Five Most Irreplaceable Gators

As the season draws near several things have become pretty clear with regards to the 2007 Gator Football Team. Florida will field an extremely talented, athletic squad this fall; one which man for man might actually be better than last's national champs.

Well, better in terms of raw, physical talent but certainly not in terms of playing experience. We do not yet know about their moxie and ability to handle the stress of weekly wars in the SEC.

We also have a pretty good idea about which Gators are the most important in Florida's quest to defend all three of their titles, starting with the SEC Eastern Division crown. So here's our look at the five guys who Florida would be hardest-pressed to do without in the upcoming season.

1. Derrick Harvey ----- The only returning starter in Florida's front seven on defense, Harvey means everything to this team. The sensation junior defensive end was simply impossible to block late last season and has earned pre-season All-American recognition. His talent is crucial to allowing the other defensive end to develop naturally. His leadership is equally important on a unit that's so young they can't get into R-rated moves together.

2. Tim Tebow ----- It's not often a new signal-caller can be such a critical part of a team, but that's show biz. Tebow is not only the perfect combination of runner and passer for this offense, but he has done an incredible job in handling the immense attention and adulation that has been coming his way. Oh we'll see his human side on more than a few occasions with the teams the Gators have to contend with, but he needs to be there for this team to reach its highest goals.

3. Brandon Spikes ----- A year ago a middle linebacker named Brandon topped this list, and this year it's his replacement that must stay healthy. Spikes, like his predecessor is not only urgently needed in the Florida defensive lineup but off the field as well. He has an infectious personality that makes others gravitate towards him and his confidence will help his young unit weather the inevitable hardships that are bound to come their way.

4. Kestahn Moore ----- For the past two years Urban Meyer has been looking for a guy to distance himself from the other running backs and secure the position. His wait is over. Moore is clearly the best the Gators have and his treat in the backfield is a significant element in the diverse collection of problems Florida will cause opposing defenses. When the number two running back is either undersized (Brandon James, Chris Rainey) or a receiver (Jarred Fayson) it's additionally important that Moore we ready, willing and able each and every Saturday.

5. Drew Miller ----- While Miller has had his days when he has struggled snapping the ball, it's nothing compared with some of the other carnage we saw out there. Florida's back up center position is such that Maurkice Pouncey is quickly being groomed for the post. However should Miller go down, tackle Phil Trautwein would probably move to center, causing disruption all over the offensive line and weakening one of Florida's strongest units.

In terms of actual "talent" Percy Harvin is the most irreplaceable Gator of the team all, but Florida's depth of talent at receiver would still leave the team loaded in that unit. However if any of those five guys listed here were to go down Florida would have a huge challenge on its hands.

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