With the 2011-12 athletic season now in the books and the 2012-13 season about to begin, the focus has shifted to the return of Florida Gators football. For the second-straight year, OGGOA will take a look at every player of substance on the roster, counting down by jersey number, in this series: The Countdown.
77 – Ian Silberman (Orange Park, FL)
Redshirt sophomore guard
6’5” 303 lbs.
Quick Bio: Silberman enrolled early in January 2010 coming out of high school as a four-star recruit. He was the No. 8 player at his position nationally according to Rivals but only saw action in the season opener that year.
2011 Season: Though he bulked up some between his freshman and sophomore years, Silberman was moved to guard and only appeared in three games as a reserve.
2012 Outlook: Silberman has gained 19 lbs. since last season but has not been spoken about much other than as a third-string reserve on the offensive line. He will play plenty of special teams though, according to head coach Will Muschamp.
76 – Max Garcia (Venice, FL)
Junior offensive lineman
6’4” 307 lbs.
Quick Bio: A two-sport athlete in high school who competed in shot put and discus in addition to playing football, Garcia committed to Maryland and despite not seeing much action as a freshman started at left tackle in all 12 of the team’s games during his sophomore season.
2012 Outlook: Due to NCAA transfer rules, Garcia is being forced to redshirt and will miss the entire 2012 season. Coaches, however, have noted that he is playing quite well during practice and they are very high on his potential to be an impact player in 2013.
Check out five more players in this edition of The Countdown…after the break!
75 – Chaz Green (Tampa, FL)
Redshirt sophomore tackle
6’5” 310 lbs.
Quick Bio: Ranked by Rivals as the No. 6 offensive lineman in the country out of high school, Green redshirted as a freshman but did dress for 12 of the team’s 13 games.
2011 Season: An injured ankle caused him to miss four contests, but Green otherwise started every game he played in (nine) last season including many of the team’s biggest showdowns. He was named a 2011 SEC All-Freshman and also garnered some Freshman All-American nods.
2012 Outlook: Slated to start at right tackle (though the official depth chart will not be released until Aug. 27), Green is still a bit inexperienced but has the opportunity to build on a successful redshirt freshman season. He has gained 21 lbs. since the beginning of 2011 and could be even more explosive thanks to Jeff Dillman’s strength and conditioning program.
74 – Jessamen Dunker (Boynton Beach, FL)
6’4″ 301 lbs.
Quick Bio: Dunker, a four-star prospect, enrolled early in order to get his feet wet at Florida. He has only played football for two years but nevertheless had an impressive offer sheet including every major program in the Southeastern Conference.
2012 Outlook: Muschamp has expressed his appreciation for Dunker and his work ethic on numerous occasions this offseason, noting that the freshman is in line for playing time despite the fact that there are a lot of bodies competing on the offensive line. It remains to be seen how much he will be used this season, especially if the veterans step up as the coaching staff expects.
73 – Sharrif Floyd (Philadelphia, PA)
Junior defensive tackle
6’3” 303 lbs.
Quick Bio: The top-ranked player at his position nationally before joining the Gators, Floyd came in as one of three five-star defensive line recruits in 2010 and saw action right away. He amassed 23 tackles (10 solo, 6.5 for loss) as a true freshman and was one of just seven players with that designation to earn a start in 2010.
Career Stats (24 games): 69 tackles (29 solo), 13 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, pass defense, blocked kick
2011 Season: Floyd’s sophomore season got off to a rough start as he was suspended for the first two games due to discrepancies with money he received to help fund recruiting trips during high school. After being cleared by both the school and the NCAA, Floyd shifted over to defensive end and started the final 11 games. His first career sack came in the last game of the season against Ohio State and he also registered a career-high 11 tackles on the road at LSU.
