FOOTBALL: Captains and Leaders Committee Named

Senior cornerback Vernell Brown (Gainesville, Fla.), senior center Mike Degory (Palm Bay, Fla.), senior safety Jarvis Herring (Live Oak, Fla.), junior quarterback Chris Leak (Charlotte, N.C.) and senior defensive end Jeremy Mincey (Statesboro, Ga.) were announced as team captains for the 2005 season on Friday.

In addition, 16 players were voted to the 2005 Gator Football Leadership Committee by their teammates. The Committee is charged with acting as spokesmen for the team and handling situations related to team policy issues, academic affairs, off-campus circumstances and other topics.

Vernell Brown (cornerback) - Completed undergraduate work in May of 2005 and earned his bachelor's degree in Family, Youth & Community Sciences. Participated in all 12 games last season and was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll. Also finished sixth in the league in punt returns with 7.7 yards per return.

Tate Casey (tight end) - Tied for fourth nationally and tied for second in the SEC among freshmen tight ends with four touchdown receptions. Become first true UF freshman TE to catch a touchdown pass since 1979. Four of his eight catches were TDs and he totaled 127 yards on eight receptions for a 15.9-yard average.

Jemalle Cornelius (wide receiver) - Made 12 catches for 154 yards last season and had three touchdowns. Was a member of UF's punt return package and saw time on the kickoff return team. Scored on a 21-yard run on a lateral against Georgia and snagged a 45-yard pass for a touchdown in the Peach Bowl against Miami (Fla.).

Mike Degory (center) - Two-time selection to the Rimington Trophy Watch List and SEC Good Works Team in 2003 and 2004. Two-time second-team All-SEC honoree who has earned UF's Outstanding Offensive Lineman award the past two seasons. Has started every game of his collegiate career.

Earl Everett (linebacker) - Second-team All-SEC recipient in 2004, when he rated second on the Gators with 74 tackles. He tied for the team lead with 4.5 sacks and his 51 solo tackles paced the squad. Named to the SEC All-Freshman team in 2003.

Derrick Harvey (defensive end) - Will be beginning his collegiate career after redshirting in 2004.

Jarvis Herring (safety) - Earned honorable mention All-SEC recognition last season, when he started at free safety and was a regular on special teams. Ranked third in the SEC with a team-leading four interceptions. Finished 30th in the league, 13th among defensive backs, with 5.5 tackles per game. Came up with key interception with 10 seconds remaining in the win over Florida State.

Chad Jackson (wide receiver) - Established a school record last year with an average of 22.3 yards per catch, a figure that ranked third nationally. Eight of his 29 catches went for over 20 yards. Finished with 648 yards receiving and scored seven touchdowns. One of only two Florida receivers to catch a pass in all 12 games.

Kyle Jackson (safety) - Was one of eight freshmen to see action last season, when he played in 11 contests and made five starts. Had two interceptions versus South Carolina, becoming the first true rookie to notch multiple picks in a game since Daryl Dixon (1998).

Chris Leak (quarterback) - Second-team All-SEC selection in 2004 after ranking first in the conference in passing yards per game (266.4), total offense (273.5) and touchdowns (29). Collected honorable mention All-America status from Pro Football Weekly. His 5,632 passing yards rank eighth all-time in school history and Leak's 45 touchdown passes are the second-most by a player during his first two seasons at UF to Rex Grossman's 55. Has thrown a touchdown pass in all 21 of his starts, the longest streak in the SEC.

Markus Manson (running back) - Will be beginning his collegiate career after redshirting in 2004.

Todd McCullough (linebacker) - Two-time selection to the SEC Academic Honor Roll who has played in 29 games and made six starts. Has 68 career tackles, including 33 solo hits.

Jeremy Mincey (defensive end) - Started all 12 games during his first season in Gainesville. Chosen as the team's Outstanding Defensive Lineman after leading the defensive line with 51 tackles. His total of nine tackles for a loss was the second-highest on the Gators. Made an interception in the victory over South Carolina.

David Nelson (wide receiver) - True freshman who completed his prep career at Rider (Texas) High School with 91 receptions for 1,641 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Brandon Siler (linebacker) - Named as the 2004 SEC Freshman of the Year and was selected as a first-team Freshman All-American by The Sporting News and the Scripps/FWAA. Started six games and played all 12 games last season. Joined Scot Brantley as the lone freshmen in school history to lead the team in tackles, when he had 77 (50 solo).

Tavares Washington (offensive tackle) - Redshirted in 2004 after appearing in six games during the 2003 season.

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