Update, UF notebook: A quicker Joseph

UF linebacker Vosean Joseph runs a warm-up drill during practice earlier this month. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

[Updated: 8-14-18, 4:30 p.m.] While many players like Jeremiah Moon have gained weight in Nick Savage’s program, outside linebacker Vosean Joseph went in the opposite direction, losing 10 pounds and considerable body fat.

“I just muscled up and trimmed up and got slim,” Joseph said. “(I’m) a lot quicker. I’m 224 (pounds) right now. And I’m at like six-percent body fat, from something like 17 percent.”

Joseph not only looks and feels better, he says he’s playing better coming off a disappointing sophomore season.

“I’ve actually got my eyes right. I’ve gotten my footwork better and my pursuit angles,” he said. “Last year I was just ‘Ok, I’m going to go play football and hit this man or whoever’s got the ball.’ Now it’s more the scheme. I’m actually learning the game now. For me to just be able to look at it, to see where I messed up last year and come back, it’s actually helped me a lot.”

Lighting up Lemons

Hard-running sophomore running back Adarius Lemons recently tweeted that he hates linebackers. The impetus for that message is two big hits he’s recently taken from the LBs — one from James Houston, the other from Ventrell Miller.

“Oh yeah, I’ve been lighting Lemons up the last couple of practices,” Houston said. “I know he tweeted that because Ventrell knocked his helmet off one practice. We’ve been giving it to Lemons. Lemons has been getting it. He has to get a little bit more weight, but he’s still nice, though, he’s still nice.

“We talk all the time in the locker room. We go back and forth. So it’s a nice little competition.”

New Mexico St. on board

The Gators have added the New Mexico State Aggies to their 2020 football schedule, completing UF’s non-conference schedule for the season.

New Mexico State is coming to Gainesville on Nov. 21, 2020. The Aggies’ payout will be a $1.525 million guarantee.

UF’s other non-conference foes in 2020 are Eastern Washington, South Alabama and Florida State.


  1. “Last year I was just ‘Ok, I’m going to go play football and hit this man or whoever’s got the ball.’ Now it’s more the scheme.” I think that statement right there sums up the last 3 years in a nutshell. Everyone was playing off natural talent and instincts instead of being coached properly.

    • There are many upset fans out there about McElwain’s payout. No he didn’t work or “earn” those millions but you can’t look at it that way. Earnings and payout are two totally different things. Rather, you have to look at a payout as compensation for “lost opportunity” to earn similar wages working elsewhere for the remaining period of the contract. It’s similar to a renter (i.e. UF in this example) breaking a lease on a house or apartment. Many people think that they just lose the deposit and any prepaid rent if they break a lease but that isn’t correct either. The renter is liable to the landlord (i.e. McElwain in this example) for the rent for the remaining period of the contract whether the renter occupies the property or not. If the landlord can’t lease the property to another party, he is legally entitled to receive compensation from the renter for the lost opportunity. The landlord didn’t earn it because the property is vacant but he is entitled to the lost opportunity compensation as if he had rented it to someone. Another example is the earnest money paid upon signing a contract to purchase the house. If the buyer backs out, the seller gets to keep the earnest money for the lost opportunity to sell it to someone else sooner. No the seller didn’t earn the earnest money but he is contractually entitled to it. I have to respectfully disagree we got fleeced.

      • EXcept none of that applies because they fired him for cause and owed him nothing. They did fire him for cause yet negotiated a lower buyout rather than see him in court where he would have lost! He damaged the University with the lies about death threats he made up. Many people dont give that the credit its due with our current struggle with recruiting. What parent wants their son to go to a university where the fans may kill him? They allowed the university to get fleeced by settling with him at all!

        • daz – I want to believe your narrative because of my love for my alma mater but my conscience does not allow it. They fired him for a myriad of reasons including on-field performance and growing unpopularity. However, I believe it was mostly because Stricklin and McElwain had a conflict stemming from Stricklin’s decision to delay building a much needed standalone football training complex by a few years in favor of first funding the new baseball stadium and softball renovations. The death threat was used for convenience and Stricklin seized on the opportunity to get rid of an internal political rival. There is no proof that there weren’t any death threats. Just because McElwain refused to share the details does not mean they didn’t happen. Do you really believe there weren’t any death threats with all the crazies out there in this day and age considering the way the team was performing?

          To my knowledge, the university never publicly stated he was fired for cause. They tried to leverage it to reduce the buyout. It’s a despicable move by my beloved university to weasel out of the contractually agreed payment. It’s arguable whether they would win in court. I believe the university would lose. Why do you think they settled for a much higher buyout than they wanted? Why do you think that higher amount will not be offset by McElwain’s future earnings? That’s a big deal that wasn’t reported widely as the university might have ended up paying a lot less than the newly agreed upon $7.5 buyout if the offset was still in place. Why did you think the university added a clause in the settlement to forbid McElwain to reveal anything bad about his former employer? They most likely have something to hide and ended up paying for the problem to go away.

          • See your point Sly. I’m sure there is more than we’ll ever know. Started with a bad hire and went south. On a side note to McElwain. I don’t believe with the best facilities in the world he would have been a top notch coach.

          • Sure it was not said, but those fake death threats along with his entitled attitude toward others put the nail in the coffin. I bet you have no better information than I do.

