The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (19-10)

With just 10 days to go until the Florida Gators‘ 2011-12 football season gets underway, the ninth part of OGGOA‘s new series, The Countdown, takes a look at those players expected to contribute on the field wearing jersey numbers ranging from 19-10.

19 – Caleb Sturgis (St. Augustine, FL)
Redshirt junior kicker
5’11” 183 lbs.

Quick Bio: An Under Armour High School All-American entering his fourth year at Florida, Sturgis majors in sport management and hopes to continue leading the Gators special teams unit as the starting kicker. A kickoff specialist during his freshman year, he became the primary place kicker in 2009 and hit 73.3 percent of his field goals (long: 56) and 44-of-47 extra points to score 110 points for Florida.

2010 Season: Sturgis did not get an opportunity to flourish like he wanted in his second season as the Gators’ starter. Suffering through back pain early in the season, he was forced to undergo surgery after just four games and was eventually awarded a medical redshirt by the NCAA. Sturgis hit just 2-of-4 field goal attempts and 19-of-21 extra points before being sidelined for the remainder of the year.

2011 Outlook: With an extra year of eligibility in his back pocket, Sturgis feels like his back is 100 percent healthy and enters the season as the team’s only scholarship kicker. Head coach Will Muschamp confirmed that he was doing well in camp two weeks ago. “He is strong; he had no issues in the summer as far as his workouts,” he said. “We changed his routine a little bit [he’s not doing squats anymore] as far as the things he did, but he’s been kicking the ball extremely well thus far in camp.”

17 – Jacoby Brissett (West Palm Beach, FL)
Freshman quarterback
6’3” 239 lbs.

Quick Bio: A four-star recruit coming out of high school who was considered one of the best players at his position nationally, Brissett participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and enrolled at Florida over the summer after deciding to play high school basketball in the spring. A graduate of Dwyer High School, he is good friends with sophomore safety Matt Elam and was also teammates with redshirt freshman tight end Gerald Christian and sophomore wide receiver Robert Clark in high school.

2011 Outlook: A bit behind the eight ball considering fellow freshman QB Jeff Driskel enrolled early and got a handle on the offense months before him, Brissett is currently competing with redshirt freshman Tyler Murphy to be the No. 3 quarterback. Praised for his mobility and quick grasp of the playbook, he will probably be competing with Driskel throughout his entire career with the Gators but is unlikely to pass him for the back-up quarterback job this season.

16 – Jeff Driskel (Oviedo, FL)
Freshman quarterback
6’4” 235 lbs.

Quick Bio: An early enrollee who joined Florida in January, Driskel is a former five-star recruit who was the Gatorade Florida Player of the Year and considered by most to be the No. 1 quarterback in the country in 2011.He threw for 1,819 yards and 15 touchdowns while rushing for 1,333 yards and 20 touchdowns during his senior season and earned an Under Armour All-American nod for his efforts.

2011 Outlook: With redshirt senior QB John Brantley firmly implanted as the team’s starting signal caller, Driskel’s goal this offseason was to earn the back-up quarterback job. Though he started fall camp behind Murphy, he recently supplanted him as Brantley’s back-up and is beginning to pull away from the pack. “His growth process from spring, obviously he has worked extremely hard through the summer dedicating himself to the playbook and learning what to do and how to do it and why we’re doing it that way,” Muschamp said. “He’s had a very good camp at this point.”

15 – Loucheiz Purifoy (Pensacola, FL)
Freshman cornerback
6’1” 183 lbs.

Quick Bio: It’s a pretty gutsy move to don the No. 15 in the orange and blue, especially as a freshman, but the former four-star recruit hopes he can be just as impressive as his predecessor in that jersey. Purifoy was one of the best players at his position coming out of high school and chose to play for Florida over Alabama, Auburn and Miami (among others).

2011 Outlook: Though he is not likely to contend for a starting role this season, Purifoy has been impressing Muschamp during practice and is making a case to get some legitimate playing time during his first season. “I’ve been very pleased with Marcus Roberson and Louchiez Purifoy and what they can do. They’re very good athletes; they’re learning our system,” he said. “They did a good job studying this summer.”

14 – Jaylen Watkins (Cape Coral, FL)
Sophomore safety
6’0” 187 lbs.

Quick Bio/2010 Season: A U.S. Army All-American and four-star recruit, Watkins is a social and behavioral sciences major who played in 10 games last year and had a career-high three tackles in the last contest of the season. Watkins worked primarily on special teams in 2010 but also saw some time in the secondary.

2011 Outlook: With Elam and junior Josh Evans pretty much set as the Gators’ starters at safety, Watkins will begin the 2011 season in a reserve role alongside redshirt freshman Joshua Shaw. He is enjoying Muschamp’s defense and hopes to continue following his instructions on how he can succeed in it. “[He tells me] just to be a football player. Everything is not going to be what it is on paper – just be an athlete out there,” Watkins said.

13 – Dee Finely (Auburn, AL)
Redshirt sophomore linebacker
6’2” 203 lbs.

Quick Bio: Originally a commitment in the 2008 recruiting class, Finley chose to attend prep school for a year in order to get his grades up so he could enroll. The Under Armour All-American and four-star recruit, who signed as a safety, joined the team in 2009 and notched seven tackles (five solo) in 10 games.

2010 Season: Moved from safety to linebacker, Finley saw the field the vast majority of the time on special teams. He was a primary fixture on the kickoff coverage and kickoff return units and accumulated seven tackles (five solo) over the course of four games. Finely missed the final seven contests of the season after fracturing his collarbone against LSU and was awarded a medical redshirt by the NCAA.

2011 Outlook: Called “solid” as a linebacker but “outstanding” as a special teamer by Muschamp, Finley will play a reserve role at the latter position in 2011 but should get plenty of playtime at a very shallow position. He missed a few days of training camp due to an undisclosed injury but has returned to action and is even drawing praise from his teammates. “He’s done very well,” junior LB Jon Bostic said. “He’s picked up a lot of things in these two-a-days.”

