2013 NFL Draft Good to Former Florida Gators; Floyd, Elam Selected in First Round

The 2013 NFL Draft was good to the Florida Gators. Good to the tune of eight former Gators selected in the first six rounds. And Florida wasn’t the only school celebrating its draft accomplishments. The SEC set a new record with 63 total players selected. Those of us that consider ourselves fans of the conference still chuckle when outsiders question the SEC’s dominance.

Sharrif Floyd - Minnesota Vikings

Kicking things off for the Gators–albeit later than expected–was defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd. Floyd–an early entrant–was once considered one of the few with a legitimate shot at being selected first overall. He wasn’t that high on every team’s board though and fell into the welcoming lap of the Minnesota Vikings at No. 23. A similar situation occurred just three years ago when Percy Harvin fell to the Vikings. Harvin was recently traded to the Seattle Seahawks, but had enjoyed a successful stint in Minnesota up to that point.

Sneaking into the first round with Floyd was another early entrant, safety Matt Elam. Elam couldn’t have fallen into a better situation; the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens selected him at No. 32. A first round talent, Elam could have been selected anywhere between picks No. 20 and No. 40 and no one would have been entirely surprised. As it stands, the Ravens feel they have found the perfect fit to fill the void left by Ed Reed who signed with the Houston Texans this offseason.

In the second round, the Chicago Bears selected linebacker Jon Bostic with the 50th overall pick. Bostic upped his game during his final season and pushed himself into a position where the Bears thought he was worthy of a second-round pick. With an NFL-ready body and superb on-the-field speed, Bostic could be the heir-apparent to former Chicago middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. Those are large shoes to fill, but the Bears will give him every opportunity.

The third round saw the selection of another early entrant. With the No. 85 pick, the Washington Redskins selected tight end Jordan Reed. There was some debate over Reed. While some thought he could improve his stock with another season at Florida, others believe he was selected where he would have been regardless of it being this year or next. Reed may be looked to early to bail out Robert Griffin III when the dynamic quarterback is pushed out of the pocket.

The Miami Dolphins made quite the splash beginning in the fourth round. The new-look Phins may have become many an orange and blue fan’s favorite team after they selected three former Florida Gators. Linebacker Jelani Jenkins was selected by Miami in the fourth round and was followed by running back Mike Gillislee and kicker Caleb Sturgis in the fifth.

The Gators’s run would come to an end in the sixth round when the Jacksonville Jaguars selected safety Josh Evans No. 169 overall. Evans ended a run of three Gators selected in six slots from picks 164 to 169.

Having eight players selected is nothing new for the Gators–just as recently as 2007 and 2010, Florida saw nine players picked–but it’s a great accomplishment all the same. Consistently putting players in the NFL–or at least preparing them to be drafted into the league–is something recruits notice. Not that Will Muschamp and the Gators need help in the recruiting department, but this is just one of many things that leads to top classes.

With the draft coming to an end, we closed the book on another season for the Florida Gators. The overall picture proves it to be a successful one. We can think of two very clear down moments that resulted in the ‘2’ in the 11-2 record, but the past season was one to build on. With that, we wish the newest NFL employees luck and remind them that once a Gator, always a Gator.

Jelani Jenkins Declares For NFL Draft; LB Becomes Fourth To Leave Florida Gators Early

In a somewhat surprising move, Florida Gators’ redshirt junior linebacker Jelani Jenkins has declared his intention to enter the 2013 NFL Draft. Jenkins joins fellow early draft entrants safety Matt Elam, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and tight end Jordan Reed.

Jelani Jenkins - Florida Gators

Though not lacking in potential or talent, Jenkins’ announcement is a bit of a shock because he could be deemed as the one of the four that would most benefit from another season with the Gators. Jenkins career wasn’t derailed by injuries, but they did slow his development at times. He came to the Gators as an all-world recruit, considered one of the better high school defensive players in the nation, but leaves with some feeling of “what if.” What if there hadn’t been a coaching change during his Florida career? What if he had been 100% healthy? What if he had played from day one? And what if he came back for one more season?

Jenkins is likely a mid-round pick as many teams might not believe they’ve seen enough to take him in the early rounds. He could be a sleeper if still available in the later rounds.

We’ll most remember Jenkins for one glorious moment that bailed the Gators out of possible disaster when he returned a block punt against Louisiana-Lafayette, sealing a Florida victory.

