Ack's Insights

In this week's Ack's Insights I talk about Gators at the NFL combine, who must shine at Spring practice next month, cutups, Gator hoops and much more.

This past week several Gators participated in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. The most telling statistic was the forty times by the two Gator receivers. While the combine is notorious for dragging athletes times down a bit, I find it hard to believe what Kelvin Kight and Carlos Perez ran for the scouts. Kight, who is considered one of the fastest Gators, was timed at 4.54 and 4.58 while Perez, who may have been UF's best deep ball route runner, clocked a 4.83 and a 4.77. Now these guys could have had bad starts and so forth and I am sure on March 17th at Pro Timing day the Gator seniors will due much better. This, however, speaks volumes about the downfield passing threats of UF's offense the last two years. Kelvin is regarded as a 4.4 guy while Perez was a mid 4.5's guy but these times certainly do not reflect that type of speed.

For the record, at our pro timing day in the O'Connell Center in 1991, I ran a 4.61 and 4.54. The latter led the Old Ball Coach to ask whether or not the doors were open at my back in the O'Dome. Remember UF used to have the inflatable roof.

Ran Carthon did run well clocking a 4.51 and a 4.47 while benching 225 lbs, twenty-two times. Bobby McCray showed the scouts his strength by doing 225 lbs twenty-seven times on a 255 lb frame with 7% body fat. I do think Carlos Perez's injury at the end of 2002 vs South Carolina has slowed him a step in his career. He will need a good March 17th so he can get to camp with the right team. He is well built and could make someone's roster as a special teams fifth receiver type guy.

Snippetts and Tidbits
Here are five vets that need to produce this spring –
1. Jon Colon - Left Tackle
Colon has battled back problems and has moved all over the offensive line. Many people remember his difficult day vs the Canes back in 2002 and have not given him much due. But he has the qualities that Joe Wickline is looking for in a big time left tackle. He is nasty, athletic and versatile. If his back can hold up he could develop into a All SEC type tackle.

2.Tavares Washington - Left Guard
Washington could play tackle but in the best case scenario with Colon I think he can bring a physical presence to the guard spot. Washington struggled in pass protection out on the island of the tackle spot. Inside could help his development and find him a spot in Shannon Snell's old home.

3. Travis Harris
Harris is the type of kid every coach wants on his team. He is unselfish and hard working but unable to find a home in college. He could get the opportunity at linebacker and for him as a senior his final shot to settle in. With the youth and size at defensive end, it makes sense to move him to outside linebacker or even inside for the Spring.

4. Deshaun Carter
Carter was one of the most heralded recruits when he came out of high school. Carter must take his physical attributes and apply them under new secondary coach Dan Disch

5. Cory Bailey
Bailey is a player who has seen a lot of snaps in his career. But with young hungry guys at his spot he must become the playmaker that is needed to fill the shoes of Guss Scott. I think it is all about toughness with Bailey and he must rise up in the Spring.

Next week will add five young guys to the list for spring practice. Now that the dust has settled from this year's recruiting class and staff shuffling the Gator assistants are working long days on preparing for spring practice. "Cut- Ups" which are video collections of each play Florida runs are being reviewed and discussed for future plans. One "Cut-Up" tape may have as many as 100 plays on it run through out the year by Florida.

For example one cut up may be the counter. UF ran the counter "x" amount of times the entire season and it is on one individual tape out of each formation starting from the San Jose State game all the way to the Iowa game. Coaches can use "Cut-Ups" for many different reasons. They can decide if they want to continue to run the play out of a certain formation or down and distance. They can decide if the blocking scheme needs to be altered. They can also use the "Cut -Up" to evaluate each player and their execution and give them a yearly grade on this play. "Cut-Ups" are also used to teach the play properly to the players and at clinics and speaking engagements. These "Cut-Ups" can be put on tape, dvd or even on each assistant coaches lap top. Some coaches take them with them every where they go, even on vacation!.

Basketball News
The UF-Miami basketball series may resume next season with the Gators hosting the Canes in Gainesville. The teams last played at Miami in 1990 at the Miami Arena. It would be a home and home series and with the Hurricanes joining the ACC would make for a nice non-conference game in December.

Billy Donovan has taken some criticism for playing people out of the natural position. The one player Anthony Roberson has played the point guard position but the argument has been made that he should be a two guard. Even though Peep struggled shooting against Georgia he did have six assists and against Ole Miss he handled their half court pressure by going for 24 points and only one turnover. Roberson has developed into one of the best point guards in the SEC. As a matter of fact he leads the SEC in assists to turnover ratio and is fifth overall in assists. He must shoulder the responsibility with Drejer gone to be the all court point guard for the Gators.

Matt Walsh is fifth in the SEC in scoring during conference games. He has been ultra efficient in the last three games going for 101 points in those contests. Walsh who is an emerging leader has scored in double figures 11 of the 12 SEC games so far.

The Gators must get to .500 in league play to guarantee an NCAA berth. South Carolina comes to Gainesville Wednesday with three road victories already in the Conference. Only Kentucky and Mississippi St. have more road SEC wins. UF also has three road wins in the SEC. The Gators play at Arkansas on Saturday night against the Hogs.

This and That
Jermey Foley is one of the nine members of the NCAA's Committee which will look into college recruiting. Foley is widely regarded as one of the most influential Athletic Directors in the Country.

The Gator baseball team welcomes in Michigan this week to Gainesville. The Gators took 2 of 3 this past weekend against a solid Miami of Ohio team. Gator Football player Gavin Dickey scored the winning run in game three as a pinch runner. UF is in the midst of a 21 game stretch with 20 games at home. The Gators host another Big 10 opponent Northwestern this weekend.

I believe the SEC will get six bids into the NCAA. If there is a seventh bid it would go to Alabama should they win twice this week. Give Mark Gottfried credit. He has beefed up his non-conference schedule. I think Vanderbilt is the sixth team. The Big East could also be a candidate for seven teams as well. Finally, most internet sites have UF seventh or eighth seeds in their bracket projections. If the Gators win three of their last four and one in the SEC, I think they will be a six seed.

Stat of the Week: 52%.
The Gators shooting percentage in their 15 wins this season.

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