Cowboys WR Amari Cooper placed on COVID list, will miss Week 11 game vs Chiefs

The Cowboys’ WR1 could also miss the Thanksgiving rematch against his old Raiders team. | From @ToddBrock24f7

The Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott will be without one of their most lethal weapons when they travel to Kansas City for their Week 11 game. Wide receiver Amari Cooper has been placed on the team’s Reserve/COVID list, according to the team website.

The timing of the roster move means he will definitely be ineligible to play Sunday. And due to the short week before the Thanksgiving Day game, Cooper is in serious jeopardy of also missing that contest, in which he was to face his old Raiders team. Cooper’s vaccinations status, which is not known, could even impact his availability for the Cowboys’ Week 13 game in New Orleans.

Cooper is currently second on the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. As one of the few current Cowboys players who has experienced a game at Arrowhead Stadium, Cooper had just this week shared with his teammates some tips for dealing with the challenging and noisy environment.

“It is different than other spots. It gets pretty loud there,” Cooper said. “It is going to be a challenge for us, definitely with the noise.”

“It just depends on how well you can handle it as a team. I think we’ve been handling it pretty well as a team, especially with Dak recognizing the blitz, being able to get into the right situations and get the ball off on-time and stuff. We’ve been handling it well. I don’t think we’ve played a team that’s just blitzed as much as they do, so again, it’s going to be another challenge for us from that aspect as well.”

CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and Cedrick Wilson will now be the top three pass-catching targets for Prescott in what is expected to be a high-scoring affair.

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Khris Bogle continues to be a valuable rotation player for Florida

Bogle isn’t starting right now, but he’s seen action in every game so far in 2021.

Name: Khris Bogle

Number: 8

Position: Outside Linebacker

Class: Junior

Height: 6’4″

Weight: 242 lbs

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

High School: Cardinal Gibbons

2020 statistics:

TOT SOLO AST SACK FF FR
27 11 16 4 1 0

Overview:

Bogle was one of coach Dan Mullen‘s first major recruiting wins, and it came over the sport’s greatest coach in Nick Saban. Bogle committed to Alabama the January of his senior year, but on National Signing Day, he announced that he’d be flipping to Florida.

A four-star recruit and top-100 player, Bogle saw early action as a true freshman, playing in all 13 games as a rotational linebacker/BUCK player. He totaled 17 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

Bogle was expected to play a rotational role again in 2020, but a season-ending injury to Jeremiah Moon led to him starting four games at BUCK, and he had a career-high 27 tackles with four sacks and a fumble recovery.

He was expected to be a key member of the rotation once again, and while the bulk of the playing time has gone to Moon and Brenton Cox Jr., Bogle has still appeared in all seven games and has 14 tackles to go with a sack.

Bogle has never quite had the impact he was expected to coming out of high school, but he has been an important and reliable member of this defense since arriving on campus.

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Australia product Jeremy Crawshaw looks to become next great Gators punter

Punter Jeremy Crawshaw looks to become college football’s next great punter to hail from Australia.

Name: Jeremy Crawshaw

Number: 26

Position: Punter

Class: Redshirt Freshman

Height: 6’4″

Weight: 193 lbs

Hometown: Emu Plains, New South Wales, Australia

Previous School: ProKick Australia

Twitter: @jeremy_crawshaw

2020 statistics:

PUNTS AVG LNG YDS TB IN20 NET
2 49 50 98 0 1 49

Overview:

Originally from outside of Sydney, Australia, Crawshaw is the next in a long line of punters from the land down under that have broken through in college football in recent years. Discovered by ProKick Australia, Crawshaw was a two-star recruit rated as the No. 9 punter in the 2020 recruiting class.

Crawshaw early enrolled at Florida as a true freshman last season, but he found himself as the backup to redshirt senior Jacob Finn. The only action Crawshaw saw was in the Cotton Bowl loss to Oklahoma, when he had two boots for an average of 49 yards.

After the 2020 season, Finn announced that he was transferring to Virginia, clearing the way for Crawshaw to start in 2021 as a redshirt freshman.

He’s been Florida’s primary punter through the first five games, and he’s attempted 15 punts for an average of 45.3 yards so far in 2021. He has three touchbacks and six punts downed inside the 20 this season.

Crawshaw hasn’t been amazing, and it’s clear UF’s specialists have taken a step back since the days of the Townsend brothers and Evan McPherson. Still, Crawshaw is a talented punter who should be a solid starter for the next few seasons.

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Avery Helm surging into a starting role in his second year

It was a bit surprising when Helm was named the starter opposite Kaiir Elam, but he has held the job down through the first three weeks of the season.

Name: Avery Helm

Number: 24

Position: Cornerback

Class: Redshirt Freshman

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 180 lbs

Hometown: Missouri City, Texas

High School: Fort Bend Marshall

Twitter: @FMB_Helm

2020 statistics:

TOT SOLO SACK FF INT PD
1 1 0 0 0 0

Overview:

A four-star recruit in the 2020 recruiting class from Fort Bend Marshall High School in Missouri City, Texas, Helm was expected to be a bit of a project player. He was only the No. 24 corner in the nation coming out of high school, and he was the third-highest rated defensive back Florida signed in the class.

