Seau impressed with UF linebackers
Published: Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 9:51 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 9:51 p.m.
JACKSONVILLE — New England Patriots recently unretired veteran linebacker Junior Seau wore a different hat, literally, during Florida's 41-17 victory against Georgia on Saturday at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium.
Dressed up like a member of the media corps, complete with a bowler hat that held a card with the word "PRESS" on it, the likely future Hall of Famer got an up-close look as Gator linebackers Ryan Stamper, A.J. Jones and Brandon Spikes combined for four interceptions and 17 tackles against the Bulldogs.
The host of the soon-to-debut show "Sports Jobs with Junior Seau" on Versus said he was impressed. Spikes, in particular, caught his attention.
"I told him he has something you just can't coach, that you're born with it," said Seau, whose program premieres on Dec. 2 and will air Wednesday nights. "He has leadership, and (I told him) not to take any of it for granted."
Later, Seau added: "(Spikes) has that skill that (Tim) Tebow has on offense, which is allowing your actions, your words to grab other people around you so they can elevate their games."
But Spikes, whose 10 tackles led all players and whose touchdown-scoring interception was the third of his career, was just one-third of what was UF's biggest positional story of the day — the linebackers.
Jones intercepted two passes, one of which set up an early third-quarter score that gave Florida a 31-10 lead. And Stamper picked off the first ball of his career.
All but Spikes' interception came off Georgia starting quarterback Joe Cox, and they were enough to convince the Bulldogs' senior they were the reason top-ranked Florida won.
"I lost the game with my three picks," Cox said.
For his part, Jones said it was nice playing a more glamorous role than usual.
"I'm just so proud of the linebackers," Jones said. "We got more picks than the (defensive backs) tonight. It was like we switched places."
While he may have watched the linebackers closest, Seau said the defending BCS champion Gators come across as a unified group.
"I was very impressed with the whole team," Seau said. "There was a purpose out there.
"There are three parts of the game: special teams, offense and defense. They played well together, and it looked like they were playing for each other, instead of just with each other."
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