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