Football – Sportalicious Fri, 11 Jun 2021 22:54:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Football – Sportalicious 32 32 Why Auburn’s RB 2022 football venue could become BFC’s best Fri, 11 Jun 2021 22:03:39 +0000

The future is bright for Auburn’s football running back hall, all the more so with the possibility of securing the 4-star RB Damari Alston 2022. The Tigers are loaded with Tank Bigsby and Shaun Shivers returns in addition to the signatory. 2021 Jarquez Hunter, but depth will be needed as soon as possible.

The nation’s 29th best running back unofficially visited Auburn on Wednesday and spent time with Bryan Harsin, Mike Bobo, Cadillac Williams and even Tank Bigsby. Auburn Rivals reports that Auburn staff have made it clear to Alston that he is a priority target:

“They just tell me to make sure I know I’m a priority for them,” Alston said. “They need me here. The main thing they kept saying is that they need some help with Tank. I know they have Shaun Shivers but he’s leaving after this year because he’s a senior. They want a good guy, or two of them. I see an opportunity here.

The RB said he can see himself playing alongside Tank Bigsby, also from Georgia state. Alston wants to play with a group of running backs that will push him to improve his game and is not intimidated by Auburn’s talented football roster, according to

“The Cadillac coach always told me that iron sharpens iron,” said Alston.

In the 2020 season, Alston racked up 1,507 rushing yards for 25 touchdowns, in addition to recording 22 receptions for 229 yards and two touchdowns. It is a complete package, with the ability to both run and catch the ball.

Alston has more than 50 offers on hand and has already made an unofficial visit to Florida and an official visit to LSU, which is expected to land the rookie according to the 247 Sports Crystal Ball Prediction. He will also officially visit Northwestern on June 18 and Penn State on June 25.

The 4-star prospect plans to return to the Plains for a game-day visit and wants to see a winning program led by Coach Harsin. He plans to officially commit to a school this fall during his final season.

If Damari Alston is serious about learning from the best, Auburn’s football schedule is the best place to make that happen. With guys like Tank Bigsby and Shaun Shivers, Alston will have strong mentors to help him realize his potential.

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Man convicted of traffic accident that killed St. Louis football coach; victim’s family says it’s not enough Fri, 11 Jun 2021 03:18:32 +0000

ST. LOUIS – The family of St. Louis athlete and coach Derrick Mitchell, 24, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2019, confronted the man in court on Thursday. They had something they wanted him to see.

“I wanted him to see his face,” said Marie Mitchell, Derrick’s mother.

His brother and sister held up a souvenir blanket with the image of Derrick on it, inside the courtroom as Derrick’s parents spoke directly to the defendant, Coy Robinson, 37.

Robinson had just pleaded guilty to manslaughter, armed criminal action and leaving the scene, to the October 2019 accident that killed Mitchell.

“Derrick was an incredible, incredible man. I wanted him to see my son’s face; what he took from us. I needed him to see that, ”said Marie Mitchell.

Running back Derrick Mitchell Jr. # 32 of the Iowa Hawkeyes celebrates after a first half touchdown against the Maryland Terrapins on October 31, 2015 at Kinnick Stadium, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst / Getty Images)

His son was a Vashon High School graduate and athlete who played college football in Iowa, then came home to raise his now 4-year-old son, Derrick Mitchell III (family calls him “D3” ) and to be an assistant football coach. at Miller Career Academy High School.

“A lot of these young men said he was a father figure,” Mitchell’s aunt Geralding Fleming said. “He was like a big brother. He didn’t just take care of them on the football field.

He was on his way to work the morning of the accident.

Robinson admits to swerving in oncoming traffic to pass Mitchell on North Broadway near Christian in the St. Louis’s Baden neighborhood; hitting Mitchell’s vehicle in the process and knocking it over in oncoming traffic where Mitchell was struck by another car. Robinson’s data logger shows he was traveling at nearly 70 mph. The speed limit is 35 mph.

Mitchell suffered a ruptured aorta. His father told Robinson he fought bravely in a hospital, suffering 8 strokes before dying a few days after the accident.

Court records show Robinson pleaded guilty in 2017 to weapons, resistance to arrest and assault on law enforcement charges stemming from another incident. He was sentenced to 10 years, but Judge Elizabeth Hogan suspended the sentence and gave Robinson 3 years probation, which he was serving at the time of the accident.

He was sentenced to 8 years in prison for his guilty pleas on Thursday.

Mitchell’s family are unhappy that Judge David Mason ordered the 8 years to be served along with the 10 years in the previous case.

