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College football around the state

By DEBI JONES, ANTONYA ENGLISH, Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 20, 2001


Chandler glad toget 5th year at UF

GAINESVILLE -- Florida's all-time leading scorer will watch the Gators' opening game against Marshall with his parents instead of on the field.

Kicker Jeff Chandler will not play as part of a deal to retain his fifth season of eligibility. Chandler kicked one extra point during his freshman season.

"It's like a bonus year for me," Chandler said. "I get to do everything all over again."

Placekicking is a strong point, but the Gators spent an hour on special teams Sunday trying to work out kinks with punting and long-snapping. Redshirt freshman Matt Piotrowicz and freshman Matt Leach, a Sarasota Booker graduate, are the top candidates for punter.

The Gators have two more days of two-a-day practice before classes begin Wednesday.

KRESSER WON'T CHOOSE SIDES: Eric Kresser has no favorite when Marshall and Florida open the season Sept. 1.

Kresser played three seasons as a backup quarterback with the Gators before transferring to Marshall, which is coached by former UF assistant Bob Pruett. Marshall won the Division I-AA championship under Kresser in 1996.

He's completing his master's degree at Florida and opts for diplomacy when asked to choose.

"I have a lot of friends at both places," he said.

In Huntington, W.Va., Kresser won the starting job over Chad Pennington, a sophomore who was redshirted that season. He later signed a free-agent contract with the NFL's Bengals and stayed with the team for three years.

"I never would have gotten to the NFL if I hadn't have gone to Marshall," Kresser said. "Marshall gave me a chance to show what I could do."

KENDRICK WAITS: Larry Kendrick, a running back from Haines City who has been practicing at defensive back, said he hasn't received a score from his college entrance exam. Kendrick is the third player in limbo over test scores. Miami Central offensive lineman Jonathan Colon has taken the ACT four times and has waited for results from his latest attempt for two weeks. Wide receiver Dallas Baker of New Smyrna Beach has received his score but has not been declared eligible.

INJURY UPDATE: Running back Willie Green has cartilage bothering his knee and may need it scoped, coach Steve Spurrier said. Other injured Gators include safety Daryl Dixon (strained hamstring), linebacker Travis Harris (shoulder contusion), wide receiver Taylor Jacobs (pulled groin) and linebacker Todd McCullough (concussion). ... Wide receiver Brian Haugabrook and fullback Rob Roberts may participate today after surgeries in the spring. -- DEBI JONES, ANTONYA ENGLISH, TIMES WIRES

Miami may lose Puckett for season

CORAL GABLES -- Miami backup center Scott Puckett, a fifth-year senior, will be out indefinitely with a right knee injury. Puckett suffered a slight tear of the medial collateral ligament in the knee last week. He will be evaluated again in three to four weeks, after which he may have surgery. Also, defensive end Jamaal Green participated in practice after missing almost a week with a strained knee ligament. -- TIMES WIRES

UCF's injured starters to return this week

ORLANDO -- All six of the starters who sat out Saturday's scrimmage -- cornerback Asante Samuel, linebacker Tito Rodriguez, center Mike Mabry, fullback Sean Gaudion and receivers Tavirus Davis and Jimmy Fryzel -- are expected back for practice this week. -- TIMES WIRES

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