Make us your home page
Instagram

Sunshine State Report

The latest on college sports in Florida

Admiral Farragut alumnus Rayshawn Jenkins drafted by Chargers

Former Admiral Farragut star Rayshawn Jenkins, drafted Saturday by the Chargers, had nine career interceptions at Miami.

MONICA HERNDON | Times

Former Admiral Farragut star Rayshawn Jenkins, drafted Saturday by the Chargers, had nine career interceptions at Miami.

Former Admiral Farragut multi-position star Rayshawn Jenkins, who made 33 career starts at Miami, was drafted Saturday in the fourth round (113th overall) by the Chargers.

The second 'Canes player drafted behind first-round TE David Njoku, Jenkins sparkled at the NFL Scouting Combine, hoisting 19 reps on the bench press and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.

He had 76 tackles and two interceptions at safety for the 'Canes this past season. Two of his seven pass breakups occurred against FSU. He finished his college career with nine picks.

Jenkins' prolific prep career included a Class 1A state title in the 110-meter hurdles as a Farragut junior.

Full Story

UCF, Lakewood star Shaquill Griffin drafted by Seattle Seahawks

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

Former UCF defensive back and Lakewood High star Shaquill Griffin was chosen in the third round of the NFL draft when the Seahawks chose him with the No. 90 overall pick Friday night.

The 6-foot, 194-pound Griffin broke up 15 passes last fall - tied for the second-most in a season in Knights history. He had 50 tackles and a team-high four interceptions to earn second-team all-American Athletic Conference honors.

Before that, he was a three-star recruit from Lakewood and an all-Suncoast selection by the Tampa Bay Times. His twin brother, Shaquem, will be a redshirt senior linebacker at UCF.

Full Story

NFL draft: Florida Gators' Jalen Tabor joining Jarrad Davis with Lions

Former Florida Gators cornerback Jalen Tabor will join teammate Jarrad Davis in Detroit. The Lions selected Tabor with the No. 53 overall pick, a night after drafting Davis, a linebacker, in the first round.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Tabor began the season as a likely first-round pick. He was (arguably) the Gators' best cornerback in 2015 - ahead of Vernon Hargreaves, the Bucs' first-round pick last year. Tabor had four interceptions and 18 passes defended that year.

Tabor had six pass breakups and four interceptions (including a pick-six against Missouri) as a junior before declaring for the NFL draft. His stock fell after running a slow 40-yard dash at his pro day.

Tabor is the third UF defensive back selected tonight, after safety Marcus Maye (No. 39, Jets) and cornerback Quincy Wilson (No. 46, Colts).

Full Story

Indianapolis Colts draft Florida Gators' Quincy Wilson in second round

Former Florida Gators cornerback Quincy Wilson is headed to the Indianapolis Colts after being chosen with the No. 46 overall pick in the NFL draft.

The 6-foot-1, 211-pound Wilson is the latest in UF's recent run of standouts from the secondary. He went seven picks after Jets-bound safety Marcus Maye. Two from UF's secondary were first-round picks last year - the Bucs took former Wharton High cornerback Vernon Hargreaves at No. 11, and the Falcons drafted safety Keanu Neal six picks later.

The Fort Lauderdale native shared the secondary with another NFL-bound cornerback, Jalen Tabor, and held his own. Wilson had 33 tackles as a junior and intercepted three passes (returning one for a touchdown against Missouri).

One of his best performances came in 2015, when it was Wilson - not Hargreaves or Tabor - who drew the assignment of shutting down Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell. Wilson succeeded, holding last year's No. 23 overall pick to five catches and 42 yards.

Full Story

Minnesota Vikings draft ex-FSU star Dalvin Cook

Former Florida State star running back Dalvin Cook didn't have to wait too long on Day 2. Cook went to the Vikings with the No. 41 overall pick after Minnesota traded up to get him in the second round.

The Miami native is the highest Seminoles running back drafted in 20 years, since Warrick Dunn went No. 12 to the Bucs. It's a fitting comparison for the 5-10, 210-pound Cook, considering he spent his time in Tallahassee chasing Dunn as the best back in program history.

Cook left FSU with a school-record 4,464 career rushing yards - the most an ACC back has ever recorded in only three seasons. After a stellar sophomore season, he vowed to become a better receiving target. Cook did - his 33 catches and 488 yards were second on the team last fall.

