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College football around the state

By ANTONYA ENGLISH, ALEX ABRAMS, Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 22, 2001


Mom says UF's Mitchell will be back

GAINESVILLE -- Despite facing a six-game suspension and possible legal troubles, Florida defensive end Clint Mitchell is trying to clear his name and return to the team, his mother said.

"He wants to be back; he expects to be back," Claudia Mitchell said from her home in Clearwater on Tuesday evening. "He certainly wants to be cleared and be a part of the football team again. He's working hard on his grades and getting himself ready in order to be back. He has been pretty devastated by this girl's complaints. It's been pretty hard on him. He's pretty much hung around his apartment and not done anything."

Mitchell, who did not want to be interviewed, is suspended "until at least midseason," Florida coach Steve Spurrier said. The Gainesville state attorney's office is investigating an alleged sexual assault complaint against Mitchell.

"I have no idea (where the investigation stands)," Claudia Mitchell said. "I haven't heard a thing. We're hoping it will be settled soon and he can get back to practicing with the team."

HIGH MARKS: Holding a copy of his passing ACT score, Jonathan Colon stood and watched his Gator teammates practice Tuesday afternoon as he prepared to join them today.

After more than a year, four attempts and three contested scores, Colon earned a 20 and is scheduled to practice today. The 6-7, 280-pound offensive lineman said he hopes to play this season.

"I'm in shape physically, it's just when you get in those pads you've got to get in football shape with the extra heat and extra weight," Colon said. -- ANTONYA ENGLISH

RB moves to thin WR spot

TALLAHASSEE -- Freshman running back Willie Reid, 18, practiced with wide receivers to get adjusted to running passing routes. With a lack of depth at wideout, the 5-10, 175-pound Reid could see time at receiver.

"Number one, the guy (Reid) looks like he can play there," coach Bobby Bowden said. "Since we're going to use our tailbacks a lot when we go to four wideouts, then all of those tailbacks become receivers and he is probably the most gifted of them."

IRON TOUGH: Freshman Paul Irons has been getting work as the first-team tight end because of injuries to Carver Donaldson (pulled groin) and Matt Heinz (left hip flexor/abdominal strain). Irons, an offensive lineman in high school, was recruited as a fullback but was moved to tight end this summer.

PRIME-TIME TALK: Former FSU standout Deion Sanders spoke to the team for 30 minutes before morning practice. "You got to really compose yourself and just be able to speak words of wisdom because they (FSU players) are very impressionable," he said.

SURGERY NEWS: Wide receiver Robert Morgan had successful knee surgery Tuesday morning to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Otis Duhart also had surgery Tuesday on a lateral tibial fracture in his right knee. -- ALEX ABRAMS

USF to test depth

TAMPA -- With a first-ever Thursday night game for South Florida on Aug. 30 at Northern Illinois, the Bulls began game-week preparation.

Coach Jim Leavitt plans to put his team through a final scrimmage today. He said he will use it to look for depth and might keep several starters out of repetitions. -- TIMES WIRES

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