2012 Outlook: Now free and clear from any preseason issues, Floyd moves back inside to his natural position of defensive tackle, a shift he said Monday was like “winning the lottery.” He is thrilled to be beginning the season with a clear head and is focused on taking the next step in his football career now that he’s the permanent starter inside. “I love what I do, love what I can do for the team,” he said. “I’m happy to be back where I’m comfortable at and still doing what’s best for the team.”
73 – Xavier Nixon (Fayetteville, NC)
6’6” 314 lbs.
Quick Bio: Nixon, who started 13 games combined in his first two seasons at Florida, won the high school version of the Maxwell Award early in his career 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.
2011 Season: Though Nixon had starting experience heading into his junior year, he struggled at times in 2010 and lost a lot of weight due to an illness that he was unable to totally regain throughout the course of the season. He was pushed for his job constantly but still made nine starts at left tackle and stands as the most experienced member of the Gators’ offensive line.
2012 Outlook: Nixon is again slated to start the season at left tackle as he has impressed coaches over the last few months. He is up 25 lbs. from a season ago and has regained the size and strength that he previously lost. Though redshirt junior Matt Patchan will be pushing for his and Green’s spots all year, Nixon should be able to hang on to the job if he plays consistently throughout the season.
72 – Jonotthan Harrison (Groveland, FL)
Redshirt junior center
6’4″ 299 lbs.
Quick Bio: A psychology major who was known as a versatile offensive lineman in high school, Harrison redshirted in 2009 but saw the field in every game his sophomore season, earning the first start of his career in the Outback Bowl against Penn State. He saw plenty of time on special teams and also found a role at left guard as that season came to a close.
2011 Season: Originally slotted to play left guard in the spring, Harrison was moved over to center in late March and worked hard to get a handle on the position. He did so well, in fact, that he became the team’s primary center and started all 13 games (12 at center, one at left guard for injury reasons).
2012 Outlook: Muschamp is thrilled with the toughness that Harrison brings to the table and has him once again slated as the cog in the middle of Florida’s offensive line. Harrison has become a leader in the locker room and at his position and has also been praised by the coaching staff for his maturity.
71 – Matt Patchan (Tampa, FL)
Redshirt junior tackle
6’6” 304 lbs.
Quick Bio: The son of a star offensive lineman of the same name with the Miami Hurricanes, Patchan has been unable to stay healthy since arriving in Gainesville, FL. A USA Today First Team All-American out of high school, the five-star recruit made 11 appearances (one start) 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 of the ball in 2009 and played the first four games before suffering a season-ending knee injury that lingered for quite some time. Patchan dressed four games in 2010 but wound up sitting out the season and had only played in 15 games through his first three years. Though he had recovered from his knee injury, Patchan hurt his wrist and was forced to have multiple surgeries that were not able to correct it in time for him to play that year.
2011 Season: Recovered from his numerous ailments, Patchan played in 12 games and started the last seven regular season contests at right tackle, though he missed the bowl game due to injury.
2012 Outlook: Patchan had been healthy throughout camp until he strained his shoulder last week. He was expected to return to practice Monday or Tuesday and should be fine. Patchan should be the primary reserve at tackle for both Nixon and Green though he will push both for playing time and their starting jobs throughout the season.
70 – D.J. Humphries (Groveland, FL)
6’6″ 275 lbs.
Quick Bio: One of the top high school football players in the country, Humphries (No. 2 overall) was the Gators’ highest-rated recruit in 2012 according to Rivals and is expected to have an immediate impact as a freshman. He was named a First Team All-American by Rivals, USA Today and ESPN (among others) in 2011 and did not allow a single sack over the final three years of his high school career.
2012 Outlook: In line for playing time right away, Humphries will have to wait a few weeks to see the field aver injuring his MCL on Aug. 17. He is expected to miss 2-3 weeks at the most but will be able to contribute as soon as he gets back on the practice field. Though it is unlikely that Humphries gets to start this season, he will see playing time as a primary reserve at the tackle position and could theoretically fill in elsewhere if needed.