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50 For 50, No. 27: Florida's Relationship With ESPN Is As Fruitful As Ever

There are 26 days until Florida's football opener against Florida Atlantic on September 3. Check out Alligator Army's 50 For 50 series for more of our 50 reasons to be excited for Florida football in 2011.

If today's smorgasboard of ESPN coverage of Florida football — recapped in full at Only Gators and Scott Carter's blog at GatorZone, though we'll have some observations tomorrow — proved any one thing, it's that Florida's relationship with ESPN is as fruitful as ever.

Today worked primarily as fan service and a valuable bit of access for ESPN: Florida got a bunch of Gators fans fiending for football again, and The Worldwide Leader got access and information (of dubious import, but so be it) about one of the biggest brand names in sports. But do you think there weren't recruits watching today? That recruits didn't see the orange and blue all over ESPN? Here's what UF's program coordinator for recruiting, Mark Pantoni, tweeted about the day:

Great exposure today for the Gators on ESPN. That's what you come to Florida for

Athletes grow up dreaming of balling out on ESPN. If Florida can afford them that opportunity and the chance to show up on ESPN for doing nothing but practicing, that exposure angle is one heck of a recruiting pitch.