Lined in the face during the Futures at Fenway doubleheader on Saturday, former Gators left-handed pitcher Brian Johnson was rushed to the hospital where he was diagnosed with multiple orbital bone fractures on the left side of his face but neither suffered a concussion nor lost consciousness. Johnson, who was selected with the final pick in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox, is currently playing for the Short-Season A Lowell Spinners, which said Sunday that he is out of the hospital already and in good spirits though he may need surgery after the swelling goes down.
In an effort to further publicize the game, which I've been told is nearly sold out at this point, the organizers of the Navy/Marine Corps Classic (which will feature Florida and Georgetown) are scheduled to announce this week a "big-name act" that will perform before the game as well as what station the contest will be carried on. Odds are that one of the ESPN networks will pick up the game, which I have been told is going to be scheduled in a way so that fans attending Gator Growl (set for the same day) will still be able to watch the contest on television.
Now having decided to test his skills overseas rather than fight tooth and nail for a roster spot this season, former Gators forward/center Vernon Macklin has chosen to sign with Gaziantep of the Turkish Basketball League. "Vernon decided to turn down three NBA camp invites," agent Greg Nunn told HoopsHype.com. "He feels he needs to play to showcase his talents and return to the NBA next year." Macklin was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft but barely played last season and did his best work in the NBA D-League. He was a member of the team's summer league roster but did not receive a qualifying offer from the team following the season or a new deal after they watched him in summer league.
In his press conference on Monday, head coach Will Muschamp announced that the team's first regular season depth chart will be released in exactly one week on Aug. 27 during game week. He also said that sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel (shoulder contusion) will continue splitting reps this week in practice but will have his injury reevaluated on Monday. It will certainly be interesting to see what time Muschamp's press conference is scheduled in relation to when Driskel's shoulder will be reevaluated on Monday.
New Denver Broncos wide receiver Andre Caldwell and Pittsburgh Steelers running back Chris Rainey each took big-time hits over the weekend in their respective preseason games. Caldwell was hit in the chest while coming over the middle and writhed in pain on the ground; however, X-rays taken after he returned to the locker room did not show any broken ribs so he was diagnosed with a contusion. Rainey was hit so hard that he was immediately brought to the back and tested for a possible concussion. He also escaped major injury as the team cleared him almost immediately and he returned to the field to participate another few minutes of game action.
Gators soccer officially began the 2012-13 season for the entire Florida athletics program on Friday when they hosted the Miami Hurricanes. It was unfortunately not a great start for the Gators as they fell 4-1 to their in-state rivals. Florida was outscored 3-0 in the first half and now must play three top-10 opponents on the road over the next two weeks before returning to Gainesville, FL.