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Thursday Night Gator Links

Brandon Siler's draft status is up in the air according to an Orlando Sentinel.  The early-departed Gators' LB has high expectations, but where does he really stand in the eyes of the pro scouts who make these big draft-day decisions?

Siler could fall into any of the categories. He said Tuesday he feels as if he's a first-round pick and that he'll be disappointed if he's not selected in the first two rounds. Some NFL scouts, though, question whether he has the size to play inside or the coverage skills to play outside, and tab him as a fourth- or fifth-round pick.

"Teams have a lot of different opinions of Brandon," agent Tony Fleming said. "But he's going to measure up with the cream of the crop."

Some of his weaknesses, such as a mediocre 40-time and poor lateral movement (according to the draftniks) may have something to do with a knee injury he suffered during his time in Gainesville.  Brandon was a vital part of the Gators championship run, and showed to be one of the better linebackers in the country based on his talents.  Whether those talents transfer to the pro ranks we shall see; Until then, we're hoping for the best for Mr. Siler.

● Speaking of the draft, the official site of the San Fransisco 49ers has a very nice writeup on former Gators' DE Ray McDonald.  Ray, who had two knee surgeries during his college career, may be on a few teams' radars this weekend.

Projected to go anywhere from the second to fourth round, McDonald is approaching his future NFL football career much differently than when it came to choosing a college.

"I'm a fan of every team in the NFL right now," said McDonald. "Honestly, it wouldn't even matter to me where I go. Usually by now, I'd be playing spring ball, so I'm just ready to get back to playing football."

Yet again I'll say good luck to Ray this weekend.  While he may not be coming in as first-round material for the NFL, I still think he's worth taking a chance on for teams looking for some depth on the defensive line.

● Gators' WR Jarred Fayson had knee surgery today to remove bone chips from the left-knee area.  While no surgery should be considered "minor," the time for recovery is fairly minimum: three to five weeks.

Fayson is projected to be a big part of the Gators' offensive production in 2007.  This injury should not have any effects on this prediction, but it is still something that will need to be watched over the course of the season.

● Stewart Mandel recently posted his Spring Power Rankings for college football.  The Gators came in at #3 on the list.

● Ah, Spurrier.  In a recent Gamecock Club Meeting, the Ole' Ball Coach returned to old form -- taking little shots at rival schools.  This time it was FSU, despite the fact that he never saw too much success against the boys in Garnet and Gold.

Spurrier was 5-8-1 against Florida State, the Gators' traditional opponent in their regular season finale. He never beat the Seminoles in Tallahassee.

"Back then FSU was pretty good," Spurrier said. "Almost everybody's beating them now. But they were pretty tough back in the early `90s, mid `90s and so forth."

HT to the SMQ.

● Gator Country has a nice write-up previewing the Gators' upcoming series with the #1 Vanderbilt Commodores on the diamond this weekend.

Go Gators!