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)
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.
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.