Get to know our newest Brand Ambassador, Ellie

 

Q: Where is your hometown?

A:  Jacksonville, FL (#DUUUUVALLLL)

Q: Why did you decide to attend UF?

A: My entire family either goes to/graduated from/works at FSU, so it was pretty much set that I would attend FSU.  However, I think I knew I was always an SEC girl.  I wanted to pursue my passion for dance while still getting a great college experience.  I fell in love with the campus and the people when I visited my junior year of high school, and after making the Dazzlers Dance Team, I knew it was the place for me.

Q: Best memory while attending UF so far?

A: My best memories come from dancing on the field in The Swamp.  I was apart of the very first Dazzler halftime performance at a football game.  There is nothing like dancing, cheering, and chomping with 90,000 Gator fans in such a historic venue! (Plus, that will probably be the biggest amount of people I will ever dance in front of! Channeling my inner #Yonce #SashaFierce)

Q: Favorite sport and why?

A: Football is definitely my favorite sport, but specifically SEC Football. It’s always amazing to see how passionate the fans are.  SEC Football is about tradition, and I love to watch how the teams compete so passionately.

Q: Favorite place in Gainesville to grab dinner?

A: I love to grab dinner at The Jones B Side!  All of their food is fresh and amazing, and all of their ingredients come from local farms.  Plus, they serve breakfast all day!! (#PancakesFTW)

Q: Favorite UF tradition?

A: The Chomp is definitely my favorite UF Tradition.  It is something that is recognized worldwide, and it’s unlike anything else!  It’s amazing to watch thousands of fans chomp for the Gators together.

Q: A story from UF you will tell your future children 1 million times.

A:  I will tell my children about dancing in front of a full crowd at The Swamp and The O’Dome.  There is no greater feeling than singing “We Are The Boys”, grooving to “You Can Call Me Al”, chomping, and cheering on the greatest team in the Nation!

Q: Best place in Gainesville to hang out with friends?

A: Swamp is always a fun experience, because it’s a Gainesville tradition, but I love to be able to sit and chat with friends!  So, I love Cymplify Coffee Co.  They have an incredible S’mores latte and comfy bean bag chairs to lounge on as long as you please. 

Q: What do you do outside of class?

A:  I am a busy, busy person outside of class! I work for two TV shows and at ESPN Gainesville 95.3, the radio station.  I also dance and work as an instructor at Pure Barre, both of which I am extremely passionate about!

Q: Why is it great to be a Florida Gator?

A: Gator Nation really is everywhere!  People expect a lot of Gators, because we hold ourselves to such a high standard of excellence.  When you’re GREAT at academics, athletics, and involvement, how can we not brag?! #GOGATA #GatorsAlways

Your Guide to the #16ATORS

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February 3rd was National Signing Day, which means 25 new baby Gators were added to the Gator Nation! *and the crowd goes wild* Here’s a synopsis of what happened and what the team can look forward to for the 2016 season.

First Down: Mid-Year Enrollees

12 (13 if you count transfer Austin Appleby) mid-year enrollees were added to the roster, the most across the nation and the most in school history. These players are enrolled as UF students for the spring semester, so the have the opportunity to get a head start on practicing with the team and competing for those coveted starting positions. Giving the staff more time to work with players and more time for the players to work with each other will hopefully provide chemistry and rhythm on the field – two things we didn’t see so much in 2015.

Second Down: Quarterback Battle

There’s not one, not two, not three, but FOUR (count ‘em 1,2,3,4) guys competing for the No. 1 quarterback roster spot. The competition is made up of:

  • Two true freshmen – Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask
  • One graduate transfer – Austin Appleby
  • Last year’s transfer and redshirt junior – Luke Del Rio.

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking aren’t you missing someone who actually played for us last year? *cough cough Treon Harris cough cough* In a turn of events, Harris has decided to switch positions to wide receiver. Unclear if the decision came from the added competition or frustration from an underwhelming season in the position. So now, we sit back and watch the show as all four guys are already in Gainesville to participate in spring practices. May the odds be ever in your favor!

