COUNTDOWN: Gators By The Numbers 40-49

First, thanks for the feedback thus far. There have been a number of disagreements, but no character assassinations… so far. Today we go to part five of our series as we count down the greatest Gators in history by the numbers. Our focus today is the greatest Gators who wore numbers 40-49.

#40 BRANDON SILER: One of just two current Gators to make our list, Siler is just a special young man. I had a chance to spend some time with his family and I am not on board with Urban Meyer, he's my favorite too. Siler is a fine player and a better leader, both verbal and by example. He was second on the team in tackles last year, tied for second in QB sacks and QB hurries and recovered a phenomenal seven fumbles. Oh yeah, he's just a true sophomore. Gator fans are hoping he plays all four years and graduates as planned. Honorable mention for Rod Frazier and Johnnie Church.

#41 ED ROBINSON: I don't know if anyone ever called him "steady Eddie" but we probably should have. Robinson was a solid middle backer for the Gators in the earlier nineties. Dexter McNab's half brother, he made his mark in his own right, leading the Gators with 117 tackles in '93. His career total 363 tackles ranks fifth in UF history. Honorable mention for Keith Kelsey and Jimbo Pratt.

#42 JEVON KEARSE: Our tour of linebackers takes us to the most impressive physical specimen I've seen in person. It's amazing he was such a nice, soft spoken guy, considering his imposing presence. He also showed a great deal of maturity and poise when wrongly accused of being a criminal after a family member used his name with authorities. His combination of size, speed and strength earned him the nickname, "The Freak". Honorable mention for Bam Hardmon, Darren Hambrick and James Massey.

#43 GLENN CAMERON: Florida's great LB history really began with Cameron and his running mate Ralph Ortega in the early seventies. Cameron was credited with 185 tackles in '74, earning All-SEC honors before embarking on an eleven-year NFL career. He gets extra points for helping produce the best all-around softball player in UF history, his beautiful and charming daughter Lindsey. Honorable mention for Graham McKeel and Warren Gaffney.

#44 RICHARD TRAPP: Steve Spurrier wasn't throwing the ball to himself when he won the Heisman in '66. Trapp stepped in for the departure of Spurrier's favorite target, Charlie Casey and had a huge year. His 63 catches for 809 yards and eight touchdowns ALL broke school records. Honorable mention for Fee Bartley, James Bates and Marcus Thomas.

#45 CARLOS ALVAREZ: The Cuban Comet saw to it that Trapp's records were short-lived. His 2,969 season has to be the best in UF history, with 88 catches for 1,329 yards and 12 touchdowns. Chad Jackson matched the 88 catches last season, but he took two more games and gained 429 fewer yards. And remember, Alvarez did all that as a sophomore and would still own every UF record had he not been slowed by injuries and Doug Dickey's offense. One can only imagine what Alvarez could have done in the "Fun and Gun". Honorable mention for Leon Pennington and Andra Davis.

#46 CHUCK HUNSINGER: I admit I never saw Mr. Hunsinger play. Shoot, I was born nine years AFTER his Gator career ended in 1949. But he was a two-time ALL-SEC performer and was a number one draft pick in 1950. That's good enough for me. Honorable mention for Fred McCallister, Webbie Burnett and Jarvis Herring.

#47 BRUCE VAUGHN: I've written earlier about those fine Florida secondaries in the '80s and Vaughn was a part of that for four years. An excellent cover corner who was surprisingly tough for his relatively slight build. Honorable mention for Mike Pearson, Rod Graddy and Todd McCullough.

#48 DEXTER DANIELS: He was considered one of a great recruiting victories when he chose the Gators over Georgia in 1992, but he never became the great player that another Valdosta linebacker that year, Randall Godfrey did. Still. Daniels was a consistent solid player on some very good Gator defenses, earning All-SEC as a senior. And he was part of three SEC Titles. Honorable mention for Wayne Barfield and Doug Drew.

#49 JEFF CHANDLER: I'll be honest, I have given non-kickers the benefit of the doubt and left some very good kickers and punters in the "honorable mention" category, but this time I gotta give Jeff his due. Chandler is UF's all-time leader with 368 points, including 67 field goals. Honorable mention for Fernando Jackson.

So that's our latest list.

Feedback is always welcome: Vettel@gatorcountry.com


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