Kan Li / Scout

Franz Beard's Thoughts of the Day; Feb 26

A few thoughts to jump start your Friday morning...

Demarcus Robinson always passed the eye test. His problems at the University of Florida had nothing to do with size, speed and athleticism but had everything to do with the distance between his ears. Speaking to Frank Frangie of gridironnow.com, Robinson admitted that he was suspended for drug use three times early in his career and actually spent 45 days in a recovery program. Robinson says he was suspended for the 2015 Florida State game because “I had a marketing lady that wanted to meet with me at the end of my time at Florida. She offered me something that I had never been offered before. So, I was willing to take that to help my mom out … It wasn’t the Florida State week, it was the week before.”

Robinson says he was tested for drugs twice a week during his sophomore and junior seasons but said there were no problems with drugs after that.

I think everyone in the Gator Nation wants to believe Robinson when he says he’s straightened his life out but is Robinson confessing he’s changed because he feels remorseful or is it because he’s at the NFL Combine and needs the scouts, coaches and general managers from the 32 NFL teams to take a chance on him?

At the collegiate level, Robinson had all the physical skills and should have dominated but he often underperformed against inferior competition. Some of that could be blamed on game plans, offensive lines, bad quarterbacking – the list goes on and on. But Robinson was good enough that he should have been better than what he was. Much better.  At the NFL level, the very average defensive backs are better than most of the DBs Robinson faced even in the SEC.

There is no question Robinson has shown sporadically that he has NFL ability but playing in the NFL isn’t just about how fast you run, how high you jump or having a great body. It’s about showing that you’re willing to put in the hard work it takes to succeed at the next level. Is there anything in Demarcus Robinson’s past that shows he’s willing to do that?

Women’s basketball: In their final road trip of the regular season, the Gators (21-7, 9-6 SEC) knocked off LSU, 82-56, in Baton Rouge. Cassie Peoples led the Gators with 19 points, 2 rebounds and 5 assists. Ronnie Williams had 13 points and 5 rebounds while Eleanna Christinaki had 12 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. The Gators finish the regular season Sunday at the O-Dome against Auburn. With a win Sunday the Gators will have a shot at a two-day bye at the SEC Tournament which will be played in Jacksonville.

Baseball: The biggest showdown in college baseball takes place in Miami this weekend when the #1 ranked Gators (5-0) take on #6 Miami (4-0). Righty Logan Shore (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will get the start Friday night with lefty A.J. Puk (0.00 ERA) throwing the Saturday game. Alex Faedo (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will get the Sunday start.

Softball: The Gators (13-0) played like the #1 team in the country Thursday night in Palm Springs when they rode two great pitching performances for two wins on the first night of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Tournament. In game one, a 2-1 decision over #10 UCLA, Delanie Gourley (5-0) pitched six strong innings with seventh inning relief from Aleshia Ocasio. Game two was all about freshman Kelly Barnhill who brought the heat for 14 strkieouts and pitched a 2-hitter as the Gators knocked off North Carolina State 5-2. In game one, Kelsey Stewart and freshman Amanda Lorenz had run-scoring singles for the offense and Gourley gave six strong innings scattering seven hits and striking out five, In game two, Nicole DeWitt hit a 2-run homer, Taylore Fuller delivered an RBI double and Janell Wheaton stroked a 2-run single to back Barnhill, who improved to 4-0 this year. Kelsey Stewart was 4-7 on the dayand Lorenz was 2-3 with five walks as her batting average improved to .581. The Gators play #8 Washington and Nebraska tonight. 

Gymnastics: Florida’s #2 gymnasts take on #7 LSU at the O-Dome tonight. This could be a night for several 10s. The Gators have three – Bridget Sloan, Kennedy Baker and Alex McMurtry – who have scored a perfect 10 this year while LSU features Ashleigh Gnat, the nation’s leader with a perfect 10 on floor and two 10s on vault.

Women’s tennis: The Gators take on #1 California in Berkeley today, the Gators’ biggest test of the season. Sunday, the Gators will take on #14 Stanford in Palo Alto.

Women’s lacrosse: The #4 Gators (3-0) are home Saturday (12 noon) against Dartmouth.

Women’s/Men’s track and field: The Gators will be participating in the SEC Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas starting today. The Gator men are ranked #10 nationally while the women are ranked #3.

DID YOU EVER WONDER WHAT YOU WOULD DO ON THE WONDERLICH?

Every potential NFL player has to take the Wonderlich, a 50-question test that has to be completed in 12 minutes. Former LSU corner Morris Claiborne made a 4 on the test while New York Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick scored a near perfect 48. Pat McInally, a wide receiver/punter drafted in 1975, is the only player ever known to score a perfect 50.

The average score for an NFL offensive tackle is 26, a center 25 and a QB 24. For a running back the average score is 16 and for a wide receiver it’s 17.

Did you ever want to try the test yourself? Here is a link to a sample test.  

http://wonderlictestsample.com/wonderlic-test-sample/50-question-wonderlic-test/

FOOTBALL NEWS FROM AROUND THE SEC

Alabama: When graduate transfer Gehrig Dieter arrives from Bowling Green after he does the cap and gown march in May, Alabama will be the only team in the nation with two veteran receivers who had at least 89 receptions last year. Dieter caught 94 balls for 1,033 yards and 10 touchdowns last year at BG while Calvin Ridley had 89 catches for 1,045 yards and 7 TDs as a freshman.

Arkansas: Bret Bielema actually upgraded his coaching staff when he hired former Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads to coach his secondary. The hire of Rhoads filled a void in the staff from the departure of Clay Jennings, who left to coach the secondary at Texas. Rhoads, who will be paid $350,000, has been a defensive coordinator at Pitt and Auburn. He was 32-55 at that graveyard for coaches better known as Iowa State.