Third Down: Offensive Additions

In addition to the added quarterbacks, the offense saw quite the overhaul.

  • Three offensive linemen joined the roster – Stone Forsythe, Brett Heggie, and Jawaan Taylor (not to be confused with defensive back signee Jeawon Taylor).
  • Wide receiver – Tyrie Cleveland and his explosive style of play will be key to bringing some spunk back to the offensive side of the ball.
  • Kicker – Eddy Pineiro, a redshirt freshman junior college transfer, looks to improve the less-than-impressive kicking we saw last season. Coach Mac is clearly pretty confident in Pineiro considering he’s never recruited a kicker so hard.

Things seem to be on the up and up for offense, and this recruiting class will have the opportunity to prove it.

Fourth Down: Defense Round-Up

The Gators will need to fill the holes left in the defense after losing some key players.

  • Defensive backs and mid-year enrollees – Chauncey Gardner and McArthur Burnett.
  • Linebacker – Jeremiah Moon is someone to keep your eyes on – he was recruited by the Gators since he was a freshman in high school. (He was offered a scholarship before he could get his driver’s license.)

Let’s hope these guys can keep up the work last year’s defensive squad established in the Swamp.

The Roster:

It would take a novel to talk about all 25 new players individually, but we obviously want to give a shout out and congratulate them on joining us in Gainesville! Here’s a full list of signees and mid-year enrollees alike, and keep checking in for more news regarding spring practices and the 2016 Florida Gators Football Team:

Mid-year Enrollees:

Name Position Height Weight Class Hometown
McArthur Burnett DB 5-9 157 Fr. Pahokee, FL
Stone Forsythe OL 6-7 309 Fr. Winter Garden, FL
Feleipe Franks QB 6-6 214 Fr. Crawfordville, FL
Chauncey Gardner DB 5-11 197 Fr. Cocoa, FL
Josh Hammond WR 6-1 179 Fr Hallandale Beach, FL
Dre Massey WR 5-9 184 Jr. Greenville, SC
Eddy Pineiro K 6-0 178 R-Fr. Miami, FL
David Reese LB 6-0 240 Fr. Farmington, MI
Jordan Smith DL 6-5 225 Fr. Lithonia, GA
Freddie Swain WR 6-0 177 Fr. Ocala, FL
Mark Thompson RB 6-2 228 R-Jr. La Mott, PA
Kyle Trask QB 6-4 230 Fr. Manvel TX

Signees:

Name Position Height Weight Class Hometown
Antonneous Clayton DL 6-3 235 Fr. Vienna, GA
Tyrie Cleveland WR 6-2 194 Fr. Houston, TX
Brett Heggie OL 6-3 314 Fr. Mount Dora, FL
Vosean Joseph LB 6-1 215 Fr. Miami, FL
Quincy Lenton DB 5-11 207 Fr. Meridian, MS
C.J. McWilliams DB 5-11 163 Fr. Miami, FL
Jeremiah Moon LB 6-4 209 Fr. Hoover, AL
Lamical Perine RB 5-11 218 Fr. Theodore, AL
Jachai Polite DL 6-2 259 Fr. Daytona Beach, FL
Joseph Putu DB 6-2 195 Jr. Providence, RI
Jawaan Taylor OL 6-5 347 Fr. Cocoa, FL
Jeawon Taylor DB 6-0 191 Fr. Montgomery, AL
Rick Wells WR 6-0 200 Fr. Jacksonville, FL

Live with a Mets Fan in Championship Mode

The Mets are playing the Dodgers in a decisive game five tonight. Our technical co-founder Sean is about as die-hard of a fan as you will find. He might be living in DC, but today he is in “Championship Mode.” Co-founder and head writer Kelly found it so entertaining, she asked him to liveblog his day. These are his stories. *duh duh*

12:37 a.m. – Confirming I’m alive. It happened. The Mets held on. deGrom was great through 6, Thor perfect in 7, and Familia came in to close the door with six easy outs. Bring it on, Cubbies, and LET’S GO METS!

