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. Strange case: Bucs could face nemesis Case Keenum again

    Bucs

    Who, you might wonder, will be the first NFL quarterback to beat Jameis Winston three times?

    Case Keenum of the Minnesota Vikings drops back to pass in the first half Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. [Getty Images]
  2. USF men's basketball gets off lightly with NCAA

    College

    Former USF men's basketball coach Orlando Antigua, center, with former assistants Oliver Antigua, left, and Rod Strickland during a game at the Sun Dome on Nov. 9, 2015. (Octavio Jones, Times)
  3. Adam Foote, left, said there have been a few eye-opening moments in his first NHL training camp, but is feeling more comfortable every day.
  4. Toledo feels like a second season opener for Miami Hurricanes

    Blogs

    LAKE BUENA VISTA - The schedule says Week 4, but it sure doesn't feel that way for the No. 14 Miami Hurricanes.

    The Miami Hurricanes suit up for practice Tuesday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex
  5. HomeTeam 25: Volleyball rankings for Tampa Bay

    Volleyball Preps

    1. Plant (2-0)

    TAMPA - Berkeley Prep senior Isabella Samson looks for an opening against Walton High from Georgia during the championship final on Saturday at the Berkeley Premier tournament. Walton, ranked No. 1 in the country by maxpreps.com, went on to defeat the Bucs 25-16, 25-18. Taken 9-16-17 by Scott Purks