Neil Blackmon

Neil Blackmon covers Florida football and the SEC for SaturdayDownSouth.com. An attorney and two-time graduate of the University of Florida, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America. He also coaches basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @nwblackmon.

Recent Comments
Appreciate this view, Kirby. It certainly is one that strikes me as money-driven. But I like it, in this one instance, where it's a tournament without the patrons.
At no point does the article state Gameday is on a par with the Masters. As a Georgian, that would be an almost sacrilege comparison. I do think that Gameday, like the Masters, is part of the fabric of American sporting lives. And I think in this one instance, where there are no patrons and the whole toon-a-ment feels weird, that this is a unique chance to combine two wonderful traditions. It's okay to disagree. As for your criticisms about the piece's turn to the south later- that's fine too. The Masters is something southern folks, especially Georgians, take great pride in hosting. Southerners also tend to unite around football. The merger of these two seemed an appropriate time to explore that intersection. Thanks for the comments as always. Appreciate y'all.
Not really addressing you, wde0012, but no, it is irresponsible right now to write about Auburn without mentioning the referee stories that have clouded 2 of their last 3 games with controversy. The way to approach that is to say-- yeah, say what you will about the refs-- but maybe pay attention to football first.
Moore played a game. He had 5 receptions for 16 yards and lost a key fumble.
Fantastic to read the comments from people who read the first two lines of the piece and the headline and decided this piece was 1) about the refs (it isn't!) or 2) suggested Auburn should be 1-4 (it quite literally made fun of that idea). But thanks for proving my point about "instant hot takes."
Thanks Nash! Agree on both the first two points. Young Hendo is going to be special. Trask may have some jitters/emotions but he's such a calm kid generally I think he will be fine.
It's so weird that UGA fans come on to articles about Florida and Texas A & M but rent free, i suppose.
In three games vs. Florida, Dalvin Cook ran for 480 yards and 3 touchdowns and added 81 yards receiving for a total of 561 total yards and 3 touchdowns. Seems like he was a problem.
Aggie, sorry I left out the word "full." I did not include the transitional class.
Because he quite literally fathered Florida for three seasons?
Huh? Fisher has been a thorn in Florida's side. I simply wrote about that storyline.
Right? Florida ranks third in the SEC in yards per rush (Alabama, Kentucky) this season. Florida ranks 2nd in the SEC in rushing success rate (Alabama). "They can't run the ball" is actually false.
Lol yes Whittemore is - quoting Gonzales from media availability last month- “a guy with elite speed.”
As for Pitts, as Nash said-- really the only TE comparable is Freiermuth. Maybe Brevin Jordan, who is really good but simply didn't have the guy to get him the ball consistently last season. There's a reason that Pitts is a preseason All-American in the on virtually every credible list and I think it is a fair take to call him the best TE in the country.
Jerry Jeudy. Dalvin Cook. CJ Henderson. Pat Surtain Jr, etc, etc, etc. As Urban Meyer once said, "The guys who play prep football in south Florida are battle ready. It's why we prioritize the area." The word on Henderson is that like his big brother, he will be ready to play from day one.
LSUMC- I think this is true, excepting Pease, who was awful and clearly had little to do with what Boise did and does well schematically. Weis was "excellent," per Brissett AND Driskel, and in fact that's probably the best job for Charlie Weis. He just didn't want to be in Gainesville. And the decision to hire Pease was crushing. I still think McClendon is a heck of a football coach- at least as an assistant. Was surprised they changed directions. Bobo will be interesting. If he's "Georgia Bobo" and it is run-first downhhill, paly action stuff, it could jive philosophically with Will. But Will constantly micromanages and has never changed.
They might. As I wrote, waivers concerning the pandemic are new because the courts are not yet equipped to answer the questions posed. Courts may refuse to enforce waivers if a business’ actions were against public policy. Currently, Connecticut, Louisiana, Montana, and Virginia refuse to enforce waivers. So in the case of LSU, for example-they can't use waivers. That probably ends the SEC debate over waivers period. But it's tough to say. In Kentucky, it would be just as you said.
Thanks, Nash. The answer to this depends on a number of factors, including but not limited to the language of any waiver and the law of the state where this occurs. I don't think "how and where" a person became infected would matter much so long as it they were infected playing football. Assuming players are functionally quarantined, engage in virtual learning only and are confined with one another on and off the field, it would be less difficult to prove. And of course in civil court in most states you'd just need a "propenderance" of the evidence to show this is how the player became ill. The better questions for me are: what impact do waivers have on players as a labor force: i.e. are they employees? And two-- if schools have different protocols and protections for athletes-- what justifies that legally? In other words, can students who don't play football and get sick sue the school because they lack the protection of other "students." It's a tricky spot. What we're seeing now is that some customer-facing businesses, such as salons and gyms, are requiring employees to sign waivers due to the fear that they can be targeted for liability and negligence lawsuits. If employees are sickened by COVID-19, they generally cannot waive their workers’ compensation benefits or employee benefits based on "Assumption of risk." I think this is an interesting debate with college players: because courts (in rejecting their ability to form unions and demand wages, despite the revenue they generate)-- have constantly said players aren't "employees." Waivers cannot apply to gross negligence, or willful or intentional conduct. Both federal law and the law in every SEC state requires that employers provide a safe and healthy work environment. If businesses force employees to sign a waiver before coming to work, then the waiver could be viewed as a way for businesses to circumvent their duties. If college players are "employees", then they have rights that are different than we've ever previously thought of before, and waivers are less likely to work. If they aren't (and remember, they have never been), the better lawsuits are going to say "X Player was a college student-- Y university was grossly negligent" in playing football during a global pandemic.That might seem unfair to the school-- but remember waivers are usually rejected if they are "contrary to public policy" and in Georgia and South Carolina plaintiffs can argue the waiver can't be enforced if it is "contrary to reasonable morals." So I think you get lawsuits no matter what.
Trask started as a 2 star in the first service to rate him-- Rivals. He became a composite 3 only after committing to Florida. He referenced this story late last season after the South Carolina game.
LOL Dawgs of War is my favorite. You know Florida leads the all time series by double digits, right? As a Georgia fan, I know you are well-schooled in lecturing Florida folks about why "all time series" leads matter... :)
I'm sure the State trusts their reporting that South Carolina was the lone school to push for rivalry games, despite the Gamecocks being the lone school that would almost certainly lose such a game. My editors trust my reporting, which is that both Florida and Georgia strongly pushed to keep the games, with Stricklin and McGarity both leading those charges. After it became clear they did not have the votes, both university presidents voted for the 10 game schedule in the interest of obtaining unanimous agreement. Nonetheless, officials in both athletic departments confirmed this account to me.
looked like they did last night that's for sure
Great points, yankee. Agree with that take immensely.
What should be most concerning is replacing the four wide receivers. Outside of Copeland and Grimes, that's a really thin room.
Henry's numbers just pale compared to Townsend, respectfully. Dawson- a good nickel that wasn't one of Florida's best four DBs. Heard a lot of (Fair) shots for Easley too. He had a great season but Howard's career production was better, even though Easley's career was basically railroaded by injuries.
It is weird that Florida went to another prestigious bowl after being told all year how bad they were on this here website.