12 – John Brantley (Ocala, FL)
Redshirt senior quarterback
6’3” 219 lbs.

Quick Bio: A five-star quarterback, U.S. Army All-American and the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2006, Brantley was one of the most highly recruited players currently on Florida’s roster. The humanities and letters major redshirted as a true freshman but played quite well as a reserve during his second and third seasons. Combined, Brantley completed 54-of-76 pass attempts for 645 yards with 10 touchdowns and just one interception as Tim Tebow’s back-up.

2010 Season: Stepping into a starting role for the first time in his career, Brantley hoped the offense would be tailored to better suit his talents. Instead, the pro-style quarterback was asked to run a spread offense and struggled mightily. He completed only 60.8 percent of his passes (200-of-329) for 2,061 yards with nine TDs and 10 INTs over the course of the season. While Brantley remained the “starter” throughout the year, he ended up becoming part of a three-quarterback rotation halfway through the season and played mostly on third down, when the team was behind or in obvious passing situations.

2011 Outlook: After seriously considering transferring in the offseason, Brantley decided to stick with the Gators and (according to those who actually get to see him daily) has had a resurgence under new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Coaches and players have unanimously lauded his ability, consistency, improvement, leadership, arm strength and overall understanding of Weis’s offense. Muschamp has noted on numerous occasions that Brantley is not only his starter but significantly ahead (in terms of development) of the other passers. He has added that the offseason goal is to improve the protection in front of him and playmakers around him, insinuating that he is as solid a player as the offense has on its roster.

11 – Jordan Reed (New London, CT)
Redshirt sophomore tight end
6’3” 239 lbs.

Quick Bio/2010 Season: A four-star quarterback coming out of high school, Reed dressed for five games in 2009 but did not see any action. The social and behavioral sciences major officially transitioned over to tight end in 2010 but wound up only starting four games at that position as he instead played more of a hybrid role and saw plenty of time at quarterback. Reed caught six passes for 79 yards and a touchdown last year but also rushed 77 times for 328 yards and five scores and completed 26-of-46 passes for 252 yards with three TDs an interception.

2011 Outlook: With Brantley (again) taking over at quarterback and two incoming freshman filling in the depth at that position, Reed has officially moved to tight end full-time and will start at that position for Florida in 2011. He recently missed a few days of practice with a sore hamstring but has been impressive on the field. With freshman A.C. Leonard missing 6-8 weeks after undergoing surgery on a torn meniscus in early August, Reed will be counted on even more to be a receiving threat from the tight end position. “I’m excited about being the tight end,” Reed told The Gainesville Sun. “It’s been a lot easier on me than last year, knowing that I’ve just got to worry about one position.”

10 – Tyler Murphy (Wethersfield, CT)
Redshirt freshman quarterback
6’2” 209 lbs.

Quick Bio/2010 Season: A two-star recruit , Murphy spent last year as a member of the scout team that helped the Gators prepare for their opponents. One of four quarterbacks on scholarship in 2010, the social and behavioral sciences major was the only one who did not end up seeing some game action.

2011 Outlook: Murphy is once again one of four quarterbacks on scholarship this year; however, the other two he is competing with for the back-up job have changed. With Reed now at tight end and sophomore Trey Burton listed as a running back, Murphy is the second most experienced passer on the Florida roster. Unfortunately for him, Driskel was recently promoted to be Brantley’s back-up ahead of him and he is now competing with Brissett for the No. 3 job. “Tyler Murphy has done a really nice job of managing the offense,” Muschamp said on Aug. 10. “We did a move the field today where the coaches got off the field and let the players play. Tyler took us on a nice drive down the field.”

THE COUNTDOWN: 99-90 | 89-80 | 79-70 | 69-60 | 59-50 | 49-40 |
39-30 | 29-20 | 19-10 | 9-1

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The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (29-20)

With under 20 days to go until the Florida Gators‘ 2011-12 football season gets underway, the eighth part of OGGOA‘s new series, The Countdown, takes a look at those players expected to contribute on the field wearing jersey numbers ranging from 29-20.

28 – Jeff Demps (Winter Garden, FL)
Senior running back
5’7” 191 lbs.

Quick Bio: Arguably the fastest student-athlete in the country, Demps left South Lake High School as a four-star recruit and is a social & behavioral sciences major in his final year at the University of Florida. He played in all 28 games (drawing 17 starts) during his first two years with the Gators, scoring seven touchdowns on the ground each season and rushing for a total of 1,350 yards.

2010 Season: Demps was never the same after spraining his left foot while carrying the ball a career-high 26 times against Tennessee in the third week of the season. Through that game he had accumulated 310 rushing yards but only amassed 241 the remainder of the season, missing three games completely and carrying the ball fewer than 10 times in six of the seven contests he participated in. Demps still finished the season with a team-high 927 all-purpose yards.

2011 Outlook: Seriously considering not returning to the team in order to pursue a full-time career as a sprinter, Demps ultimately decided to rejoin the squad for his final season. He will be the starting running back again but should have his burden eased a bit by redshirt junior Chris Rainey returning to the backfield. “Both Jeff and Chris have been very impressive,” head coach Will Muschamp said. “We do a nice job on the perimeter blocking with our wideouts. We create some one-on-ones with people who aren’t used to tackling as much as far as corners and secondary people. When those guys get the ball on the edge, they’re fun to watch.” Though he hoped to accomplish the feat in 2010, Demps could eclipse 1,000 yards rushing for the first time in his career; the feat has not been accomplished by a Florida running back since 2004 (Ciatrick Fason).

26 – De’Ante Saunders (DeLand, FL)
Freshman cornerback
5’8” 192 lbs.

Quick Bio: An early enrollee, Saunders was a highly-recruited three-star prospect coming out of high school who participated in the Under Armour All-American Game.

