Notebook: Antwine, Davis on travel roster

Defensive linemen Torrey Davis (pictured) and Brandon Antwine will be in Arkansas on Saturday to help the Gators.

Sun file photo
Published: Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 3, 2008 at 12:38 a.m.

Twelfth-ranked Florida could have more help on the defensive front this Saturday at Arkansas.

Coach Urban Meyer said after Thursday's practice that sophomore defensive linemen Brandon Antwine and Torrey Davis made the travel roster for this weekend.

"They could help," Meyer said. "Right now, we're OK. We're not at SEC level that we need to be. Those two guys provided a little bit of a punch this week in practice."

Meyer said he attributed the return of Antwine and Davis to the work defensive line coach Dan McCarney has put in with the two this season.

Davis worked his way back into good graces with his team after having academic issues and an open container charge this offseason.

But Antwine's return is just short of remarkable.

Antwine received a medical hardship in 2007 after suffering a significant back injury that left him hospitalized for more than a week. The injury left some of his back muscles completely deteriorated and the thought that his career could be over.

"There were a lot of people that weren't sure he was going to play for sure this year," Meyer said. "I had never heard of the injury before."

Meyer also said that redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jaye Howard is also in the rotation on the defensive line, but still has a few issues to work out before he can see any sort of playing time.

"Jaye Howard's in the mix," Meyer said. "He's a young player and still acts young. He's moved from inside to end. He's just got to settle down, but he had a good day the other day."

GAME READY: Saturday's game against Arkansas will have the earliest start time this season for the Gators.

The 11:30 a.m. CDT start can be a cause for concern with a team from the East Coast, but after a successful week of practice, Meyer said his team should be fine.

"I think we're going to be ready," he said. "We had a great day today. That's usually a good indicator. At 11:30 (a.m.) you just start worrying about the schedule, worrying about everything. We had a great day and that's all I was worried about today."

Meyer said earlier in the week that this would be his first trip to Fayetteville. Thursday, he retracted that statement and recalled the time he was there as wide receivers coach for Colorado State.

"It's SEC," Meyer said. "I've asked everybody and coach (Charlie) Strong's told me it's crowd noise, it's a bunch of fired up SEC fans."

SMITH HONORED: Senior long snapper James Smith was selected as one of 164 semifinalists for the 2008 Draddy Trophy, presented by HealthSouth, as announced by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Wednesday. Smith is also a candidate for the 2008 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards.

The Draddy Trophy recognizes an individual as the top player in the country for his academic success, football performance and community leadership.

UF joins Nebraska, Ohio State and Tennessee as one of only four schools in the nation to have more than one recipient of the trophy. Brad Culpepper received the award in 1991 and Danny Wuerffel in 1996.

ETC.: Meyer said USC transfer running back Emmanuel Moody and redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert are officially out for Saturday. ... Redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Carl Johnson will start at left guard for Jim Tartt, Meyer said.

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