Howard and Rainey Earn Senior Bowl Invite

A down season for the Gators ended with two of the team's best players getting invited to the Senior Bowl. Running back Chris Rainey and defensive tackle Jaye Howard were both selected to participate in the Senior Bowl on January 28 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. This is the third consecutive year that a senior from Florida has participated in the game.

"Chris and Jaye both enjoyed outstanding seasons and careers for Florida and we're excited about adding them to the South roster," Senior Bowl President and CEO Steve Hale said. "Both players bring a lot of talent to the table and it will be fun watching them compete along with the rest of the nation's top seniors here at the Senior Bowl."

Rainey and Howard being selected to the game upped the total to 16 former Gators to participate in the game. Riley Cooper and Tim Tebow participated in 2009 while Ahmad Black, Marcus Gilbert, Chas Henry and Mike Pouncey participated in 2010.

Rainey finished the season as an All-SEC First Team member as an all-purpose player. He led the Gators in rushing yards, receptions, all-purpose yards and punt return yards in 2011. He also blocked two punts in 2011, earning the school and SEC record of six career blocked punts. He leaves Florida ninth all-time with 2,464 rushing yards.

"It feels good. I know a lot of great players have come to this game and I'm glad I'm invited and hope to do the best that I can to compete with the other greats," Chris Rainey said in a statement.

Howard earned the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors three times during his career. He was fourth on the team in 2011 with 65 tackles and second on the team and tied a career high with 5.5 sacks. Howard was named an AP All-SEC Honorable Mention performer.

He leaves Gainesville with 131 total tackles, 25.5 tackles for losses and 11 sacks.

"I want to prove that I'm one of the elite defenders in this class this year and it's a business trip for me," Jaye Howard said of the Senior Bowl.

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