Jacobs, Ratliff honored

Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2002 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 11, 2002 at 12:33 a.m.
Florida placed two players on The Associated Press All-SEC team Tuesday - senior wide receiver Taylor Jacobs and junior cornerback Keiwan Ratliff. Jacobs was the only Gator on the coaches' all-league team that was released Monday.
SEC champion Georgia dominated the AP team. Mark Richt was named coach of the year and defensive end David Pollack was named defensive player of the year. Seven other 'Dogs also landed on the first team, including quarterback David Greene.
UF's Rex Grossman, last season's All-SEC quarterback, didn't receive a vote.
The offensive player of the year is Kentucky tailback Artose Pinner.
In other postseason awards news, UF center Mike Degory is going to named to the Football News All-American freshman team later this week. Gator offensive tackle Randy Hand will be on the second team.
Degory consistently graded out highest among the UF offensive linemen throughout the season.
"Degory has been amazing," UF offensive guard Shannon Snell said. "He was close to perfection every time. He is going to be a great center."
  • Injured wide receiver Reggie Vickers, who had earned a starting position in the spring, has fallen behind in the classroom and the training room and his future with the team appears questionable at best.
    "He's got a lot of work to do academically," UF coach Ron Zook said Tuesday. "And he's got a lot of work to do health-wise. He's missed a lot of time. He needs to be in the training room.
    "It's like he's kind of removed himself from the team. He's not around. Every week we meet on academics and class attendance and his name has shown up quite frequently. Reggie has some work to do."
    Vickers had a breakout spring and was slated to open two-a-days as a starting wide receiver. But he seriously injured his knee while working out in his hometown of Belle Glade this summer and had surgery early this fall that sidelined him for the season.
  • BITTER: Offensive lineman Shannon Snell can relate with how some of the players at Alabama and Kentucky must be feeling today after the recent departures of Dennis Franchione at Bama and Guy Morriss at UK.
    Snell still feels betrayed by Steve Spurrier, now with the Washington Redskins.
    "He had pitched to us that he would be here for the next four years of our life," Snell said Tuesday. "When he jumped ship, it was kind of surprising and kind of shocking.
    "Yeah, I was hurt. I was hurt deeply. When he left, it was kind of like, 'Oh boy, what am I going to do?"'
    Florida's quick hiring of Zook, and Zook's good first impression, helped him quickly get over losing Spurrier, Snell said.
  • AN 'A' FOR ZOOK: During the Gators' Outback Bowl media day Tuesday, Zook didn't hesitate when he was asked to grade his own coaching performance this season.
    "(An) 'A'," he said. "Why not? I'm grading it. It really doesn't make any difference what I grade myself.
    "Everyone knows how we feel about this program. Is this program going in the direction it's supposed to? I feel extremely good about the direction we're going. I feel extremely good about where we're at in recruiting right now. I feel like we're doing what we have to do."
  • BOOKS BEATING SCOTT?: Here's something you don't often hear: Junior defensive tackle Ian Scott, one of the smartest players on the team, is struggling with some classes this semester and may not graduate in December afterall.
    "I've got some difficult classes that are kicking my butt right now," said the former Gainesville High star. "Graduation might take a little longer than I expected."
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