Notebook: Harvin, Spikes expected to start


Published: Monday, September 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 2, 2008 at 12:14 a.m.

It looks like wide receiver Percy Harvin will be 100 percent for Saturday night's game against Miami.

That's the report from quarterback Tim Tebow after Monday's practice.

"He's ready to go," Tebow said. "He's fast. Out there running routes, I'm still leading him by another two feet than everybody else.

"He's electric and explosive. He showed up today. He looked 100 percent ready to go. He's flying. He went through (the whole practice)."

Offensive guard Jim Tartt (shoulder) and starting middle linebacker Brandon Spikes (foot) also practiced Monday and have been cleared to play. All three players missed the opener. Before Monday, Havin had seen only limited activity in practice while recovering from heel surgery.

MIAMI GAME EVERY YEAR? The day Steve Spurrier took the head coaching job at Florida on the last day of 1989, he said he would like to see the Florida-Miami rivalry renewed on a yearly basis.

But did the head ball coach really mean it?

"I asked Coach Spurrier about that," UF coach Urban Meyer said Monday. "He told me, 'I would say publicly I wanted to play them, but deep down, I didn't want to play those guys.' "

A few minutes later, Meyer was asked if he wanted to face the Hurricanes every season.

"No," he said.

A SPECIAL PERFORMANCE: Florida's co-player of the game on special teams Saturday probably went largely unnoticed by the capacity crowd in The Swamp. Especially when the guy he shared the award with, Brandon James, lit up the place with a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown.

But Meyer noticed sophomore linebacker Brandon Hicks.

"I looked at that young man on the sideline and he's completely exhausted," Meyer said Monday. "He ran 19 special teams plays for 895 yards. Think about that for a minute.

"I'm going to take him off one of those phases so he can get more involved on defense. He deserves that.You get a bunch of Brandon Hicks' and you're playing great defense, great special teams."

Meyer announced that the Gators other players of the game from Saturday's 56-10 rout of Hawaii were cornerback Joe Haden on defense and guard Michael Pouncey on offense. The following players graded out as champions: defensive end Jermaine Cunningham, cornerback Wondy Pierre-Louis, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, nose tackle Lawrence Marsh, strong safety Ahmad Black, safety Major Wright, linebacker Ryan Stamper, wide receiver Louis Murphy, offensive tackle Phil Trautwein, offensive tackle Jason Watkins, tailback Kestahn Moore and tight end Tate Casey.

Meyer also gave a special mention to true freshman tailback Jeffrey Demps, who had a 62-yard touchdown run.

"He graded out 180 percent," Meyer said. "He only played five plays, but he had plus plays. I had to look at that twice, 180 percent."

MUZZLED GATOR: Meyer said Sunday he and the assistant coaches will be emphasizing to the players this week not to talk any trash about Miami. One player, apparently Murphy, fired an early salvo that got back to Meyer on Monday.

"One of our players was talking, so he's not allowed to talk to the media any more," Meyer said. "There will be some barbs back and forth, and some text messaging back and forth."

After Saturday's win over Hawaii, Murphy was quoted as saying the Gators were going to "let the dogs eat" Saturday night against Miami.

THIS AND THAT: Meyer said defensive tackle/offensive lineman Ron Wilson likely will be sitting out his second straight game. He falls into the "not ready to play" category that tight end Aaron Hernandez was in for the opener. Hernandez dressed but did not play.

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