Underappreciated Football Standouts: Part 7

I was thumbing through last year's Gator football media guide and was looking at the long list of All-SEC performers in Orange and Blue through the years and one thing really stood out to me. I was taken aback by the number of truly outstanding players who never made first team All-SEC.

This is my 30th year covering the Gators and I started going year by year through the seasons and name after name kept coming up of guys who were either second team selections at best or never earned All-Conference recognition. So for the next couple of weeks as we stagger through the uneventful month of July, I'll be remembering some of those guys who are the best of the group of Gators whose honors never lived up to their contributions.

Today we continue the countdown with one of the four most under appreciated guys in my years covering the Gators. Let's review the six we've already identified:

#10 ----- Tony Rowell
#9 ----- Chris Leak
#8 ----- Harrison Houston
#7 ----- Ray Criswell
#6 ----- Doug Johnson
#5 ----- Elijah Williams

#4 ----- Ed Robinson ----- If you asked 99 percent of Gator fans to name the top tackler in the last 25 years of Gator football, the answers would probably be guys like Tim Paulk, Carlton Miles, James Bates and others. But the correct answer would be Ed Robinson. Robinson was an underrated recruit coming out of Ft. Walton Beach and most recruiting analysts considered him to be a package deal to get his more highly regarded teammate and half-brother Dexter McNab.

Au contraire!

Robinson became a mainstay on the Gator defenses that brought home SEC Championships in 1991 and '93. He ended his career with 363 tackles, fifth best in school history. He wasn't flashy. He didn't blitz quarterbacks or pile up tackles for a loss. Ed Robinson wasn't a guy who knocked off helmets or wowed observers with big hits. He was simply an incredibly steady and reliable football player. He knew where he was supposed to be and he was always there. During his four seasons with the Gators Miles, Paulk, Godfrey Myles and Fee Bartley all earned All-SEC honors, but when it was all said and done, it was Ed Robinson who had the most career stops.

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