Martin Chooses Furman

Former Florida QB Ingle Martin will transfer to Furman, where he will be eligible to play immediately....

Former Florida QB Ingle Martin, who announced his decision to leave the Gators on Dec. 1, said Saturday he has decided to transfer to Furman, a Division I-AA school in South Carolina.

Martin made his choice Friday afternoon, a week after making a visit to the University of Pennsylvania.

"I just want to be somewhere I can play and enjoy it for a couple more years," said Martin from his home in Nashville, Tenn. "Furman is offering me a chance to play football while I'm getting a quality education. It's just a new opportunity -- one I'm really excited about."

Martin will be eligible to play immediately for Furman because they are a Division I-AA school. He will compete against junior Bo Moore and redshirt freshman Josh Stepp for the starting job. Furman finished the season 6-5.

As a redshirt sophomore at Florida, Martin started four games this season before losing his job to true freshman Chris Leak. The former backup to Rex Grossman passed for 654 yards and three touchdowns this season.

In perhaps his most memorable experience with the Gators, Martin led Florida to a 33-10 lead against then-No. 2 Miami before suffering a concussion. Without him, the Hurricanes surged to a 38-33 win.

Although disappointed, Martin said he understood the situation he faced at Florida.

"They were going in a direction that didn't really have me in their plans," Martin said. "I'm going to miss Gainesville, but I need to be playing."

GRADUATING GATORS: Four Gators and one former Gator took part in Saturday's commencement ceremonies Saturday at the O'Connell Center.

S Daryl Dixon, LB Matt Farrior, P Sean Morton and OT Steve Bell all earned their degrees. Former Gators S Teako Brown, a four-year starter whose eligibility ended in 1998, also returned to finish school this semester.

Dixon was named the outstanding graduating male senior leader, an award given to the UF student for service of the university and athletics program.

ZOOK GREIVES LOSS OF AGENT: Zook said he was saddened to find out late Friday night about the death of Craig Kelly, his agent of nearly six years. Kelly, the lawyer and agent of some of college football's top coaches, died Friday of cancer. He was 56.

"I talked to him when we were in South Carolina [Nov. 15]," Zook said. We didn't get to meet up because he wasn't feeling well. I had no idea it was like this."

Kelly's wife, Cheryl, told The Associated Press that he was diagnosed with the disease less than three weeks ago and died at Lexington Medical Center in South Carolina.

Kelly's clients also included Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer, Texas A&M's Dennis Franchione and Virginia's Al Groh.

BRIEFLY

Florida long snapper Casey Griffith missed Saturday's practice because of the flu. He is expected to be ready for bowl-week preparations. If it was up to Zook, he'd have practiced Saturday, too. "He came walking in with flip flops. How are you going to say you have the flu in 30-degree weather, then wear flip-flops out here? I almost made him practice because of that." ###


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