          • vulcan – You are right. Neither of us know whether there were actual death threats. Therefore, we can’t conclude they were “fake” or not. With that said, I can easily imagine a scenario in which someone like Tay Bang, AKA the gambler, death threatening the players with his posse of friends because they lost money betting on the team. I can further imagine the players retorting in a Chris Rainey like manner “time to die”. I imagine a coach might want to protect his players by not revealing the details because his guys might be just as guilty. The point is, we can’t say there were no death threats or they were fake just because McElwain chose not to provide the details.

  2. I know three games I won’t be in Ben Hill Griffin for in 2020, New Mexico State, Eastern Washington, and South Alabama. I realize these schools need big payouts for their budgets (and UF needs a presumable win and home gate) but I sure hate watching those games.

    • I agree about the three non-conf. games. I’ve been saying this for 20 years: Florida needs to play a perennial decent program with one of the three non-conf, non-FSU games. Go on all you want about the SEC sched. and playing Fla. State every year. I get it. But other SEC schools have figured out ways to get inter-regional home and home series.

      Play two cupcakes and at least get a MAC team or one of the other in-state teams to fill the last game. It was nice last year opening up against Michigan (even though we played like crap). It was a lot better than opening up with Someplace Tech and following with Overthere State, and playing a D-1AA (yeah I know they dropped that term years ago but I don’t care – I prefer it).

      Foley used to use the excuse of needing an extra home game bc of the Georgia game every year. Well now we play twelve. Sign up a decent team to play! Go Gators!

      • With all due respect, these are some of the ”other” SEC football teams’ non-conf. games: Arkansas State, The Citadel, Alabama State, U.C.F., Austin Peay, N.W State, so… for U.F. to add Miami, and an 8 game SEC schedule, and then the rivalry game with FSU at the end of the year, well, I’m into that (personally). As I think it would make going undefeated and/or making a 1st EVER ”College Football Playoff game” for Florida much more difficult. While playing Miami every 5-8 years, home-away 2 game series, is more reasonable.

          • Strength of schedule does count for something tho, GI. Make it two each cupcakes-de-jour, then…..just get Miami back on the schedule!

        • I get it, Gator-6, I was at ”Florida Field” (1980’s name) when James Jones and Wayne Peace had the miracle T.D. against the big, bad Canes of the 80’s.
          I also know a Miami & FSU bookend to an already tough SEC Schedule would be, LITERALLY, one of the most difficult schedules year in and year out. ‘”Strength of schedule” is a 3 letter acronym, sir, ”S.E.C.!” Chomp-chomp

      • GI – I get your argument about strength of schedule. But, as a fan and consumer, I’d much rather we take our chances with a more challenging schedule. I personally wouldn’t add Miami as a permanent addition as I like variety (in much the same vein as I’d like more SEC variety when it comes to who we play from the West).

        My ideal schedule would be open with a cupcake, play a stronger or Power 5 team (Miami, Ga Tech, Clemson, Oklahoma, Michigan, UCLA, etc) play through the SEC schedule (with more Western Division variety), play UCF or another Mid Level school in the middle of the season and finish with the Noles. And after that gaunlet, if we’re good enough to play for championships, so be it.

        And if I were commissioner for a day, that’s what I’d require all of the SEC to do. Playing 3-4 directional schools is not my idea of entertainment or a challenge.

        • When you see every other team in the SEC do that then you let us know…name one school in the country that plays another top notch football team EVERY year as a non conference game?? bama is doing it now but isn’t locked into a contract with anyone so they can change it but this hasn’t always been the case under saban either.

      • That team is FSU…if anything it was UF who was playing the tougher non conference game each year because of FSU while everyone else in the SEC wasn’t…bama started playing those teams in the first game but still play other cup cakes the rest of the year…if anything I would like to see UF schedule USF and UCF and rotate them yearly… USF one year and UCF the next.

        • I can’t argue with that, AAC, of all the Group of Fivers, is the closest to a Power-5 Conference, and we’ve got two of them within the state. Still, I’d like to see us get Miami back on the schedule.

    • An attorney is like a weather forecaster. He can predict a likely outcome but can never be sure. When asked a legal question, a good attorney will respond with “it depends” and “this is my counsel”, not with “you will win (or lose).”

        • What I shared above should be common knowledge. Are there many adults in this forum who have not rented or bought a dwelling? The only one I can think of is the resident troll who reportedly lives in his mom’s basement.

          If I were a lawyer, you will be drowning in pages and pages of text and sophisticated legalese words like lessor and lessee instead of landlord and renter. I would be talking in circles about everything including the kitchen sink hoping I can stumble on one issue that you can identify with, pull on your heart strings, and wow you into agreeing with me. No, I try to keep my arguments logical and to the point. However, logic usually don’t win arguments do they?

          • Says who? Many moons ago I made a pledge to let logic trump affect, and many moons after that I made a conscious decision never to get in a public pissing contest with one each, Sly Sylvester. I stand by that!

          • Well Doc, then you are one of the few wise ones in this world. I daresay for most people, they let their allegiances and preconceived notions cloud their judgement without thinking through the potential consequences.

          • That’s the problem with stereotypes and biases, Sly — they serve a purpose to orient us to a situation, as simple heuristics, but things become rather complex if we fail to update them on the basis of relevant, new information. Then we are surprised by not only first order consequences, but second and even third order as well. If only we can control and edit our blinding emotions!