The winner of the match up will play for the first ever Gator on Gator championship later in the week. We have had a great deal of fun doing this and have learned a lot about Gator Greats from the past. Some come check it out.
Here is the Fightin’ Grayhound’s line up followed by G.O.A.T…
FIGHTIN’ JGRAYHOUNDS OFFENSE
All SEC Seasons – 12
All America Seasons – 3
SEC Rings – 20
NCAA Rings – 5
When you have, arguably, the greatest player in modern college football history, and that same player is also the best leader in history, then you build the team around that player. When that guy is a 240lb battering ram of a QB who also completes 66% of his passes, has a career passer efficiency rating of 170.97 (2nd best in NCAA history, best in SEC history), racked up over 12,000 yards of offense (rush and pass), and has 145 career TDs (SEC record for rush TDs)- then you run a balanced spread option. Tebow is the perfect spread option QB, and when paired with a great RB this offense is next to impossible to stop. Earnest Graham is precisely that RB. The 5th leading rusher in UF history was versatile and punishing as a RB and takes some of the load off Tebow and keeps defenses from cheating to him on options and runs. A featured dimension of the S-O offense is shovel passes to a TE…who better to run those plays than Aaron Hernandez? He and Tebow ran those plays to perfection for 3 seasons together, all the way to both being All-Americans and Hernandez earning the Mackey Award (the only Gator in history to win). Added to the backfield weapons is perhaps the most versatile RB in UF history: John L. Williams. JLW was a deadly weapon running the ball or receiving (and even led UF in KR yardage in 1982). His total yardage is 6th all-time in UF history, his rushing yardage is 10th all-time. He can block for Graham in short yardage, or form a deadly 1-2 punch when going to a more traditional running game. The possibility of him (or Graham) slipping out of the backfield for passes spreads defenses out very thin.
QB – Tim Tebow – 3x All-SEC, All-American, 2X SEC Champ, 2X National Champ, 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, Freshman All-SEC in 2006; 2009 William Campbell Award (“Academic Heisman”), 2007 O’Brien winner, 2007-2008 Maxwell winner, 2008-2009 AP National Offensive Player of the Year, 2007-2008-2009 SEC Offensive Player of the Year, 2007 CBS National Player of the Year, 2008 Manning Award winner, 2008 Wuerffel Award winner, 2008 Wooden Cup winner, 2007-2008 Sullivan Award winner, 2008-2009 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 3-time Academic All-American team, 2009, NFF Scholar-Athlete Award.
Owns five NCAA, 14 SEC and 28 UF records…Threw for 9,285 yards and 88 touchdowns in his four seasons at Florida, while also gaining 2,947 yards on the ground with 57 rushing touchdowns, both school records by a Florida quarterback… Is the only quarterback in school history to have rushed for 100 yards in four games…Owns the SEC record for rushing TDs (57), and total TDs (145), as well as rushing yards for a QB (2,947)…is the all-time UF leader in total yards (12,232) and TD responsibility (145)… Pass efficiency rating of 170.97 is the best in SEC history and 2nd in NCAA history.
Career Stats (UF rank): 661 completions (5th), 66.4% completion percentage (1st), 170.79 Pass Efficiency rating (1st), 9,285 yards (4th), 88 TDs (2nd), 1.61 INT percentage (1st – best); 692 rush atts (3rd), 2,947 yards (6th), 57 TDs (1st)
RB – Earnest Graham – SEC Champ, One of only 7 Gators to have rushed for 1000 yards in a season, rushing for 1,085 in 2002. 5th in UF history in rushing yards (3,065), 4th in rushing TDs (33), 3468 Total Offense yards is 6th in UF history (non-QB).
FB – John L. Williams – SEC Champ, 10th in UF history in career rushing yards (2,409), 3,232 Total Offense yards (2409 rush/863 rec)is 7th in UF history (non-QB). 3rd most career catches by a UF RB.
The WR group is impressive as a whole. There are only 9 Gators in UF history to have 1000 yards receiving in a season – 3 of them are on this team. Green is the speed WR that can get down the field, run reverses, and return punts. Jackson and Caldwell are ultra-reliable and super-fast themselves. This is the perfect set of WRs for Tebow to destroy defenses with…when you add in Hernandez as the outlet for short passes, as well as a matchup problem for LBs, the passing game is top notch.