With early release Robinson could be free in less than 4 years, his lawyer said.

“For my son’s life, it’s just not enough, just not enough,” said Marie Mitchell.

“Our lives are irreparably shattered,” Mitchell’s father told Robinson in tears.

When Robinson told the judge he was sorry for his actions, the judge told him to look at Mitchell’s family and tell them, what he did.

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3 reasons Tiger fans would hate 12-team CFB playoffs Thu, 10 Jun 2021 11:12:00 +0000

Clemson football Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson’s football schedule has been a constant contender for the BFC playoffs for over half a decade, but the system could change in the near future.

According to the latest reports from several national publications, the “preferred” model for the expansion of the CFB playoffs is to move to a 12-team field.

While the logistics of this potential new ground for the playoffs have not been discussed, the general theme is that it will give every champion in the Power-5 conference an automatic bid and also give the squad squad of 5 highest ranked an automatic qualifier. The first four seeds of the tournament will receive a pass, then the No.5 through No.12 seeds will play in the first round for a chance to advance to the quarter-finals.

There are many things to love about this for Clemson football fans, including:

  • An automatic place to win the conference
  • A little extra pillow for a large bunk in case you lose a part (or even two)
  • No more football, which is never a bad thing
  • An opportunity to host playoff games in Death Valley would be a good thing (if they followed the home / away route)

But today we’re going to focus on three reasons why Clemson fans would hate the expanded field if it grew to 12 teams.

3. You have to win more matches to win a national title

One of the things Dabo Swinney has always warned about when asked about BFC’s potential for playoff expansion is the tough road it already takes to get to the playoffs and win it all.

Clemson has had two magical runs over the past six years that culminated with the Nationals, but you have to understand that adding another game – maybe two – makes the road even more difficult.

It’s easy for us as fans to get excited about more football, but at some point you have to realize that these players aren’t going to play 15, 16, or 17 games year after year without fatigue. settles at some point.

When fatigue sets in, injuries can occur and teams can go into games without the right focus.

This isn’t the main reason why Clemson fans might hate the Extended Playoffs, but it certainly doesn’t help that in the golden age of your program’s history, you will now have to (if it had to pass) win 16 or 17 games when in the past teams only had to win 12 to accomplish the same feat.

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how the pandemic created a rare opportunity – The Appalachian Wed, 09 Jun 2021 18:29:47 +0000

Andy McLean

After the 2020 season, App State senior wide receiver Thomas Hennigan (right) elected to use his extra year of NCAA eligibility due to complications from the pandemic. Former teammate Noah Hannon (left) has chosen to leave App State.

Four Bowl Championships. Three Sun Belt titles. Wins in North Carolina and South Carolina, both in 2019. Ranked in the Top 25 for the first time. A combined record of 40-10.

It’s no secret that over the past four years, App State Football has accomplished a lot. The 2020 senior class would become one of the most influential and successful groups in the history of the program. But thanks to an unprecedented rule change by the NCAA due to the pandemic, most of the seniors in this group are not yet a part of App State history – because they are still a part of the present.

“I can’t say a word or pinpoint exactly how I feel, because it’s special,” said App State head football coach Shawn Clark.

In August, the NCAA granted all fall sports athletes an additional year of eligibility due to complications and interruptions of roller coaster season during a global pandemic. That meant every senior on the 2020 Mountaineers roster would have the chance to return for a fifth, and in some cases a sixth, year of college football.

“I know we’ve all had very different decision-making processes, and a lot of different things went into it,” said super senior wide receiver Thomas Hennigan. “It was a very unique circumstance.”

Graphic by Silas Albright

After App State finished the season with a dominant win over north texas in the Myrtle Beach Bowl, 13 of those seniors finally decided to take advantage of the extra year and come back to Boone for one last ride as “super” seniors. Nine of those 13 were mountaineers starters. So if there is one thing listing is guaranteed to have in 2021, this is the experience.

“These guys came here – I’m the third head football coach they’ve been through,” Clark said. “So they know what the expectations are and they know how to lead by example. “

Super senior offensive lineman Baer Hunter has had one of the App State’s most unique careers. He was drafted as a defensive end and red shirt in 2016. With three games to play in the 2017 season, Hunter moved from the D line to the tight end. The following year, Hunter changed positions again, finding success in his new role at the right guard station on the O line, starting 12 games. Over the past two seasons, Hunter has started all 26 games at right-back, earning second-team All-Sun Belt recognition in 2019 and first-team honors as a senior redshirt in 2020.