2011 Outlook: A player who Muschamp said is “going to be a really good player for Florida” after the Orange & Blue Debut in April, Saunders is not likely to earn a starting role this year but could see significant playing time both on defense and special teams. After being cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession in May, he has quit smoking (according to his attorney Huntley Johnson) and was disciplined internally. Muschamp recently praised his work filling in at cornerback and hopes to see continued improvement this fall.

25 – Gideon Ajagbe (Coconut Grove, FL)
Redshirt freshman linebacker
6’3” 227 lbs.

Quick Bio/2010 Season: Earning a medical redshirt after tearing his rotator cuff in preseason camp last year, Ajagbe is a three-star recruit who is majoring in social & behavioral sciences and is hoping to see his first field time this year.

2011 Outlook: With very little depth at linebacker, Ajagbe is competing with a number of other youngsters for one of the starting outside roles. His athleticism has impressed coaches this offseason after a complete recovery from surgery slightly less than one year ago.

24 – Josh Evans (Irvington, NJ)
Junior safety
6’1” 199 lbs.

Quick Bio: One of only five true juniors on the roster, Evans has appeared in 21 games over two seasons and notched 20 tackles as well as one interception. He was a four-star recruit coming out of high school who chose Florida over Oklahoma (among others).

2010 Season: Appearing in all 13 of the Gators’ games one year ago, Evans also earned three starts including the Outback Bowl against Penn State. He collected a career-high four tackles in that contest and grabbed his first career interception against Vanderbilt just a few weeks earlier.

2011 Outlook: With both of Florida’s starting safeties no longer with the team, Evans moves into a permanent starting role in his third season alongside sophomore Matt Elam. Muschamp recently said he needs to get his assignments down and work a little more on communication, but noted before fall practice that he has “certainly been another guy that’s shown he can [make plays and be athletic].”

23 – Mike Gillislee (DeLand, FL)
Junior running back
5’11” 198 lbs.

Quick Bio: A four-star running back coming out of high school who was listed as the No. 7 player at his position by Rivals, Gillislee has participated in 25 of 27 games over his first two seasons and enters his true junior season still looking to the lion’s share of time in the backfield.

2010 Season: After carrying the ball 31 times for 267 yards and a touchdown during his freshman season, Gillislee toted the rock 58 times for 328 yards and seven scores last year. He scored two touchdowns each against Tennessee and Vanderbilt, notched a career-best and team-high 50-yard kickoff return and took snaps as a gunner on the kickoff and punt coverage units.

2011 Outlook: Stuck behind Demps and Rainey in the backfield, Gillislee will once again have to earn his playing time on offense. He hurt his foot in the spring but is practicing at full speed in the fall. Nevertheless, he is a step behind Demps and Rainey and will have to pick things up to put a dent into their game-by-game carries.

22 – Matt Elam (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
Sophomore safety
5’10” 206 lbs.

Quick Bio/2010 Season: A five-star prospect coming out of Dwyer High School now majoring in social & behavioral sciences, Elam played as a reserve safety and key special teams member in all 13 games as a freshman. He was on the starting unit for kickoff coverage and kickoff returns and registered 22 tackles (16 solo, 1.5 for a loss) while earning a sack, fumble recovery and pass deflection on the year.

2011 Outlook: Like Evans, Elam is penned in as a starting safety this year and will likely take over the “strong” spot previously occupied by Ahmad Black. He has been the most impressive and consistent member of the secondary in the offseason, drawing rave reviews from his coaches and teammates on both sides of the ball not only for his play but also his improved leadership. “I love being an underdog. It pushes me harder. The whole team knows we’re underdogs, and it makes us practice harder and stick together,” he said during Florida media day. “Being an underdog is very important to us. People don’t know what goes on around here. The coaches are great. We’re more as a team. We’re closer. And we’re the underdogs, so we’re working harder.”

21 – Jabari Gorman (Miami, FL)
Freshman safety
5’9” 183 lbs.

Quick Bio: A four-star recruit and the No. 10 safety in the nation coming out of high school, Gorman is a sports medicine major who was highly recruited but always wanted to play for the Gators.

2011 Outlook: Not a candidate to get significant playing time this year, Gorman could still see his fair share on special teams or if he impresses over the next two weeks. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Jelani Jenkins said he has “been coming through” for the secondary recently when asked to single out young players who have made an impact in his mind.

20 – Valdez Showers (Madison Heights, MI)
Freshman defensive back
5’11” 198 lbs.

Quick Bio: A four-star prospect coming out of high school who is focused on both football and academics, Showers was the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Michigan and was also honored as The Detroit News’ Player of the Year.

2011 Outlook: Originally slated as a cornerback, Showers was moved to safety by Muschamp due to his size (5’11”) and is hoping to sneak his way into some playing time as Elam, Evans, sophomore Jaylen Watkins, redshirt freshman Joshua Shaw and sophomore Cody Riggs jockey for position.

THE COUNTDOWN: 99-90 | 89-80 | 79-70 | 69-60 | 59-50 | 49-40 |
39-30 | 29-20 | 19-10 | 9-1

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The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (39-30)

With just 30 days to go until the Florida Gators‘ 2011-12 football season gets underway, the seventh part of OGGOA‘s new series, The Countdown, takes a look at those players expected to contribute on the field wearing jersey numbers ranging from 39-30.

36 – Moses Jenkins (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Redshirt senior cornerback
6’2” 190 lbs.

Quick Bio: A three-star recruit coming out of high school, Jenkins majors in social and behavioral sciences and is entering his fifth season with the team after being seriously injured (head) in 2009 and also missing games one year ago.

2010 Season: Earned his first career start in the season opener, but hyperextended his left elbow and sat out the following seven games. Ended up earning two more starts and playing in four more games but only amassed 15 total tackles and one interception on the season.

2011 Outlook: Granted a fifth year of eligibility by the NCAA in 2010, Jenkins hopes to win a starting cornerback job opposite redshirt junior Jeremy Brown but will be competing with sophomore Cody Riggs among others for the opportunity.

34 – Lerentee McCray (Ocala, FL)
Redshirt junior defensive end
6’4” 250 lbs.

