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Good afternoon, Gators fans!
The recruiting dead period that has been in place since March 2020 due to the pandemic ended Tuesday, allowing the Gators to finally host prospects on campus.
And there has been a lot of talk this week about contract extensions being announced for three Gators coaches.
💵 Florida gives Dan Mullen 3-year extension, $1.5M raise
Gators football coach Dan Mullen earned a three-year contract extension worth an additional $1.5 million annually, putting him among the highest-paid coaches in the country.
Details of Mullen’s contract were released Tuesday by the University of Florida, including a raise of $1.5 million. Mullen’s old contract paid him $6,103,000 annually. His new deal, which runs through 2026-27, is worth $7,604,200 a year.
View both Mullen’s and athletic director Scott Stricklin’s statements on the extension and raise here.
Mullen’s original contract was set to expire after the 2023-24 season.
His new salary makes him the fifth-highest paid coach in the country and third in the Southeastern Conference, according to USA Today. Only Alabama’s Nick Saban ($9.1 million), LSU’s Ed Orgeron ($8,687,500), Clemson’s Dabo Swinney ($8,258,575) and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh $8.054 million) are paid more.
An interesting nugget from the Orlando Sentinel: UF has a $12 million buyout if the university lets Mullen go, while Mullen would have to pay $2 million to get out of the deal.
🖋️ Florida signs Mike White to 2-year extension
Florida men’s basketball coach Mike White agreed to a two-year contract extension that will keep him in Gainesville through 2027, the university announced Tuesday.
White will make $3,208,000 annually under the terms of his extension. That’s the same yearly pay that White will receive from April 2022-25 as part of the three-year extension that he signed two years ago.
About the only change in White’s deal is that the bonus portion of his contract that was placed on hold during the pandemic would return.
Here’s what Stricklin had to say when the deal was announced.
UF also announced a three-year extension for women’s basketball coach Cameron Newbauer, who will make $508,250 per year, which runs through 2025.
🏈 ‘Pressure points’ for 2021 season
Though Mullen has received a three-year contract extension, there are “pressure points” for this coming season that could lead to more pressure or set up the future.
In an episode of Gators Breakdown, host David Waters is joined by Will Miles, with Read and Reaction, and Nick Knudsen, with American Football Stories, to discuss more beyond wins and losses, including the “pressure points” of keeping defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, the roster and offensive line development.
😑 Former Florida commit Arik Gilbert heading to Georgia
Former five-star and LSU tight end Arik Gilbert told 247Sports on Tuesday that he will head to Georgia.
Earlier this year, Gilbert committed to the Gators, but he decommitted less than a month later.
The Dawgs also added former five-star and Clemson cornerback Derion Kendrick, who was dismissed by the Tigers.
👀 TE Tim Tebow ‘continuing to progress’
Today, the media got another look at quarterback-turned-tight end Tim Tebow as the Jaguars continued organized team activities. You can see him in action in this video News4Jax sports reporter and anchor Jamal St. Cyr tweeted out.
In his notes from today, News4Jax sports editor Justin Barney said: “Tebow is continuing to progress as a tight end. He looks like a smooth athlete catching passes. I’d like to see him extend his arms and catch passes away from his body.”
🐆 Will Tebow make Jaguars’ 53-man roster?
On “The Pat McAfee Show” Tuesday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said he was told the chances of Tebow making the team’s 53-man roster are “50-50.”
“Is he going to make the team? I was told 50-50. But he’s got the head coach in his corner. He’s obviously being brought on for a reason. I don’t know if you call them tryouts, but they watched multiple workouts. I would imagine they think that he’s going to make it if they sign him,” Rapoport said.
⚾ Florida baseball earns No. 15 national seed
After beating Alabama 7-2 to advance to the SEC tournament semifinals, where the Gators lost 4-0 to Tennessee, Florida earned the No. 15 national seed in the NCAA baseball tournament and will host No. 2-seed Miami, No. 3-seed South Alabama and No. 4-seed South Florida in the Gainesville regional.
The Gators will face South Florida at noon Friday at Florida Ballpark.
The SEC matched its record with seven teams among 16 regional hosts announced for the tournament.
The top eight national seeds are Arkansas (46-10), Texas (42-15), Tennessee (45-16), Vanderbilt (40-15), Arizona (40-15), TCU (40-17), Mississippi State (40-15) and Texas Tech (36-15).
Seeds nine through 16 are Stanford (33-14), Notre Dame (30-11), Old Dominion (42-14), Mississippi (41-19), East Carolina (41-15), Oregon (37-14), Florida (38-20) and Louisiana Tech (40-18).
The SEC led all conferences with nine teams in the field, followed by the ACC (8), Pac-12 (6), Big 12 and Conference USA (4) and Big Ten (3).
View the full 64-team bracket for the tournament here.
🏀 Akeem Miskdeen rounds out men’s basketball coaching staff
White on Saturday announced the hiring of assistant coach Akeem Miskdeen, completing the Gators men’s basketball coaching staff.
“We’re really excited about what Akeem will bring to the Florida program,” White said. “He has proven himself everywhere he’s been and will fit well with everyone here in our building. We’re really glad to have the opportunity to add him to our coaching staff.”
“My family and I are ecstatic to join Coach White, his staff, the Gainesville community and Gator Nation,” Miskdeen said. “Being a part of Florida basketball is special, and I will take pride and work relentlessly to continue its success.”
A Chicago native, Miskdeen has worked extensively with the backcourt and been a key component in player development for guards at all his coaching stops. He comes to Florida from Florida Atlantic, where he has helped the Owls to a 47-41 record, posting winning records in each of the past three seasons -- something FAU had done just once before in program history (1989-92).