By KEITH NIEBUHR
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 14, 2001
ORLANDO -- South Florida offensive tackle Kenyatta Jones came to Orlando with something to prove. According to the 6-foot-4, 308-pound Gainesville native, that is exactly what he did.
Jones, a four-year starterfor the Bulls, started Saturday's classic and played most of the game.
"I had a good week and it was a good experience," Jones said. "I think I showed a lot of (professional) scouts that I can play with anybody."
WORKING OVERTIME: The player used the least in his college career among those on hand -- Florida State punter Keith Cottrell -- was the busiest Saturday.
Cottrell, an Orlando native who punted 48 times as a senior, had eight punts for a 48.2-yard average. Seven came in the first half, including one that went 64 yards.
"The Orange Bowl was the only time I've had more work," Cottrell said. "I thought it would be an adjustment (using the NFL football), but I ended up actually preferring it. I hit it really well."
WHO'S NO. 1?: The SEC, with 18 players, had more representatives than any conference. The ACC, C-USA and the Big Ten were next with 10 each.
FOREIGN FLAVOR: For the first time, the classic featured foreign-born players: Florida quarterback Jesse Palmer (Canada), Ohio State defensive end Brent Johnson (Canada) and Wisconsin placekicker Vitaly Pisetsky (Russia).
FAMILIAR FACE: Bucs defensive lineman Warren Sapp was in attendance. Sapp, who played at Apopka High, watched much of the first half on the Team Florida sideline with ex-Dolphin and HBO commentator Nick Buoniconti.
SPECIAL DAY: Sammy Hughes, a senior at nearby Oviedo High, was a guest at the classic and watched from the Team Florida sideline. Hughes, who played cornerback at Oviedo, injured his spinal cord during a game last fall and is in a wheelchair. He received an autographed jersey and was brought into the Team Florida locker room after the game to meet with players.
NOTEWORTHY: Palmer was 6-for-15 for 66 yards. He was hurt by a handful of dropped passes. FAMU wide receiver Jacquay Nunnally played sparingly for Team Florida and did not have a catch. More than two dozen NFL scouts attended. Many were in Orlando all week to scout players during practice.