Quick Bio: A highly-ranked four-star linebacker in high school, McCray is a social and behavioral sciences major who has since shifted to defensive end. He played in 11 games over his first two seasons with the team but received a medical redshirt in 2009.

2010 Season: Back from injury, McCray played in 10 contests last year, missing three because of a sprained right ankle. His season highlight came in the Outback Bowl when he returned a blocked punt for a touchdown, but he also shined against Vanderbilt by registering a tackle, forced fumble and two hurries.

2011 Outlook: McCray will be competing to be one of the team’s primary starters at defensive end this fall. Senior William Green has one side locked up, and McCray that his athleticism and tenacity help him stand out from the pack for the other available spot. Head coach Will Muschamp, who put McCray at SAM linebacker at time during spring, also praised him for his leadership. “I love the new defense. You’ve just got to see it on the field. It’s a different concept, a different style of defense,” McCray said on March 21.

33 – Chris Johnson (Ocala, FL)
Freshman safety
5’10” 198 lbs.

Quick Bio: A three-star recruit who attended the same high school as redshirt senior quarterback John Brantley, Johnson enters the season as a versatile defensive back who gives Florida plenty of options.

2011 Outlook: “Chris Johnson from Trinity is a very physical player, in the box safety,” Muschamp said on National Signing Day. “He’s shown skills to play outside in the deep part of the field.” Johnson may not make much of an impact in 2011 beyond playing on special teams and is a candidate for a redshirt.

33 – Mack Brown (Lithonia, GA)
Sophomore running back
5’10” 205 lbs.

Quick Bio/2010 Season: One of the top running backs in the country coming out of high school, he was a four-star recruit who currently majors in social and behavioral sciences. He appeared in two games as a true freshman in 2010, carrying the ball three times for 23 yards.

2011 Outlook: One of five scholarship rushers on the roster, Brown has a pair of seniors (Jeff Demps and redshirt Chris Rainey) in front of him as well as junior Mike Gillislee. He was broke his fibula during the spring but had successful surgery and was supposed to return to working out in July. Between the injury and the stacked depth chart, his potential impact in 2011 is up in the air.

32 – Gerald Christian (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
Sophomore tight end
6’3” 245 lbs.

Quick Bio/2010 Season: An early enrollee last January, Christian was a four-star recruit coming out of high school, where he was teammates with fellow Gators safety Matt Elam and wide receiver Robert Clark. The social and behavioral sciences major played in eight games as a freshman on the field goal unit and in goal-line formations.

2011 Outlook: Muschamp worked Christian out extensively at linebacker in the spring (also giving him some time at tight end) but ultimately decided that offense was where he belonged. He said on April 21 that Christian had returned to playing tight end and fullback and would likely stick with that role. “He’s working awful hard. I’m very proud of his effort and what he’s trying to do,” Muschamp said. “He’s done some nice things for us at tight end.” Christian will have to compete with redshirt sophomore Jordan Reed (the likely starter) and four-star commit and early enrollee A.C. Leonard for playing time.

31 – Cody Riggs (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Sophomore cornerback
5’9” 180 lbs.

Quick Bio/2010 Season: A four-star recruit coming out of high school, Riggs is a social and behavioral sciences major who is one of only six true freshman to play in all 13 games in 2010. He earned three starts (one in the Outback Bowl) and registered 18 tackles, three pass breakups and one interception. In addition to seeing plenty of time on defense, Riggs played as a gunner on the kickoff and punt coverage teams and had a solid first season in the Orange and Blue.

2011 Outlook: Muschamp said Riggs “had a great spring playing both corner and nickel” during a speaking engagement in April and said in March that he is the team’s most versatile defensive back. “Cody’s a good football player. He’s got a tremendous heart [and] all the ability as far as playing hard and playing fast and doing the things you got to do to be a good football player,” he added. With the loss of senior Janoris Jenkins, Muschamp may count on Riggs to start opposite Brown but could also use him in a variety of other ways.

THE COUNTDOWN: 99-90 | 89-80 | 79-70 | 69-60 | 59-50 | 49-40 |
39-30 | 29-20 | 19-10 | 9-1

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The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (49-40)

With just 40 days to go until the Florida Gators‘ 2011-12 football season gets underway, the sixth part of OGGOA‘s new series, The Countdown, takes a look at those players expected to contribute on the field wearing jersey numbers ranging from 49-40.

49 – Darrin Kitchens (Homestead, FL)
Sophomore linebacker
6’2” 230 lbs.

Quick Bio: A three-star recruit coming out of high school, Kitchens was a late commit to Florida who is currently majoring in social & behavioral sciences.

2010 Season: Played on the kickoff coverage team in 10 of 13 games during his freshman season, registering a pair of tackles.

2011 Outlook: Slotted as a second/third-string weakside linebacker on the spring depth chart, Kitchens may see the field on defense during his second year with the team but will do so in a reserve role.

48 – Neiron Ball (Jackson, GA)
Sophomore linebacker
6’2” 220 lbs.

Quick Bio: An early enrollee last spring, Ball was a four-star prospect who was All-State in Georgia and currently majors in social & behavioral sciences.

2010 Season: On the field for all 13 games, Ball accumulated 10 tackles while mostly serving as a member of the kickoff and kickoff return special teams units.

2011 Outlook: After a blood vessel ruptured in his brain back in February, Ball hospitalized, treated and diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation in his brain. Now healthy and recovering, he has been unable to practice or workout with the team and is expected to take a medical redshirt for his sophomore season. Ball hopes to return when he is completely healthy and in football shape next year.

47 – John Crofoot (Windemere, FL)
Redshirt sophomore kicker
5’11” 155 lbs.

Quick Bio: A walk-on who majors in business, Crofoot spent his freshman year as a long snapper but eventually took a redshirt after he did not see the field.

2010 Season: Transitioning to a kicker and holder, he played in nine games last year and helped then-punter/kicker Chas Henry complete some important field goals including the 37-yard game-winner in overtime against Georgia.

