With the day swiftly approaching — Aug. 24, that is — the back and forth between Florida and Miami players seems to only be increasing.
Following Tuesday’s practice session, Gators tight end Kemore Gamble revealed he’s already received several playful messages from several Hurricanes.
“They call mostly every day,” Gamble said. “I’m guessing they’re scared of us.”
Gamble, a Miami native, said he’s “fired up” to take the field against Miami — especially considering the game is a reunion of sorts for the former Miami Southridge standout. Both programs feature players well-versed in the opposition, whether it be from playing together or against each other throughout their ascent to the Power Five level.
That especially rings true for Gamble, one of the state’s top tight end prospects in the 2017 class.
“(I played with) Mark Pope, Gilbert Frierson, Dee Wiggins, D.J. Scaife. A lot of dudes on that team,” said Gamble. “Like yesterday, I think Gilbert called me saying ‘12 days,’” Gamble said. “Every day he calls me to tell me that, that the game is getting closer.”
With preseason camp replaced by game preparation, Gamble likely doesn’t need Frierson’s daily reminders; the enthusiasm inside the program is palpable.
“It’s exciting. Words can’t even describe how we feel right now. We’re just ready to go out there, show what we can do and have a good season,” wide receiver Trevon Grimes said. “(The game) means a lot. Just showing we’re the best in the state, best in the country, going out there, dominating.”
Like Gamble, Grimes has numerous connections to those in Coral Gables. A former star at Fort Lauderdale’s St. Thomas Aquinas, Grimes ultimately enrolled at Ohio State over in-state offers from UF and Miami. While he ultimately opted to leave the state rather than commit to nearby Miami, Grimes remains close with many current ’Canes.
“I actually have a lot of friends on Miami. A couple of them, one of my best friends in high school goes there now, Mike Harley, he’s a receiver,” said Grimes.
Despite the camaraderie between Grimes and Harley, he acknowledged there’s been little time for pleasantries since the commencement of camp.
“I’ve talked to him four or five weeks ago, but now that the game is closer, I can’t give him those calls no more,” Grimes said with a laugh. “It’s very fun.”
When the clock strikes 7 p.m. and kick-off is underway, the smiles and laughs will dissipate. Many long-standing relationships will be put aside, albeit temporarily.
“I might find them in pregame, give them a little glare. Show them that we are coming out and we mean business. It’ll be exciting,” Grimes said. I’m going to go out there, see a couple of friends, but at the end of the day it’s business, and we are going to go out there and dominate.”