A Sun Blog

Gators Gone Pro

Tracking former UF athletes through their professional sports careers

Humphries gets nickname, tough love from Cardinals coach

D.J. Humphries injured his knee last week, but there’s another knee likely be hurting him more. Arizona’s first-round pick is the younger player on the Cardinals roster, and coach Bruce Arians has a way of getting the rookie to mature fast. “Knee in his ass every day,” said Arians said in his Tuesday presser. “A foot wasn’t going to do it. That’s why his nickname’s ‘knee-deep.’ ” Humphries returned to practice Tuesday after recovering from a hyperextended knee. He’s expected to… Read More »

Yankees call up Figueroa

Cole Figueroa is back in the big leagues. The New York Yankees called up the former Gator on Thursday from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Figueroa, 28, played 77 games in the minors this season, hitting .317 with three home runs and 36 RBIs. He made his major league debut last year with the Tampa Bay Rays and hit .233 with six RBIs in 23 games. The Yankees then signed him during the offseason. Figueroa was a first-team Freshman All-American at Florida and led… Read More »

Tebow improving under Kelly’s tutelage

Tim Tebow hasn’t made the Eagles roster yet, but his chances get better with each week that passes. Tebow signed with Philadelphia back in April with hopes of reviving his NFL career. He hasn’t played in the league since 2012. ESPN senior writer David Fleming examined the root of Tebow’s struggles in a 2013 piece, writing that the former Florida quarterback struggled badly with the mental part of the game. Tebow went through the 2013 preseason with the New England… Read More »

Report: Lee, Warriors plan to part ways

Starter-turned-reserve David Lee came alive in the NBA Finals and helped the Warriors win their first championship in four decades. However, Tuesday’s title-clinching game will reportedly be his last with the team. The former Gators forward and Golden State plan to part ways this offseason, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. Citing sources, Stein reports the Warriors have expressed to Lee and his agent, Mark Bartelstein, that continuing to use the two-time All-Star in a reserve role would be “unfair” and… Read More »

Golden State to expand Lee’s role

Former Florida forward David Lee reemerged for the Warriors this week and will be a mainstay in their lineup for the remainder of the NBA Finals. Lee sparked Golden State off the bench in Tuesday’s Game 3 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers and helped cut their lead to one in the fourth quarter. “David was terrific,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said in his postgame press conference. “David helped us big time get back into that game. … You’ll see more of… Read More »

Speights set for Finals return

Marreese Speights is back just in time. The former Florida big man will be in action tonight in Game 1 of the NBA Finals after missing almost a month. Speights has been out for Golden State’s last eight games after spraining his right calf in the second-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies. The 6-foot-10, 255-pounder came off the injury list Monday and practiced twice this week. Warriors coach Steve Kerr announced Tuesday that Speights would play against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden… Read More »

Elam, Hill battling for starting job

A friendly and familiar competition is brewing in Baltimore. Former Florida defensive backs Matt Elam and Will Hill are battling for the Ravens’ starting strong safety job, the Baltimore Sun reports. The two have been sharing first-team reps during organized team activities. They played beside each other last season with Hill starting the last 10 games at free safety. That spot now belongs to Kendrick Lewis. Elam lost the strong safety job midway through 2014 and came off the bench in… Read More »

UF draftees all signed to NFL teams

All UF draftees this year have signed with their NFL teams. The last player remaining, first-round selection D.J. Humphries, inked with Arizona on Monday, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. The combined deals of Florida’s eight draft picks are worth $48.3 million. Nearly half of that total is Dante Fowler’s $23.5 million contract with Jacksonville. Here are the contract details on all eight players: DE Dante Fowler, Jacksonville — four years, $23.5 million (1st round, 3rd overall pick) OT D.J. Humphries,… Read More »

Murphy compares Bucs teammate Winston to Tebow

Tim Tebow and Jameis Winston have at least one thing in common according to Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Louis Murphy. While they couldn’t be more different off the field, Winston’s competitiveness on the gridiron reminds Murphy of his former Florida teammate. In his weekend appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Murphy was asked if he had concerns about Winston given his history at Florida State. “No, not really. I just saw how much of a competitor he is,” Murphy said of Winston,… Read More »

Three Gators advance to NBA Finals

The NBA Finals are set for 2015, and once again, a former Florida player will walk away from the series with a ring. UF has now had multiple former players in the NBA Finals for five consecutive seasons, and an ex-Gator has won the title each year during that span. This season features Marreese Speights and David Lee of Golden State and Cleveland’s Mike Miller, though none of them have significant roles with their teams. Miller and Udonis Haslem were part… Read More »