A Sun Blog

Gators Gone Pro

Tracking former UF athletes through their professional sports careers

Florida’s third-day draftees sign deals

Florida’s third-day selections in the 2014 NFL Draft have all signed deals with their new teams. Cornerback Jaylen Watkins (Philadelphia Eagles) and offensive lineman Jon Halapio (New England Patriots) put pen to paper Monday. Linebacker Ronald Powell inked his contract Friday with the New Orleans Saints. Watkins on his versatility: “I’m more comfortable at corner, but over the years, I’ve gotten very comfortable at safety and it’s kind of come second-hand. I played it for two years at Florida so it kind of… Read More »

Maronde makes his mark in L.A., Rodriguez next?

Nick Maronde figured he’d give himself a nice birthday present on Wednesday. The left-handed pitcher, who was called up by the Angels on Saturday, struck out the only batter he faced in his debut against the Mariners the following day. Then, on the same day he turned 23, the third-round draft pick out of Florida in 2011 turned heads to help the Halos complete a huge sweep of the red-hot Athletics. With the A’s down two runs in the seventh… Read More »

Demps is 6th Gator to join Patriots; how does he fit?

Updated with the Giants cutting Justin Trattou, but reportedly signing Marcus Thomas. Brandon Spikes, Aaron Hernandez, Jermaine Cunningham, Jabar Gaffney, Gerard Warren and now Jeff Demps. The former Gator running back, who told NFL teams he’d be focusing on a full-time track career before April’s draft, will join those five UF alums in New England after signing with the Patriots on Friday. Demps flew home to Orlando to meet with his representatives and go over the details of the deal… Read More »

Demps files paperwork to play in NFL this season

Fresh off a silver medal in London, Jeff Demps wants to come back home to football. The former Gator football and track star has filed paperwork with the NFL and wants to start playing this season, according to NFL.com. April’s draft came and went, and Demps’ name was never called after telling teams he would be a full-time track athlete. However, Demps has signed a standard representation agreement for football with the goal of playing in the 2012 season, a… Read More »

Wambach, U.S. finish epic match the right way

The U.S. was a minute away from getting involved in the first penalty kick shootout in Olympic women’s soccer history. At which point, point-blank shots from 12 yards away would decide one of the most memorable games in the sport’s history. Luckily for competition’s sake, a memorable match like that wasn’t decided by the equivalent of a coin flip. While the shootout can be fun to watch at times, soccer’s ultimate decider of meaningful matches reduces the world’s most team-oriented… Read More »

Murphy suddenly reunited with Cam in Carolina

When quarterback Cam Newton’s Panthers traded for receiver Louis Murphy on Monday, the two got exactly what they needed. Not because of any small sample of chemistry they may have developed during their brief time together as Gators, but because of how they need each other now as professionals. On one hand, Murphy is hoping Newton can help revive his career much the same way he resuscitated star wideout Steve Smith’s with a sparkling rookie season in 2011. Murphy led… Read More »