Gator News and World Report (12/12/2006)

The Gator News and World Report for Tuesday, December 12, 2006. Role players; It doesn't take long for Meyer to get it done; Brewer is cleared to practice; Gators have reasons to look forward to '07; Hodge is stepping up; Injured DT says he's playing and more...

Florida Gator Football

Role players
The nation views them as big underdogs. The Florida Gators prefer a more flattering image. Destiny's Darlings. "It was destiny for us, I think," junior linebacker Brandon Siler said Monday. "I think it was destiny for us to get here. "Our team fights and claws and won't lie down. I think that's what happens to teams like that."

It doesn't take long for Meyer to get it done
The program has faces, the stadium has paintings and the fans have favorites. Then there is the poster boy for Florida football — the one who decided to become a man.

Meyer adopts a different style on handling media questions
After taking some criticism across the nation for his negative views of the BCS and his perceived lobbying for his own team, Florida coach Urban Meyer apparently has become more guarded in his comments.

Meyer sees big picture before big game
Urban Meyer grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio, so he was, understandably, an Ohio State fan.

Injured DT says he's playing
Defensive tackle Ray McDonald guaranteed that the elbow injury he suffered against Arkansas in the SEC championship game will not keep him out of the BCS national title game.

Is The Long Wait Necessary?
By the time the University of Florida and Ohio State face off for the national title on Jan. 8, the sun will have risen 37 times since the Gators last took the field. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, will have endured 51 sunrises between their clash with Michigan and their date with destiny.

Constant Buckeye Reminder
For a native of northern Ohio, a framed portrait of Woody Hayes is the artistic equivalent to a Southerner's Elvis on black velvet. University of Florida coach Urban Meyer is nothing if not a proper son of the Buckeye state.

Freshman flair helps UF succeed
Freshman Tim Tebow scanned the room and saw the future of Florida football. But Tebow, like the rest of his highly recruited classmates, didn't want to wait that long.

Florida Gator Basketball

Brewer is cleared to practice
The battle with mononucleosis was shorter than expected. After being cleared to resume contact in practice this week, Florida junior forward Corey Brewer is expected to return for Sunday's game in Tampa against Florida A&M.

Hodge is stepping up
It's hard to find something positive about losing a starter from a basketball team. Especially when that starter was the reigning Southeastern Conference co-defensive player of the year. But if there was a silver-lining in fifth-ranked Florida losing forward Corey Brewer to mononucleosis, it was the continued development of sophomore guard Walter Hodge. Brewer is expected to return in time for Florida's game Sunday in Tampa against Florida A&M. But in replacing Brewer for three starts, the 6-foot Hodge averaged 12.0 points and 2.7 assists.

Florida's Brewer recovers quickly
Corey Brewer has recovered from mononucleosis quicker than expected, and the junior forward will be able to play in Sunday's game against Florida A&M after sitting out nearly three weeks.

Brewer cleared to practice
Forward Corey Brewer has been cleared to practice and was expected to play Sunday when No. 5 Florida faces Florida A&M in Tampa.

Florida Gator Volleyball

Gators have reasons to look forward to '07
Mary Wise will have a very unique commodity next year. Something no Gator volleyball team in 11 years has had. The 2007 Gators will feature five seniors. That was a comforting thought for the Gators' volleyball coach to consider on Monday with the sting of Friday's 3-1 loss to Minnesota in the NCAA regional semifinals in the O'Connell Center still lingering.

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