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. Whatever USF has to say about Temple waits till Thursday

    College

    "The holes were wide open. Anyone could have run through them."

    South Florida Bulls cornerback Mazzi Wilkins (23) intercepts a pass during the second half of the home opener for the South Florida Bulls against the Stony Brook Seawolves at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Five reasons why Kentucky can beat Florida for the first time since 1986

    College

    By Matt Baker

    GAINESVILLE — Florida's 30-game winning streak over Kentucky is one of the most impressive feats in the country.

    Florida Gators offensive lineman Martez Ivey (73) celebrates Florida Gators running back Mark Thompson's  (24) touch down in the first quarter, putting Florida on the board 6-0 during the game between the University of Florida and the University of Kentucky in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Kentucky 45-7. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times

  3. Once targeted by the Bucs, Dalvin Cook thrills for the Vikings

    Bucs

    How good would the Bucs be with running back Dalvin Cook?

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) slips a tackle by Steelers strong safety Sean Davis (28) to score a touchdown Sunday in Pittsburgh. [AP photo]
  4. Boxer Jake LaMotta, immortalized in 'Raging Bull,' dies at 95

    Obituaries

    MIAMI — Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion whose life in and out of the ring was depicted in the film Raging Bull, for which Robert DeNiro won an Academy Award, has died, his fiancee said Wednesday. He was 95.

    Jake LaMotta, retired professional boxer, shakes hands with Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) on the field before the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15, 2015. LaMotta was on hand to sign autographs in the Ted Williams Museum.
  5. J.R. Sweezy shows what Bucs were missing

    Bucs

    By Greg Auman

    TAMPA —- Sunday's season-opening win against the Bears saw the debut of 13 Bucs, a mix of rookies and free-agent veterans.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive guard J.R. Sweezy (73), seen at center, runs through drills during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, July 31, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times