2011 Outlook: Will compete for the holder job on field goals and extra points.

46 – Drew Ferris (Carlsbad, CA)
Sophomore long snapper
6’0” 215 lbs.

Quick Bio: A highly rated long snapper coming out of high school, the social & behavioral sciences major did not play as a freshman and took a redshirt in 2010.

2011 Outlook: Entered spring as the back-up long snapper and will likely retain that role throughout the season as long as redshirt sophomore Christopher Guido holds down his job.

44 – Kyle Christy (Brownsburg, IN)
Freshman punter
6’2” 195 lbs.

Quick Bio: An early enrollee this January, Christy was one of the highest rated punters in the nation coming out of high school and committed to Florida partially because of Henry’s departure and the ability to start right away.

2011 Outlook: The starter going into spring practice, he was called “a real talented guy” with “a real good leg” by head coach Will Muschamp in April. Muschamp has been putting extra pressure on him during practice by standing right next to him while punting in an effort to help him mature quickly and rid himself of any nervousness going into the season.

41 – Hunter Joyer (Wesley Chapel, FL)
Freshman fullback
6’0” 237 lbs.

Quick Bio: The top-rated fullback nationally, Joyer enrolled in the summer and is expected to compete for time on the field right away.

2011 Outlook: On National Signing Day, Muschamp raved about how Joyer can help the team going forward. “We’re going to get back to more traditional as far as running two back runs. And he’s a young man that’s got a lot of lower body power, punch and explosion,” he said. “He’s a very strong young man. He lives in the weight room, and we’re excited to what he brings to our football team from a toughness standpoint.”

THE COUNTDOWN: 99-90 | 89-80 | 79-70 | 69-60 | 59-50 | 49-40 |
39-30 | 29-20 | 19-10 | 9-1

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The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (59-50)

With just 50 days to go until the Florida Gators‘ 2011-12 football season gets underway, the fifth part of OGGOA‘s new series, The Countdown, takes a look at those players expected to contribute on the field wearing jersey numbers ranging from 59-50.

58 – Nick Alajajian (New Port Richey, FL)
Redshirt sophomore center
6’4” 295 lbs.

Quick Bio: Majoring in sociology, Alajajian saw some time as a back-up offensive lineman in 2009, playing in seven games including the season opener. He was a four-star guard coming out of high school but has since changed positions.

2010 Season: Played in all 13 games mostly on the field goal unit, seeing just a few snaps on the offensive line as a reserve right tackle.

2011 Outlook: Originally listed as the back-up center on the spring depth chart, Alajajian may be back down to third string after tearing his meniscus in practice and seeing redshirt sophomore Jonotthan Harrison take the first-string job. His surgery, which occurred in April, was supposed to keep him out three months but allow him to participate in summer workouts.

55 – Graham Stewart (Middletown, CT)
Freshman linebacker
6’1” 216 lbs.

Quick Bio: A four-star recruit coming out of high school, Stewart was ranked as the best prospect coming out of Connecticut by Rivals.

2011 Outlook: Stewart may earn the opportunity to see some time on special teams but could be in line to take a redshirt for his freshman season. Head coach Will Muschamp is excited about what he can bring to the team. “He has all the critical factors. We had him in camp; he has all the good measurable on him,” Muschamp said in February. “He’s a very physical player, plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”

54 – Christopher Guido (Altamonte Springs, FL)
Redshirt sophomore long snapper
6’2” 225 lbs.

Quick Bio: A former high school team captain who majors in health science, Guido took a redshirt after dressing but not participating in game action during his freshman season.

2010 Season: Played in all 13 games for the Gators during his third year with the team, starting as the long snapper for the punt unit.

2011 Outlook: With John Fairbanks having graduated, Guido will also take over starting long snapper duties with the field goal team.

52 – Jon Bostic (Wellington, FL)
Junior linebacker
6’1” 240 lbs.

Quick Bio: A four-star recruit and health education & behavior major, Bostic returns as a veteran defender and team leader. He has appeared in 25 games throughout his Florida career and goes into his third year looking to break out.

2010 Season: After leading all freshmen with 18 tackles in 2009, Bostic started six games in 2010 but was out on defense for the majority of snaps during the season. He appeared in all 13 games and registered 57 tackles (third on the team), 1.5 sacks and three interceptions.

2011 Outlook: Named to the Preseason All-SEC Third Team by the league’s coaches and placed on the watch list for the 2011 Butkus Award, Bostic earned high praise from Muschamp during spring practice for his work ethic and leadership. He is set to begin the season as the starting middle linebacker.

51 – Michael Taylor (Atlanta, GA)
Redshirt freshman linebacker
5’11” 220 lbs.

Quick Bio: The No. 3 linebacker in the country coming out of high school, Taylor was a four-star recruit who currently majors in social and behavioral sciences. Though he dressed for four games in 2010, he did not see the field and took a redshirt.

2011 Outlook: Taylor was listed as Bostic’s back-up on the preliminary spring depth chart but could have that role adjusted as the Gators try to figure out how the final depth chart will look for the middle men on defense. Either way, he should see the field in 2011 and could earn additional playing time if he makes an impact early.

50 – Sam Robey (Louisville, KY)
Redshirt junior center
6’4” 295 lbs.

Quick Bio: A three-star recruit coming out of high school, Robey sat out his freshman year with an injured left knee but played in 13 games in 2009 including the SEC Championship and Sugar Bowl.

2010 Season: Played in 10 games, seeing time at center in four contests. Served as an extra lineman in Florida’s goal line package and on the field goal unit.

2011 Outlook: A player who some fans wanted to see get time as a starter at center instead of then-senior Mike Pouncey, Robey looked to finally have the job to himself in the spring. However, after starting as the No. 1 guy on the first depth chart released, he was supplanted by Harrison, who worked at the position for the first time since high school. Robey can still win the job during fall practice, but early word about Harrison is that he is comfortable and succeeding in his new role.