10:06 p.m. – Daniel Murphy has a single, a double, two stolen bases AND HE JUST TOOK THE LEAD FOR THE METS WITH A SOLO SHOT. DANIEL MURPHY FOR MVP!

9:41 p.m. 

PHIL DUNPHY THE REAL OG

9:27 p.m. – Ed. Note: Hey, guys. This is Kelly.  I just wanted everyone to know Sean is live-blogging only a fraction of what he is constantly sending to me via text while I am finishing up at work. This is a new experience for me. I am scared for him.

9:26 p.m. – Murphy just stole third on a walk. AMAZING. And a sac fly by D’Arnaud scores him. HEADS UP BASEBALL, GENTS.

9:15 p.m. – DeGrom gets the double play he’s needed for three innings and a Dodger just yelled at his manager in the dugout. Dare I say: trouble in paradise?

9:08 p.m. – Dodgers third baseman and former Met Justin Turner leads off with a double off of DeGrom. And I’m opening my Dominos app.

9:04 p.m. – I forgot that Larry King has the seats behind home plate at Dodger Stadium. And if we’re being honest, I kind of forgot he was still alive.

8:55 p.m. – DeGrom strikes out Adrian Gonzalez and holy crap, we’re still alive. Clinging for life. But still alive.

8:39 p.m. – Oh wow, that was just one inning. And D’Arnaud strikes out to start the second. Le sigh. Conforto just rocked a ball to right that looked likely to drop and Ethier with some sliding magic. Oh, man. We could’ve really used that. Now up to the man who showed me there is in fact crying in baseball – Wilmer Flores. Worked the count well to 3-0. And the count’s now full. Rats. Gimme a baserunner, Wilmer! And he strikes out to end the inning. Man, I really wish we scored that runner on third. Middle 2 – LA 2 NYM 1.

8:33 p.m. – SORRY I NEEDED TO GET IN THE ZONE WITH LIKE 2 MORE HOURS OF PREGAME, AN UBER RIDE HOME, AND OF COURSE – COLD PIZZA. The thrill of taking the lead was short. Mets took a 1-0 lead on a Granderson single and a Murphy triple. Now the Dodgers have 4 straight hits and DeGrom looks lost. Oh, the took a 2-1 lead. It’s the first inning. Please send help or outs. Grandal just struck out for out 2. The light at the end of the tunnel is now visible. Plenty of baseball to be played.

4:18 p.m. 

Lineup is out. Oh, man, this is getting real. Like really real. Don’t mind, I’m just gonna sit here and think happy thoughts and listen to Enya on repeat for the next 25 minutes.

3:33 p.m. – Upon returning from the jaunt to Chipotle, I was met by my office concierge – Rod. Rod’s a nice older gentleman, but he just so happens to be a Dodgers fan since he grew up in Brooklyn – where the team left in 1957. We’ve known this day has been coming for months. Rod said he thought it would be fun to go the Mets bar I was debating patronizing tonight, and I had to inform him that was a terrible idea. Sorry, Rod, just don’t want to see you get run out of town.

3:10 p.m. – IMG_4636 Woah-oah-oah, it’s magic.

2:55 p.m. –

2:25 p.m. – This one task for work is taking forever. FOR. EVER. And it’s holding me back from Chipotle. All I want is a burrito bowl and a Game 5 victory. Nothing more in life. I’ll even settle for skipping guac. (Ed. note: No, he won’t.)

1:44 p.m. – IMG_3267

Championship mode casualty. I ate them all in a minute. I’m not proud of this.

1:22 p.m. – Kelly just sent me opera. It’s Andrea Bocelli aka Grandma Carmela’s favorite singer and overall GOAT, featuring my girl – the one and the only Ariana Grande. It’s called “E Più Ti Penso” which means “The More I Think of You” according to my limited Italian (ok, I just know amore) but at least it’s not “Time To Say Goodbye” BECAUSE YOUR BOY AIN’T SAYING GOODBYE TO NOTHING TONIGHT.

