A Sun Blog

Gators Gone Pro

Tracking former UF athletes through their professional sports careers

Mets trade den Dekker to Nationals

Matt den Dekker expected a demotion in his Monday meeting with the Mets front office. General manager Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins sent him packing like he thought, but it wasn’t to Triple-A. The Mets traded the former Florida outfielder to the Washington Nationals for left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins. “I honestly wasn’t expecting that at all,” den Dekker told ESPNNewYork. “I’ve been with the Mets for five years now and they’ve been great and everything was first class with… Read More »

Summers not surprised by Humphries’ rise

Former Florida left tackle D.J. Humphries has become a hot commodity over the past month. His decision to leave school early for the NFL drew heavy criticism initially, but now many project him as a first-round pick after his impressive performance at the NFL combine. UF offensive line coach Mike Summers isn’t surprised by Humphries’ rise up draft boards. “Not at all,” he said. “I watched him for a whole year and I know how athletic he is. I know… Read More »

Bears give McDonald second chance

After eight years with the San Francisco 49ers and his December release from the team, Ray McDonald has found a new home. The Chicago Bears signed the former Florida defensive tackle to a one-year contract Tuesday. The 49ers cut McDonald, a full-time starter since 2011, after he was accused of sexual assault. He has yet to be charged and is suing the accuser for defamation. McDonald was also accused in an August domestic violence case involving his fiancée, but authorities… Read More »

Every repeats as Arnold Palmer Invitational champion

If the Arnold Palmer beverage is anything like the tournament, Matt Every should start drinking iced tea and lemonade. The former Florida golfer repeated as the Arnold Palmer Invitational champion Sunday, winning $1.134 million and punching his ticket to the Masters. “You watch tournaments on TV and guys make a 20-footer on the last and everybody goes nuts. It’s cool to close one out like that,” said Every, who made a birdie putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory… Read More »

Harvin signs one-year deal with Bills

Percy Harvin is on the move again. The former Florida wide receiver signed a one-year, $6 million deal Wednesday with the Bills, his third team in three years. He’ll reunite in Buffalo with new coach Rex Ryan, who he played for last season as a member of the New York Jets. Harvin caught 29 passes for 350 yards and a touchdown with the team. Prior to his trade to New York, he played in six total games with the Seattle… Read More »

Two first-rounders for UF in Kiper’s latest mock

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. is the latest NFL analyst predicting a pair of Gators to be selected in the first round of this year’s draft. In his NFL mock draft 3.0, released Thursday, Kiper has Dante Fowler Jr. going No. 3 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars and D.J. Humphries going No. 25 overall to the Carolina Panthers. The latter pick would bring Humphries back to his hometown of Charlotte, N.C. “Fowler gives you a lot of versatility, he could have… Read More »

Colts sign Okine

Another Gator is headed to Indianapolis. The Colts signed former Florida defensive lineman Earl Okine (2008-2012) on Tuesday. He joins college teammates Jonotthan Harrison and Jeff Demps, who was signed by Indy last month. Okine, a Gainesville native, had 27 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack, a pass breakup and a blocked field goal in his UF career. He spent the 2013 offseason and preseason with the Houston Texas as an undrafted free agent before he was signed by… Read More »

Fowler, Humphries stand out at NFL combine

On April 30, Florida could have two players taken in the first round of the NFL Draft for the third time in six years. Nine former Gators participated in the NFL Scouting Combine this past week, and a pair of them positioned themselves for first-round selections. The obvious one is Dante Fowler Jr., who at 261 pounds ran the sixth fastest 40-yard dash (4.60) among linebackers. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said last week he has Fowler ranked as the… Read More »

NFL combine preview

Nine former Gators will head to Indianapolis this week for the NFL Scouting Combine, which begins Tuesday and concludes Monday. The Florida player who will draw the most attention is Dante Fowler Jr., who is expected to be a first-round pick in the draft. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock ranks Fowler as the top outside linebacker in this year’s class. “I think the best fit for a 3-4 (defense) is Dante Fowler,” he said on a conference call Monday. “The way… Read More »

Former NFL scout high on Humphries

Some criticized D.J. Humphries’ early departure from Florida for the NFL draft, but at least one analyst thinks the offensive tackle has first-round talent. A former five-star recruit, Humphries started 16 of his last 17 games played with Gators as a sophomore and junior before turning pro a month ago, a decision first reported by The Sun in December. Daniel Jeremiah, a former scout for the Ravens, Brown and Eagles who is now an NFL Network analyst, has been studying… Read More »