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Chomp: Gators starting fall camp; FSU denies contact with SEC; Meyer reveals what Tebow needs to work on

Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Tim Tebow makes a reception during a drill at NFL football practice, Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (John Raoux, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

This story first appeared in Chomp, our Gators football newsletter. Subscribe here.

Hey there, Gators fans!

It’s August… And that means football season is almost here! If you need further proof, we have another jampacked newsletter this week.

🏈 Florida begins fall football camp this week

The Gators are set to start fall football camp this week, with the first practice taking place Friday.

Players are reporting Thursday ahead of the camp that will culminate Aug. 22.

Gators Breakdown host David Waters said the practice sessions will not be open to the media during camp.

⭐ 5-star updates his recruitment from Gators

Since decommitting from Ohio State last week, five-star cornerback Jaheim Singletary, from Jacksonville, has opened up his recruitment, and the Gators are in the mix.

In the latest episode of Gators Breakdown, David chats with Singletary about everything Florida is doing to stay near the top of his recruitment.

✨ Gators get 3 commits at Friday Night Lights

It was a busy Friday Night Lights as the Gators gained three commitments at the event. They included:

  • 2022 running back Terrance Gibbs, from Winter Park, who 247Sports Composite has as a four-star recruit. (Gibbs revealed his college destination in a commitment video with The Gainesville Sun.)
  • 2023 wide receiver Raymond Cottrell, from Milton, who’s also listed as a four-star.
  • 2024 running back Jerrick Gibson, from Gainesville, who’s not yet ranked.

In this episode of Gators Breakdown, David is joined by SI All Gators’ Zach Goodall to discuss the commitments and recap of all the happenings when Florida hosted recruits for the final time this summer.

🐆 Tebow’s notable moments from Jaguars training camp

Jaguars training camp continues as former Gators star and quarterback-turned-tight end Tim Tebow looks to make Jacksonville’s 53-man roster.

One of the top plays of the third day of training came during red-zone work when quarterback Trevor Lawrence was able to find Tebow in the back of the end zone. Tebow made a diving catch for the would-be score.

“I still have not seen Tebow drop a single pass,” News4Jax sports anchor and reporter Jamal St. Cyr wrote. “That may seem like a small statement, but for a guy switching positions that is very impressive. Tebow still has a lot of work to do. During drills working against defensive backs, Tebow has the strength to push guys off of him, but he struggled to disengage their hands so he could continue his route upfield. Small things like that will come with time.”

One of Jamal’s takeaways from week one of camp: Tebow is still making catches.

But coach Urban Meyer -- who, of course, coached Tebow at Florida -- mentioned after a practice last weekend that Tebow needs to work on catching the ball away from his body more during competitive situations.

“He has good hands. In his drill work, he’s great, but when you get in a competitive moment, just [because of his] lack of experience he wants to body the ball. When you get to a point where two people are going after it, you have to go get the ball. He is fighting through that a little bit, but he has the skill set to catch the ball,” Meyer said.

Monday was a quiet day from Tebow, as the only notable play from him was an incomplete pass. But it’s worth pointing out that Lawrence threw three interceptions during the team period of practice that day.

On Tuesday, which was the first practice in full pads, Jamal said that “Tebow still has work to do.”

“Tebow made some nice cuts during tackling drills but has to work on his catching. Tebow ran a short route and caught the pass but pulled it in with his body once again. The quickness he used to turn his pads upfield was impressive,” Jamal wrote.

The Jaguar’s first scrimmage of training camp is Sunday, and as of right now, Jamal’s updated depth chart and 53-man roster prediction does NOT include Tebow.

🏟️ Texas, Oklahoma accept invitations to SEC

Since our last newsletter, there was some monumental news: Oklahoma and Texas accepted invitations last week to join the Southeastern Conference in July 2025.

It came a day after the SEC leaders voted unanimously to extend the invitations.

For now, the arrival of the Longhorns and Sooners in the SEC is four years out, as Texas and Oklahoma are bound to the Big 12 and its other eight members by a grant of media rights that runs through the 2024-25 school year, concurrent with the conference’s television contracts. But that isn’t likely to stop Texas and Oklahoma from trying to leave earlier than 2025.

Meanwhile, the commissioners of the Pac-12 and Big 12 met this week to discuss how the conferences might benefit from working together or maybe even merging.

❌ FSU president: ‘No communication with SEC’ on potential move to conference

With Oklahoma and Texas joining the SEC, there have been continuous rumblings about more conference movement, and Florida State University President John Thrasher on Tuesday denied a report that the Seminoles were looking to make a move to the SEC.

“I want to be clear that persistent reports that Florida State has been in contact with the Southeastern Conference are untrue,” Thrasher said in a statement. “We have had no communication with the SEC or any representatives of the SEC.”

One report about a potential Florida State move to the SEC came from ESPN Upstate’s Marc Ryan, who reported that the Seminoles and Clemson initiated dialogue with the conference about joining.

There are still a lot of questions surrounding conference expansion, as well as name, image and likeness. In another episode of Gators Breakdown, David is joined by David Chauncey -- an education, labor and employment lawyer for Alexander DeGance Barnett Legal -- as he details these game-changing topics that are changing the landscape of college football.

✒️ SEC, Sankey agree to contract extension

After Oklahoma and Texas accepted invitations to join the SEC, the conference on Thursday announced the extension of Commissioner Greg Sankey’s contract through 2026.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Here’s what Sankey and Georgia President Jere Morehead, who is currently serving as president of the SEC, had to say about the extension.

🏀 Mann, Lewis picked in NBA draft

Two Gators were selected in the 2021 NBA draft last week.

The Oklahoma City Thunder took 6-foot-5 guard Tre Mann with the No. 18 overall pick in the first round.

The Charlotte Hornets selected Florida 6-foot-5 guard Scottie Lewis with the 56th overall pick in the second round that same night.

It was the fifth time the Gators have had multiple players selected in the same draft and the fourth since the draft moved to two rounds in 1989.

🐊 Gators men’s basketball adds guard for 2021-22

Gators men’s basketball has added guard Elijah Kennedy from Virginia Beach.

Kennedy, who announced his commitment on Monday, will join the team as a freshman for the 2021-22 season.

The program will include six new players next year. In addition to Kennedy, the incoming freshman class features guard Kowacie Reeves. Florida also added four transfers.

🥇 Dressel wins 5 gold medals at Tokyo Games

University of Florida graduate Caeleb Dressel won five gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics.

Dressel won his first gold of the Tokyo Games on July 25, swimming the lead leg of the 4x100 freestyle relay team and won the 100 freestyle on July 28 for his first individual gold. Dressel set a world record in the 100 fly on July 30 for this third gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics.

One night later, Dressel won the 50 free for his fourth gold medal in Tokyo, setting an Olympic record in the process with a time of 21.07 seconds. Dressel also helped lead the U.S. to gold in world record fashion in the 4x100 medley, marking his fifth gold of the Games.

Dressel had two gold medals from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, both in relay events.

✉️ Send us your Gators thoughts, questions

David and I want to hear from you. Do you have any thoughts or questions about the Gators football program? Agree or disagree with something we’ve said? Let us know here and we’ll share our responses to your questions.

🎙️ Listen to more Gators Breakdown

You can catch up on previous episodes of Gators Breakdown at news4jax.com/gatorsbreakdown. Or click one of the following to tune in: Megaphone | Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Google Podcasts | Stitcher

About the Author:

Jacksonville native and proud University of Florida graduate who joined News4Jax in March 2016.