnson’s professional conduct. That same month, Johnson began requesting dozens of public records related to Keith, including her personnel file and emails.
Johnson filed a suit in February against the school and Keith. He did this, too.
Johnson submitted a statement to the school’s board of trustees saying that an investigation into Keith’s competence and ethics is needed and “respectfully suggest[ing] that she is not the right person to be the general counsel of the University of Florida.”
University of Florida General Counsel Jamie Keith, under investigation following a complaint alleging misconduct, has been placed on administrative leave.
UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes said it would be inappropriate to discuss the reason for the move while the investigation is underway. Keith continues to be paid her $389,500 annual salary, Sikes said.
Keith had agreed to take annual leave once the investigation by UF’s Office of Internal Audit was launched.
By the way, don’t miss reading the rest of that Gainesville Sun piece. You know when a story starts off with “… she so inflamed former UF Athletics Director Jeremy Foley that he wrote in an email to her four days before he retired on Oct. 1, 2016, that he was thankful he would no longer be working with her”, it’s gonna be a good one.