Florida Gators: Dan Wenger

Dan Wenger is headed to New York

April, 30, 2012
4/30/12
10:15
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Former Florida offensive lineman Dan Wenger announced via Twitter that he has been "given an opportunity" with the New York Jets.

Wenger, like all draft picks and undrafted free agents, will participate in a mini-camp held within 15 days of the NFL Draft. Wenger started 11 games in 2011 in his only season at Florida (he missed two games with an ankle injury). He transferred to UF from Notre Dame after the NCAA granted him a sixth year of eligibility because of two concussions he suffered early in the 2010 season.

Former UF quarterback John Brantley (Baltimore Ravens), receiver Deonte Thompson (Ravens) and defensive end William Green (Cleveland Browns) also will participate in mini-camps, as will draft picks Jaye Howard (Seattle, fourth round) and Chris Rainey (Pittsburgh, fifth round).
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It's definitely not a good sign about Florida's NFL Draft prospects when there's significantly more talent watching the pro scout day workouts than participating in them.

Quarterback John Brantley, running back Chris Rainey, defensive tackle Jaye Howard, and receiver Deonte Thompson worked out in front of NFL scouts from 24 teams and one head coach -- Jacksonville's Mike Mularkey -- on Tuesday morning at Florida Field. None of those players are projected any higher than mid- to late-round selections, which would snap the school's five-year streak of having at least one player taken in the first round.

Contrast that with the talented group of former UF players who watched the workouts. There were four first-round picks -- Maurkice and Mike Pouncey, Travis Taylor, and Percy Harvin -- and four others who were taken in the seventh round or higher: Terry Jackson (fifth), Riley Cooper (fifth) and Kerwin Bell (seventh). Mularkey was a ninth-round pick.

"We need more guys out there in position to be drafted," UF coach Will Muschamp said. "That's pretty evident as you go through our last two pro days.

"We need to do a better job recruiting. We need to do a better job evaluating. We need to do a better job of developing our players and coaching. Bottom line."

Rainey ran a 4.38 in the 40 0n Tuesday. His biggest goal was to prove to the scouts that he can catch the ball out of the backfield. As to where the 5-foot-9, 180-pound athlete fits on the next level, he said he's basically a smaller Harvin clone. He can play receiver or running back, return kicks and punts, and play on kick or punt block units.

"My goal is to confuse the scouts and they do the rest [in figuring out where he should play]," said Rainey, who finished his career with 3,948 all-purpose yards and 21 touchdowns. "If you’re going to be a playmaker on the field, that’s all that matters."

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Muschamp denies hiring report

December, 27, 2011
12/27/11
7:37
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Florida coach Will Muschamp said Internet reports that he had hired a strength and conditioning coordinator are incorrect.

"I haven't hired anybody," Muschamp said after the Gators' light workout at Jacksonville University on Tuesday afternoon. "I've talked to a lot of people at the strength position and the offensive coordinator's position, and when I make the hire everybody will know. No one has been hired. No one's been offered a job yet."

Earlier this week, coaching websites CoachingSearch.com and FootballScoop.com reported that Muschamp had hired Jeff Dillman, who is the head of physical conditioning at the IMG Performance Institute in Bradenton, Fla., to replace Mickey Marotti, who is now at Ohio State. Dillman has worked at LSU, Appalachian State and Louisiana-Monroe. His time at LSU (2003-06) overlapped Muschamp's tenure there (2001-04).

McCray, Wenger battling injuries

Muschamp said linebacker Lerentee McCray is doubtful for the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl against Ohio State because of a shoulder injury. Center/guard Dan Wenger, who has been battling a nagging ankle injury, should play, Muschamp said. Both of them, along with injured cornerback Jeremy Brown (knee) did not participate in UF's workout on Tuesday.

"Lerentee, again with his shoulder, we’ve exhausted about every measure we can as far as the shoulder’s concerned trying to work and get total range of motion and strength back," Muschamp said. "It just has not come back to this point."

McCray has started five games and has 24 tackles. Wenger has started 11 games.

Missing practice

Running back Jeff Demps missed practice with what Muschamp said was a personal issue. He will join the team on Wednesday. Receiver Deonte Thompson also missed practice because of illness. He remained at the team hotel.

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