Matt Elam, Sharrif Floyd Head To NFL; Florida Gators Say Goodbye To Two Stars

Even if we did see this coming, the sting is still real. Florida Gators’ junior safety Matt Elam and junior defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd have both announced they will forgo their senior seasons and enter the 2013 NFL Draft.

Matt Elam - Florida Gators

Eventually, there will be many things to smile about when looking back at the Florida Gators’ season. For the immediate future, we’ll only remember the Sugar Bowl loss, but when we come around and are ready to celebrate the 2012 season for it’s high points, Elam and Floyd will be among them.

Both came to Florida with great expectations and both left fulfilling them, using the hire of head coach Will Muschamp to springboard their success. Elam was an All-American as a junior and Floyd collected All-SEC honors. They both would have surely liked to have ended their Gator careers better, but neither can be blamed for testing the NFL waters either. Both are potential first-round draft picks and it’s hard to imagine either falling past the second round.

Elam was the spark to the defense in both 2012 and 2011. When there was little to celebrate during the 7-6 2011 season, Elam played like he was on fire. He was a vocal leader on the field and, although frustration could be seen rising from time to time, he played as an example to others. Elam’s reckless style earned him some unwanted penalties on occasion, but it also made him the player he was. Just take a look at the 2012 victory over the LSU Tigers as an example.

Floyd could be described as a little bit of a slow starter, but most defensive linemen are (ignore that Jadeveon Clowney character at South Carolina). Playing at one of the most difficult adjustment positions when it comes to learning the game at the college level, Floyd was moved from inside to outside and back again. He improved tremendously over the course of his career and was a dominate player wherever he lined up. We should be watching Floyd for years to come at the next level.

As Elam and Floyd make the next step in their football careers, we wish them the best of luck. Once a Gator…

Monday Morning Driskel: Florida Gators Thoughts After Win Over The LSU Tigers

Another win, another new Florida Gators feature at The Bull Gator. The name is inspired by our quarterback Jeff Driskel and Sports Illustrated’s Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback, which discusses a plethora of topics concerning the week’s NFL games. We hope to do something similar, but on a minor, more pertinent-to-us level. Don’t worry, it won’t be nearly as long.

And another happy week in Gatorland.

Apologies for the fact that its Tuesday. Pink eye is the culprit.

If I were to tell you that six weeks into the season, Florida would be sitting undefeated at 5-0, AND Florida State would already have one loss despite beating Clemson, I doubt you would believe me.

But that’s just where we are. It’s almost funny. The Florida Gators, whose fans thought the Gators were facing a sure-loss against LSU and could be sporting a losing-record right now, is undefeated. The Florida State Seminoles, whose fans seriously thought of the year as “Championship or bust,” has suffered another tremendous setback in its loss to North Carolina State.

Oh, and as a pleasant bonus on the side, Georgia was blown out by a South Carolina team that looks increasingly-ferocious every week. Of course we have to play the Gamecocks, but we’ll enjoy the Georgia loss for the moment.

Back to our game. Many may have thought the game was ugly–and it would have been three years ago in the Urban Meyer-era–but Florida’s win Saturday over the then No. 4 LSU Tigers was a thing of beauty. It was a testament to the new era, one of down-hill running and stifling defense that Will Muschamp is bringing about as the new style of Gators Football.

What Happened

The defense gave us the chance to win the game: Enough credit cannot be given to the defense this week, as they truly and completely man-handled an LSU offense that is usually not one to laugh at. The defense made the Tigers’ offense look so bad that it looked like what the opening game’s Bowling Green’s offense should have looked like. The Tigers only had 200 yards of total offense, and the Gators made one of the most-feared running backs, Spencer Ware, look pedestrian, as they held him to only 21 yards. Florida wouldn’t have had a chance to win this game without the defense performing the way it did.

Mike Gillislee is a work-horse running back: Gillislee, who carried a career-high 34 times and added 146 yards, showed us something that perhaps we didn’t know before: Gillislee can carry the Florida offense by himself. And that’s just what he did. He scored the only two touchdowns of the game for either team.

Florida proved that it is a much better team than we thought: I doubt most of us thought Florida would be this successful to this point in the season. It’s actually a very refreshing surprise. It’s almost like Auburn and the magic of Cam Newton.

The game was taken from LSU: After trailing 6-0 at halftime, the Gators continued their trend of comebacks that are looking more and more impressive every week.

The receivers didn’t do much: But they didn’t need to. Jordan Reed led the Gators with 30 yards, which pretty much sums up that the Gators didn’t do much passing on Saturday. Luckily, they didn’t need to. The running attack led the charge.

