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Around the state

By Times staff writers, Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 4, 2002

UF likely to change at OT

GAINESVILLE -- Sophomore offensive tackle Mo Mitchell likely will start Saturday against Mississippi, Florida coach Ron Zook said Thursday.

Mitchell missed almost two weeks because of personal reasons, but saw significant playing time against Kentucky Saturday. He replaces senior David Jorgensen, who hinted that he would quit the team after the Kentucky game.

Jorgensen has since said he will remain with the Gators.

"I'm not worried about starting," Zook said. "I'm worried about five guys that are playing who gives us the best opportunity to be successful."

REDSHIRTS STILL INTACT: Zook has not decided if freshman receivers Kenneth Tookes and Reggie Lewis will redshirt. Both will dress for Saturday's game. Zook said senior Daryl Dixon probably will redshirt. Dixon, a free safety, missed all of spring drills after shoulder surgery in January.

OTHER INJURY UPDATES: Defensive end Darrell Lee (fractured right shoulder blade) has continued to make progress. He participated in individual drills against the tight ends. ... Linebacker Larry Kendrick, who had worked on kickoff returns this season, has not recovered from a MCL strain in the Ohio game on Sept. 14.


USF hones in

TAMPA -- South Florida practiced for two hours in its final preparation for Saturday's game at North Texas.

"We focused on regular practice," coach Jim Leavitt said. "We have a great challenge ahead and we are ready to go. We practiced all we can and have to go play a game now."

ONE MAN OUT: Freshman linebacker Stephen Nicholas, who did not travel to Oklahoma last weekend, will not travel to North Texas because of injury. Nicholas hurt his ankle before the Oklahoma game and it continues to hamper him. "He has been banged up with his ankle," Leavitt said. "That ankle is not coming back. He is pretty rough now. He can't play, that ankle is gone." Nicholas, who had two tackles, one for loss, in the first three games, is expected to apply for a medical redshirt.


Awaiting Coker's decision

CORAL GABLES -- Coach Larry Coker says he'll make a decision before Saturday's game on the tight end position, where Kellen Winslow Jr., the starter, was working with the second team this week. He is the son of pro Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow.

If Winslow does not start, freshman Eric Winston will make his first start.

Fullback Kyle Cobia's start Saturday against Connecticut also is in jeopardy because of unspecified violations of team policy.

Cobia worked with the second team Thursday. Coker said he will decide Saturday between Cobia and Quadtrine Hill.

Cobia entered the fall as the starter but sprained a joint in his leg in the first practice. He returned Sept. 14 at Temple after missing the first two games. Hill, a converted tailback, filled in and started Miami's first four games.

Miami will be without guard Sherko Haji-Rasouli, an Outland Trophy candidate, who has a sore left knee.


UCF to welcome QB Culpepper into Hall

ORLANDO -- Daunte Culpepper, whose electrifying play at quarterback lifted Central Florida into prominence, will be inducted into the school's Athletics Hall of Fame today.

Culpepper, starting for the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, is one of three pro athletes to be honored. Joining him are two-time Super Bowl participant Shawn Jefferson and PGA Tour winner Robert Damron. Rounding out the induction class are kicker Scott Ryerson, volleyball player Renata Menchikova and baseball player Tim Foskett.

Culpepper was an unanimous selection for inclusion in his first year of eligibility. He played at UCF from 1995-98 and set more than 30 school records and three NCAA records.

This year's class brings the number of members to 22.

Also, UCF starting tailback Alex Haynes suffered no serious damage to his right ankle against Liberty last weekend and is listed as questionable for the Oct. 12 game against Western Michigan.


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