When the time came for Hunter to decide whether to return to the Mountaineers for a sixth year or move on, he said the biggest motivation for him to return was his need for more movies for the Scouts to see. NFL. Four-year-old starting center Noah Hannon decided to quit App State after the 2020 season, giving Hunter the chance to switch positions again, this time down the O-line center.

“I had the opportunity to move to a position that would put me in a better position to try and play to the next level,” said Hunter. “It definitely made me want to stay here longer.”

As the O-Line’s most experienced returner, Hunter’s positive impact as an individual player is evident. But offensive line coach Nic Cardwell said he noticed something important during this year’s spring training that he had never seen before at Hunter: taking a young player aside. and motivate him.

“In terms of maturity, he brings a wealth of knowledge,” Cardwell said.

In addition to earning more movies and developing further as a player in his sixth year, Hunter will be leaving App State with his master’s degree, thanks to his presence to take classes when he was in a red shirt with the team. .

The two most obvious impacts that Super Seniors have on the program are from a real football perspective, affecting play on the pitch, and from an off-pitch perspective, mentoring and helping the younger ones. But Joey Jones, App State’s director of communications for the football team and sports in general, spoke of another way this group returning for another year affects the program.

“I think something that is probably an underrated aspect is the fan base, and the elders know who these guys are. They don’t have to learn new guys, ”Jones said. “Having the fan base immediately recognizing them honestly makes our job of marketing the program easier. “

Have superstars like wide receiver Corey Sutton, known for his spectacular touchdowns and acrobatic catches, and defensive lineman Demetrius Taylor, immortalized for the havoc he wrecked against North Carolina, back for another year, has a positive impact on the program at almost every level.

Fans of App State were already eager to return to a crowded Kidd Brewer stadium for a more normal 2021 season. Add 13 of the most accomplished and memorable players for an unprecedented additional year? App Nation counts the days until kick off.

“From a fan’s perspective, there’s so much buzz,” said Landon Judy, App State graduate student and vice president of the Yosef Student Club. “I am part of the Twitter App. I’m really involved with a lot of fans, and to be able to talk to our alumni and season ticket holders and students in general, they’re excited to see these players back. ”

Editor’s Note: Below is an audio interview of Silas Albright with App State Super Senior Wide Receiver Thomas Hennigan. Press play to hear Hennigan’s take on what prompted the decision to return for another year

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High school football team helps Weld County rancher hit by tornado – CBS Denver Wed, 09 Jun 2021 04:18:00 +0000

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Arizona State plans full capacity for football games in 2021 Mon, 07 Jun 2021 18:56:00 +0000

(Photo by Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

Arizona State is preparing to allow full capacity of fans for football games at Sun Devil Stadium this coming season.

“Sun Devil Athletics has worked tirelessly to safely welcome fans to our venues throughout the spring in a phased approach,” said varsity athletics vice president Ray Anderson in a press release Monday.

“We are moving forward with plans to have a full stadium when Sun Devil football starts on Thursday September 2nd. We will continue to work closely with health officials to assess fan protocols and have detailed plans to share with our fan base in the weeks. before kick-off.

The Sun Devils kick off the season against Southern Utah.

ASU has been allowing fans to return to sporting events since March, when the university allowed 20-25% capacity for spring sports (baseball, softball, soccer, and soccer final spring training).

In May, the university announced it was increasing its capacity to 50% for spring sporting events.

The update comes after the Arizona Wildcats announced plans to host games at Arizona Stadium at full capacity last Wednesday.

Last season, the Pac-12 imposed a fan ban due to the coronavirus pandemic, with only certain family members allowed to attend certain games later in the season.

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The day – King quits Valley / Old Lyme football coach Mon, 07 Jun 2021 01:06:17 +0000

Football has been a part of Tim King’s life since 1972, whether he played at Saint-Bernard or coached.

King decided it was time to call it a career when he informed his Valley Regional / Old Lyme co-op on Sunday that he was stepping down as head coach after 23 seasons. He is also retiring as a physical education teacher at Valley Regional.

“It’s been in the works for many, many years,” King said on Sunday evening of the retirement. “I kind of had a countdown.

“I had a great race and it wasn’t just me. I had absolutely fantastic staff and had wonderful kids who have come on the program over the years and have worked hard to get to UConn and UMass and Syracuse and Boston College in the past for camps. We traveled everywhere and they were willing to put in the time, and that’s what made us successful.

