"Keep 'em From Getting Fat" Tuesdays

Tuesday practices with the Florida Gators' football team have been labeled "Bloody Tuesday" for all of the hard hitting and extra time spent on the practice field. With the end of the regular season upon us and the Gators not knowing who their next opponent is going to be, they will take it a little easy. Some coaches don't start back right away after the season, but as Coach Meyer says, he likes to keep them active.

"It's the 'Keep Them from Getting Fat Tuesday'," Meyer said after practice. "I like to do it. A lot of guys will run them, but I like them to have the ball in their hands and throw it around. A half hour extra practice with the David Nelsons is good. We only kept the old guys out here for 45-50 minutes."

Meyer was asked where he draws the line on getting ready for the next opponent and getting the younger guys more reps in practice in the offensive and defensive systems.

"That's a fine line," he answered. "A lot of it depends on maintaining a positive attitude. You don't want to be a punishment for finishing strong. Right now we finished fairly strong. We don't beat them up. (Someone like) David Nelson has thirty practices before two a days. We need to utilize it. A lot of it depends on who we play and how fast we pick up the game plan. If it's going fairly rapidly and not an extremely difficult game plan, I think we can taper it down."

A lot of the big talk around the team is speculation on who may be going to the NFL early for the Gators. A couple of names have come to the forefront in wide receiver Chad Jackson and cornerback Dee Webb. Meyer says he will tell the players what he truly believes as to their professional potential.

"I am really opposed to the way it's done," said Meyer. "I've seen some guys get jacked around. We had a wide receiver at Utah that cost him and his family a lot of money because they were untruthful to him. He left school with two years remaining He called me and I said 'Don't do it'. Someone told him he was a second or third rounder and he wasn't. He's out of football right now. I think in two more years in college he could have refined his skills, and more importantly graduated from the University of Utah and won a bowl game.

"Chad (Jackson) had a pretty good year for us. From spring practice 'till now, he is one of the most improved players. If he asks me I'm going to look into it for him, but he certainly could (use another year)."

"Dee Webb, I believe he could (use another year). I think he played his best game his last game. Alex Smith left as the number one pick, if these guys come back (from the draft panel) as a first rounder, if they were my son I'd say go be a first rounder. If fourth or fifth, they need to think about it."

Defensive end Derrick Harvey was ejected from the game on Saturday against FSU for fighting. The freshman was in only briefly before retaliating from a punch thrown by an FSU offensive lineman. As a result, Harvey will have to sit out the first half of the bowl game per NCAA rules.

"He will miss the first half of the (bowl) game," he said. "He is as bad as the guy that threw the first one. The officials are absolutely right. It's going to hurt us, because he was going to play more in that game."

One significant impact the game seems to have had is in recruiting. Since the end of the game, the Gators have verbal commitments from four highly rated football prospects. According to Meyer, it's no accident and he has been getting a lot of positive vibes after the game.

"Good feedback," he said about response from recruits. "One thing about that game was everyone saw it, especially in the state of Florida. The thing that was impressive was the way we won. It was an excellent defensive performance, but we also held an excellent kickoff return team to 11 yards per return and 45-yard net punts."

The Gators will practice Thursday and Saturday this week.

Fightin Gators Top Stories