The offensive line continued to show that it’s much better than last year: The O-line gave up a lot of sacks in the first half, but they recovered nicely. The line had their way with an injury-depleted Tigers’ line in the second half, and were responsible for Florida’s success on the ground. Also new was the new formation, “God’s play”.

Jeff Driskel’s participation: Driskel didn’t do much to win the game, but he did have a first down-earning play to allow the Gators to run out a good portion of the clock. Driskel was responsible for a few of his sacks in the first half and showed some qualities of a first-year starter, but he didn’t lose the game for the Gators. And that is something that I think we can live with, knowing that Driskel is continuing to improve.

Offensive Most Valuable Player

Running back Mike Gillislee: Gillislee couldn’t have been much better. He dominated the game and none of his carries resulted in a loss.

Defensive Most Valuable Player

Safety Matt Elam: Elam showed proved his case as the best safety in the NCAA. He led the Gators with seven tackles and looked like the strongest player on the field, despite the fact that he is an undersized safety.

Special Teams Most Valuable Player:

Punter Kyle Christy: Christy’s booming punts were the main reason the Gators won the field-position battle.

Play Of The Day

Matt Elam tackles anything in sight: Louichez Purifoy was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Florida Gators 14 – LSU Tigers 6; Mike Gillislee, Defense Lead Gators To Victory

Normally, putting your first points on the scoreboard with only 5:15 remaining in the third quarter of a game would mean doom…unless, you’re the Florida Gators. The Gators wouldn’t score until late in the third, but that first touchdown would give them the lead for good against the LSU Tigers. With the 14-6 win, Florida moved to No. 4 in the AP Poll and No. 6 in the Coaches’ (but more on that later).

Mike Gillislee - Florida Gators

Like any good Florida fan, I was nervous heading into the game. Sure, I had my glass-half-full attitude with me, but I was internally nervous all the same. After all, this was October and this was LSU. Despite the Tigers’ apparent regression over the last couple of weeks, it was still a big team with a lot of wins in the past few seasons – something that can’t be said about the Gators. So nerves battled hope and that war would wage on throughout most of the game. I won’t say the entire 60 minutes because second-half Florida lifted my confidence with each passing minute, but it was close.

I won’t say I was happy with the offensive performance, but I was pleased with what the Gators did late in the game when they had to do it. Remember, this was a good/great LSU defense that Florida was facing. This wasn’t a run-of-the-mill defense the Gators were up against; this was one that has been considered among the best the past few seasons. Despite an average of 3.0 yards per carry (remember, that includes sacks), the run game held it’s own against the Tigers. When Florida needed drives late in the game, it got them. It wasn’t picture perfect, but it fell right in line with the just win philosophy we live by here at The Bull Gator. It doesn’t always have to look good and style points will only get you so far. In the end, you just need to do whatever you can to win. That was Saturday for the Gators. Only 237 total yards on offense. Only 14 points score. A win all the same.

Despite a relative lack of offensive fireworks, there was a star among the unit. One you would expect, but a star nonetheless. It was, of course, senior running back Mike Gillislee. If one player has put this team on his back this season, it’s Gillislee. Lofty predictions will only take you so far, but Gillislee seems determined to get close to his while leading the Gators to victory after victory. He carried the ball 34 times (10 more than his previous career-high) for 146 yards and found the end zone twice. It was a workhorse performance and put Gillislee at 548 rushing yards, 5.3 yards per carry and seven touchdowns on the season. As goes the senior, so go the Gators.

It all came together on the defensive side of the ball. We heard a lot this offseason about how good the Florida Gators’ defense would be. Some even threw out “best defensive line in the nation.” Other would praise the talent in the secondary. Although linebacker play has been inconsistent over the past few seasons, the experience of leaders Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins would shine. Overall, the Gators’ defense was going to win them games and keep them in others. The offense’s job was to limit mistakes, while the defense carried the team. Basically, exactly what we witnessed in the win over LSU.

There are plenty of defensive players to be mentioned here, but let’s go with one for the moment. Matt Elam, Matt Elam, Matt Elam. Elam was determined to knock someone into Sunday. Friend or foe, Elam was out to lay hit after hit. After nearly taking teammate Loucheiz Purifoy out of the game, Elam set his sites on LSU players (a good decision on his part after Purifoy gave him a bit of a death stare). Despite flying all over the field throwing his entire body at Tiger after Tiger, it wasn’t a big hit that will be remembered. Elam’s strip on Odell Beckham was a game-changer. Had LSU maintained the ball, they could be the ones celebrating now. Instead, Elam made a heads up play and one that was more important than we may remember one day. Game ball one goes to Gillislee; game balls two, three, four, and five to Elam.

