Four Gators Selected to All-Freshmen Team

Joe Haden

University of Florida cornerback Joe Haden, linebacker A.J. Jones, offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey and safety Major Wright have been selected to the Coaches' Freshman All-SEC team, the league office announced on Thursday. The four selections garnered by the Gators are their most since placing seven on the conference's all-rookie team in 2003.

Haden ranks sixth on the squad and second among freshmen with 57 tackles. He is also third on the team with 37 solo stops and leads the Gators with 10 pass deflections. Haden started in the first 11 games of the season before suffering an ankle injury that kept him out of the regular season finale against Florida State. Haden became the first true freshman to start at cornerback on opening day in UF history, after converting from a high school quarterback and wide receiver last spring. Haden turned in his best performance of the year at Kentucky with a team and career-high 13 tackles, 10 solo, including a pass break-up. He snagged his only interception of the season at LSU, jumping a slant route on the Tigers' first offensive possession. The honor marks the second of 2007 for Haden, after being named to the Sporting News All-SEC Freshman Team last week.

Jones appeared in all 12 games for the Gators in 2007, ranking eighth on the squad in tackles with 33 total take-downs. A consistent contributor, Jones also served on special teams' as a member of the kickoff squad. He reached his career mark for tackles twice in 2007, with six stops in the Auburn and Florida Atlantic contests. Jones earned two and a half tackled for loss, highlighted by his first career sack against South Carolina.

Pouncey has appeared in all 12 contests for the Gators in 2007, starting 11 at right guard. He became the first true freshman ever to start in the season opener on the offensive line in the win over Western Kentucky. In his true freshman campaign, he has helped block for an offense that averaged 462.0 yards per game, including 197.7 yards on the ground and a school-record 37 rushing touchdowns. With this selection, Pouncey earns his third award, adding to his Sporting News All-SEC Freshman Team pick and Rivals.com First-Team Freshman All-American accolades.

Wright ranks fifth on the squad and first among freshmen with 58 total tackles. He has appeared in all 12 games, starting six, despite suffering a mid-season thumb injury that required surgery. Two of his three forced fumbles on the season came in back-to-back contests against Ole Miss and Auburn. Wright also served as a member of the kickoff squad, totaling seven stops on special teams. His top performance of the season was at LSU, recording 11 tackles in only his second career start. Wright has also been named a Rivals.com Second-Team Freshman All-American this year.

Ninth-ranked Florida (9-3) will take to the field again on Jan. 1, 2008, when it will meet Michigan (8-4) in the Capital One Bowl at 1 p.m. in Orlando. The game will be televised nationally by ABC Sports. The Gators (9-3) will be making their 17th-straight bowl appearance, which ranks first in the SEC and third in the country.

Courtesy UF Sports Information

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