A Sun Blog

Gators Gone Pro

Tracking former UF athletes through their professional sports careers

Tebow takeover seems inevitable entering camp

It almost reads like the script of an old school mafia movie. One can imagine Jets owner Woody Johnson (the don) with his arm around Mark Sanchez (the promising associate), whispering his assurances in New York. “Sure thing, Mark. You’re our guy. Tim? Fuggedaboutit. We got your back.” Then, as expected, comes the hit. The Jets’ training camp begins this Thursday, and so does the drama between Sanchez and backup quarterback Tim Tebow. All eyes will be on them, especially… Read More »

With Lin, Parsons will hit new heights with Rockets

While the whole city of Houston will benefit from Linsanity’s landing, one of its Rockets may get the biggest boost of all. Small forward Chandler Parsons was gearing up for his rookie season when point guard Jeremy Lin was cut by the Rockets in training camp last December. Now, Parsons is thrilled that Lin is officially back after the Knicks decided not to match the Rockets’ three-year, $25.1 million offer for the restricted free agent. “I think it’s incredible,” Parsons… Read More »

Wambach has excess motivation for Olympics

When Abby Wambach posed for ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue, many questioned her motives. The gritty, 32-year-old U.S. soccer star responded by speaking glowingly of her body. That’s because it was built to take punishment, and it’s done that. Beautifully. “If you’re an athlete and you’ve worked your whole life on your body, your body becomes your machine,” Wambach, 32, said last Tuesday from New York City, where she was on a layover with the American squad headed to London.… Read More »

Horford may return to Florida if Howard returns to Atlanta

Dwight Howard made it perfectly clear on Monday that he wants to play for the Nets. But just as badly as he wants to be in Brooklyn, he wants out of Orlando. Now that his favorite destination has appeared to close its door on him just a little, the door is wide open for Howard to return home. And home looks more appealing now than it has in a long time. Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated has said Atlanta is… Read More »

Thunder, four other teams’ interest in Beal says a lot

The Wizards don’t exactly attract a ton of envy these days, especially after posting the second-worst record in the NBA last season. But before Washington snagged Bradley Beal with the third overall pick in Thursday’s draft, even the Thunder front office was scratching its collective chin at the possibility of shaving the man with the gigantic beard in a trade for the smooth-shooting Beal. Sources said at least five teams had a green eye on Washington as it snagged Florida’s… Read More »

Lochte’s quest to swimming summit is unique in sports

We’ve heard the saying, “To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man.” But rarely is an athlete forced to unseat the greatest ever when the greatest ever is still cementing his status as such. That’s the daunting, yet special opportunity that swimmer Ryan Lochte has in front of him starting Monday at the U.S. Swimming Trials. Fellow Gator Emmitt Smith battled the ghost of Walter Payton on his way to arguably becoming the greatest running back in NFL… Read More »

Injury-riddled Miller seals 2nd Heat title with hot hand

Mike Miller denied rumors before the start of the NBA Finals that he’d retire after this season. Well, is there a better game to go out on? Battered but filled with adrenaline, Miller made it rain on the Thunder by splashing seven 3-pointers in the Heat’s title-clinching Game 5 victory on Thursday night. Time and time again, the former Gator took cuts at any slim chance Oklahoma City had of becoming the first team to rally from 3-1 in the… Read More »

Cooper pushed to spread his wings now with Eagles

When he finally got his time to shine, “Sunshine” did just that. It was a painstaking wait for Philadelphia receiver Riley Cooper, but it happened in Week 11 when he got his first start of the season. The Eagles had a big game against the NFC East-rival Giants with Vince Young filling in for Michael Vick at quarterback and Cooper stepping in for second option Jeremy Maclin. Cooper finished with a team-high 12 targets and had 5 catches for 75… Read More »

Drafted Gators will need to break mold of MLB Draft

Florida made history in this year’s MLB Draft, but history once again stands in the way of departing Gators at the next level. There’s no question this was the most successful draft for UF’s baseball program in nearly a century of existence. Junior catcher Mike Zunino became the highest-drafted Gator ever while an unprecedented eight Florida players were selected in the first nine rounds of the draft. But hearing your name called in the MLB Draft doesn’t mean your name… Read More »

The Jags’ ex-Gators lead important rally in Gainesville

It was ironic that the Jaguars’ tour for more support came at the same time their former coach Tom Coughlin signed a two-year extension with the Giants — a team he’s won two Super Bowls with in the last five years. Nonetheless, this isn’t the first time the Jaguars’ franchise has had to battle for attention in this football state. The NFL had its doubts from the onset that a team in Jacksonville could lure eyes away from the state’s… Read More »