Thirteen scholarship seniors will play their last game in The Swamp on Saturday. It isn't a big class that made it through the grind that is the University of Florida football program, but it is one that will leave a mark none the less. Six on offense, sex on defense, and one special teams All-American kicker will soon the orange and blue for the last time in front of the home fans.
Offensive lineman James Wilson
spent six years on campus as a Gator. He along with redshirt senior receivers Frankie Hammond
and Omarius Hines
, offensive lineman Sam Robey
, defensive linemen Earl Okine
, Nick Alajajian
, and Omar Hunter
, linebacker Lerentee McCray
, and kicker Caleb Sturgis
all have jewelry in the form of 2008 National Championship rings to brag about as they leave. Running back Mike Gillislee
, offensive tackle Xavier Nixon
, linebacker Jon Bostic
, and Josh Evans
, all who have played since the first year they stepped on campus, won't be taking home any bling, but will know they were a part of the start of possibly something special in the beginning of the Will Muschamp
coaching era at Florida
A possible 10-12 win season and an undefeated year at home is nothing to scoff at especially when playing in the SEC. These guys have made their mark.
Hats go off to the guys that stepped up in their last year. Mike Gillislee came from obscurity and now is just 158 yards from a 1,000 yard season. It would be the first by a Gator since 2004. Hammond and Hines have been integral parts of the offense in this 7th ranked team. Lerentee McCray was a force in several games and giving the Gators some pass rush it lacked in previous years. Omar Hunter stepped up and has had a terrific year in the middle of the line. Jon Bostic has had his best year as a Gator as has been a terrific leader on defense. Evans has been the guy with little accolades and maybe performing the best of all of them. Finally, Sturgis is someone no one would trade away for anyone else and has been clutch as usual in this his senior season.
It has been a rocky year in the sense that so many games were close. It has taken the likes of these 13 seniors to keep it together at times. One thing you can say about this team and this group is that they never gave up, not once. They have had more come from behind wins than maybe any squad in Florida history. Fortitude should be their middle name.
To the 2012 senior class, we here at Fightin' Gators salute you for your hard work and dedication to the program we root for.
Below is a list of the different story lines from the week.
Notebook: Not worried about national respect
Muschamp SEC Teleconference
Podcast: Gators and More with Hollywood Bob
A look at Jacksonville State
Reed is a constant on offense
Hammond enjoying the season despite troubles
Offense would change for Brissett
Adjusting to jumpstart the pass
Hollywood Bob talks about offensive woes
Locally grown Okine preps for senior day
Quinn enjoys coaching in college
Quinn breaks down junior draft prospects