A hard-fought victory for sure, and one we’ll remember for a long time. While the Florida Gators are still improving and have much to work on, with each week we see a team on the rise. One that does more right than it does wrong, and one that is now more than worthy of that top-10 ranking.

Monday Morning Driskel: Florida Gators Thoughts After The Win Over The Tennessee Volunteers

Another win, another new Florida Gators feature at The Bull Gator. The name is inspired by our quarterback Jeff Driskel and Sports Illustrated’s Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback, which discusses a plethora of topics concerning the week’s NFL games. We hope to do something similar–but on a minor, more pertinent-to-us level. Don’t worry, it won’t be nearly as long. Let me know how you think this goes.

Also to take note: I AM NOT CRAZY. I know it’s Tuesday. Sadly, the idea came to me Monday night, so I figured why let a week go to waste?

Let me start this off by saying this was a fantastic college football week. The Florida Gators defeated the Tennessee Volunteers in stunning fourth quarter-shutout fashion, and Florida moved up to No. 14 in the polls, just behind Lane Kiffin and USC, who, to top it all off, lost to Stanford 14-21. And if there’s one thing Tennessee and Florida fans can agree on, I think it’s the happiness brought by seeing Lane Kiffin fail.

Beyond that, there’s not a great deal the Volunteers would be willing to agree with us about, after our 37-20 win in the hostile Rocky Top-land. For the Gators, it was a tale of two halves. The first half was slightly ugly, which featured Mr. Muschamp screaming at the top of his lungs at a referee, and the second half was, as TBG said, “glorious.”

What We Learned

Jeff Driskel is improving, quickly: I don’t think we could ask for much more than what Driskel has given us so far, and he looks like he can be so much better. He was extremely accurate, and his touchdown pass to Jordan Reed with defenders surrounding him was a thing of beauty. I feel bad for Jacoby Brissett, but Team Driskel all the way!

Driskel, calm and composed: The knock on Driskel coming into this year was his composure level. After showing he can effectively control the football game, accurately facilitate the football to his receivers, and thankfully handle the football without coughing it up, Driskel would appear to have better composure tenfold. Seriously, you couldn’t ask for much more from a sophomore quarterback who was starting in only his second game.

Against the run, Tennessee is tough inside, extremely flawed on the outside: If you noticed a trend in Florida’s results from different run plays, you weren’t alone. The Gators busted out long runs, including an 80-yard run by Trey Burton by avoiding the middle of the Tennessee defense, which was stuffing Florida at the line all night. The Vols have a few kinks to sort out on the corners of their defense.

Trey Burton can be a factor running the Wildcat: Burton was potently effective Saturday, running for 91 yards and two touchdowns on only three carries. We knew Burton had a chance to make an impact from the Wildcat, but it’s been a while since he has made much of a difference.

Frankie Hammond Jr. looks like Percy Harvin: Hammond Jr. is nowhere near the athletic level that Harvin is, or was, but Hammond sure has looked explosive and surprisingly smart in the open field.

The defense is great in the fourth quarter: Not so great in the first half, but I think preventing opposing teams from reaching the end-zone in the fourth is somewhat impressive, especially against a couple pretty good offensive teams. Jeff Dillman’s conditioning probably has a lot to do with this.

The safeties are all over the field: Josh Evans was everywhere at once during the first two games, despite getting knocked out of the second. Matt Elam also seemed to be picking up the slack during the last game by leading the team with 10 tackles.

Our defense, Marcus Roberson can’t catch: Very disappointed by Roberson’s hands. He’s always there for an interception, only to find it just beyond his grasp.

Things We Already Knew That Proved To Remain True

Will Muschamp is somewhat of a hothead: Haha, TBG seems to be unhappy about this.

Gilly’s good: Mike Gillislee is continuing to live up to his role as the probable best player on offense.

The Vols would be very sad when they lost: I wish I could have found a picture of the fans crying when they realized there was no chance of a burnt orange win, but if you watched the game on ESPN, you know what I’m talking about.

Surprise Of The Day

Derek Dooley may also be a hothead: Spiking the ball down is not an appropriate reaction after his quarterback Tyler Bray delivered a perfect pass to the disgruntled coach.

