Storylines Abound As Start Of Florida Gators Spring Practice Just Days Away

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 every day — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across the Gators sports world. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Florida football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Looking at most intriguing players to watch this spring

It’s almost here. Florida kicks off spring practice Friday and Saturday with both sessions open to fans.

Last week, SEC Country compiled its in-depth position-by-position breakdown of the 2018 Gators, which can be found here.

Meanwhile, here’s a look at the 5 most intriguing players to keep an eye on this spring for Florida.

Given the excitement surrounding Dan Mullen, the new coaching staff and new looks on both sides of the ball, that list could have certainly been much longer, but there will be plenty more to come throughout the spring on those making a strong impression.

Taking a closer look at the offensive side, SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi evaluates the likelihood of Mullen and Co. getting more out of quarterback Feleipe Franks than the previous staff did.

And the latest edition of the Chomp Chat podcast highlights the depth the Gators have across the board on offense.

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Recruiting roundup

  • Florida is one of six finalists for 5-star Class of 2019 cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., along with Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Stanford and Texas. The Baton Rouge, La., product, who is ranked the No. 2 CB in the class by the 247Sports composite, is leaning toward the hometown Tigers, telling SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner, “LSU is my leader. Everyone else still has a shot, though. If those schools keep working like they have, then we’ll see how things turn out, but right now, LSU leads.” Read more here.
  • Kayvon Thibodeaux, a 5-star defensive end from Thousand Oaks, Calif., and the No. 1-ranked prospect overall in the Class of 2019 (by the 247Sports composite), tweeted that he’s visiting Gainesville this weekend. Abolverdi caught up with Thibodeaux last week. Read more about his thoughts on the Gators’ chances of signing him.
  • Meanwhile, Class of 2020 QB TJ Finley, from Ponchatoula, La., tweeted photos from his visit to Florida on Monday. Abolverdi wrote about Finley in advance of his visit. Read more here.
  • Gator Country’s Andrew Spivey talked to Class of 2019 QB target Garrett Shrader, from Charlotte, N.C. Shrader is ranked as a 3-star prospect and the No. 13 dual-threat QB in the class, according to the 247Sports composite. He’s been in contact with Mullen and Florida QBs coach Brian Johnson. “He said he likes my film,” Shrader told Spivey. “He said he’s really excited about me and wants to get me down there. I probably talk to Coach Johnson more than Coach Mullen, but I talk with both.” Read more here.
  • Class of 2021 athlete Kamar Wilcoxson, from Stone Mountain, Ga., is visiting Florida this weekend, he tweeted.
  • Class of 2020 defensive end Josh Griffis, a Gators commit from Green Cove Springs, Fla., will also be in Gainesville.

Florida basketball readies for NCAA Tournament

  • Florida basketball coach Mike White provided his thoughts on the Gators’ NCAA Tournament draw while touching on the disadvantages of not knowing their first opponent until after the First Four on Tuesday night. See his full comments here.
  • White also acknowledged analyst Seth Davis’ instant prediction during the selection show that the Gators would lose to either St. Bonaventure or UCLA. He said he’ll use it as motivation for his guys … again.
  • The No. 11-seeded Bonnies and Bruins play at approximately 9:10 p.m. ET Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio, on truTV. The winner will then get the No. 6-seeded Gators on Thursday night in Dallas.

Florida baseball hosts Florida State

  • The No. 2 Gators (15-3) host the first of three showdowns with in-state rivalry Florida State (14-2) on Tuesday night at 6 at McKethan Stadium.
  • Florida has won 10 of the last 11 meetings with the Seminoles, including all three last season.
  • Freshman left-hander Jordan Butler (1-1, 2.50 ERA) will start for Florida, while FSU will throw redshirt junior righty Andrew Karp (3-0, 1.56 ERA).
  • The Gators lost the top spot in the Baseball America and D1Baseball national polls, falling to No. 2, while Oregon State moved up to No. 1.

What they’re saying on Twitter

  • Florida linebackers coach Christian Robinson is ready for the start of spring practice later this week:

Spring is here! #FastPhysicalAggressive pic.twitter.com/JLs4YWVpAK

— Christian Robinson (@crob45) March 12, 2018

  • Florida Class of 2019 WR commit Dionte Marks seems 100 percent on board with the Gators:

Can’t wait till my senior year is over so I can come Home😩🐊 @CoachDanMullen @CoachBillyG pic.twitter.com/8nY7OYXUOb

— Dionte Marks (@yg_coolieee) March 12, 2018

  • Florida guard Egor Koulechov is enjoying the final stretch of his college basketball career:

Listened to my favorite talk show @TheHerd today and heard @ColinCowherd mention us today. Appreciate the love!

— Egor Koulechov (@RussianGusta) March 12, 2018

  • Gators legend Tim Tebow remains dedicated to his off-the-field causes:

The Mets excused Tim Tebow from camp two weekends ago so he could attend his foundation golf tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. He wound up raising $2.2 million for children in need. (Photo courtesy the Tim Tebow Foundation.) pic.twitter.com/XO8XRPY6zM

— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) March 12, 2018

  • Gators track star and national champion Grant Holloway tweeted his appreciation for the support he’s received this season:

Thank you for all the love #GatorNation & each and every one of you guys who congratulated me personally. Who’s face will I see at Florida Relays ?! 😇 #NattyChamps #PicturesAndMoreFortniteComingSoon

— S. Grant Holloway (@Flaamingoo_) March 11, 2018

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Source : https://www.seccountry.com/florida/florida-gators-spring-football-practice-dan-mullen-derek-stingley-kayvon-thibodeaux

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