Breakdown: 2008 Florida Gators – one of the greatest teams in college football history

Former Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer opined during a football camp last week that his 2008 squad, winners of the 2009 BCS Championship, were the best team in the history of college football.

Though measuring such a claim is near-impossible, Meyer can rightly boast that his 2008 roster and coaching staff were supremely special.

One-fourth of the Gators’ official 120-man roster – which includes walk-ons – has either played a game in the NFL or is currently under contract with a team in the league.

Florida’s roster had 19 players eventually selected in the NFL Draft including six first-round picks, five second-round picks, a third-round pick, two fourth-round picks, four fifth-round picks and a seventh-round pick. Only three of those draft selections are no longer in the league (for a variety of reasons, see table).

Additionally, a total of 11 players signed after the process as undrafted free agents have either played in the NFL or are currently a member of an NFL roster.

UF’s success did not stop at the players on the field.

Continue Reading » Breakdown: 2008 Florida Gators – one of the greatest teams in college football history

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FOUR BITS: Spurrier, Demps, Brown, Miller

1 » South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier understands what the Florida Gators go through each year when it comes to their difficult schedule, which is why he shared that sentiment on Monday in an interview with ESPN.com. “There’s nothing fair about college football. You know that, don’t you?” he asked. “If it was fair, Alabama would have to sit out a year of recruiting. They’ve had the No. 1 class five out of six years. That’s like giving an NFL team the first five picks in the first and second round every year – almost. And some teams play eight home games. … To me, Florida’s got the toughest schedule of any of us. That’s a tough break for Coach [Will] Muschamp. He can’t complain about it and can’t say anything about it, but I’ll say something: He’s got the toughest schedule in the conference with only six home games. They’ve got Alabama and LSU next year. Did you know that? That’s brutal.”

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Spurrier, Demps, Brown, Miller

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Week 7 (2013)

The 2013 NFL regular season continued this week with 34 former Florida Gators spread out over 20 teams.

Eleven teams have multiple Florida players on their respective rosters including Miami (four); Washington (three); Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, N.Y. Giants, Pittsburgh and San Francisco (two).

Below are full game statistics for all 22 active players that participated this week along with select news updates on a number of Gators for the seventh week of the regular season.

* Rookie

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
TE JORDAN REED, Washington Redskins*: Nine receptions for 134 yards [team-highs] (targets: 9, long: 38), touchdown
» All of Reed’s statistics were career-highs.

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!
Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Week 7 (2013)

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Week 6 (2013)

The 2013 NFL regular season continued this week with 34 former Florida Gators spread out over 20 teams.

Eleven teams have multiple Florida players on their respective rosters including Miami (four); Washington (three); Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, N.Y. Giants, Pittsburgh and San Francisco (two).

Below are full game statistics for all 20 active players that participated this week along with select news updates on a number of Gators for the sixth week of the regular season.

* Rookie

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
WR RILEY COOPER, Philadelphia Eagles: Started | four receptions for 120 yards [career- and team-high] (targets: 6, long: 47), touchdown [Video I | Video II]

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!
Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Week 6 (2013)

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Week 4 (2013)

The 2013 NFL regular season continued this week with 34 former Florida Gators spread out over 16 teams. Ten teams have multiple Florida players on their roster including Miami (four); N.Y. Giants and Washington (three); Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay (two).

Below are full game statistics for all 23 active players that participated this week along with select news updates on a number of Gators for the fourth week of the regular season.

* Rookie

Co-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
DE CARLOS DUNLAP, Cincinnati Bengals: Started | four tackles (three solo, two for loss), 1.5 sacks, two QB hits, blocked kick
CB JOE HADEN, Cleveland Browns: Started | four solo tackles, two pass defenses

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!

Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Week 4 (2013)

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SIX BITS: Demps, Beal, Murphy, Horschel, Easley

1 » Former Florida Gators running back Jeff Demps is active on an NFL regular season roster for the first time in his career as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to bring him aboard on Monday, the cut-off date established by the league for Demps’s roster exemption. Demps was traded by the New England Patriots to Tampa Bay in April but did not put on a helmet until after the preseason concluded as he spent the entire summer and offseason running track. Now officially a member of the Bucs, Demps will likely handle kick return duties and play sparingly on offense. He has not played a snap of meaningful football since Jan. 2, 2012.

2 » Out of work since being cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the offseason following an arrest (on a charge that was later dropped), RB Chris Rainey has received a couple of workout opportunities over the last few months. His latest was with the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday. According to ProFootballTalk.com, Rainey ran a 4.3-second 40-yard dash during the workout, but “the Chiefs have decided that they currently don’t have a spot for him.”

“Ran a 4.29 in the 40 and kill the workout too. Waitin on the Kansas City chiefs to get back at me or Watever team now. God is Good!!!” Rainey tweeted on Monday.

Check out four more Florida Gators news BITS (two videos)…after the break!
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: Demps, Beal, Murphy, Horschel, Easley

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Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Week 3 (2013)

The 2013 NFL regular season continued this week with 32 former Florida Gators spread out over 16 teams. Ten teams have multiple Florida players on their roster including Miami (four); N.Y. Giants and Washington (three); Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay (two).

Below are full game statistics for all 24 active players that participated this week along with select news updates on a number of Gators for the third week of the regular season.

* Rookie

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
S MAJOR WRIGHT, Chicago Bears: Started | seven tackles (six solo), pass defense, 38-yard interception return for touchdown [Video], forced fumble [Video]

Check out how the rest of the Gators in the NFL performed…after the break!
Continue Reading » Former Florida Gators in the NFL: Week 3 (2013)

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15 Gator Bites for Wednesday, September 11

From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share – too much to fit into one of our truncated BITS segments. When stories like these fall through the cracks, we catch and wrap them all up with Gator Bites.

» Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jeff Demps missed the entire offseason while running track but officially joined the team on Monday in hopes of earning a roster spot and playing football in 2013. The Buccaneers have a roster exemption or Demps, who will have one full week to prove his worth and take one of the 53 available spots or else be released by Tampa Bay. Though the Bucs will certainly see what Demps can do for them, head coach Greg Schiano was perturbed a few weeks ago when asked where Demps was in the world and why he had not reported at the time.

» Former Florida Gators forward Cody Larson, who lost his scholarship and then quit the basketball team before the 2012-13 season but remained at Florida for academics, transferred to play for the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in May and had a waiver to play immediately accepted by the NCAA this month. “We want to thank the committee and the NCAA for taking the time to look at Cody’s waiver,” head coach Scott Nagy said in a school release. “We appreciate the fact that this ruling allows him the opportunity to be eligible to compete immediately.” Larson will have two years of NCAA eligibility remaining but has not played college basketball in two full seasons.

» One of the greatest tennis players in school history, Jill Craybas has decided to retire at age 39 after spending the last 18 years playing professional tennis. One of two Florida women to win the NCAA Singles Championship, Craybas captured the title in 1996 while leading the Gators women’s program to the team NCAA Championship that same season. Inducted into the UF Athletic Hall of Fame as a Gator Great in 2008, Craybas never won a Grand Slam title but advanced to the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2005 after shocking Serena Williams 6-3, 7-6 in the Round of 16 that year. She also represented the United States in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “It’s a really tough decision to make because it’s been part of your life for so long. But I feel like lately my priorities have been starting to change, I’ve been starting to want other things in my life,” she told Tennis Panorama about her retirement decision. “I really struggled this past year with my tennis and how I was doing. I started pursuing some other things and started getting interested in other things, but it’s never an easy decision. You never know when you want to stop, but you kind of come to terms with it sooner or later.”

Check out 12 more Gator Bites…after the break!
Continue Reading » 15 Gator Bites for Wednesday, September 11

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