12:12 p.m. – The game notes are out. Excuse me while I voraciously consume statistics that I can go recite on future Bumble dates as girls realize very quickly they’ve made a terrible mistake by even showing up in the first place.

11:50 a.m. – Oh, awesome. I need to make more coffee. This almost kills my vibe but AIN’T NOTHING GONNA HOLD ME DOWN…

11:20 a.m. – Oh, right. Work. That thing. Caught up and finally time for that second cup of coffee. Gotta keep championship mode alive and championship mode is completely incompatible with a lack of caffeine in my bloodstream.

10:03 a.m. –  

 Screenshot 2015-10-15 10.03.30  

Aaaaaaand never mind.

10:01 a.m. – I’m at the office. I don’t want to be at the office. My Starbucks is wearing off and I need to re-up on caffeine stat. Maybe I should check Kayak and see if I could get to L.A. in time for the game. And StubHub.

9:15 a.m.

IMG_4633

Okay. I’ve now listened to this six times in a row and it is sufficiently stuck in my head. It makes no sense. Why is he rowing to China and mad she had to get her laundry done? Dude. Come on. The 80s were weird. (Ed. note: Sean was born in 1992, and has no idea whether or not the 80s were actually weird.)

8:55 a.m. – Oh, great, Metro’s platform is packed. And so are the trains. But that’s okay. ‘Cause ain’t nothing gonna break my stride, ain’t nothing gonna hold me down, I gotta keep on moving…

8:45 a.m. – Oof. Online order not a good idea this morning. Seems like the DC-area caffeine addicts have discovered my secret and my coffee is nowhere to be found. Not to mention my double chocolate brownie BECAUSE I NEED TO BE IN THE RIGHT FRAME OF MIND, OKAY? BROWNIES CAN BE BREAKFAST, TOO. Oh. There’s my coffee. It’s a tall. I got a trenta. This is sub-optimal.

8:35 a.m. – Listening to Sportsradio 66 WFAN  and super stoked to hear other Mets fans calling in. It’s real. Dad just called and we pep-talked for like 10 minutes straight. There’s nothing like the abject excitement and utter fear of a winner-take-all game.

8:30 a.m. – Time to commute. Put my coffee order for Starbucks in online because I’M A REAL BOY. Also – bringing my lunch? Psshh. Bag lunch is for mere mortals. Today, we are in championship mode, and championship mode deserves a championship lunch (hint: championship lunch is always Chipotle. Always.)

8:03 a.m.  

Screenshot 2015-10-15 10.17.23

Oh, look who’s ready for gameday? That’s right, K. Hawk’s ready for gameday.  

7:45 a.m.

IMG_4630

Let’s make it official. Today: we are in championship mode.

7:42 a.m. – Out of the shower (today’s shower jam, FYI) and time to be a real person. Yes, I’m wearing my could-be-cleaner Mets hat and T-shirt to work. Oh, it was 47º in DC this morning, you say? October makes us do crazy things. But it’s not crazy if it works.

7:29 a.m. –

Screenshot 2015-10-15 11.16.20

Time for the most important decision of the day: my Instagram post. Jacob, you’re my only hope.

6:47 a.m. – Boom. Rally is sent and the first day of our NO POST-RALLY NAPS before work is happening. Not that I could sleep anyway. I’m in the zone. I’m watching hype videos and highlights. This is our time. No more wait till next year BS.

6:20 a.m. – Finished coding TDR and editing with Kelly and ready to get that puppy out the door. Our subject line today gives me a bit of a scare. There’s no place like home doesn’t apply to Dodger Stadium right?

5:30 a.m. – Time to Get up and Rally. It’s gameday. I can feel it. I didn’t sleep well, but I am amped. Ya gotta believe.