Play Of The Day

Trey Burton’s 80-yard touchdown run: This was just great. The Tennessee guy took an awful angle, though.

Drafting The Florida Gators To Go Head-To-Head Against…The Florida Gators

The football offseason brings about boredom and plenty of it. It has forced us at The Bull Gator to come up with ways to occupy our time whether they are fun or trivial exercises in futility. Some examples include past attempts at coming up with the best Florida Gators of all-time at each jersey number and a draft consisting of only players available from the schools we have attended. This is another one of those exercises.

One Eyed Willy and I conducted a draft where we each attempted to fill a starting roster made up of all Gators. The rules were simple: 1) you need to fill each position with a player that could realistically line up at that position, and 2) your only real wildcards are going with a fullback or a third wide receiver and playing either a 4-3 defense or a 3-4.

Once we were done, we gave the teams to Evandagator and he let us know which team he thought would win if they went head-to-head. We didn’t tell him which team belonged to which one of us, so he could give his unbiased opinion (we aren’t completely sure which one of us he likes more just yet). We also posted the teams on Alligator Alley (one of the message boards on Inside The Gators) to see what they thought as well.

First up, the teams:

*The numbers in parenthesis indicate the overall pick the player was selected. Some players don’t have numbers next to their names because once we realized we only had positional openings left where we wouldn’t be competing for players, we each filled our rosters in one lump selection.


“10 Things I Want Out Of The 2012 Florida Gators Football Season” – Evandagator

We spend so much time discussing what’s best for the Florida Gators, what will help the sports teams both on and off the field. From time to time, we decide to be selfish though and discuss what’s best for us. These thoughts could help the football team or they could simply help us as fans. We may want a certain player to succeed because he’s a vital part of the roster or just because we like his jersey number. Whatever the case, these are the things we want out of the Gators’ 2012 football season. One Eyed Willy was first, The Bull Gator second; now it’s my turn.

10. To be able to look forward to Florida having the ball. Two years–that’s how long it’s been since I’ve almost had to close my eyes every time Florida has possession of the ball. I didn’t think it was possible, but I felt the Gators had a better chance of scoring on defense than on offense. I want the Gators to establish some rhythm on an offense that was largely sporadic over the last two years. I want a quarterback that puts some moxie (Jon Gruden) into his throws, a receiver that opposing defenses fear, and a running back that makes defenders look like bowling balls.

9. Decrease in Arrest Record. I don’t expect our arrest record to suddenly disappear completely, but I do want to see a gradual steady decrease in the number of constant mistakes the players make. To be frank, the idiotic mistakes the Gators seem to be making year after year are flat out embarrassing. I’m not sure how to correct the thug-life attitudes of some of the players, but maybe it starts with pointing out character red flags in recruiting. The Bull Gator pointed out to me that coaches see “Number 1 tight end” and may look right past character issues. That’s something to think about, character vs. talent.

8. Please no injuries on the offensive line. Injuries completely plagued the Gators’ line last year and could hamper any progress the Gators make if more pour in next year. They can’t handle injuries on the offensive line—their depth won’t allow it. The Gators made progress on adding quality to the offensive line with Jessamen Dunker and D.J. Humphries but failed to address their gaping depth issue. I’m hoping we can address this in recruiting.

7. Leaders to emerge. What do championship teams have year after year? Oh yeah, leaders. We were spoiled with leadership from ’06 to ’09 with Tim Tebow and Brandon Spikes. I want someone who gives inspiring half time speeches. These are the guys who fill Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The players the fans come to see. So far, the leadership watch list only includes Matt Elam. For the offense, no obvious visible candidates. Now, if the Gators want any chance at a championship run, leaders must emerge.

6. The return of the lockdown corner. It’s a well-known fact that having a shutdown cornerback drastically makes winning games and defending an opponent easier. Thankfully, Florida doesn’t have to worry about the game changing receivers that they’ve had to deal with over the last few years: Julio Jones, A.J. Green, and Alshon Jeffery. Not so thankfully, with his size and skill, Missouri receiver Dorial Green-Beckham looks to be the successor to those tall and athletic SEC receivers and more will be coming. The Gators will not be able to avoid these types of players without moving to the Big Ten (which I don’t suggest). I miss the days where we could count on Joe Haden or Janoris Jenkins to completely shut down these tall receivers. Sadly, Haden was drafted two years ago and Jenkins decided that smoking pot was a little more important to him than shutting down receivers. Please, give us a cornerback that’s not an idiot, please.


