Florida Gators: Kelcy Quarles

SEC's lunch links

March, 27, 2014
The words "revolutionary" and "game-changing" are prominent in the aftermath of Wednesday's ruling by a federal agency that college athletes at Northwestern University are school employees and can form a union. The SEC had this to say:
"Notwithstanding today's decision, the SEC does not believe that full time students participating in intercollegiate athletics are employees of the universities they attend," commissioner Mike Slive said in a written statement.

Former South Carolina defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles came out against the idea of college football players unions.

Elsewhere in the South, spring practice and NFL scouting continued as if the earth had not spun off its axis.

SEC lunchtime links

February, 19, 2014
Let's take a quick spin through the headlines from across the SEC:

18 from SEC named AP All-Americans

December, 17, 2013
Now that the all-conference teams have rolled out, the Associated Press has unveiled its All-America teams, and they are very SEC-heavy.

Eighteen players from the SEC made the three teams, with six making the first team. The pick that might surprise people was Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt making the first team over Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. But Prewitt had a very good season with the Rebels. He tied for first in the SEC with five interceptions in conference play, while totaling six on the season. He also defended 13 passes. Clinton-Dix, who projects as a high draft pick at the safety spot, defended six passes with two interceptions on the season.

Here are all the SEC AP All-Americans:

First team


OT: Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
OT: Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
WR: Mike Evans, Texas A&M


DE: Michael Sam, Missouri
LB: C.J. Mosley, Alabama
S: Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss

Second team


QB: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
RB: Tre Mason, Auburn
OG: Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State


DT: Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina
S: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama


P: Drew Kaser, Texas A&M

Third team


QB: AJ McCarron, Alabama
OT: Greg Robinson, Auburn
C: Reese Dismukes, Auburn
WR: Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
AP: Odell Beckham Jr., LSU


CB: Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida

Alabama leads coaches All-SEC team

December, 10, 2013
The SEC coaches have spoken, and Alabama has once again taken over their end-of-the-year All-SEC team.

The Crimson Tide led the rest of the league with nine representatives on the coaches' teams, including an SEC-leading five first-team selections. LSU followed with eight total representatives. Texas A&M had four first-team members, while Auburn and Georgia both had three each.

Twelve of the league's 14 teams had at least one player on the first team, while every team was represented on at least one team. Coaches weren't allowed to vote for their own players.

Here are the coaches' first- and second-team selections:

First team

QB: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
RB: Tre Mason, Auburn
RB: T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
AP: Odell Beckham Jr., LSU
TE: Arthur Lynch, Georgia
OL: Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
OL: Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
OL: Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
OL: Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt
C: Reese Dismukes, Auburn
WR: Mike Evans, Texas A&M
WR: Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt

DL: Michael Sam, Missouri
DL: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
DL: Dee Ford, Auburn
DL: Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina
LB: C.J. Mosley, Alabama
LB: Ramik Wilson, Georgia
LB: A.J. Johnson, Tennessee
DB: Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss
DB: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
DB: E.J. Gaines, Missouri
DB: Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida

K: Marshall Morgan, Georgia
P: Drew Kaser, Texas A&M
RS: Christion Jones, Alabama *
RS: Odell Beckham Jr., LSU *

Second team

QB: AJ McCarron, Alabama
RB: Mike Davis, South Carolina
RB: Jeremy Hill, LSU
TE: Malcolm Johnson, Mississippi State
OL: La'el Collins, LSU
OL: Antonio Richardson, Tennessee
OL: Justin Britt, Missouri
OL: Anthony Steen, Alabama
C: Travis Swanson, Arkansas
WR: Odell Beckham Jr., LSU
WR: Jarvis Landry, LSU
AP: Marcus Murphy, Missouri

DL: Anthony Johnson, LSU
DL: Chris Smith, Arkansas
DL: Ed Stinson, Alabama
DL: Trey Flowers, Arkansas
LB: Lamin Barrow, LSU
LB: Jordan Jenkins, Georgia
LB: Avery Williamson, Kentucky
DB: Andre Hal, Vanderbilt
DB: Chris Davis, Auburn
DB: Nickoe Whitley, Mississippi State
DB: Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt

K: Michael Palardy, Tennessee
P: Cody Mandell, Alabama
RS: Solomon Patton, Florida

-- (*-ties)

SEC lunchtime links

November, 21, 2013
Lots of good stuff out there from around the SEC today. Let's dive into some of the best headlines in the lunch links:

Week 12 helmet stickers

November, 17, 2013
Here are the Gators’ standout performances from their 19-14 loss at South Carolina on Saturday night:

1. Kelvin Taylor, RB: The true freshman was huge in the first half, carrying the ball 13 times for a career-high 86 yards (6.6 yards per carry). He also had first-half touchdown runs of 20 and 29 yards, which were exactly the kind of big plays the Florida offense has desperately needed of late. Taylor finished with 21 rushes for 96 yards, added a 15-yard catch and run on a screen pass, and really hurt the Gamecocks on direct snaps. Like his father, Gator great Fred Taylor, Kelvin combines power and speed with good vision and some wiggle. He's a building block.

