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 »

Tebow’s signing with Patriots filled with irony

We thought we had possibly seen the last of Tim Tebow. There’s no doubt some in the New York Jets organization believed the same thing. It turns out the Jets may be seeing him twice a year. That’s because their AFC East rivals, the New England Patriots, are expected to sign Tebow and see him at minicamp on Tuesday, according to ESPN sources. The network’s Ed Werder couldn’t release details of Tebow’s contract, but he said the Patriots did bring… Read More »

Report: Vikes look to trade Harvin, who has suitors

Reports out of Minnesota indicate that the Vikings will pursue trading Percy Harvin. A serious MVP candidate at the halfway point last season, Harvin got the ultimate endorsement from the player who ended up winning MVP at season’s end: his teammate Adrian Peterson. “To be honest with you, I don’t know if we will or not. But me, individually, and giving you my opinion, I wouldn’t trade him for nothing,” the Vikings’ running back said Tuesday in an interview with… Read More »

Hernandez, Spikes key to Patriots’ title hopes again

The Patriots find themselves in a position all too familiar to last season. Not just because the Super Bowl is one win away or because they’ll have to beat the Ravens to get there. Tight end Rob Gronkowski once again suffered an injury, this one even more serious as he’ll officially miss the rest of the playoffs after breaking his left forearm in the team’s 41-28 win over the Texans on Sunday. That means more work for fellow tight end… Read More »

With Gronk out, Hernandez must recapture form

Regardless of the fact that tight end Rob Gronkowski broke his forearm on Sunday, everything still seems peachy for the Patriots, right? They’re 7-3, and they’ve pretty much wrapped up the AFC East division title already. But the Patriots and their fans aren’t exactly going to shoot their muskets off for a 10th division title in 12 years while a decade-long Super Bowl drought continues for the perennial contenders. Gronkowski — who had surgery on Monday — is only expected… Read More »

Bills’ bad blood for Spikes builds some more after hits

If you ask the Buffalo Bills, Brandon Spikes is a “punk” and a “headhunter.” He’s certainly proving himself to be a menace in the middle of the Patriots’ defense, especially against the Bills. In the fourth quarter of his team’s 37-31 win over their AFC East rivals, Spikes tracked down backpedaling QB Ryan Fitzpatrick before drilling him. Although the hit came just as the ball was being thrown, there was helmet-to-helmet contact and Spikes was flagged for roughing the passer.… Read More »

Demps set to debut against team that coveted him

Updated with how Jeff Demps fared Jeff Demps went through his first NFL practice Wednesday at One Buc Place in preparation for his debut Friday night. That proved to be a timely tease for Tampa Bay, which had pushed to get him in a Buccaneers jersey. Instead, he chose to join the Patriots, who held joint practices with the Bucs prior to their preseason game at 7:30 p.m. However, when it comes to Demps, this game won’t be about the… 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 »