WR (PR) – Jacquez Green – All-SEC, All-American, 3x SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, member of the UF All-Century Team; finalist for the Biletnikoff Award (97); caught 61 passes for 1024 yards and 9 TDs in 1997; 1 of only 9 Gators to have 1000 yards receiving in a season; 23 career TDs (7th), 19.3 yards per catch (2nd), 2181 career receiving yardage (8th); as a Punt returner: 4 career PR TDs, most in UF history, 3rd most PR yards in UF history.
WR – Darrell Jackson – All-SEC, 1999 3rd team All-American; in 1999, had 67 catches for 1,156 yards and 9 TDs; had 3 TDs in the SEC Championship Game (99); semi-finalist for the Biletnikoff Award; 1 of only 9 Gators to have 1000 yards receiving in a season; career numbers: 97 recs, 1501 yards, 14 TDs. SEC Honor Roll.
WR (KR) – Reche Caldwell – SEC Champ, semi-finalist for the Biletnikoff Award; in 2001, caught 65 passes for 1,059 yards and 10 TDs; 1 of only 9 Gators to have 1000 yards receiving in a season; Career numbers: 141 receptions, 2088 yards (1 of only 11 Gators with 2000 career yards), 18 TDs, total yardage (Rec/Rush/KR/PR) 2292.
TE – Aaron Hernandez – 2009 Consensus All-American, 2009 Consensus All-SEC; Mackey Award Winner (only Gator to win this award); in 2009, 68 rec, 850 yds (led SEC TEs), 5 TDs; career numbers: 111 rec, 1,382 yards, and 12 TDs. Most catches by a TE in UF history. National Champ (08). SEC Champ (08).
A spread option offense needs a great OL, and that is precisely what we have on this team. All 5 OL were First-team All-SEC performers, with 4 of the 5 receiving some sort of All-American honors. It all starts with a heady C that can make all the calls and lead the line. Bromley was the leader of the greatest OL in UF history, and serves the same role here. On either side of him are 2 mean All-SEC SOBs at OG who can pave the road for this running attack. The All-SEC OTs can pass block or run block (and are also mean SOBs), and with Green at RT we know Tebow’s blind-side will be covered.
LT – John Durden – All-SEC, 1989 Honorable mention All-American; Fergie Ferguson Award Winner (1989).
LG – Jim Watson – 2X SEC Champ , All-SEC, 1992 2nd-team All-SEC, 2-time Honorable mention All-American (92,93). James Kynes Award Winner (93).
C – Phil Bromley – SEC Champ, 1984 Consensus All-SEC, 1984 2nd-team All-American; anchor and leader of “the Great Wall of Florida”.
RG – Donnie Young – 2x All-SEC . 4x SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, 2nd team All-American (96). Jacobs Trophy Award Winner, semi-finalist for the Outland Trophy (1996); James Kynes Award Winner (96); 1996 Team Captain.
RT – Reggie Green – All-SEC. 3X SEC Champ (93,94,95); James Kynes Award Winner (95).
FIGHTIN’ JGRAYHOUNDS DEFENSE AND SPECIAL TEAMS:
All SEC Seasons – 15
All America Seasons – 4
SEC Rings – 18
NCAA Rings – 3
I want a fast, aggressive defense where the front 7 puts pressure on the QB and forces turnovers with a ball-hawking secondary. The FJ’s do just that. 10 of my 11 defensive starters were first-team All-SEC players, with the 11th being a 2-time 2nd teamer. Studs across the board.
The front seven is versatile enough to play a 4-3, 3-4, or even drop a LB back to play as an extra safety. It all starts with the defensive ends, both Consensus All-Americans. Carter and Richardson are 2 of the top 6 in career sacks in UF history…with 48 sacks, and 93 TFLs between them. Richardson can drop back and play OLB when needed as well. The key to a good DL is strength up the middle, and the FJ’s have 2 All-SEC guys there as well (McGrew and Newton). They provide run-stopping and the ability to make plays from the DT spot. At LB, athleticism and ferocious hitting is the name of the game. The OLBs feature 2-time All-SEC Tim Paulk and All-SEC LB Fee Bartley. Devastating hitters that can make plays (Paulk had 4 kick blocks in his career) and cover TEs and RBs. In the middle is a tackling machine, with Gator career tackles leader David Little.