2. Offensive line: The Gators O-line was a mess one week ago against Vanderbilt when it gave up five sacks and nine tackles for loss. Faced with a much stiffer test against Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles and Co., UF's offensive line was stout. It wasn't asked to do much in pass protection, a season-long weakness, but the run-blocking was better than it had been in weeks. Florida played with the same five starters as last week, and each player showed improvement.

3. The coaching staff: They don't have helmets to stick them on, but UF coaches get some props for the way the Gators gave South Carolina all it could handle. After the game, Steve Spurrier scolded the local media for expecting a blowout win. And when yet another Florida starter -- QB Tyler Murphy -- was declared out before the game, it certainly seemed like a Gamecocks blowout was in the offing. Yes, the offensive game plan was run-heavy and more conservative than usual, but offensive coordinator Brent Pease had no choice but to protect redshirt freshman quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg. Under the circumstances, Pease did an excellent job of employing various run packages, mixing in short, safe passes and generally keeping South Carolina on its heels.

Five things: Florida at South Carolina

November, 16, 2013
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- With a little less pressure swirling around the program after the school president and the athletic director gave head coach Will Muschamp their votes of confidence on Wednesday, the Florida Gators (4-5, 3-4 in the SEC) visit Columbia, S.C. to face the No. 10 Gamecocks (7-2, 5-2). Here are five things to watch:

1. Who starts at quarterback? Florida QB Tyler Murphy did not practice all week, Muschamp revealed Thursday night. Murphy is dealing with lingering soreness from an AC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder suffered against LSU on Oct. 12. If he can't play on Saturday, redshirt freshman Skyler Mornhinweg, who has never taken a college snap, will get his first career start. Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease says he's comfortable with Mornhinweg, pronouncing him "ready to go" earlier in the week. The son of New York Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg also has the confidence of his offensive teammates, although the Florida offense remains mired in a season-long funk. The Gators are last in the SEC in total offense, averaging 335.7 yards a game.

2. SC's defensive front vs. UF's offensive line: With two sacks on the season, Gamecocks junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney hasn't piled up the same flashy numbers as last year (13 sacks). But Clowney remains a focal point of blocking schemes and offensive game plans. South Carolina DT Kelcy Quarles benefits from all that attention and has produced this season (7 sacks). Florida's O-line has been decimated by injuries but at least has the continuity of the same personnel as last week. The problem, however, is those same players yielded five sacks and nine tackles for loss to Vanderbilt.

3. The revenge factor: Williams-Brice Stadium is a tough-enough place to play at night with a national cable TV audience (ESPN2). On Saturday, the Gamecocks ought to be even more motivated by what happened last year. Florida ambushed South Carolina, winning 44-11 with four turnovers (three fumbles and an interception). The Gators won that game without needing much from their offense, as Florida was held to 183 yards but limited USC to 191 yards. Even without the taste of revenge, this year's game should be important enough to South Carolina, which is still alive in the SEC East race. Win, and it's done all they could to apply pressure to division-leading Missouri. Lose, and there's little hope of going to Atlanta.

4. Run defense vs. Mike Davis: One of the more intriguing subplots of this game will take place when Florida plays defense. Steve Spurrier's offense has become known for much more balance at South Carolina compared to his pass-happy days as Head Ball Coach at Florida. It helps to have the SEC's leading rusher in do-it-all sophomore Mike Davis, who is also the team's second-leading receiver with 29 catches. Davis will square off against a UF run defense that has given up 165.5 yards a game in its last four games. And the Gators can expect to run into an amped-up foe, one who was once committed to the orange and blue for nearly a year, as Davis tweeted last weekend how "hungry" he is to beat UF.

5. Streak-breakers? When Michigan lost at home last week to Nebraska, the Gamecocks immediately became owners of the longest home-winning streak in the nation with 15 in a row. Win today, and SC would also set a new school record for consecutive home wins. There's also a major streak on the line for Florida, as the Gators need two wins in their last three games in order to be bowl eligible and extend the nation's second-longest active bowl streak to 23 years. The history of the Florida-South Carolina series favors UF, which won 18 of 19 games from 1964-2009. But the Gamecocks on Saturday will be looking to further turn the tide with a third win in their last four meetings with Florida.