“10 Things I Want Out Of The Florida Gators 2012 Football Season” – The Bull Gator

We spend so much time discussing what’s best for the Florida Gators; what will help the sports teams both on and off the field. From time to time, we decide to be selfish though and discuss what’s best for us. These thoughts could help the football team or they could help us as fans. We may want a certain player to succeed because he’s a vital part of the roster or just because we like his jersey number. Whatever the case, these are the things we want out of the Gators’2012 football season. One Eyed Willy was up first; now it’s my turn.

10. The return of The Swamp. I get that it’s a rough time for our country and the economy isn’t what it used to be, but that won’t stop me from longing for the return of a packed house. I want it to be hard for me to get tickets when I want to make the drive to Gainesville. I want the place to be full for each and every home game regardless of who the Gators are playing. I want to feel the energy I did during 1997 against Florida State and 2006 against South Carolina. I don’t want anyone but Gators to get out alive. Bring back the intimidation factor and that feeling of fear put into opponents when they walk out of the visitor’s tunnel.

9. Quinton Dunbar. The spring star needs to do the same on Saturdays in the fall. This one is dedicated to Dunbar because of his jersey number. Florida needs a star wide receiver and realistically it’s up for grabs. I honestly wouldn’t care if it were Andre Debose or Ja’Juan Story or anyone on the roster, but I’m going with Dunbar because, for whatever reason, he’s the one I want to see break out. If Dunbar can translate his spring success to the fall, good things will come for the Gators just as they did in 2006 when Dallas Baker put it all together.

8. On that note, I want offensive fireworks. I’ll even narrow it down to the passing game. Remember Danny Wuerffel? What about Rex Grossman? Tim Tebow’s final game? Whatever happened in 2010 and 2011 was a kick back to the dark ages. The passing game needs to return and Brent Pease can lead it. Will Muschamp mentioned keeping the offense the same, but not even he knows what that offense is. However it works out, it better include short passes, long passes, and every other pass in between.

7. Success for Ronald Powell. Another one chosen for the jersey number of the player mentioned. I don’t just want Powell to be average. I don’t just want him to be good. I want Powell to absolutely dominate. His first two seasons in Gainesville have been rough. He’s had as many ups and downs on the field as anyone, but every so often we get a glimpse. We see the talent and dream of the potential. Powell will be a junior this fall and it’s time for him to live up to that No. 1 overall recruit billing.

6. Jarvis Williams. Louis Oliver. Lawrence Wright. Reggie Nelson. Major Wright. You know what’s coming next. Matt Elam. Like homeruns, big hits can completely change whatever direction momentum may have been headed. It doesn’t have to be Elam that lowers the boom, but he’s the likely candidate. We revere that group of former Gators for more than just the big hits, but the big hits are what we remember first. Elam is well on his way to being a great defensive back; let’s see him make a few of those game changing plays.


Transfer News: Robert Clark And Gerald Christian To Leave Gators

Two Dwyer-ites down, two to…hopefully stay forever and ever and ever.

On Tuesday it came to light that wide receiver/returner Robert Clark and tight end Gerald Christian will transfer from Florida. The two came to Gainesville as part of the 2010 recruiting class with fellow high school teammate safety Matt Elam, but neither was able to experience his success and more importantly his minutes on the field. Both Clark and Christian announced they would be leaving the Gators in seek of more playing time.

Clark wasn’t able to earn much of an opportunity as a receiver and will unfortunately be remembered for fumbling a punt in Florida’s recent loss to Auburn. Down eight in the fourth quarter, the Gators defense forced the Tigers to punt only to have the ball return to Auburn after Clark’s fumble. Not necessarily they way you want to go out, but Clark looks to make better memories elsewhere.

Christian’s memorable moment from the 2011 season was a positive one when he caught a touchdown pass from John Brantley in the Gators’ win over Kentucky. The tight end’s development was a rocky road as he was moved from TE to linebacker and back again several times early in his career. Due to injuries, it appeared that he would settle into the offensive position and after his catch against the Wildcats, many were excited for his future. The highlights would end there though and Christian’s Florida career comes to a close with four total catches to his name.

The two sophomores move on now, leaving the Gators’ offense with less depth than it can really work with. Neither were major contributors, but in an up and down season, contributions can come from anywhere at any time. Good luck to the two as they look to continue their careers elsewhere. More luck wished to the Florida offense as it moves forward.