With the 2010-11 athletic season now in the books and the 2011-12 season about to begin, the focus has shifted from some of the school’s smaller sports to, of course, Florida Gators football. In this new series, OGGOA will take a look at every player of substance on the roster, counting down by jersey number, until the season begins.
Before going over numbers 79-70, OGGOA must take a step back and cover two freshman given higher numbers when the roster was released on Thursday.
97 – Tevin Westbrook (Coconut Creek, FL)
Freshman defensive end
6’5” 268 lbs.
Quick Bio: A three-star recruit coming out of high school, Westbrook was one of the last Gators to commit and signed with Florida over schools like Connecticut, North Carolina, Purdue and South Florida.
2011 Outlook: Westbrook, a raw player who hopes to develop under defensive line coach Bryant Young, is a candidate for a redshirt and likely will not see the field in 2011.
80 – Ja’Juan Story (Brooksville, FL)
Freshman wide receiver
6’3” 196 lbs.
Quick Bio: A four-star recruit coming out of high school, Story was a member of the ESPN 150 who also played quarterback. He scored 17 total touchdowns (12 rushing) as a senior and picked UF over Ohio State.
2011 Outlook: With the Gators’ lacking depth at wide receiver, Story has the opportunity to see the field early if he can shine during fall practice.
78 – David Young (Edwardsville, IL)
Redshirt junior guard
6’4” 304 lbs.
Quick Bio: A recreation and event management major, Young played the season opener as a freshman in 2008 and eventually took a redshirt. He saw the field as a part of the offensive line and special teams during every game in 2009 except the Sugar Bowl.
2010 Season: Played early in the year but missed the final 10 games of the season after suffering a knee injury.
2011 Outlook: Limited during the spring, Young was not listed on the initial depth chart but is expected to wind up on the second unit behind either redshirt sophomore right guard Jon Halapio or whomever earns the left guard job.
[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of this post.]77 – Ian Silberman (Orange Park, FL)
6’5” 285 lbs.
Quick Bio: Silberman enrolled early in January 2010 coming out of high school as a four-star recruit. He majors in social & behavioral sciences and was the No. 8 player at his position nationally according to Rivals.
2010 Season: Though he dressed for all 13 games, Silberman only played in the season opener against Miami (OH).
2011 Outlook: He has bulked up significantly since last season and was in line to be the back up for junior Xavier Nixon at right tackle. However, head coach Will Muschamp announced in April that he had permanently switched from tackle to guard.
75 – Chaz Green (Tampa, FL)
Redshirt freshman tackle
6’5” 289 lbs.
Quick Bio: Ranked by Rivlas as the No. 6 offensive lineman in the country coming out of high school, Green is a social & behavioral sciences major who hopes to see the field for the first time in 2011.
2010 Season: Dressed for 12 of the team’s 13 games but did not play and wound up taking a redshirt to preserve four years of eligibility.
2011 Outlook: Muschamp was pleased with Green’s versatility during the spring, noting that he can play on both the left and right side of the offensive line. He was listed as the starting left tackle on the spring depth chart but is expected to be a back up this season. “Chaz Green is a great player,” sophomore defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd said in April. “Definitely going to be an outstanding tackle for the Gators.”
73 – Xavier Nixon (Fayetteville, NC)
6’6” 290 lbs.
Quick Bio: A 13-game starter who has seen action in 22 contests while wearing the Orange & Blue, Nixon is a sociology major who won the high school version of the Maxwell Award and was named the Gatorade Football Player of the Year for the state of North Carolina. Both of his parents are members of the United States Military.
2010 Season: After starting a handful of games in 2009, Nixon started eight more in 2010 primarily at right tackle.
2011 Outlook: Slated to start at right tackle, Nixon will have to fend off some hungry youngsters who hope to unseat him. He struggled at times in 2010 after being a nice surprise as a freshman just one year earlier but impressed Muschamp and offensive line coach Frank Verducci during spring practice.
72 – Jonotthan Harrison (Groveland, FL)
Redshirt sophomore center
6’3” 300 lbs.
Quick Bio: A psychology major who was previously specializing in social & behavioral sciences, Harrison redshirted in 2009 after dressing nine of the team’s 14 games.
2010 Season: Though he played in all 13 games, Harrison did not get the chance to start until the Outback Bowl against Penn State. He saw plenty of time on special teams and found a role at left guard as the season came to a close.
2011 Outlook: Slotted at a left guard on the initial spring depth chart, Harrison was moved over to center in late March and worked hard to get a handle on the position throughout the rest of the spring. Muschamp said Harrison “brings an element of toughness to our football team” while also noting that he has a lot of work ahead of him. “There’s an awful lot on the center as far as snapping and blocking,” he said. “If you’ve never done it before, there’s an awful lot to it. I’ve been pleased with his progress.”
71 – Matt Patchan (Tampa, FL)
Redshirt junior tackle
6’6” 292 lbs.
Quick Bio: The son of a Miami Hurricanes star offensive lineman Matt Patchan, junior has been unable to stay healthy since arriving at Florida. A USA Today first-team All-American out of high school, the five-star recruit started a game at defensive tackle as a freshman in 2008 but injured his leg and missed the final three games of the season. He returned to the offensive side in the ball in 2009 and played the first four games before suffering a season-ending knee injury that lingered for quite some time.
2010 Season: Though Patchan dressed for four games, he wound up sitting out all of 2010 and has still only played in 15 games over three seasons. He had recovered from his knee injury but hurt his wrist and was forced to have multiple surgeries that were not able to correct it enough so he could play.
2011 Outlook: Patchan, who likely would have started at left tackle in 2010, will get the opportunity to do so in 2011. He sat out spring practice while still rehabbing his wrist but was cleared to lift in April and should be good to go this year.