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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Caldwell intent on full recovery
By Times Staff Writer
Published December 27, 2005
TAMPA - He hasn't played since Sept.17, and watching his teammates prepare for the Outback Bowl in his hometown is hard to take, but Andre Caldwell said Monday not to worry: He's well on his way back.
"I'm about 80 percent right now, and in about five or six more days I'll start progressing in my running and trying to get to 100 percent," the junior receiver said. "But I'm doing good. I've got no pain. I'll be fine."
Caldwell, the former Jefferson standout, broke his leg Sept. 17 against Tennessee, the third game of the season. He's out of his cast, well into his rehabilitation. He attended practice just to offer the kind of moral support he has been giving throughout the season.
But it's not easy.
A self-professed showman, there's nothing Caldwell would like better than to be able to play in front of his friends and family at home.
"It's a little frustrating being in my hometown, seeing a lot of family members and friends and not being able to go out there and play and practice with these guys, and help this team and try to put on a show in my hometown," Caldwell said.
Caldwell said Florida doctors have "just about promised" that he'll fully recover, including being able to run and cut the way he used to. He says he's about one week ahead of schedule on his rehab and plans to be "full-go" in the spring.
"I'm looking for big things next year, just go on and progress like I was," he said. "I want to make plays and put up big numbers and just be the best team out there."
FAST START: The 11-0 start and the No.5 ranking are impressive, at least on paper.
The men's basketball team's rise from unranked and unnoticed when the season began Nov.9 to unblemished and Top 5 today would make a great story.
There's only one problem. It's a little too early to write the ending.
So don't expect Billy Donovan to get caught up in the madness. In fact, Donovan isn't a big proponent of how the polls judge teams.
"I think I've learned a long, long time ago, I don't think the polls make a lot of sense," he said. "I don't know how we can be a team that's unranked six weeks ago to where we are. Us moving into the Top 25 I certainly thought was very justified, because we played against two teams that were ranked going into the season that a lot of people had expectations for and thought would be very good. So when we moved in at 15 or 18 or whatever, I get that.
"When Duke plays Texas, Texas shouldn't drop if they lose. They lost to the No.1 team in the country. So I think, by default, we've moved up. We moved in because we earned it. We moved up, by default in my opinion."
After their win over Miami last week, the Gators remained at No.5 in the AP poll released Monday and are off to the best start in school history.
HIGH (BASEBALL) EXPECTATIONS: Speaking of record-setting seasons, fresh off its best season in school history the baseball team is ranked No.2 in the Collegiate Baseball 's Fabulous 40 preseason poll released Friday; defending national champion Texas is No.1. The Gators finished 48-23 and were the 2005 NCAA College World Series runnerup. Florida returns 23 letter-winners, including seven position starters.
Twenty-five of UF's 56 games during the regular season will be against squads listed in the Collegiate Baseball poll.
--Antonya English covers Florida athletics. She can be reached at 813 226-3389 or firstname.lastname@example.org