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September 24, 2012

View from the press box: Football tidbits

There's only so much one can see when watching the Gators play on television. That's why Inside the Gators is returning its "View from the Press Box" feature for 2012 - a look at things that might have gone unnoticed during the broadcast. Here's what we saw Saturday:

* Jacoby Brissett and a group of receivers were the first players on the field to warm up for Florida. Brissett was primarily throwing passes to Frankie Hammond Jr.

* Florida commits Vernon Hargreaves III, Nick Washington, Jordan Sherit and Ahmad Fulwood were all walking around the field early with their Gator Guides for the day. Let's just say their guides were attractive.

* Two former five-stars, Dante Fowler Jr. and Jonathan Bullard seemed to be loose prior to the game. Both were out together early throwing the football around.

* UF offensive line coach Tim Davis and tight ends coach Derek Lewis were out early greeting prospects and parents.

* For the second time this season Ben Hill Griffin Stadium wasn't sold out Saturday, but a decent amount of fans did show up early to watch the Gators warm up. There were probably a little over 80,000 fans in attendance in the first half, but as you might expect, the crowd started clearing out after the half.

* Per usual, the first group of players to come out in pads was kickers and other special teams players. At one point, redshirt freshman punter Todd Fennell went over and took some pictures with either some fans or prospects.

* Hope Mills (S.C.) South View defensive end Greg Gilmore was in attendance and dressed from head to toe in Gators gear. He spent the majority of pregame talking with UF defensive end commit Joey Ivie. Defensive line coach Bryant Young spoke briefly with Gilmore but mainly spoke with Gilmore's father.

* Linebackers coach D.J. Durkin, always a fireball for Florida on the sidelines, was seen pumping up the defensive backs when they first took the field in pads.

* Offensive guard Jon Halapio's parents and little brother were on the field before the game and were sporting buttons with Halapio's No. 67 on them.

* Five-star Seffner (Fla.) Armwood safety Leon McQuay III made a surprise appearance at the game and was in attendance with his father.

* Among those in street clothes were linebacker Jelani Jenkins, who had a hard, blue cast, Cody Riggs, who was wearing a walking boot, and Dominique Easley, who had his leg wrapped up tightly. Ronald Powell and Kedric Johnson - both out for the season with knee injuries - hung out together for most of pregame. Easley did his own thing for most of the game.

* Nearly all of the commits and more sought-after targets were gathered around the Florida tunnel when it was time for the team to run out.

* UF tight end Colin Thompson was in a walking boot and used crutches to get around. Injured offensive tackle Matt Patchan (pectoral) had nothing wrapped around his upper body but was on the sidelines in street clothes and spent most of the game talking to redshirt senior center Sam Robey.

* Also in a walking boot at the game: Florida wide receiver commit Chris Thompson.

*Florida wide receiver Andre Debose saw no action until the second half and was completely disconnected from the team during the game. Debose rarely had his helmet with him and walked around occasionally talking to kickers or freshman reserves, but wasn't at all involved with the players playing in the game or paying much attention to what was going on on the field.

* Easley and Ivie were seen speaking before the game. Easley was also part of a lengthy conversation with Powell and athletic director Jeremy Foley shortly before kickoff.

* Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was all over his defensive line at the end of the first quarter. He was animated enough to be seen from the press box.

* Last year's Florida final-four lacrosse team got a big ovation from the fans when they were recognized during the game.

* Quinton Dunbar's second-quarter holding penalty drew mixed reactions from the UF staff. Co-wide receivers coach Bush Hamdan got onto Dunbar for the play, but Muschamp decided to tear into a referee instead.

* They didn't pick it up on TV, but defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson ran along the sideline with Jaylen Watkins on his interception return for a touchdown.

* Things got chippy between Florida and Kentucky after Driskel's quarterback sneak touchdown. There was a shoving match that involved sophomore offensive lineman Ian Silberman. A referee looked to have given Muschamp some kind of warning after the play, which caused him to walk over to Silberman and tell him to calm down.

* Fans began pouring out of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium en-mass at the start of the fourth quarter.

* Powell spent the fourth quarter interacting with fans and took pictures with some kids. He was one of the more active injured UF players during the game, pacing the sidelines and interacting with a number of players.

* Quinn stopped and talked briefly with Greg Gilmore after the game.

* A player who got to dress for the first time this season was freshman defensive lineman Quinteze Williams. Remember his tweets after not dressing for the opener.

Florida State NEWS


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