DE – Kevin Carter – All-American, All-SEC, 3x SEC Champ; 21.5 career sacks (6th in UF history) and 42.5 tackles for loss (9th in UF history); in 1994, he recorded 11.5 sacks; member of the UF All-Century Team and the 100th Anniversary Team.
DT – Reggie McGrew – All-SEC; NCAA Champ, SEC Champ.
DT – Tim Newton – All-SEC, SEC Champ
DE – Huey Richardson – 2x All-SEC, All-American, 26.5 career sacks (3rd in UF history) and 50.5 tackles for loss (4th in UF history)..
OLB – Tim Paulk – 2x All-SEC, SEC Champ.
MLB – David Little – All-American (80), All-SEC, 475 career tackles (1st in UF history).
OLB – Ephesians (Fee) Bartley – All-SEC; SEC Champ (91).
This secondary is full of “ballhawks” and great players. Both CBs were All-SEC players and are numbers 1 and 2 on the career UF pass break ups list. Lott is also 4th in forced fumbles. Both CBs were 4-year starters and won 7 SEC titles between them. Whatever mistakes they may make (unlikely) will be covered up by “the Eraser” (All-American FS) and the epitome of a “football player”, Guss Scott (2nd in career forced fumbles), at SS. All 4 players are remembered for HUGE plays in UF history. Lott is best remembered for his crucial TO call vs. UGA that saved a win. He also had a 88yd INT return for a TD in 94 against LSU. Kennedy had a 44-yd TD INT return as a freshman to change the game against Tennessee (1991). Guss Scott had 2 INT TD returns, the biggest was the 47-yarder against UGA in 2002 to win the game. Reggie Nelson’s 70-yd INT return for a TD against Bama in 2006 was a game-sealer and set us on the path to a national title.
CB – Anthone Lott – 2x All-SEC, 4X SEC Champ, NCAA Champ , 42 career pass break ups (1st in UF history), 7 career forced fumbles (4th in UF history).
CB – Larry Kennedy – All-SEC, 3X SEC Champ, 39 career pass break ups (2nd in UF history).
S – Reggie Nelson – All-American (2006), All-SEC, National Champ, SEC Champ.
S – Guss Scott – 11 forced fumbles (2nd in UF history).
Fightin’ JGrayhound’s Special Teams:
Berj Yepremian’s mustache alone could win games, but he was Mr. Reliable in the late-70s with the 2nd highest FG pctg in UF history (82.9%). Edge was an athlete playing punter (remember the fake punt in the SEC Championship Game?) – as a 4-year starter he was solid his entire career averaging 42.5 ypp while garnering tons of post-season honors.
K – Berj Yepremian – All-SEC, 2nd highest FG percentage in UF history (82.9%) (29 of 35 FGs), also 98.2% (56 of 57) on XP (3rd in UF history), 4 career FGs of 50+ yards (2nd most in UF history).
P – Shayne Edge – All-SEC, 3x SEC Champ, 2X, 2nd team All-American (91), . 3rd in most career punts (182), 5th in career average (42.5).
KR – Reche Caldwell (w/ John L. Williams)
PR – Jacquez Green Tied for most punt returns for a touchdown in his career at UF
G.O.A.T. (Greatest of all Time) OFFENSE
All-SEC Seasons: 13
All-American Seasons: 3
SEC Rings: 12
NCAA Rings: 4
What you will find from my offense is that I went with straight up flash and dash except for the monster offensive line that will allow the flash and dash to happen…
Rex Grossman is my quarterback, the guy with the single best passing season in Florida history. I have two thousand-yard rushers behind him. My receivers and tight end were pass catching and touchdown record machines. My offensive line is loaded with size except for that one guy that can keep it together, my grandfather, who played for the Gators back in the day (tugging any heart strings here?) and was a huge team guy and still does everything he can with and for the Gators.
Here is a backfield for the ages…
Grossman has the swagger to make things happen with anyone else on the field with him and his backfield is a double threat of 1,000 rushers and record setters. Mike Gillislee finally showed when he was given the chance that he could carry an entire offense against the best defenses in the country, his 2012 season was probably only a surprise because he wasn’t given much of a shot before that season. He was also an adapt pass catcher. My fullback is the best running fullback in Gator history (with all due respect to John L. Williams), a guy that has the third best rushintg season in school history and only behind the NFL career rushing leader Emmit Smith.