He didn’t see much action as a true freshman in 2020, appearing in just one game, Florida’s loss to Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. With a number of starters sitting out, UF gave a lot of opportunities to younger players like Helm in that game, and he earned a tackle.

Helm entered the 2021 season expected to be a rotational player in the secondary, but those plans changed when projected starter Jaydon Hill was lost for the season with a knee injury in camp. Helm won the starting job opposite Kaiir Elam over true freshman Jason Marshall, and though he’s had to deal with some learning curves as a redshirt freshman, he does have five tackles and a pass deflection through three games.

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Patience paying off for Rick Wells in his sixth season

Wells is making an impact on the field after a difficult start to his Florida career.

Name: Rick Wells

Number: 12

Position: Wide Receiver

Class: Redshirt Junior

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 200 lbs

Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida

High School: Raines

Twitter: @Rick_Wells3

2020 statistics:

REC YDS AVG TD LNG
12 120 10 0 20

Overview:

Wells was a three-star recruit from Raines High School in Jacksonville coming out of high school, and he was the first player to join the 2016 recruiting class under then-coach Jim McElwain. Wells held firm on his commitment, and he eventually signed with the Gators.

The early part of Wells’ college career was marred by off-the-field incidents. He was arrested for an airsoft gun incident in 2016 before the beginning of the season, and he eventually redshirted after not appearing in a game that year. Then, he missed the entirety of his redshirt freshman season in 2017 due to his involvement in the credit card fraud scandal.

Wells was internally disciplined in the summer of 2018 for another airsoft gun incident that involved five of his teammates, as well, and he only made one catch for 10 yards as a redshirt sophomore despite appearing in 10 games, mostly as a reserve receiver and on special teams.

It was largely the same story in 2019. Wells was suspended for the season opener for unknown reasons, and despite playing in nine games, he only boosted his catches from one to two for 27 yards.

The 2020 season, however, was when things finally started to go right for Wells. Though he was buried on the receiver depth chart by Kadarius Toney, Trevon Grimes and Jacob Copeland, he still had the best season of his career, by far. Appearing at receiver in 10 games, he totaled 120 yards on 12 catches.

Wells understandably took advantage of the extra year of eligibility allowed to players due to COVID-19, and he returned in 2021 for his sixth year in his biggest role yet.

2021: Through three games, he already has seven catches for 82 yards, and he caught the first touchdown of his college career in the season opener against Florida Atlantic. Though he’s still a backup, he’s one of Florida’s primary rotational receivers, and he should be in store for a career year during his final campaign in the orange and blue.

Video:

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Veteran Amari Burney will face some competition in 2021

Burney is set to start the opener this weekend, but linebacker is set to be a competitive spot for the Gators in 2021.

Name: Amari Burney

Number: 2

Position: Linebacker

Class: Senior

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 230 lbs

Hometown: St. Petersburg, Florida

High School: Calvary Christian

Twitter: @amari_burney

2020 statistics:

TOT SOLO SACK FF FR INT PD
52 30 2 0 0 1 2

Overview:

A four-star recruit from St. Petersburg, Burney committed to the Gators in June before his senior year of high school, and he signed with the team during the early signing period in December of 2017. He began his career as a defensive back, and saw reserve action on defense and a lot of time on special teams as a freshman, when he totaled 12 tackles and a sack.

Burney moved to linebacker ahead of his sophomore season, and he played in eight games with three starts, also seeing some action at the STAR linebacker safety hybrid position. He had 37 tackles, a fumble recovery and notched his first career interception.

Burney entered the 2020 season expected to be one of Florida’s key contributors on defense, but he saw his role diminish a bit. He appeared in every game, but started just four of them. Still, he reached a career-high in tackles with 52 and sacks with two.

Entering the 2021 season, Burney is listed as a starter at linebacker alongside Ventrell Miller. But he could be pushed by Mohamoud Diabate, who has been very impressive during his Florida career, and Ty’Ron Hopper, who enters his third season and was a role player last year.

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Back from injury, Trent Whittemore is ready to breakout

The Gainesville native is primed to have a breakout season after last year’s campaign was cut short.

Name: Trent Whittemore

Number: 14

Position: Wide Receiver

Class: Redshirt Freshman

Height: 6’4″

Weight: 211 lbs

Hometown: Gainesville, Florida

High School: Buchholz

Twitter@trentt_whitt

2020 statistics:

REC YDS AVG TD
10 128 12.8 1

Overview:

Trent Whittmore grew up in Gainesville cheering for the Gators. Now he plays for UF and is coming back from a broken rib and punctured lung as a redshirt freshman.

Whittemore returned from the injury last season to play in the Cotton Bowl, but he didn’t reach 100 percent until the summer. Healthy and ready to contribute, Whittemore will be a big part of the receiving core with Jacob Copeland and Justin Shorter.