Auburn: Duke Williams, who was booted off the Auburn team for punching out four people at a bar four games into the 2015 season, says he could have helped the team win some games if he had been a teensy bit more mature. “I just had to grow up and I ain’t grow up,” Williams said when interviewed at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. “Now I’m working to be a man.”

FLORIDA: Gridironnow.com reports that Florida is considering adding Steve Spurrier Jr. to the staff as an offensive quality control assistant … Former New Orleans Saints offensive line coach Bret Ingalls has joined the Florida staff as an offensive quality control assistant.

Georgia: New HBC Kirby Smart wasn’t shy about taking a shot at Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, who will hold a week of spring practice at IMG Academy in Bradenton. At a meeting in Macon on Monday night, Smart was asked about Michigan. He replied, “I can’t comment other than to say they’re obviously trying to gain a competitive advantage. Obviously, that’s their right. I think the NCAA in due time will have to step in and keep it from getting out of hand. The thin-skinned Harbaugh tweeted out, “If the Georgia coach is implying any intent on our part to break the rules, he is barking up the wrong tree.” Read Jim. Please read. Smart never said anything about breaking the rules, just that you’re trying to get a competitive advantage. 

Kentucky: Mark Stoops has four new assistants: Eddie Gran (OC/RB), Darin Hinshaw (QB), Lamar Thomas (WR) and Steve Clinkscale (DB).

LSU: The Honey Badger wants folks to know that Les Miles “is a winner.” Speaking on ESPN Radio Baton Rouge, former LSU All-American Tyrann Mathieu, who was kicked off the team in August of 2012, looks back on Miles fondly. I was just a kid who didn’t understand the opportunity that I had (at LSU),” Mathieu said. “I wasn’t this bad kid. In my mind, I thought smoking weed was OK. That was it. But I wasn’t this dysfunctional guy running around causing hell. A lot of the relationships I had, I still have them.”

Mississippi State: Tight end Gus Walley is giving up football due to concussions. Backup left guard Jake Thomas will take a medical hardship, finish his degree in biological sciences and then apply to veterinary school.

Missouri: First year coach Barry Odom will not retain director of football operations Dan Hopkins or director of recruiting Nick Otterbacher.

Ole Miss: Former LT Laremy Tunsil is looking more and more like he will be the #1 player taken in the NFL Draft. Tunsil likes the idea of blocking for former Heisman Trophy QB Marcus Mariota and said he would tell the Titans, “I’m here to protect Mariota. I will put it all on the line. I will given them everything I can to protect Mariota.”

South Carolina: Linebacker Ernest Hawkins, who had one tackle in six games after transferring in from juco last year, announced that he’s transferring out. Hawkins’ decision puts the Gamecocks right at the 85-scholarship limit.

Tennessee: With bad publicity regarding the Title IX lawsuit hitting Tennessee from what seems like all directions, athletic director Dave Hart stated he trusts HBC Butch Jones “implicitly” and that he is “proud of the culture we have here but also understand that it is part of our responsibility to take a leadership role in what is a national problem. We know we’re not perfect. We’re far from it.”

Texas A&M: Jordan Davis, who caught two passes as a freshman last year, is transferring out. That leaves the Aggies without a scholarship tight end when spring practice opens up on Monday.

Vanderbilt: A year ago Derek Mason axed four assistant coaches. This year, the number is five. The new coaches are Jeff Genyk (RB/ST coordinator), Cameron Norcross (OL), C.J. Ah You (DL), Chris Marve (ILB) and Osia Lewis (OLB).

KUDOS TO GEORGIA

As most of you know, I’m not nor will I ever be a fan of the University of Georgia, but even I have to give a shout out to UGa fans who are raising the funds to build Devon Gales a fully handicap accessible house in Baton Rouge. Gales suffered a spinal cord injury when Southern University played Georgia in Athens last September. When he was released from Atlanta’s Shepherd Center on Wednesday, Shepherd’s family was uncertain how it was going to handle things since their home has not been modified for handicapped accessibility.

Since the Gales’ home really can’t be modified to the extent it needs to be, Georgia fans have elected to raise the money and build the house through the Triumph Over Tragedy Foundation.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

A domestic violence case against former Texas A&M Heisman Trophy quarterback Johnny Manziel will be sent to a Dallas County grad jury the Dallas PD announced Thursday.

West Virginia has halted contract extension negotiations with HBC Dana Holgorsen, who has two years remaining on his contract at $2.9 million per year. None of the WVU assistant coaches have been offered contract extensions.

Do you think we have enough bowl games? Obviously some folks don’t. Last year there were 41 bowls. Austin, TX, Charleston, SC, and Little Rock, AR want to add to the total.

Just a couple of years ago, Colin Kaepernick was supposed to be the QB of the future. Now his agents are trying to get him out of San Francisco. NFL Network says the agents have requested a trade. If he wants out of San Francisco where Chip Kelly is not only the coach but one who favors a running quarterback.

Roy Williams says he’s not going anywhere. Last week there were rumors that Williams was going to retire as North Carolina’s basketball coach. Thursday, Williams said he plans to coach another 6-10 years.

This is scary. Baylor quarterbacks Seth Russell and Jarrett Stidham are both healthy and participating in spring practice.

QUESTION OF THE DAY

Do you believe Demarcus Robinson is truly remorseful or is he simply saying whatever he has to say to enhance his draft status?

MUSIC FOR TODAY

Since I’ve had several requests this week for Molly Hatchet, here is a 1978 live concert at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuleyEEgAtg


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