QB – Rex Grossman - All-SEC, All-American, SEC Champ, 2001's Heisman runner up (everyone knows he should've won it) , holds the NCAA record for yards per play in a single season, 9.1 (2001) and most TD passes combined by a freshman and sophomore, 55, 5th all-time in Gator history in total yardage (9,040). 4th all-time in TDs responsible for with 83. 2nd all-time in yards per play (7.4, Danny is #1 with 7.8). #1 all time with 17 300-yard passing games, and this is without a senior year, folks. 3rd all time in passing efficiency with 146.77. 4th all-time with 77 TD passes.
Grossman could sling it with the best of them and was great on his feet as well.
RB - Mike Gillislee - All-SEC, first Gator RB to go for 1k on the ground since 2004, ran for over 100 yards five times in 2012.
FB – Jimmy Dubose – All-SEC, SEC player of the year, third most yards in a season (1,307) in Gator history, the most ever by a senior, .
You won’t find a trio of receiver types on one team that did more in their short time on campus than that of the G.O.A.T. Jabar Gaffney was without a doubt the most productive receiver in school history for two consecutive seasons before he left for NFL riches after his sophomore season. Ike Hilliard may have been the stealthiest of all receivers in Gator history and certainly had his share of ankle breaking cuts with the ball in his hands (see the 1997 NCAA Championship game), Kirk Kirkland was under-utilized until his senior season when he lit things up and had the best season ever at the time by a tight end in school history. It is a group of receivers that will be hard to cover even with the best of defenders.
WR - Jabar Gaffney - All-American, 2x All-SEC, SEC Champ, 8th on UF career receptions list (138), 2nd in UF career receiving yards (2,375) and only played for two seasons, had the 4th and 5th most receiving yards in a season at UF as a freshman and a sophomore, 27 career touchdowns is fourth in UF history and only four behind the career leader, most 100 yard receiving games (14) in UF history, again in two seasons.
WR - Ike Hilliard – All-American, All-SEC, 3x SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, school record for scoring in a bowl game (against Florida State in NCAA game), owns longest reception for a TD in bowl game (vs. FSU 1995), second in Gator history in career touchdown receptions (29), has UF record four TD receptions vs Tennessee (’95), tied for third in school history with eight 100-yard receiving games, second in school history in touchdowns per reception ratio (4.34)
TE – Kirk Kirkland – All-SEC, SEC Champ, 2nd most receptions in a season 55 and a career (82) by a UF tight end.
The G.O.A.T offensive line is perfect for the pro-style attack I will attack with. Mo Collins and Crawford Ker were parts of two prolific offenses with Collins a part of the 1996 National Championship high flying team and Ker a member of the Great Wall of Florida and that 1984 team with all of those first-round picks. Steve Rissler was a key component to the 2006 NCAA Championship and part of one of the most prolific offenses in school history. He showed his versatility as a guy that led the line with two totally different style of quarterbacks behind him in Chris Leak and Tim Tebow… not much more you can ask for from the only guy to touch the ball on every snap. My guards are the rugged team player types. Cheston Blackshear was a three year starter for an offense that had to continue to find it’s identity after a guy named Wuerffel left the team. Finally, I went with my heart and drafted my grandfather William Burke, the ultimate team player who was a part of the first gator team to make a bowl game during his career 1951-1954. You could say he helped get it all started.
LT - Mo Collins - 2x SEC Champ, NCAA Champ.
LG - William "Bill" Burke - Member of UFs first bowl team (Gator Bowl victory over Tulsa) Was an assistant OL coach for the Gator freshman team (extra points for being bull’s grandfather).
C - Steve Rissler - All-SEC , SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, Only the eighth true Frosh to start on the OL in school history
RG - Cheston Blackshear - 2xSEC Champ, NCAA Champ , three year starter. Fergie Ferguson Award (1999).
RT - Crawford "Big Daddy" Ker - SEC Champ 1/5 of the famed "Great Wall of Florida"
Could bench 515lbs.
All-SEC Seasons: 12
All-American Seasons: 6
SEC Rings: 16
I built my defense around my defensive line. This is a sack master type of defensive line and one of the better attributes about it is their ability to play different positions along the line. At linebacker I wanted guys that absolutely punished ball carriers. I think I did that with my group. The same with my secondary, I wanted some good size but with a big time safety back there to clean things up when they get messy up front.