King, 60, helped put the program on the map at the state level. The Valley Regional Program struggled with numbers due to the school’s enrollment in the early 2000s when he, then athletic director Ginny King (his wife) and old Lyme AD Rob Roach worked together to form a cooperative with Old Lyme in 2006.

King was 153-92 and led the program to his first place in the CIAC playoffs in 2010 and six overall.

Valley / Old Lyme finished 13-0 in 2014 and won their only state title. He rallied late to beat Ansonia, 21-20, to win the S-Large Class Championship, a first for a football co-op.

“I’d be a liar if I said (the state final) wasn’t one of the most memorable games,” King said. “Our first playoff match against Sacred Heart, then the Berlin match (30-12 victory in the 2016 M-Class quarter-finals). Berlin has always been a powerhouse in the state.

Another of King’s most memorable games came in North Branford on October 1, 2015. King’s father, George Calvin King, passed away days earlier (September 29) at the age of 92. and beat the Thunderbirds in double overtime, 27-21.

“The kids didn’t give up and they came back,” King said. “They all signed the ball and I put it in my dad’s coffin. It was a tough stage, but it shows how family-friendly Valley football is. “

King admitted that his experiences last fall played some role in his decision to retire. It all started when the 2020 high school football season was canceled by the CIAC due to the pandemic, one of the few sanctioned sports to have been closed this school year.

Regional School District 4 also pressured King to resign or be fired at the end of last November, as he accused him of being involved in an independent league soccer team involving players from his program. King joked to The Day that he was the team’s “general manager” but said he couldn’t coach because the district forbade him.

Valley / Old Lyme players past and present, parents of students and the state’s high school football community have rallied in King’s defense. The district quickly canceled his request.

“It’s been a tough year,” Knig said. “It’s hard to come back from that stuff when you spend (so many) years in a program and are treated that way. It’s hard to bounce back but I had good children and good coaches. I felt that if there was a time to waste, now is the perfect time because I have a lot of young coaches in the staff (who could take over).

“It was kind of nice to get back into it (training) with the track this spring (the other sport he coached), so it was fun.”

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It’s not just football, it’s a barometer of diversity. Bring the Euros… | Euro 2020 Sun, 06 Jun 2021 06:45:00 +0000

LLast week, after more than a year of playing in empty stadiums, the England men’s football team finally entered Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium in front of a small, socially distant crowd. This warm-up match for Euro 2020 was hardly noteworthy for football as England secured a 1-0 victory over Austria. What remains in mind is that when the English players – a remarkably diverse starting XI including five players of color – knelt before kick-off, there was the now familiar duel between those. who hooted the gesture and those who applauded. to drown them.

In May 2020, in response to the murder of George Floyd and the global mobilization of the Black Lives Matter movement, players in the English Premier League collectively agreed to kneel down before matches and, with few exceptions, continued to have been doing it since. It is a statement of support for the victims of racism and a demand for racial justice, in English football and around the world, and has already generated negative reactions, due to the deployment of an aerial banner “White “Lives Matter” by Burnley fans, social media abuse against black players and knee boos by Chelsea fans in the FA Cup final.

These events may not be in the spotlight of the game but they confirm football’s remarkable status as a public theater of race issues, and England are not alone in this case. Over the next month, the 24 Euro 2020 squads will offer a glimpse into the diversity and demographics of Europe, as the football press and public attitudes towards the squads make it the policy of the nation and of migration, race and ethnicity, more transparent than in many areas of public life.

England are one of five countries – alongside France, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands – with very diverse teams, where players of color have a long-standing presence in the squad. national and, it is no coincidence, were great colonial powers. France and Portugal selected their first black players in the 1930s, the Netherlands in the 1960s. Viv Anderson’s debut in England in 1978 marked the start of a large wave of black English players. At Euro 2020, between a third and half of the workforce of the former colonial powers will be players of color.

Jesse Lingard of England and David Alaba of Austria kneel in Middlesbrough. Photograph: Ryan Browne / NMC Pool / The Guardian

In all of these countries, the ethnic makeup of the national team and its performance in major competitions has at times been a lightning rod for pro and anti-migrant policies, civil and ethnic versions of the nation. France’s World Cup triumphs have been claimed as victories for a multiracial French republic and a snub for the National Front, celebrated with exuberance in 1998 and more cautiously in 2018. But the implosion of the team at the Cup World 2010 has been read as a bitter internal ethnic conflict, and the French Football Federation has been rocked by accusations of institutionalized racism and attempts to introduce racial quotas into its youth teams. Faced with the rise of the far right in France and the presidential elections of 2022, it’s hard not to imagine similar stories playing out.