Planning for success: Florida

November, 14, 2013
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It's come down to this: the once-mighty Gators playing spoiler.

All of their biggest goals have vanished, leaving Florida with two last glimmers of hope. They can upset SEC East rival South Carolina on Saturday night, which would likely end the Gamecocks' hopes of a division crown. A win would also go a long way to getting the Gators bowl eligible.

[+] EnlargeMike Davis
Randy Sartin/USA TODAY SportsSlowing down Mike Davis, the SEC's leading rusher, is one of Florida's primary tasks when it faces South Carolina.
Florida (4-5, 3-4 in the Southeastern Conference) must win two of its final three games against No. 10 South Carolina, FCS Georgia Southern and No. 2 Florida State in order to extend the nation's second-longest active bowl streak to 23 years.

To do so, the Gators will have to react better to adversity according to head coach Will Muschamp.

"Right now we're not strong enough mentally to handle [adversity]," he said after last week's stunning loss to Vanderbilt. "A year ago, maybe early [this] year, we were. Right now, we're not. It's a 'woe is me' mentality right now. We gotta overcome that. Our leadership needs to step forward, and we'll move forward with the guys who are wiling to accept challenges and opportunities that sometimes are difficult. Sometimes, they're tough."

Facing the Gamecocks (7-2, 5-2) in Columbia, S.C., will certainly offer some tough challenges.

Headlining the list is star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, a player who had all of the Gators defensive players and coaches talking and game-planning during the week. Next to Clowney is defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles, who is second in the SEC with 11 tackles for loss. They'll match up against a Florida offensive line that has been decimated by injuries.

"I don’t know if you stop Clowney," UF offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. "I think you’ve gotta have a plan that makes him work hard. I mean, the guy is the best player in college football. He’s gonna make plays."

So is Steve Spurrier's balanced offense that averages 456.4 yards per game, which is on pace to shatter the school record (428.8 YPG in 1995).

Sophomore running back Mike Davis, the SEC's leading rusher with 1,058 yards and 10 touchdowns, is the foundation. Senior quarterback Connor Shaw (23-5 as a starter) has tormented Florida in the past with his mobility and clutch throws. Speedy junior Damiere Byrd leads the Gamecocks receivers and has come on strong with 22 catches for 451 yards in his last six games.

"They're probably the most complete offense we've played all year in terms of all the different ways they can move the ball effectively," UF defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said. "They've got a really good running back. Their quarterback can run it and throw it. They have good receivers outside. Up front they're really big. They do a good job in both run-blocking and pass protection. They're the complete package, and it will be a great challenge for our defense on Saturday."

SEC lunchtime links

November, 7, 2013
We've got football tonight. In fact, there are a couple of pretty big games. That means we're almost to what could be an important weekend in the SEC.

Here are some links from around the league:

SEC lunchtime links

October, 30, 2013
It’s officially hump day, and as SEC teams prepare for this weekend -- or next if you’re Alabama and LSU -- let’s take a look around the league with today’s edition of the lunch links.
It’s Rankings Week at GatorNation. Every day we’ll rank some aspect of the Florida football program heading into the 2013 season. Today we’re ranking the top 10 defensive players the Gators will face this season. On Thursday we’ll rank the top 10 UF freshmen that have the chance of making the biggest impact in the fall.

Ranking the defensive players

1. DE Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina): Clowney (6-feet-6, 256 pounds) is arguably the best player in the country and is even mentioned as a Heisman Trophy favorite as a defender. He had a mammoth sophomore season in which he was second in the SEC in sacks in 2012 (13.0). Clowney can’t be handled one-on-one because he’s so athletic and quick, but even with help he’s nearly impossible to stop.
No. 7 South Carolina (6-1, 4-1 SEC) at No. 2 Florida (6-0, 5-0 SEC)
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Florida Field, Gainesville, Fla.

Three storylines

1. Division race: This game won’t officially decide the Eastern Division championship, but it will give the winner the inside track. If the Gators win, all they would have to do is beat Georgia on Oct. 27 to win the title. If South Carolina wins, the Gamecocks would have the tiebreaker over Florida and Georgia. They still have games against Arkansas and Tennessee remaining, and the Gators would need to win out and have South Carolina and Georgia lose another game to win the title.