Coming out of high school, Whittemore thought he’d play safety, but the Gators liked him more as a receiver. The three-star prospect converted without hesitation and now looks to be Emory Jones‘ man in the slot. Whittemore has learned behind guys like Kadrius Toney and Freddie Swain and says he’s ready to put his spin on things.

At 6-feet-4-inches and 211 pounds, Whittemore is a more physical receiver than the Gators normally feature in the slot. Rick Wells, Jacob Copeland and Xzavier Henderson will also get time at the position, but the rotation will help create situational matchups for the Gators.

If Whittemore stays healthy, he should be able to have a career year.

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Florida football’s future STAR might be Kamar Wilcoxson

Kamar Wilcoxson will be a difference-maker for the Gators’ secondary, but maybe not this season.

Name: Kamar Wilcoxson

Number: 26

Position: Defensive Back

Class: Freshman

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 200 lbs

Hometown: Lithonia, Georgia

High School: IMG Academy (Fla.)

Twitter@KamarWilcoxson4

2020 statistics:

TOT SOLO AST FR YDS INT YDS TD PD
3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Overview:

It took three separate commitments to the Gators to finally get Kamar Wilcoxson to Gainesville, but the redshirt freshman is now in a position to compete at the STAR position for Dan Mullen‘s team.

Wilcoxson de-committed from Florida in both 2019 and 2020 in one of the wildest recruiting sagas in recent Gators history. He made his third and final pledge to the Gators after rethinking his Tennessee commitment. From that point on it was all UF for the four-star recruit.

Originally part of the 2021 recruiting class, Wilcoxson reclassified and joined Florida in the fall of 2020. Before redshirting in his freshman year, Wilcoxson appeared in the Missouri game, collecting a tackle and a fumble recovery.

Wilcoxson hinted at an apparent injury on Twitter a week before the 2021 season, which could keep him out for much of the year. He was expected to compete for time at the STAR position behind Tre’Vez Johnson, but it looks like Jadarrius Perkins will take that backup spot in his absence.

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Ethan Pouncey is the latest of the family to start his Florida career

The Gators’ newest Pouncey is healthy and ready for action this year in the wake of Jaydon Hill’s inury.

Name: Ethan Pouncey

Number: 25

Position: Cornerback

Class: Redshirt Freshman

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 175 lbs

Hometown: Winter Park, Florida

High School: Winter Park High School

Twitter@EthanPouncey

Overview:

The Pouncey name means something at Florida and Ethan Pouncey is ready to add on to the family legacy. The former four-star cornerback and his brother Jordan, a receiver for the Gators, are the cousins of legendary Florida linemen Mike and Maurkice Pouncey.

Pouncey didn’t play a game in his first year due to season-ending hip surgery. With Jaydon Hill going down for the year with an ACL tear, Pouncey has a chance to fight for snaps. Coach Dan Mullen has mentioned Pouncey in a group of young players that could receive playing time as a result of the spot opening up. Even if he doesn’t play much, he has tons of eligibility left.

The concern with Pouncey as a recruit was that he didn’t have the size necessary to compete at the FBS level, but Florida’s strength and conditioning team has helped him bulk up over the summer. After bulking up, Pouncy could see some real development this year.

During spring camp, Pouncey showed flashes of speed and began tracking the ball well. If he can keep his skills consistent with the added weight, he could be the next Pouncey to go down in Gators history.

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A healthy David Reese could benefit the Gators linebacker core

David Reese is hoping the third time is the charm as he attempts to stay healthy this season.

Name: David Reese

Number: 4

Position: Linebacker

Class: Redshirt Junior

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 230 lbs

Hometown: Fort Pierce, Florida

High School: Vero Beach

Twitter: @DR4our

2020 statistics:

TOT SOLO SACK FF INT
3 2 0 0 0

Overview:

A four-star recruit out of high school, David Reese was recruited by Gators coach Dan Mullen as an athletic defender who could contribute to a team’s pass rush. Injuries have slowed down his career at Florida, but he looks to get back on track this season.

After redshirting in his freshman year, Reese tore Achilles and missed the entire 2019 season. He began to work on the field again in 2020 but his season ended again due to injury after appearances in just five games.

Reese has the length and athletics to be the hard-hitting linebacker Florida needed last year. Ventrell Miller is the closest Gator to being known as a big hitter, but that can easily be Reese’s role if he can fight for enough playing time. Figuring to be in front of Reese this year are Miller, Mohamoud Diabate, Amari Burney and Ty’Ron Hopper.

Reese’s older brother, Stewart, transferred to the team last year to reunite with Mullen and looks to be a leader of the offensive line. David is hungry to prove himself and earn some similar recognition if he can stay healthy.

“David has never been a sideline kid,” Reese’s mother said last year. “He hates being on the sideline. When he played basketball, he hated being on the bench. He is a hard worker, and whatever it takes for him to not have to be on the bench, he will do that.”

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