His 48 total touchdowns (46 rushing, two receiving) were one shy of Dunn's record, even though Dunn spent one more season in Tallahassee than Cook. Now we'll see if Cook can match Dunn's NFL productivity. Dunn made three Pro Bowls and rushed for almost 11,000 yards over his 12 years in the league (including six with the Bucs). …

Full Story

New York Jets take Florida Gators' Marcus Maye in second round

The New York Jets have selected former Florida Gators safety Marcus Maye with the No. 39 overall pick.

The 6-foot, 210-pound Melbourne native could have turned pro last year but returned for his redshirt senior season. He started nine games before injuring his shoulder against South Carolina. He still finished the season with 50 tackles and six pass breakups.

The hard-hitting safety earned All-America consideration the year before with 82 tackles and five forced fumbles - second-most in the country.

Maye is the first UF player chosen in the second round tonight. UF linebacker Jarrad Davis went in the first round (No. 21 overall) Thursday night.

Full Story

NFL draft: Would you take Florida Gators' Caleb Brantley?

Barring an unexpected development, the Caleb Brantley investigation will not be over by the time the second day of the NFL draft begins this evening. The State Attorney's Office is still looking into a misdemeanor battery charge stemming from an April 13 fight.

Brantley was a second-team all-SEC player at Florida. Most draft analysts projected him as a second-round pick before the incident, and Brantley's attorney, Huntley Johnson, said a half dozen teams have called him about Brantley since then (and are still interested in the former Florida Gator).

So you're the general manager of an NFL team in need of a defensive tackle. Do you take Brantley, even though he is accused of punching a woman in the face?

Here's what you know:

You've read the first Gainesville Police Department report, which calls Brantley the victim in the fight. It says the woman, Chelsea Austin, punched him, so he pushed her out of his way. It also says Austin had a cut on her lip and blood around a tooth.

You've also read the second GPD report, which says Brantley struck Austin in the face and knocked her unconscious. …

Full Story

FSU's Dalvin Cook snubbed in first round, could go early on Day 2

The Bucs weren't the only team that passed on Florida State running back Dalvin Cook in the first round of the NFL draft.

All of them did Thursday night.

Cook was reportedly sliding down draft boards. Maybe it because of his athleticism - his numbers at the NFL's scouting combine were not good. Maybe it was because of rumblings about character concerns because Cook had multiple run-ins with the law, including a BB gun fight and a charge that he punched a woman in the face in 2015 (he was acquitted). Maybe it was because of the decreased value NFL teams have put on running backs (Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey might be exceptions, not the rule).

Regardless, Cook - the Seminoles' all-time leading rusher - is available for the Packers, who have the first pick in the second round Friday night. The same Packers team that has only three running backs on the roster - one of them has 32 career rushing yards, and another (Ty Montgomery) is a converted receiver.

So while you might be shocked to see Cook fall into the second round, don't be surprised if he comes off the board early. …

Full Story

Miss on Dalvin Cook? He'll make you regret it

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

I've already made my case for why the Bucs should draft Florida State running back Dalvin Cook, if he's available with the No. 19 pick.

Here's one more reason: He tends to burn teams that could have had him.

At Miami Central High, Cook was committed to two schools - Clemson and Florida - before signing with FSU. Let's thrown in his hometown Hurricanes, too.

Over three seasons at FSU, Cook played nine games against those three teams. Only once did he fail to rack up at least 110 total yards, and that was against Clemson in the second game of his college career.
His numbers against the Tigers, Gators and ‘Canes: 14 total touchdowns and an average of 169 yards per game (including receiving).

That alone isn't a reason for the Bucs to take him, of course. But if they don't, history shows that he might make them pay.

Full Story

Jimbo Fisher downplays Cam Akers, opener against Alabama

MONICA HERNDON | Times

Florida State's Sept. 2 matchup against Alabama is still looming as perhaps the biggest opening-weekend game in college football history. That's not hyperbole.

It's also not on the mind of FSU coach Jimbo Fisher, or, he hopes, his Seminoles.

"Our culture is to stay true to the process," Fisher said Wednesday, channeling his former boss, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban. "We're not worried about results or opponents. We're worried about ourselves."

Fisher pointed out some of the similar opening games FSU has played recently (Ole Miss last September, Oklahoma State in 2014). He also brought up the old coaching cliché that it isn't a one-game season - the ‘Noles have 11 games after ‘Bama.

