Highly touted tailback Markus Manson never found the on field success he was looking for in Gainesville. An ankle injury limited him in practices for most of this season, making his previously announced move to cornerback a moot point. By the end of the year he had moved back to offense on the depth chart but was only used sporadically on special teams. Manson has graduated from Florida and has now enrolled at Division II power Valdosta State where he will use his final year of eligibility.
Former Gator quarterback Bryan Waggener has found a landing spot. He transferred to Florida from a California junior college for the 2007 season. but was hampered throughout his tenure by injury. A broken foot ended his spring practice after one day, and a knee injury limited him in the fall. With Cameron Newton and John Brantley both having a year under their belt in UF's system and Tim Tebow still in place, it was clear even mop-up duty would not be likely for Waggener this year. As a result, the Greeley Tribune reports he has transferred to Northern Colorado, where he's expected to start immediately. The Bears play in the Big Sky conference and were 1-11 last season, so Waggener will have his work cut out for him.
There's been no movement on filling either of the two open spots on Florida's football staff. While Urban Meyer is not commenting publicly on the search, it appears the running backs position may be where he's eyeing a wider set of possibilities right now. Meyer contacted Clemson running backs coach Andre' Powell last week to determine his interest in an interview, but Powell opted not to take part in the process.
One name who is involved with the position is former longtime Wisconsin running backs coach Brian White. White spent the last two years as Syracuse offensive coordinator before being dismissed by coach Greg Robinson after the season.
At this point, it does not appear either of the open coaching spots will be filled until after recruiting wraps up. That will allow Meyer greater access to candidates who would be reluctant to have their names linked to another school so close to signing day.
ALUMNI COACHING WATCH
Former Gator wide receiver Aubrey Hill has returned to the Sunshine State. He was named wide receivers coach in Miami Friday after spending the past three years as part of Dave Wannstedt's staff in Pittsburgh. Hill had also previously been an assistant at Duke for five years so he has some familiarity with the ACC. He's a Miami native, so this appears to be a good fit.
Some people have felt Urban Meyer's staff would benefit from having a former player on it as a way to establish a connection with UF traditions. Not many recent Gators besides Hill have gone into coaching, but here's a brief rundown of some who have and what they're doing...
Brian Schottenheimer - Danny Wuerffel's backup on the '96 national championship team has been the offensive coordinator for the New York Jets for the past two seasons. He's been interviewed for multiple NFL head coaching jobs but doesn't seem to be in a hurry to get one. He actually withdrew from the Dolphins search last season when many thought he was a leading contender for the position.
Robert Gillespie - The former UF running back just completed his second year coaching the position for Steve Spurrier at South Carolina. He's considered one of the better recruiters for the Gamecocks.
Sammy McCorkle - The former Gator special teams ace during the Spurrier years has spent the past three seasons as the secondary and special teams coach at Dartmouth under former UF assistant Buddy Teevens. He also coached high school football in Florida and worked at secondary coach at Tennessee-Martin.
Noah Brindise - Currently in private business in Gainesville, but spent two years as offensive coordinator at UNLV and one at East Carolina prior to sitting out the 2007 season.
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