ASK ACK: Q + A on Portis, Tebow, and more...

Here is this week's installment of Ask Ack, where former Gator football player Brady Ackerman, now a radio personality and Sun Sports TV analyst, answers your questions about the Florida Gators. Ask Ack is a weekly feature of GatorCountry.com throughout the football season.

Brady: What do you think about the Josh Portis story?

I think it is unfortunate that some parents get too involved in the recruiting and playing process of their children. I know it must be tough but from what I have heard Josh wanted to remain at UF and his mother has gotten him to leave. One other thing that is becoming a trend in college football is that quarterbacks want to play right away and if they don't or if they lose the job to another young player they transfer quickly

Ack: Do you think Portis is making the right decision?

I think Portis should stay at Florida and compete for the job. Urban Meyer's system and philosophy are the best to showcase his talents. I know the competition could get tougher with Tim Tebow, but you have to look at the overall strengths and weaknesses of a decision.

Ack: What do you think of parental involvement with athletes?

I think it's tough for parents to see their kids go far away from home. We had players whose parents were like Josh's when I was in college and as a graduate assistant at UF in 1993. It is difficult on the coach and the individual who probably would like there parents to let them do their own thing. I have yet to find a "meddling" parent whose son became a great player. Great players and leaders can stand on their own and parents need to support them.

Brady: What did you think of Tim Tebow last weekend?

He is the real deal. I think his skill set is as good as you will find at the high school level. He also has a high football IQ and knows defenses better than most kids coming out at that age. I think he can be a special player at the next level no matter which school he chooses to attend.

Brady: Is Charlie Strong leaving?

I don't think so. His name was rumored with the Middle Tennessee State University opening and from what I gather that has been a one-sided interest. Unfortunately a lot of schools will push a minority's name out there to keep the BCA off their back. I think Charlie likes UF and will hang around another year.

Ack: Who was the best player at the High School football finals in Miami?

Good question and it's a tie: Tim Tebow and Chris Rainey from Lakeland. This week in my column I will give you my All-Ack teams from the two week's at the FHSAA finals.

Brady: Do you think Jacques Rickerson from St. Augustine can play as a freshman at defensive back?

Yes, he blanketed Sam Shields (Miami commit) all day and did a terrific job. Shields is gonna be a good one but for that day Rickerson was the better player. He looks like Avery Atkins and should develop much like #4.

Ack: What will happen at the quarterback spot for the bowl game without Portis?

Chris Leak has only missed one series in two years due to injury so UF should be OK. I mean for all the criticism Leak takes when he runs the football he does not get injured and he plays with pain. I think Gavin Dickey will be the backup for the game and that again should send a message about the future of Cornelius Ingram at quarterback. Dickey could re-learn the spot in December with all the time off for preparation.

Brady: Last week you mentioned a lot of players that could be gone from the program do you have any new names to add to the list?

I left off the seniors! Actually no one to add to the list and the only position that needs help right away is cornerback. I think across the board there is enough young talent on campus and and in recruiting to play.

Brady: How important was the announcement of Tim Tebow Tuesday to Meyer?

I think it is very important and the difference between competing for a national title in two years. He is a difference maker and with him Meyer will be on his way to taking UF back to the top of college football.

Brady: Were you surprised at the Heisman balloting?

Yes I was. Who in the heck are the 11 people that voted Reggie Bush third? He is a terrific college football player and I am not sure there are two Heisman winners I would vote ahead of him in the last 20 years.

Ack: You have any good coaching rumors?

Well, a bit more on Jimmy Ray Stephens... He may end up at Middle Tennessee State with Rick Stockstill. Jimmy Ray knew Rick real well and recruited that area for UT. He could still end up at Baker County in Macclenny, Florida. Carl Franks (running back coach USF) told me at the state finals on Friday night he was not going to South Carolina but he may have been holding back. Butch Davis is starting to make his interest known in the Colorado job and with his track record for cleaning up Miami he may have a shot. I keep hearing Pete Carroll has more than a passing interest in Houston (NFL). Who do you think he'd take if he got the first pick?

Ack: One reason why you thought Tebow comes to UF?

He brought a picture from fan day in 1995 to the state title game to give to James Bates. Tebow was a young kid and a big Gator fan. His mom actually found the picture but it was kinda of cool to see him talk to Bates.


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