Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida coach Jim McElwain: Tampa Bay area key for Gators

UF coach Jim McElwain signed four bay area players last year after none in 2016.

ANDRES LEIVA | Times

UF coach Jim McElwain signed four bay area players last year after none in 2016.

CLEARWATER — Before speaking to the Pinellas County Gator Club on Thursday night, Florida football coach Jim McElwain had a Q&A session with reporters. Three quick hits:

1. The Malik Zaire rumors are swirling but not in the quarterback room. If the SEC changes its graduate transfer policy in two weeks at its spring meetings , the Gators could be in the mix to land Zaire, a former quarterback at Notre Dame. He would be eligible immediately and expected to battle Feleipe Franks, Kyle Trask and Luke Del Rio for the starting job. McElwain said his quarterbacks haven't asked him about Zaire or the speculation. "And yet everybody on our team knows we're going to continue to do whatever we can to get good players in here, at whatever positions they are," McElwain said. "Here's the beauty of it: When you've got competition at positions, then you've got a pretty good team."

2. McElwain said he was glad to be back in the Tampa Bay area, not only because of what happened in his last public trip here (Florida's 30-3 victory over Iowa in the Outback Bowl in January) but because of the local strides he has made in recruiting. After signing no bay area players in 2016, the Gators landed four in February (Tampa Bay Tech wide receiver Daquon Green, Jesuit running back Malik Davis, Hillsborough defensive end Zachary Carter and Clearwater running back Adarius Lemons). "We've got to continue that," McElwain said. "There's a lot of Gators down here. Obviously, this means a lot to us."

3. Green, a four-star recruit that Florida targeted early after one of its camps, orally committed to the Gators in July 2015 and remained that way for more than a year and a half. "The thing I like is, he stayed committed," McElwain said. "Everybody came pounding here. He's a guy that stayed true. Those are the kind of guys you want on your team."

Contact Matt Baker at mbaker@tampabay.com. Follow @MBakerTBTimes.

Florida coach Jim McElwain: Tampa Bay area key for Gators 05/18/17 [Last modified: Thursday, May 18, 2017 9:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh: Who would you rather have?

    Bucs

    In the crowd-pleasing sports-talk of game of "Who Would You Rather Have?'' there might not be a more perfect match-up than this.

    Gerald McCoy vs. Ndamukong Suh.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) takes a moment before the first defensive series of the first quarter of the game between the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017.
  2. Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: 'Let them remember us'

    Bucs

    TAMPA — In the spring of 2010, one of the biggest debates the week leading up to the NFL draft was which defensive tackle would be selected first? Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy.

    Ndamukong Suh was selected one pick ahead of Tampa Bay's Gerald McCoy in the 2010 NFL Draft. The two Pro Bowl defensive linemen meet Sunday in Miami when the Buccaneers face the Dolphins, but McCoy insists "there's never been a rivalry." (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
  3. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Dolphins preview

    Bucs

    Greg Auman has a final preview of Sunday's Bucs-Dolphins game in Miami in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry (14) earns a fist down on a reception during a game against the Oakland Raiders earlier this month at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. [Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS]
  4. Region football: Clearwater Central Catholic 37, Calvary Christian 10

    Footballpreps

    CLEARWATER — The ice bath ensued for Clearwater Central Catholic coach Chris Harvey after the Marauders' 37-10 victory over Calvary Christian in Friday's Class 3A region final.

  5. Region football: Plant 22, Viera 18

    Footballpreps

    MELBOURNE — With 1 yard separating Plant from an incredible come-from-behind victory, or a devastating defeat, it all came down to a matter of trust.

    Plant quarterback Jordan McCloud scrambles to avoid Viera's pass rush during Friday night's Class 7A regional semifinal. McCloud would complete a 45-yard pass to Leonard Parker on the play to help set up a Panthers touchdown. Plant would win the game 22-18 to advance to the regional finals. (Carl Kotala, Special to the Times)