He's right, of course. A loss to the Tide but 12 wins after that (including the ACC championship) would likely get FSU into the College Football Playoff. …

Full Story

Jimbo Fisher defends Dalvin Cook's character, references fake news

ANDRES LEIVA | Times

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher brushed off any concerns about Dalvin Cook's character as NFL draft circles evaluate the former Seminoles running back leading into Thursday's first round.

"Tremendous guy to coach," Fisher said Wednesday during the ACC football coaches' post-spring teleconference. "Very easy guy to coach. Great team guy. One of the hardest working guys I've ever coached...Never had any issues with him."

Cook, FSU's all-time leading rusher, will likely be a first-round pick Thursday. He's a potential Bucs target with the No. 19 overall pick.

Sports Illustrated published a piece this week on Cook's character, with allegations that someone is trying to sabotage him. It's a fascinating piece.

Fisher was asked about it, and about the idea of someone making up rumors to hurt a draft prospect. His response didn't mention fake news, per se, but he did reference false information in the presidential election.
Anyway, here's how Fisher summed up Cook: "I know what I had in him was a tremendous player."

Full Story

Caleb Brantley's attorney: Complainant wanted to settle battery case

The attorneys for former Florida defensive lineman and NFL draft prospect Caleb Brantley said the attorneys representing the complainant have tried to settle the battery case.

"I was approached by lawyers representing the alleged victim, both yesterday and today," Brantley's attorney, Huntley Johnson, said Tuesday evening. " They indicated to me they were meeting with the State Attorney's Office tomorrow and that they want to settle the case today. I called Mr. Brantley and communicated what they said to me. He told me that under no circumstances were we to offer them money or give them any money. He said no."

The State Attorney's Office is investigating a misdemeanor battery complaint against Brantley, a prospect in this week's NFL draft.

The complainant's attorney, North Florida Lawyers' Michael Williams, could not immediately be reached for comment. 

We'll have more on this developing story soon. 

Full Story

Quarterback Jack Allison leaving Miami Hurricanes

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Former Under Armour All-America quarterback Jack Allison is leaving the Miami Hurricanes, the school announced Tuesday morning.

Allison was a four-star recruit and a top-200 overall prospect out of Palmetto High in the class of 2016. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Allison redshirted last fall and was apparently on the outside looking in to become the starting quarterback for the ‘Canes.

"Jack approached me and indicated that he felt like he would have more opportunities for playing time at another program," coach Mark Richt said in a statement. "We wish him all the best in his future plans."

Before signing with UM, Allison held offers from Alabama, Tennessee, USF and UCF. I did a Q&A with Allison back when he was preparing to play in the Under Armour game.

Full Story

Attorneys: Caleb Brantley wasn't the aggressor. He is the victim

ANDRES LEIVA | Times

Caleb Brantley's attorneys have issued a statement regarding a battery accusation from a complaint that he punched a woman in the face in a fight earlier this month.

The statement from the Gainesville firm Johnson & Osteryoung said Brantley was home until 1:30 a.m. on April 13 before he drove to a restaurant to give a friend a ride. While waiting, he began talking with "a young lady with whom Mr. Brantley had had a prior relationship." She asked about having "an appointment" with him, but he declined.

The statement, signed by Amy Osteryoung, said some women accosted Brantley and said "incredibly foul" things. One of them then "stepped forward and punched him in the mouth with no warning."

"Mr. Brantley, in reaction to that sudden occurrence, put out his right arm in an attempt to push away his attacker. His hand made contact with her face due to his reflex reaction."

He was then pulled away from the scene, and police arrived quickly. Women were still screaming at him and "attempting to physically attack him," the statement said. …

Full Story

What does Caleb Brantley battery charge mean for his NFL draft stock?

AP photo

The Caleb Brantley story has a lot of layers. My third (and final) story from yesterday gets into most of them, including the battery charge, an allegation that the Gainesville Police Department "falsified" a report and a comment from Brantley's attorney. GPD said that claim was "absurd" in a statement it issued this morning.

On Monday morning, Brantley's attorney filed a written plea of not guilty, according to court records. 

Let's put all that aside for now and focus on one question: What does this mean for Brantley in this week's NFL draft?

Brantley has been projected as an early-round pick in the draft, which begins Thursday night. I've seen him as high as the No. 17 overall pick, to Washington. Even if he didn't go in the first round, he would have likely been selected Friday in Round 2 or 3. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. pegged him going to Minnesota at No. 48.

That was before this incident. …

Full Story