Belgium’s diverse and appealing sides have helped break the deadlock between Walloon and Flemish identity in the national conversation, offering something of the hyper cosmopolitan mix of Brussels. However, as team forward Romelu Lukaku made clear, these new accommodations are contingent. “When things were going well, he wrote in 2018, they called me Romelu Lukaku, the Belgian striker. When things weren’t going well, they called me Romelu Lukaku, the Belgian striker of Congolese origin.

Compared to England, football’s institutional response to racism and the BLM movement elsewhere in Europe has been pitiful. French football only held one day against racism, as individual players of color knelt to the astonishment of their white peers. The Belgian and Dutch authorities were even more indifferent. In the Netherlands, it was left to the players, led by national team captain Virgil van Dijk, to boycott the country’s most popular TV show after racist comments from the host, a former footballer.

Portugal, theoretically at ease with its large African communities and football players, has seen an upsurge in racist attacks over the past year which has spread to football; Porto’s Moussa Marega left the pitch after the crowd racially assaulted him.

The second group of diverse squads comes from Scandinavia and German-speaking Europe. Germany was stripped of its African colonies at Versailles, Switzerland and Austria never had any, and the imperial adventures of Scandinavia are very distant. Yet these teams are almost as diverse as those of the former colonial powers as they reflect a new era of global economic migration and post-Cold War refugees, and a relatively successful process of assimilation and adaptation. Germany, for example, has players of Turkish origin whose families have arrived Gastarbeiter in the 1960s and 1970s, sons of more recent African arrivals and players whose families fled the Yugoslav civil war. The Swiss squad includes players from Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia and Albania, not to mention players of Cameroonian, Chilean, Congolese and Sudanese origin.

Belgians Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne celebrate goal against Scotland in 2019
Belgians Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne celebrate their goal against Scotland in 2019. Photograph: Russell Cheyne / Reuters

As in the former colonial powers, these multi-ethnic national teams can be an example of a new civic nationalism. In 2006, Germany reveled in its own flag in public for the first time since the end of WWII as a young, diverse national team advanced to the semi-finals of the World Cup.

In Germany and Sweden, football clubs and fan groups act as active agents in settling migrants. But nativist voices sometimes denounce the authenticity of these teams or, as German midfielder Mesut Özil discovered after being photographed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, question their patriotism and allegiance.

Sweden’s national team, reflecting its generous and long-standing immigration and refugee policies, has been diverse for some time and is a cause for overwhelming national celebration; they styled their first player of color, Martin Dahlin, in 1988, while their greatest modern player, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is of Bosnian descent. Even so, during the 2018 World Cup, Jimmy Durmaz, born to Assyrian migrants, was scapegoated for defeat by Germany and faced a torrent of online abuse accusing him of being a “suicide bomber” and a “fucking immigrant”. The team responded by posting a “Fuck Racism” video. Durmaz hasn’t made the squad this time around, but the Swedish far-right will have players of Macedonian and Congolese descent, and Swedes of Haitian, Ghanaian and Kenyan descent to abuse if they wish. .

Spain, Scotland and Italy, on the other hand, are very monotonous. Although Spain has capped black players, the balance of Basques, Catalans and Spaniards consumes nationalist energy. The great Irish migrations from Scotland and the vicious sectarian politics plaguing football and Scottish society form the backdrop for the cultural policy of its national team. No form of division applies to Italy, which will be entirely white but for naturalized Brazilian defender Emerson Palmieri. Neither Spain nor Italy acquired a large community of migrants from their global empires. Indeed, both were countries of emigration until very recently. Brazilians of Italian or Spanish descent were easily assimilated – such as Spaniard Thiago Alcântara or Italian Jorginho – but players of color from their new migrant communities were rare, often poorly received and operating in football cultures. that remain, like the country as a whole. , in denial of their deep racism.

When Mario Balotelli, Italy’s first black soccer star, played for the national team, fans would often chant “There is no black Italian”, and he was abused by the crowds. allowed in the training camps of the Italian team.

The all-white England team for the 1980 Euros in Italy.
The all-white England team for the 1980 Euros in Italy. Photograph: Eamonn McCabe / The Guardian

Whoever wins or loses, Euro 2020 will show a continent whose nations are in the throes of another of its periodic demographic shifts, especially new migrations from Africa and the Caribbean. Men’s football continues to draw its stars from a small pool of mostly working-class young men, where ethnic minorities are already over-represented and for whom football offers a rare set of plausible role models and an accessible career path. Along with the phenomenal resilience and dedication of these players, these factors have combined so that players of color are actually over-represented on many teams.