THE COUNTDOWN: 99-90 | 89-80 | 79-70 | 69-60 | 59-50 | 49-40 |
39-30 | 29-20 | 19-10 | 9-1

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The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (69-60)

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.

68 – Leon Orr (New Port Richey, FL)
Redshirt freshman defensive tackle
6’4” 299 lbs.

Quick Bio: A social & behavioral sciences major, Orr was a four-star recruit coming out of high school who was rated as the No. 8 player in the nation at his position.

2010 Season: Dressed for four games but did not play and took a redshirt. Orr practiced a bit as a tight end and offensive lineman but transitioned back to his natural position as the season went on.

2011 Outlook: Now playing defensive tackle once again, Orr has a shot to see the field in 2011. Head coach Will Muschamp described him as “a bigger body guy that can hold the point inside” and had him listed as the back-up to sophomore DT Dominique Easley on the spring depth chart. However, two veterans were unable to participate in spring practice, and Orr will likely have limited opportunities to make an impact.

67 – Jon Halapio (St. Petersburg, FL)
Redshirt sophomore guard
6’3” 315 lbs.

Quick Bio: Though the mane poking out the back of his helmet makes him easy to spot, Halapio is quickly becoming a lineman that defenders hope to avoid when lining up. A social & behavioral sciences major, he played in three games as a freshman in 2009 but ended up receiving a medical redshirt. Halapio saw time at all five positions on the offensive line in high school.

2010 Season: The Gators’ starting right guard for seven games last year (including four of the final five), he played in 12 games in total and graded out as a Champion against both Kentucky and Georgia. Halapio was named to the 2010 Sporting News All-Freshman Team for his efforts.

2011 Outlook: Unless something changes, Halapio will start at right guard for Florida when the season begins. He has added a few pounds to his frame and was praised by sophomore buck linebacker Ronald Powell for his work during the spring. “Jon Halapio is a beast, man-child, doing great things on and off the field,” Powell said. “[He’s] just a great guy. You’d never know he’s the type of player he is when you see him off the field. He’s kind of a cuddly guy. On the field, he’s rough – rough.” He also received high acclaim from Muschamp, who said he is also thoroughly impressed with Halapio.

66 – James Wilson (St. Augustine, FL)
Redshirt senior guard
6’3” 325 lbs.

Quick Bio: The No. 2 overall prospect according to Rivals in his recruiting class, Wilson was a five-star recruit who redshirted as a freshman and played in 24 of the Gators’ 28 games from 2008-09, starting four contests. He is a social & behavioral sciences major who is looking to take his talents to the next level in his final collegiate season.

2010 Season: Wilson started at left guard against Miami (OH) but was unable to play in Florida’s final 10 games of 2010 due to a left knee injury.

2011 Outlook: Left off the spring depth chart and called “very limited” by Muschamp while continuing to recover from his knee injury, Wilson’s role in 2011 remains up in the air. With redshirt sophomore Jonotthan Harrison moving to center, the left guard job is available for him to claim but there is plenty of competition he must beat out first.

65 – Tommy Jordan (Ridgefield, CT)
Freshman guard
6’5” 297 lbs.

Quick Bio: A three-star recruit, Jordan was the No. 2 prospect coming out of Connecticut and enrolled during the summer.

2011 Outlook: With plenty of depth at the position, he is a candidate for a redshirt.

64 – Kyle Koehne (Indianapolis, IN)
Redshirt sophomore tackle
6’5” 300 lbs.

Quick Bio: A social & behavioral sciences major like his linemates, Koehne was a three-year starter in high school who left as a three-star recruit. He dressed six times in 2009 but did not see the field.

2010 Season: Though he played in all 13 games, Koehne did so mostly as a member of the field goal unit. He lined up at both tackle and guard on occasion in a reserve role.

2011 Outlook: Slotted as the back-up left tackle on the initial spring depth chart, Koehne will move down to third string once redshirt junior Matt Patchan is declared healthy. He will likely reprise his 2010 role in 2011 unless he can impress enough to move up in the depth chart on the right side.

63 – Trip Thurman (Dover, DE)
Freshman guard
6’6” 302 lbs.

Quick Bio: The top recruit in his state, Thurman was a four-star recruit coming out of high school who also chose to enroll in the summer.

2011 Outlook: Another candidate for a redshirt as a freshman.

60 – William Steinmann (Daytona Beach, FL)
Senior tackle
6’5” 265 lbs.

Quick Bio: A scout player most of his freshman season, the unheralded Steinmann ended up playing against the Citadel in 2008 and saw action in five games in 2009 after suiting up for nearly every contest. He is a political science major who earned a spot on the Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2009 and 2010.

2010 Season: Steinmann participated in 12 of the 13 games, mostly on special teams as a part of the field goal unit.

2011 Outlook: He was listed as the second-team left guard during the spring but will likely only see the field for special teams downs this year.

THE COUNTDOWN: 99-90 | 89-80 | 79-70 | 69-60 | 59-50 | 49-40 |
39-30 | 29-20 | 19-10 | 9-1

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The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (89-80)

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.

89 – Stephen Alli (Toronto, ON)
Redshirt sophomore wide receiver
6’5” 220 lbs.

Quick Bio: A social & behavioral sciences major, Alli is a SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll member who did not see the field in 2009 but played in all 13 games last season. He is also the only Canadian on the team.

Career Stats/2010 Season: Played in all 13 games, registering three receptions for 17 yards. He spent most of his time on the kickoff return and punt block teams.

2011 Outlook: Singled out as a leader by head coach Will Muschamp during spring practice, Alli was listed as the second X-receiver on the depth chart behind redshirt junior Frankie Hammond, Jr.. He is one of nine scholarship receivers on the roster entering the 2011 season.

86 – Clay Burton (Venice, FL)
Freshman defensive end/linebacker
6’4” 234 lbs.

Quick Bio: The younger brother of Florida standout sophomore Trey Burton, Clay is an early enrollee who was a three-star defensive end coming out of high school.

