tampabay.com

Gators' Caldwell not afraid to dream big

Andre Caldwell expected to be gone by now.

By ANTONYA ENGLISH
Published July 27, 2007


HOOVER, Ala. - Andre Caldwell expected to be gone by now.

"Three years and I was going to be out of this place," the Florida receiver said Thursday.

But a season-ending broken leg two years ago changed everything. Now as the Tampa native prepares for his senior year, Caldwell is dreaming of his biggest season yet.

Among his goals: 100 receptions, 1,000 yards, double-digit touchdowns, and possibly a trip to New York in December. Remember, those are goals, not predictions.

"I dream of stuff like that," he said. "My goals I write down are hard to reach. One hundred catches is something I've got written down. I try to break records, not by the skin of my teeth, not by a little bit, but by a lot. Hopefully (the Heisman) is another goal, too. I don't want to be just average, I want to be a great player."

The desire to prove he's among the best in the nation is part of what led to Caldwell's return. A projected third-round pick at the end of last season, he decided to come back to try for another national title and improve on the 57 catches for 577 yards last season.

STAYING NEUTRAL: SEC director of football officials Rogers Redding said Thursday he and commissioner Mike Slive will discuss possible guidelines in the wake of questions raised about SEC official Wally Hough, a former UF lineman and former president of the Putnam County Gator Club.

SEC rules prohibit officials from working games of their alma mater, but does not address school club affiliations.

"I'm concerned about some of those issues," Redding said. "One of the great things about these guys is that many of them are from SEC schools. We make sure that they don't work games for their schools, but we need to be a little more diligent and make better judgment about how much they play up their alumni relationships."

Redding said Hough probably won't be asked to give up his role as president of the club, and he is not being accused of any wrongdoing.

"We just need to get the guys to be cognizant of the perception that can entail," he said.

CRITICAL PRACTICES: With a mostly inexperienced defense and fighting the urge to rest on their laurels after last season's national championship, UF coach Urban Meyer said he'll get a good idea very quickly of what type of team this will be: based on the way they practice. The way a team practices, Meyer said, directly reflects on how it performs on Saturday.

"Football is the most difficult, combative sport there is," Meyer said. "If you don't love the game, your team's going to be really bad and you'll lose on the road. You'll have situations come up where, yeah, it's hard. ... I don't know if our team is a great practice team yet. Last year's team was a great practice team. So was the 12-0 (Utah) team. Not a good one, a great one. The year before, (UF) was a very poor practice team, very poor, and it showed when it got real hard."

Meyer said this year's training camp "is going to be really hard."