It’s kind of a step forward, and it has produced a generation that is more confident and empowered than their predecessors and who – like Raheem Sterling and Virgil van Dijk – speak out against racism in the game. The same cannot be said of their coaches, club presidents or administrators of the national game in Europe, where minorities are massively under-represented or totally absent. It is no wonder then that most football associations and leagues have been so oblivious to racism in the game and so unlucky to face it.

Like the Middlesbrough game last week, European football remains a place where racism and resistance to racism is publicly exposed – and our conflicting versions of who we are – is broadcast. Hopefully tap dance outshines booers, and that the diversity of the teams is a source of public national celebration rather than racist scapegoats, but as we know in football, “hope is killing you” .

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91 days for Purdue Football: Ben Buechel and Dontay Hunter II Sat, 05 Jun 2021 14:18:27 +0000

Today is the first day with two players counting down, as you can have players with the same number as long as one is on offense and the other is on defense.

Ben Buechel – P. (RS)

New Berlin, WI (Eisenhower HS)

6’3 “, 235 pounds

Tight end

2021 projection: probable reserve

Buechel came to Purdue as a preferred replacement before last season. He initially pledged to play in the Air Force, but switched to Purdue after a senior season of 25 passes for 339 yards and four touchdowns.

Buechel is projecting into reserve this year with Payne Durham, Garrett Miller and Kyle Bilodeau getting most of the shots.

Dontay Hunter II – So.

Westerville, OH (Westerville Central)

6’4 “, 260 pounds

Defensive end

2021 projection: probable reserve

This is Hunter’s third year with the program, so it’s really a defining year. After being redshirted in 2019, he didn’t play last year when Purdue sought answers from the defensive end. He’s a former three-star rookie who had a senior season of 113 total tackles, including 101 solo saves, with 12.0 sacks.

Hunter is one of many struggling to be in the rotation on the defensive line. With George Karlaftis having one spot locked out, it’s up to Hunter to win the other.

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Sports Illustrated predicts regression in 2021 Fri, 04 Jun 2021 21:15:00 +0000

Florida has been a popular choice by the media to regress due to their offensive losses.

Sports Illustrated’s Eric Rynston-Lobel added to that list and ranked the Gators as one of three teams to step back next season. Its logic mostly checks. He felt that the losses suffered by Florida in attack would be too great.

Having two picks in the NFL Draft in the first round is definitely a good sign for a program. The challenge, of course, is to replace that talent. In the 20’s, Kadarius Toney and Kyle Pitts (both first-rounders) accounted for nearly 40% of Florida’s receiving yards. Add Trevon Grimes to that total and the Gators will lose more than half of their receiving production. They also lose Kyle Trask, the quarterback who helped make Florida’s offense so dynamic.

He then moved on to defense and argued that the offense could no longer mask their inefficiencies.

His arguments are solid and reasonable. But here are a few reasons Florida won’t take a step back.

As deadly as the Gators’ offense was last season, they’ve always struggled to direct the ball. Alleged starting quarterback Emory Jones is what Dan Mullen expects from his quarterback like a glove. The whispering quarterback will finally be able to show his attack with a true double-threat quarterback.

Florida also added more star power, like the transfer Demarkcus Bowman, to their already loaded running back body. I would say UF has one of the most powerful units in the SEC along with Dameon Pierce, Nay’Quan Wright, Malik Davis and Lorenzo Lingard.

The running game will ease some of the pressure from the reception hall to replace Pitts, Toney and Grimes. But the wide in this room are not left out. Justin Shorter, a transfer from Penn State, was a former 5-star talent. Jacob Copeland will finally see enough shots to potentially have a breakout season. Tight end Keon Zipperer was second best at his position in the 2019 class, according to 247 Sports.

Going to the other side of the ball, the Gators dismiss key players like Zachary Carter, Brenton Cox Jr. and Ventrell Miller. They also added two graduates transfers to the defensive tackle to close that gap in the depth chart.

Most of their starts, however, came in the struggling mighty high school. But again, the defensive coordinator reclaims star corner Kaiir Elam and adds another 5-star defensive back in Jason Marshall Jr.

The security unit will undergo an overhaul during the 2021 season, but Trey Dean appeared to be playing his best football after holding several other positions to start his career in Florida. Finally, the Gators defense again had spring training that they didn’t have last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These are all solid reasons why Florida could move up instead of falling in 2021.

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