2011 Outlook: Previously penciled in as a third-string defensive end behind senior William Green and redshirt freshman Chris Martin, Burton will likely move up into the back-up role unless the Gators move another defensive lineman into the position.

86 – Josh Postell (Atlanta, GA)
Redshirt junior tight end
6’4” 218 lbs.

Quick Bio: Originally enrolled to compete with the track & field team while studying health education and behavior, Postell walked on to the Florida football team in the fall of 2009. He participated on the scout team that year before finally seeing game action in 2010.

Career Stats (two games): Two receptions for 16 yards

2010 Season: Postell caught a pair of balls against Vanderbilt and stepped on the field against Appalachian State but did not play the rest of the year.

2011 Outlook: Listed on offensive coordinator Charlie Weis’s early depth chart as a back-up at the F-12 position (when the team features one halfback and two tight ends), Postell saw his other competition for the job (redshirt freshman Michael McFarland) transfer in early July. If he does see the field, his work will mostly be limited to blocking duties, though he could haul in a ball or two.

85 – Frankie Hammond, Jr. (Hollywood, FL)
Redshirt junior wide receiver
6’1” 176 lbs.

Quick Bio: A four-star wideout, Hammond is a dual-sport athlete who is also a jumper with the track team. He majors in social & behavioral sciences and earned his way back on scholarship this year after being arrested for driving under the influence in June 2010.

Career Stats (26 games): 26 receptions for 333 yards, three touchdowns; five punt returns for 16 yards; one kick return for 23 yards

2010 Season: Catching just four balls during his redshirt freshman year in 2009, Hammond missed the first two games of 2010 due to suspension but played in the 11 remaining contests. He posted career highs in receptions (five) and yards (69) against Mississippi State and was Florida’s leading receiver that game.

2011 Outlook: Hammond steps into a starting role this season and will likely see time as X-receiver during most offensive possessions. Possessing impressive speed and soft hands, he will be catching passes from redshirt senior John Brantley for the second-straight season and should provide a bit of familiarity for the quarterback.

84 – Quinton Dunbar (Miami, FL)
Sophomore wide receiver
6’1” 170 lbs.

Quick Bio: Teammates with redshirt freshman defensive end Lynden Trail at Booker T. Washington in Miami, Dunbar was also a four-star recruit who, like his teammate, majors in social and behavioral sciences.

2010 Season: Saw action against Miami and LSU.

2011 Outlook: Poised to be one of the Gators’ breakout players this season, Dunbar received high praise from Muschamp and Weis during the spring. He dropped a gift of a pass in the 2011 Orange & Blue Debut but really opened the eyes of his coaches and teammates during practice. “You can’t take away from what Quinton Dunbar has done vertically down the field through the entire body of work of spring,” Muschamp said after the scrimmage. “Dunbar has made more big plays than anybody else.”

83 – Solomon Patton (Mobile, AL)
Sophomore wide receiver
5’9” 175 lbs.

Quick Bio: A four-star prospect coming out of high school, Patton badly wanted to play for UF and chose Florida over his hometown team of Alabama during the recruiting process. A social & behavioral sciences major, Patton was one of a handful of freshman to see meaningful time on the field one year ago.

Career Stats/2010 Season: Patton reeled in four balls for 27 yards and returned seven kickoffs for 196 yards last season. He appeared in 10 games and was a special teams standout who not only brought the ball back on occasion but also blocked one punt and returned another block punt for a touchdown. His 48-yard kickoff return and blocked punt in the Outback Bowl were two of the most memorable plays of the season.

2011 Outlook: Though the Gators have plenty of speedsters, Weis plans to utilize Patton at F-11 during one halfback and one tight end sets. He looked good running the reverse during the Orange & Blue Debut and is excited about the direction of the team. “The coaching staff that we have this year, I’m really enjoying it,” he said. “I just feel like our swag is back. This coaching staff is so laid back, but at the same time they’re coaching us hard. They’re letting us play how we’ve been recruited to play. I’m really excited.”

82 – Omarius Hines (Corsicana, TX)
Redshirt junior wide receiver
6’2” 211 lbs.

Quick Bio: A four-star wide receiver, Hines majors in social & behavioral sciences like many of his teammates and has been moved around a lot during his collegiate career. He used his redshirt in 2008 after dressing but not playing in four games.

Career Stats (17 games): 34 receptions for 453 yards, two touchdowns; 12 carries for 152 yards, two touchdowns

2010 Season: After seeing the field in small bursts one year earlier, Hines started seven contests in 2010 and played in every game. He ended the year with 20 receptions for 281 yards but was moved around a lot due based on others’ injuries and suspensions. He went into the year slotted to play tight end but saw time at receiver and running back. Hines caught a career-high four balls against Georgia and led the team in rushing against Mississippi State (six carries for 58 yards and a TD). He also converted a 36-yard fake punt run against Tennessee.

2011 Outlook: A do-everything player who has soft enough hands to play wideout, Hines will fall back into that role as he is slated to be the team’s starting Z-receiver this season. Muschamp called him the most versatile and consistent pass catcher on the team, noting that he can play in the backfield in the F position and also line up at X-receiver.

81 – A.C. Leonard (Jacksonville, FL)
Freshman tight end
6’4” 245 lbs.

Quick Bio: Considered a top-five player at his position nationally coming out of high school, Leonard was a four-star prospect who was part of both the Rivals100 and ESPNU 150. He enrolled early for 2011 and was a bit homesick but eventually got over it and quickly impressed his teammates and coaches on the field.

2011 Outlook: Listed as the back-up to redshirt sophomore Jordan Reed, Leonard made some nice catches during the Orange & Blue Debut. Muschamp spent some one-on-one time with him in the spring and has a good handle on what he can do for the team in the future. “As he ended the offseason program, he really started to mature and grow up,” the coach said. “I’m very proud of where he is right now. He’s doing a nice job academically. He’s a guy that can really help us in the fall as he continues to mature. Another guy that this time of the year is very important for.”

