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Thursday October 11, 2012The Weekly List: Family Ties

Chris Harry
By Chris Harry Senior Writer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Jordan Rodgers threw a bit of a scare into the Florida Gators last November.

The Vanderbilt quarterback twice drew the Commodores within a score of the Gators at Florida Field, thanks to a career high 297 yards passing, and made a nervous home crowd wonder if UF's second-longest winning streak against a Southeastern Conference foe might come to an end.

The Gators, however, held on for a 26-21 victory, the 21st straight in the series, dating to 1989.

Fourth-ranked Florida (5-0, 4-0) would love to make it 22 straight with Saturday night's date with Vandy (2-3, 1-2) at Dudley Field in Nashville, Tenn.

Rodgers is still there, by the way.  

And he's still the brother of Green Bay Packers quarterback and 2011 NFL Most Valuable Player Aaron Rodgers.

So in a salute to the Rodgers brothers -- and while we're at it, the news this week that Billy Donovan's son is now a walk-on member of the Gators basketball team -- our most recent list salutes 10 current UF athletes with some serious sports bloodlines.

Here's our 10:

[Note: It wasn't so easy keeping the number to 10]


Sydney Moss

She's a freshman on the women's basketball squad. You probably have heard of her father, Randy, who's merely caught 963 passes for 14,957 yards and 154 touchdowns, the second most in NFL history, over a 16-year career. He's most remembered for his days in Minnesota and New England, but this season Randy is playing with the San Francisco 49ers. Sydney, out of Union (Ky.) Boone County High, was named Kentucky's "Miss Basketball" after averaging 23.3 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 4.1 steal and shooting 52 percent from the floor as a senior. She capped her career by scoring 41 points in a state-playoff game. Moss figures to make an instant impact as a rookie for Coach Amanda Butler.


Isabelle Lendl

Her father, Czechoslovakian-born Ivan Lendl, was one of the most famous tennis players in the world during the 1980s and '90s, winning eight Grand Slam titles, including a trio of U.S. Opens. Isabelle, a senior from Goshen, Conn., swings a different weapon -- a golf club -- and as a junior tied the UF school-record with a low round of 66 in the NCAA Championship. She'll be be one of the best new Coach Emily Bastel trots out this season after winning the Dale McNamara Invitation in Oklahoma last month at 6-under.


Cody Dent

Some die-hard Boston Red Sox fans still curse Dent's famous father, the New York Yankees shortstop who broke their hearts in that epic one-game 1978 playoff to decide the American League East with a three-run homer at Fenway Park. Bucky Dent hit ninth in that game and came in with just 40 homers in a 12-year career. Cody is a senior infielder who started 24 games last year (most at third base) for a UF squad that went to the College World Series for a third straight year. Cody's twin sister, Caitlin, is a softball player at North Carolina State, the team the Gators defeated in a best-of-three series to advance to Omaha.

Sam Robey

He backs up center Jonotthan Harrison on the UF offensive line. His father played center, too -- for Kentucky's basketball team, that is. Rick Robey was a 6-foot-11 All-American for the Wildcats squad that captured the 1978 national championship by defeating Duke 94-88 in the NCAA final. Most remember that game for Jack "Goose" Givens scoring 41 points, but Robey scored 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds. Three months later, Robey was the third overall pick in the NBA Draft, taken by the Indiana Pacers, who traded him in 1979 to the Boston Celtics, with whom Robey won the NBA title in 1981 (alongside Larry Bird). Robey played with three teams over eight NBA seasons and scored 3,723 points.


Cody Riggs

The junior cornerback's older brother, Gerald Riggs Jr., rushed for 1,000 at Tennessee in 2004. Their father once scored two touchdowns in the Super Bowl. That would be Gerald Riggs, who was the ninth overall pick in the 1982 NFL draft out of Arizona State, by the Atlanta Falcons and went to the Pro Bowl three times and remains that franchise's all-time rushing leader with 6,631 yards. In '89, Riggs was traded to the Washington Redskins and two years later score four TDs in three postseason games, including two in Washington's 37-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI. Cody, the former standout from powerhouse Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, has started 14 of 28 games at Florida, but has been sidelined since breaking his foot Week 2 in UF's win at Texas A&M.


Bryan Cox Jr.

He's a defensive lineman, but his dad was simply one of the most volatile players in the NFL from 1991-2002 when he played with five teams, most notably the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and New England Patriots. Big Bryan won a Super Bowl with the Pats after the 2001 season. He's currently working as the front seven coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cox, who like Riggs starred at St. Thomas Aquinas, is a freshman who is likely red-shirting during the 2012 season.   


Tyler Thompson

An outfielder and career .280 hitter who has started 90 games the last four seasons, Thompson will be back for a fifth with the Gators this spring after receiving a medical redshirt 16 games into the 2012 season. By playing a fifth year, Thompson will come close to equaling half the 11-season career his father, Robby, enjoyed as a second baseman for the San Francisco Giants from 1986-96. The elder Thompson was a two-time all-star and Golden Glove winner in 1993. Oh, and Robby played at Florida before being picked by the Giants in Round 1 of the '83 draft.  


Erik Murphy

Erik Murphy is a pretty good basketball player -- and one of the best shooting big men in the nation -- but he'll have to do some really special things as a senior to leave the mark his father left at Boston College in the early '80s. Jay Murphy was a 6-9 power forward who averaged 14.6 points per game over his four seasons and still ranks sixth among BC's all-time scorers with 1,795 points and seventh in rebounding (763). He was taken in the second round of the '84 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, but did not make much of a mark in three seasons. Erik may be able to outlast his pop at the next level.


Tyler McCumber

Mark McCumber grew up in Jacksonville, so it was fitting that one of the 10 PGA tournaments he won during his career was The Players Championship at Sawgrass. His son attended Ponte Vedra Nease High, mere minutes from the TPC course, and won the state individual title for his team there as a junior. Last year, as a Gators junior, Tyler was one of just two UF players to compete in every round of the men's golf season. He carded four top-five finishes and led the team with a 72.8 stroke average.


Lindsey Cooper

Her brother was a pretty good receiver for the Gators a few years ago, but Riley Cooper gained just as much notoriety for being Tim Tebow's roommate. He's now a third-year pro with the Philadelphia Eagles (though he broke his collarbone this summer), so the Gator-ing in the Cooper family is now in the hands of Lindsey, a redshirt freshman for the UF soccer team who, like big bro, starred at Clearwater Central Catholic.


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