FOUR BITS: Okine, McElwain, Noah, Arnold

By Adam Silverstein
March 4, 2015

1 » Former Florida Gators defensive lineman Earl Okine signed with the Indianapolis Colts this week after spending time in both the Arena Football League and Fall Experimental Football League last season. Okine, who was picked up as an undrafted free agent by the Houston Texans last May, did not make the team’s regular-season roster. He picked up 28 tackles and 5.5 sacks for the AFL’s Orlando Predators.

2 » Florida head coach Jim McElwain made a statement with his 2015 recruiting class, proving that the Gators were not only able to close strong but also add some out-of-state commitments to the fold. Overall, UF locked up five players from the state of Georgia – including rising athlete Chris Williamson – last cycle after not grabbing a single Peach State prospect in 2014. McElwain this week told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Michael Carvell why he has made Georgia such a priority. “I think [it was due to a] couple things,” McElwain said of why UF had success recruiting the area. “There were pre-existing relationships with some guys on our staff who recruited the area in the past. That obviously helps. But for us, our thought is [to lock down] a five-hour radius around Gainesville. And with that being said, that goes up into Georgia, and that will be something that we’ll try to continue to make Gator Country.”

3 » Last month, introduced you to an anti-violence film produced by Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah. During Monday night’s game against Washington, Noah got into an altercation with Nene and explained to the Washington Post that the eight-minute documentary – officially released Monday – was a big reason why he did not escalate things with Nene. “I’m happy I kept my composure,” he said. “I was just trying to put out a video just a couple hours before the game about non-violence. And I’m trying to teach these kids big-picture, you know what I mean? So it wouldn’t have been a good look. Not today. Not today, you know what I mean? Not today.”

4 » Former Gators head baseball coach Joe Arnold will be inducted to the National College Baseball Hall of Fame, the organization announced Tuesday. Arnold, Florida’s coach from 1984-94, went 434-244-2 with UF, holding a 170-99 record in SEC play. He helped lead the Gators to eight NCAAA Tournament appearances including Florida’s first two College World Series berths (1988, 1991). UF also swept the SEC regular-season and tournament titles twice under Arnold (1984, 1988), picking up a third SEC Tournament title (1991) and two SEC East titles (1985, 1992) due in large part to his leadership. The two-time SEC Coach of the Year (1984, 1988) moved on from college baseball after the 1994 campaign and began managing minor league baseball for the New York Yankees, eventually moving into a scouting role with the organization. He returned to the college ranks in 2007 at Polk State but lasted just four years with the program. Arnold will join former Gators player Brad Wilkerson as the second member of the NCB Hall of Fame.

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