THE COUNTDOWN: 99-90 | 89-80 | 79-70 | 69-60 | 59-50 | 49-40 |
39-30 | 29-20 | 19-10 | 9-1

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The Countdown: Florida Gators roster (99-90)

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.

99 – Omar Hunter (Buford, GA)
Redshirt junior nose tackle
6’1” 305 lbs.

Quick Bio: A Parade and EA Sports All-American out of high school, Hunter is a five-star recruit who redshirted in 2008. He majors in social & behavioral sciences.

Career Stats (29 games): 40 tackles (17 solo, 4.5 for loss), one pass break up, one blocked field goal

2010 Season: Hunter started six games last year but played in every contest and spent some time on special teams. He amassed 23 tackles and had his best game against Kentucky when he recorded three tackles and had his first career pass break up.

2011 Outlook: In the process of losing weight and fighting through injuries, Hunter was limited during the spring but is expected to jockey with sophomore Sharrif Floyd for the starting job at nose in Florida’s 3-4 set. He hopes to serve as a veteran presence for a unit that could be one of the Gators’ strengths come the fall and has set out to prove to the coaching staff that he can be relied upon. “The message I tried to send was that I was going to be there whether I was hurt or not,” he told ESPN.com. “I’m always going to have their backs and I’m always going to push through injuries for them.”

98 – Zach Brust (Jacksonville, FL)
Senior kicker
6’1” 168 lbs.

Quick Bio: A walk-on who enrolled at Florida in 2007, Brust is majoring in building construction and set to play his final season in the Orange and Blue.

Career Stats (four games): 26 kickoffs for 1,562 yards (60.1 average), one missed XP

2010 Season: With redshirt junior Caleb Strugis out due to an injured back, Brust was the Gators’ kickoff specialist against Georgia, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Appalachian State. He missed an extra point in the latter game.

2011 Outlook: Due to Strugis having nearly fully recovered from his back injuries, Brust will likely once again be relegated to back-up duty.

97 – Brad Phillips (Gainesville, FL)
Sophomore kicker
5’10 178 lbs.

Quick Bio: A walk-on who enrolled at Florida in 2010, Phillips is a former National Honor Society president who is studying pre-pharmacy at UF.

Career Stats (three games): Nine kickoffs for 572 yards (63.6 average)

2010 Season: Like Brust, Phillips filled in for Sturgis on kickoffs, playing against Alabama, LSU and Mississippi State.

2011 Outlook: Also like Brust, Phillips will be a back-up for Strugis should he get injured or the team decides there is a better option to kick the ball off.

96 – William Green (Hoover, AL)
Senior defensive end
6’4” 245 lbs.

Quick Bio: A Parade and EA Sports All-American out of high school, Green is a four-star recruit who was a member of the Rivals100 and ESPN 150 in 2008. He is studying social & behavioral sciences and is set to graduate after this season. Green has played in 39 games during his college career, missing just one in 2008, but has only made one start.

Career Stats (39 games): 32 tackles (21 solo, nine for loss), two sacks

2010 Season: Green played every game in 2010 and broke out with three tackles and a sack against Appalachian State. He amassed 13 takedowns on the season (11 on his own) and had four tackles for a total loss of 15 yards.

2011 Outlook: Praised by new head coach Will Muschamp for his leadership and work ethic both after practice and in Gator Gatherings throughout the state, Green was listed as a starting defensive end on the team’s spring depth chart and is expected to hold that job going into fall. With redshirt freshman Chris Martin having decided to transfer, Green will be counted on more than ever to play extensively at defensive end while some of the younger players behind him develop.

93 – Kedric Johnson (Palmetto, FL)
Redshirt sophomore defensive end
6’4” 225 lbs.

Quick Bio: A three-star recruit coming out of high school, Johnson (like his line mates) is studying social & behavioral sciences at UF. He redshirted in 2009 even though he dressed for the first seven games of the season.

Career Stats/2010 Season: Johnson played in all 13 games last year, registering a total of four tackles (two solo, one for loss) and one pass breakup with most of his work coming on the special teams units.

2011 Outlook: After being cited for misdemeanor possession of marijuana on Jan. 9, Johnson hoped to participate in spring practice but was unable to do so after spraining his knee. He was held out of the 2011 Orange & Blue Debut and left off of the spring depth chart due to his injury. He will likely remain a special teams performer this year.

85 – Lynden Trail (Miami, FL)
Redshirt freshman defensive end
6’7” 217 lbs.

Quick Bio: One of the Gators’ most charismatic players, Trail was a four-star prospect coming out of high school. He married his high school sweetheart before enrolling at Florida and currently majors in social & behavioral sciences.

2010 Season: Trail dressed for the first two games but redshirted in order to retain his four years of eligibility.

2011 Outlook: With the size and speed to be explosive off the end, Trail spent time at buck linebacker in the spring and hopes to see the field extensively in 2011.

91 – Earl Okine (Gainesville, FL)
Redshirt junior defensive tackle
6’7” 282 lbs.

Quick Bio: Third-team All-State coming out of high school, Okine was a four-star recruit who redshirted his freshman season after dressing for six games and saw his first game action in 2009. He is majoring in social & behavioral sciences and hopes to have found a final position after being shuffled around during his career.

Career Stats (16 games): Seven tackles (five solo, one for loss), one sack

2010 Season: Seeing action in just five games during his redshirt freshman season, Okine played in 11 contests in 2010 but missed the final two (against Florida State and Penn State) after suffering a concussion in November. He had moved to blocking tight end at one point during fall practice but was transitioned back to the defensive line.

2011 Outlook: Okine worked at both tackle and end during the spring but missed some practice after having what Muschamp termed as a “medical procedure” on his wrist. He was listed in the spring depth chart as a back-up to Floyd at DT but will have to fight to see major playing time there; he could have additional opportunities at end.

THE COUNTDOWN: 99-90 | 89-80 | 79-70 | 69-60 | 59-50 | 49-40 |
39-30 | 29-20 | 19-10 | 9-1

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