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Thursday, December 09, 2021

The Mailbag: Andre DeBOOM, role reversals and flea-flickers galore

We’re back at it again with another edition of The Mailbag. We don’t want to delay you from the awesome submissions this week, so let’s get right to it.

@zachmoller: You have to choose one player from UK to start for the Gators. Who?

C’mon, Zach, you have to hit us with harder questions than that one. The answer is simple: La’Rod King, Kentucky’s leading receiver. King ranks 64th in the nation in receiving yards per game, and has 226 yards and three scores on 14 receptions this season — that’s twice as many as Florida’s top wide receiver, Deonte Thompson.

King was solid last year as a sophomore, too. He had more touchdowns (five) than any of the Gators’ options in the passing game, and would have been second in receptions, just two behind Thompson.

@dolfan0516: What is Tyler Jett’s Twitter handle?

This is a topic of much heated debate. Well, not very heated, but it has caused quite a confusion in the Twittersphere. Tyler Jett (the football writer and columnist) can be found on Twitter at @Tyler__Jett. Notice the double-underscore in the name.

There’s another Tyler Jett out there, one who isn’t a student at UF. He happened to claim the handle @Tyler_Jett — with just a single underscore, before our Tyler had the opportunity to do so. Plenty of people have tweeted at this Tyler Jett in attempts to get a hold of our Tyler, including Gators linebacker Dee Finley.

It happens, but now that you know the difference, don’t let the mistake happen again — we’re starting to feel bad for the other Tyler and all the inadvertent tweets he is receiving.

@bourbonmeyer: Can someone please confirm for us all... Is it Andre DEE-Bose or DOO-Bose?? #knowledgeforlife

Like Tyler’s Twitter handle, this one is up for debate, too. Coach Will Muschamp, to the best of our knowledge, has always referred to No. 4 as Andre DOO-bose. However, we believe the proper pronunciation is neither DEE-bose nor DOO-bose, but rather Duh-bose.

But, like Muschamp, we aren’t going to say the name right, either. Instead, we think Andre DeBOOM has a better ring to it after the wide receiver de-cleated Tennessee’s Jacques Smith. Yeah, we’re sure you all remember watching the generously listed 5-foot-11, 191-pounder using the hit stick on the Vols’ 6-foot-2, 255-pound defensive lineman on replay in The Swamp.

@AlligatorArmy: Which Gators football player would be the best Alligator writer? Vice versa? Which Gators sport is likeliest to win a nat’l title?

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First off, props for squeezing three questions into 140 characters. That takes talent.

Now, the best player for the rigorous and soul-sucking job of Alligator writer is a tough call. It may very well be Dan Wenger. Not only is he an intelligent guy who plain gets it, but Wenger has the all-important ability to criticize himself — an important attribute in any writer worth his or her salt. 

As for the most likely to make the team as a walk-on from the Alligator staff, first we must weigh our options. Matt Watts is flat out too old, and we’re pretty sure his eligibility ran out in 2002. Greg Luca has the smarts to compete, but he’s going to have to hit the weight room pretty hard to hold his own out there. Tom Green has the girth to hold the point of attack, but there are concerns about his conditioning. Not to make this an all-Tyler Jett edition of The Mailbag, but he has what it takes. Jett played in high school, and he’s really tall, so there’s that. Plus, his intangibles are off the charts.

And...we’re going to go with lacrosse. Yeah, bet you didn’t expect that one.

@miggiesmalls: Will Florida ever play an out-of-state, non-conference road game in the future?

Not likely. There isn’t any incentive for the Gators to travel outside of Florida for that type of matchup. Their schedule is plenty difficult playing in the SEC, and the annual showdown with Florida State provides an extremely solid and dependable top-tier (usually) non-conference opponent.

Even then, Florida could theoretically do away with the ‘Noles game and still be fine. The SEC Championship Game is essentially a play-in for the national title. Until the landscape of college football changes dramatically, and the SEC is no longer the king of the hill, then Florida’s schedule will likely stay very similar.

@PhilipGaryTalks: I’m still hoping for a “Pump and Go”...any chance?

Sorry, Philip, but the days of Danny Wuerffel, Rex Grossman, and even Chris Leak and Tim Tebow, are long gone. The Gators’ best chance to get the ball more than 20 yards downfield the past two seasons has been on flea-flickers.

Before the 83-yard catch-and-run to Chris Rainey against Tennessee, two of John Brantley’s longest passes came on trick plays — and both were lucky completions. Quinton Dunbar had to come back almost 10 yards to catch Brantley’s flea-flicker heave against UAB, and Rainey had to do the same on a similar play against Vanderbilt last year. 

Not only do the Gators not have the talent at receiver to beat people vertically, we’re not sure certain Brantley can’t throw it accurately. Until proven otherwise, keep pinning your hopes on Rainey and Jeff Demps — they won’t let you down.

Submit questions for next week’s mailbag on Twitter: @alligatorSports

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