2. M.A.S.H units: Both teams have been ravaged by injuries and the flu. South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore has a bruised hip and coach Steve Spurrier said he may not start. Plus, DT Kelcy Quarles is doubtful because of a shoulder injury and DE Jadeveon Clowney is bothered by a foot injury. Several other Gamecocks are banged up, too. There’s also been a flu bug that has run through the team this week, and it caused WRs Ace Sanders and Bruce Ellington to miss practice. Florida has five starters recovering from injuries: G James Wilson (eye), C Jonotthan Harrison (arm), LT Xavier Nixon (upper body), DE Dominique Easley (knee) and LB Jelani Jenkins (hamstring). UF coach Will Muschamp said all should play against the Gamecocks, but he has been vague about injuries before. If UF’s players do return, that will give the Gators the advantage.

[+] EnlargeConnor Shaw
Daniel Shirey/US PresswireSouth Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw might not have the track speed of Florida counterpart Jeff Driskel, but he's got a better track record as a passer.
3. Make plays in the passing game: Going on the assumption that Sanders and Ellington have recovered from the flu, this is an area which clearly favors South Carolina. Sanders and Ellington both have 17 catches, but Ellington is the big-play receiver. Sanders averages 9.4 yards per catch while Ellington averages 15.6. Connor Shaw is a dual-threat quarterback -- as is UF’s Jeff Driskel -- but Shaw is a more accomplished passer and is completing 69.4 percent of his passes for 910 yards and 10 TDs with four interceptions. UF is last in the SEC in passing (145.0 yards per game). UF’s biggest weapon in the passing game is TE Jordan Reed (21 catches, 237 yards, one TD), but the WRs have struggled to get separation and to consistently make plays. Frankie Hammond (11 catches) has two catch-and-run TDs of 50 yards or longer, but he’s also got four drops. UF’s wide receivers have a combined 30 catches.

Gators to watch

RB Mike Gillislee: He didn’t put up great numbers against Vanderbilt (67 yards on 17 carries) but he did shred LSU’s defense for 146 yards. He’ll need to have similar success against the Gamecocks.

LB Jon Bostic: Bostic has benefitted from the new strength program as much as anyone. He’s more physical than he was last season and he’s able to shed blocks easier. His play will be key to the Gators’ effort to limit Lattimore.

RB Omarius Hines: It seems like every time Hines touches the ball, good things happen (except, of course, for his fumble against Bowling Green). The Gators are in need of playmakers in the passing game, and Hines should get a few chances on Saturday.

Gamecocks to watch

DE Devin Taylor: Clowney gets all the publicity, but Taylor is a dangerous pass rusher as well. Though he only has 1.5 sacks this season, he has 17.0 in his career. If the Gators pay too much attention to Clowney, Taylor could hurt them.

(Read full post)

Gamecocks' Quarles doubtful for Florida

October, 17, 2012
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Wednesday that sophomore defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles would likely face some sort of suspension after throwing a punch in the LSU game.

Spurrier didn’t specify when that suspension would come or how much time he would miss, but did say that Quarles was doubtful this week against Florida with a shoulder injury.

Replays showed Quarles punching LSU center P.J. Lonergan in the facemask during the Tigers’ first offensive possession of the game. There was no penalty called on the play.

“We do have plans to discipline Kelcy for that,” Spurrier said. “I guess you could call it a punch. I’ve seen bigger punches, but he did throw [one] at him. I don’t know if the LSU guy even knew he threw it, but I saw it. We don’t condone that.”

SEC power rankings: Week 1

August, 27, 2012
Power Rankings: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC | Non-AQ

We are just days away from the college football season, so it's time to unveil our first batch of power rankings for the regular season.

A lot goes into our power rankings. It isn't just about how strong teams are right now. We look into our crystal ball as well to get a good read on how each team will finish the season -- before it has even started.

For each school, we look at talent coming back, coaching, roster changes, how teams have looked in practice now compared to the spring and uniform style. Well, maybe not that last part, but you get the point.

Here are our season-opening SEC power rankings for 2012:

1. LSU: The gap between the Tigers and Alabama got a lot smaller after Tyrann Mathieu's dismissal, so this could be viewed as 1A and 1B. Mathieu is a big loss for LSU on defense and special teams, but there is just way too much talent for this team not to make another title run. LSU's offense still has one of the best/deepest running games around and gets an upgrade with quarterback Zach Mettenberger. LSU also might have the best offensive line/defensive line combo in the nation.

2. Alabama: The defending champs lost a lot of star power on defense, but that unit should still be pretty darn good this fall. There could be some growing pains at times, but the Tide should still have one of the league's best defensive units this fall. The offense might be better and more balanced this fall, even without Trent Richardson. There is a good stable of backs, the nation's top offensive line and quarterback AJ McCarron has a little more explosiveness and athleticism to work with at receiver.

(Read full post)


McElwain discusses new Florida football
SEC Network's Greg McElory and Booger McFarland sit down to discuss the future of Florida football with head coach Jim McElwain.