The Best Gators in the Biggest Numbers

Our stroll down numerical memory lane wraps up today as we take a look at the best players to suit up for the Gators in the numbers 90-99.

#90 Huey Richardson ----- The Gators were dealing with the worst of the NCAA sanctions when the class of '86 was signed and Florida needed some big time recruits. Richardson was about as good as it could get. A star from suburban Atlanta, Richardson chose the Gators over Georgia. Huey was ideal for the rush linebacker in a 3-4 scheme or the speed rusher in a 4-3. No matter, he got to play both during his Florida career. He set the UF record for sacks with 12.5 his senior season and still ranks third in career sacks (26.5). Nobody enjoyed Florida's 38-7 win over the Dawgs in '90 than Richardson. Honorable mention for Val Brown and Mike Moten.

#91 Derrick Harvey ----- He was a highly-touted signee out of suburban Washington DC, but it took awhile for Harvey to hit his stride. It didn't take nearly as long for him to hit Troy Smith in the BCS Title Game. Harvey was so dominant that night that he legitimately considered turning pro. Instead he came back for another season and registered 8.5 sacks on his way to being a No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. Honorable mention to Derrick Chambers.

#92 Reggie McGrew ----- A recruiting switch that helped UF, Reggie was a solid run-stopper in the middle for Gators. He was one of several guys who were thrown for a loop when Ed Chester suffered his devastating injury and that may have convinced him to turn pro early. He was a first round pick, but in the pros (like college) he had trouble staying healthy. Honorable mention for Darren Mickell.

#93 Alonzo Johnson ----- A tremendous outside linebacker Alonzo Johnson might have had the best combination of skills of any who played that spot for the Gators. Johnson was tremendous against the run and a superb pass rusher. He gave the Gators the kind of presence where teams had to game-plan around avoiding him. He ranks second on the UF lists in sacks (27) and tackles for loss (55). He is one of only two Gators to have two seasons with double-digit sacks. Simply put, he was ZO good! Honorable mention for Tim Beauchamp and Trace Armstrong.

#94 Ed Chester ----- It's hard to believe, but there was a disagreement on the Florida staff about whether or not to sign this intelligent, high-character lineman from the Tampa area. Fortunately for UF the "take him" crowd won out. Chester may not have been as nasty and physical as some would like, but man he could play. He was second-team All-SEC as a junior and was well on his way to first team honors before a freak injury destroyed his knee and ended his career. Honorable mention for Jarvis Moss, William Gaines and Melvin Flournoy.

#95 Ray McDonald Jr. ----- Despite injury issues, McDonald had a productive and important career for the Gators. He was part of an outstanding defensive line for the 2006 champs and was the one guy who could play anywhere along the front. He had a memorable TD against Georgia in his senior year and ended his career with 23 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. Honorable mention for James Speer.

#96 Jeff Roth ----- That was a pretty good front three in 1988 with Roth, Rhondy Weston and Trace Armstrong, wasn't it? They keyed a Florida defense that posted three shutouts in the first five games and held nine opponents under 20. Roth was the least publicized of the three, but held his ground in the middle against much larger blockers who couldn't match his quickness. His play earned him first team All-SEC recognition.

#97 David Barnard ----- From Miami Senior High, Barnard was a load to try and move on the defensive line. He wasn't All-SEC, teammates like Mark Campbell and Ellis Johnson made the big plays, but Barnard was an important part of the unbeaten '95 defense. We found out how important when his shoulder injury helped make life very easy for Nebraska's running attack in the Fiesta Bowl. Honorable mention for Mike Brandon.

#98 Patrick Miller ----- The outside linebacker opposite Alonzo Johnson, Miller was faster than most safeties and tougher than most linemen. If you had to choose the best kick cover guy ever at UF you'd have a hard time passing on this guy. Hew wins one of the closest calls on the list. Honorable mention for Godfrey Myles.

#99 Sammy Green ----- He was credited with 202 tackles in 1975. I'm not kidding; he was credited with 202 tackles in 1975! The previous year the Gators had two stud linebackers in Glen Cameron and Ralph Ortega… but Green made sure there wouldn't be much drop off. Despite playing in the shadow of two great ones (and often lining up at nose guard) until his senior year, Green is third on the UF tackles list with 457. Honorable mention for Ian Scott, Roy Harris and Tim Paulk.

So that's it, from 0-99 the best to wear each number at the University of Florida. Sure, we disagreed on a few of these, but that's the fun of it. Still, it shows the depth of great performers the Gators have had through the years and the odd list of numbers that have never had an All-SEC performer for the Orange and Blue.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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