My defensive line has no weakness. They are stalwart against the run, but if you try and pass on them they will get your quarterback. In their time on campus, this group of linemen were as disruptive as any for you will find out there.
LE – Derrick Harvey - SEC Champ, National Champ, he is 3rd all-time in tackles for loss (TFLs) with 51.5 in 3 years, 9th in school history with 20.5 sacks in his career, 11 sacks in a season is good for 5th all-time, His 25.5 TFL in 2007 is good for second all-time in school history.
NT - Ellis Johnson - All-SEC, All-American, 3x SEC Champ, CNN National Defensive Player of the Year, Ellis is 11th in (TFL) and from the DT spot with 36.8, tied for 6th in school history in forced fumbles in a career with six, five of those came in one season which is good for second in school history.
DT – Trace Armstrong - All-American, All- SEC, Trace's only season at UF and from the DE position, he had 19 (TFL) which is good for 7th all time at UF and good enough for top 20 in a career.
RE – Alex Brown - 3x All-SEC, 2x All-American, SEC Champ, SEC DPOY, the number one sack artist in Gator history with 33 in his career, Most sacks in UF history in one season with 13, 7th all-time in Gator history in (TFL’s), 3rd in school history with nine forced fumbles, second in forced fumbles in a season with five.
Who could forget Brown’s five sack performance against Tennessee?
I went with ferocious and quarterback seeking linebackers. They all excel at blitzing and when they hot someone, everybody knows about it.
WILL - Alonzo Johnson - 2x All-SEC, 2x All-American, SEC Champ, he is 10th all-time in total tackles with 335, second all-time with 55 TFLs and 27 sacks. I would say he was our second greatest OLB ever.
MIKE - Johnny Rutledge - All-SEC, 2x SEC Champ. NCAA Champ, is 15th all-time in tackles, 16th in TFLs (only MLB ahead of him is Spikes by 1), 21st in sacks with 13 (#1 among Gator MLBs), and lastly he had 6 forced fumbles which is good enough for Top 5 all time.
SAM Monty Grow - 3xSEC Champ, Grow's defensive statistics are hard to come by, but I'm sure everyone remembers this hit on WVU QB Darren Studstill. Monty aka "Hit stick" was a mean SOB with no sunshine in his life.
G.O.A.T went with some size at cornerback with Tony George and Dee Webb, sturdy guys that can also play the run well. At safety, we went with speed and instincts. The star of the secondary is Teako Brown who made a career out of picking off quarterbacks.
CB - Tony George – All-SEC, 2x SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, tied for second longest interception return in school history (89 yards vs. Tennessee (’97)
CB - Dee Webb – All-SEC, as a sophomore and junior he had double digit passes defensed (10, 12).
FS - Teako Brown – 2x All-SEC, 2x SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, second in career interceptions at UF with 14.
S - Shea Shower – 4x SEC Champ, NCAA Champ, played corner and safety at Florida as a very versatile player in the secondary.
G.O.A.T> SPECIAL TEAMS
It is doubtful that anyone can match the special teams prowess of this unit. The Kicker won the award for the best player at his position in America. The punter leads UF in several career punting categories. The return man is maybe the most decorated return man in Gator history and maybe the best special teams player ever to suit up in Orange and Blue.
K - Judd Davis - All-SEC, All-American, 3x SEC Champ, Lou Groza Award Winner, at the time he graduated he was the top scorer in school history and came to Florida as a walk-on.
P - Eric Wilbur- 1st in career attempts at UF, 3rd in career average (42.9) at UF, 3rd best season average (44.8) done in his freshman year, 2nd best game average (50.7) with 7 punts vs. UGA in 2003, 1st in career yardage (9,900) more than 155 yards then the next guy,
KR/PR - Brandon James- 2x All-SEC, 2x All-American, 2x SEC Champ, 2x NCAA Champ, was the 2008, Special teams Player of the year, 2nd in UF history in total yards gained (4,770), The top three most kickoff returns in one season in UF history and the most in a career by almost double (112-57), Highest career kick return average (24.3), Most career punt returns in school history (117), most PR yards (1,371), Most career PR touchdowns (4).
So there you have it. The two teams left in the final playoff before the championship.
Please take a couple of minutes and follow the link here and cast your vote for the team that would win this match up.