St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Grossman, Jacobs staying at UF

Despite encouraging words from the NFL, the QB and receiver will return.

photo
[AP photo]
Gators quarterback Rex Grossman he will return next year to play under new coach Ron Zook. Grossman was the Heisman Trophy runner-up this season.

By ANTONYA ENGLISH, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 12, 2002


GAINESVILLE -- Ron Zook watched Florida quarterback Rex Grossman walk out of his office at about noon Friday, then picked up the phone and called his wife, Denise.

"We just got our first (recruit)," Zook said. "It's a big one."

Two days into the job, Zook and his staff have their biggest accomplishment, convincing Grossman and wide receiver Taylor Jacobs not to leave early for the NFL draft.

Grossman, the Heisman Trophy runner-up, and Jacobs, the Orange Bowl MVP, said Friday they will spend another season with the Gators, causing a sigh of relief among the new coaching staff.

"I am going to stay, and I am real excited about it," said Grossman, who will be a redshirt junior next season. "Don't think I wouldn't be here if I wasn't totally excited to be here and want to play another year of college football or maybe two more.

"I am real excited about the coaching staff and the players coming back. We can still accomplish all my goals next year." "I am not ready to leave Gainesville," said Jacobs, who will be a senior next season. "I think I have a great opportunity to make some big things happen.

"I like the situation that is coming to me now." Grossman threw for more than 4,000 yards this season, and Jacobs was one of his three primary receivers.

He had 10 catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns at the Orange Bowl.

Jacobs' return is crucial because Florida's other top receivers -- Jabar Gaffney and Reche Caldwell -- are entering the draft.

"I just became a whole lot better coach with those guys coming back," offensive coordinator Ed Zaunbrecher said. "I coach good players a whole lot better than guys that I have to teach how to play.

"That was a big key for us, and I'm very excited about it. It makes my first day on the job a whole lot easier."

Zaunbrecher, the offensive coordinator at Marshall for the past two seasons, runs a wide-open, passing offense. That was a factor in Jacobs' and Grossman's decisions.

"He is going to utilize what we have here -- all of our talents," Grossman said. "I think he is going to concentrate on the run as well. We are going to have a balanced attack, maybe throw a little more.

"But we are going to run the ball effectively, and that is a huge part of our offense. Obviously, Marshall was second (nationally) in offense, so that eases a lot of my concerns."

Both players said they stayed despite positive feedback on their NFL potential.

"They said mid first round to late second round," Grossman said.

"Anywhere in there, and that's a pretty big jump and a pretty big risk."

Jacobs said he was told he would be chosen between the late first and early second rounds.

Zaunbrecher and Zook said they didn't have to do much of a sales job. But Zook admitted he had no idea what either would decide. He was under the impression backup quarterback Brock Berlin would return until a friend called late Thursday and let him listen to Berlin on the local news announcing his decision to transfer to Miami.

"(Rex) came by my office at about 11:45," Zook said. "As he walks in the door, you're trying to judge by his emotions.

"The guy is a good card player, I didn't know what he was going to say."

Jacobs said he and Grossman talked about once an hour during the past few days, weighing their options and vowing to stick together.

Grossman said he varied from 90 percent sure he was leaving to 60 percent sure he was staying. "I decided that I love being a Gator, and I haven't accomplished all my goals," Grossman said.

"Hopefully, the NFL will be there down the road. I wanted to do both things. This is the only way I can do both."

Back to Sports

Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk

John Romano
  • Devoted

  • Gary Shelton
  • Bucs fighting off apparent deja vu

  • College football
  • Grossman, Jacobs staying at UF

  • Bucs
  • Dungy trying to shift focus
  • Fry Picks -- Wild card weekend

  • MLS
  • New England picks two from Mutiny

  • Colleges
  • Three problem solvers in one spot
  • Parity is upsetting the old balance of power
  • UF basketball brief

  • Lightning
  • Lightning to begin critical stretch

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report

  • Devil Rays
  • Rays individual game spring training tickets go on sale today at several locations

  • Et cetera
  • Sports in brief

  • Preps
  • Tampa Roundball Classic
  • Western Conference Division wrestling tournaments
  • Rams show Cobras how far they have to go
  • Foul shots clinch win for Eagles
  • Citrus blanks Lecanto, secures 2A-7's top seed
  • Mustangs not too young to win
  • Cowboys escape with 72-70 victory
  • Eagles cap rally with collapse
  • East Lake proves no match for Largo

  • Buccaneers playoff preview
  • 10 and counting
  • Barber's interceptions
  • Key plays of the season
  • Gimme Five
  • The no-holds-barred Eagles have a message for opposing offenses: Bring It On
  • Eagles fans are as tough as they come
  • Famous ahtletic twins
  • The No. 6 seed
  • Bucs Chat
  • Individual Playoff Records
  • On the Net: Even online, you can hear Eagles fans boo
  • Bucs playoff review
  • Players can bundle up and stay nimble
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Record in Games Played at 40 Degrees and Below
  • Offense still is hoping for the best
  • Staff predictions
  • The 'real' game should be hot
  • Bucs: Game-by-game
  • Rookie just says no to Jerri Curls
  • Profiling Steve White
  • The Top Line
  • Monte and Clyde


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts