CALIFLORIDA BOWL: Avery Atkins' Journal, Day Two

All-American defensive back Avery Atkins checks in for Day Two of his CaliFlorida Bowl Game experience. He asked me to please relay his (and the team's) request asking you to attend the game. He is very anxious to play in this All-Star Game and hopes that it will be the beginning of some great gridiron experiences for years to come.

The CaliFlorida All-Star Game has featured some of the best players in the United States of America. The game will be played on Sunday, January 2 at 8 p.m. in the Orange Bowl. It will be televised on Fox Sports Net.

Avery Atkins: We woke up about 6:30 today. We all went down and ate breakfast. After breakfast, we all went back to rooms to relax for an hour or so before practice. After we go to the field and dressed out, we did our stretches, and broke up into units. We did one-on-one drills. The morning practice we really worked on technique. We got to go against all of the receivers with so many reps. We broke up a lot of passes. I broke up a lot of passes. When we broke out of individual drills, we went to team up and went live for 20 to 30 plays. Afterwards, we broke for lunch and went back to practice at 3o'clock.

In the afternoon session, the one-on-one drills were closer to live. The coaches allowed more contact. Bruce Johnson stood out today. I think that he may have locked down the opposite corner spot. To me, our defense has the talent to go out and line up against a college team right now I think. The whole defensive line is very aggressive. They have the attitude that no one can beat us. No one is going to get past us. They're shutting down our offense.

I would say that Neefy Moffitt is the quickest player among the front seven. They really get in the backfield. That really helps us as DB's. If they continue to get after their quarterbacks, there should be some opportunities for a few interceptions if the quarterbacks try to force the passes or just throw it up. Those front seven guys have a lot of power.

The secondary is just awesome. (laughs) Really, the only way that I can describe them is to bring their (California) best receivers on. We've heard that they have some talented wide receivers, but let's see what happens. We're ready for them. We have some athletes out there.

Our coaches have told us that the California team has a couple of good quarterbacks and a couple of very physical receivers, and a couple of quality running backs. But, against this defense, I don't think that anybody can be the real deal.

On special teams, I'll be responsible for getting downfield and taking out the return man. I'm not doing anything with returns, that's really not my thing. I just want to hit somebody on their punt return team.

We have a couple of real good quarterbacks on our team. Antone Smith is really a good player. (laughs) He's been hit out here. He's been hit a lot, but he keeps coming at you. He'll be ready for the game. Our quarterbacks are under pressure too, but they should be fine with the receivers that we have here.

Last night we went to GameWorks and really had fun. They knew that we were in there representing Florida, so they really just let us do anything. We were on their entertainment system in the big game room. They have a microphone, and my cell phone has ring tones, so I just used my phone to play music in the whole place. It was great. People just started dancing and stuff. We had pretty good time. We jumped on the race car game with seven different stations. Everybody was in there racing listening to the music. Even the older folks were in there dancing. The best racer was Antone Smith. I would say that Fred Rouse was the best dancer.

We're switching hotels tomorrow. We'll be in the same hotel as the California players.

We're all having a good time. Basically, I'll say a good word about Florida, but that's really they're decision. A word of advice might be fine, but that's it. I think that we're all just really here to have a good time. Nobody is out there worrying about the college thing. We're all really just getting to know each other. Now, I do have almost everybody's number that is here. (laughs) There may be a time to talk afterwards.

Tonight, we're going to a restaurant called the "Titanic Brewery" and we'll all get to hang out tomorrow night. We're all going to the Miami Heat game on Saturday nigh.t We get to wear our jerseys. I told you that we're wearing Garnet and Gold. Well the jerseys we'll have on are White with a little Garnet and Gold on the sleeves. They have stars with Florida in between them, across the front of the shirt. They look great. I'm a lot happier now that I've seen the jerseys.

Tickets are $15. I'd like for people to come out and support Team Florida. It'll be exciting, I'll guarantee you that. And don't forget to look for Avery Atkins wearing the original number 6 (laughs).


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