The Best Gator Inside Linebackers

Today, we finish the first week of our three-week look at the best players to play every position at The University of Florida with a look at the best inside linebackers in school history.

We've already gone through the specialists as well as defensive tackles, ends and outside linebackers. Here is the upcoming schedule:

Week 2 --- Cornerback, Safety, Center, Guard, Offensive Tackle

Week 3 --- Tight End, Fullback, Wide receiver, Running Back, QB

Choosing the best inside linebackers was the most difficult position for me because there are so many good ones to choose from. By the time I finally got it down to five guys I looked at the list and honestly could have ranked them in just about any order. But I had to come up with something, so I did.

We fully expect there to be some debate/disagreement about these selections and/or the order they are listed in. That's what makes things like this fun and interesting. We encourage your disagreement and input and look forward to making this one of the highlights of what is normally a pretty lousy month (July) for college football fans.


#5 Brandon Spikes ----- He's a lot bigger than most middle linebackers but he sure makes a lot of plays. What stands out about Spikes is the fact that he's as likely to sack the QB as he is to intercept a pass. His hit on Knowshon Moreno clearly set the tone in last year's Florida/Georgia game. Spikes could move up a lot with a big senior season.

#4 Ralph Ortega ----- You want to get fans if the seventies riled up start an argument about whether Ortega or Glenn Cameron was the better player. Cameron had an off-the charts season in 1974, but Ortega ended up with more career tackles so he gets the nod here… but not by a lot.

#3 David Little ----- There haven't been more linebackers in Florida history more active than Little was for four years. He holds the school record with 475 tackles and was a key guy in the 1980 turnaround from 0-10-1 to 8-4.

#2 Sammy Green ----- In 1976 Green set a UF record with 202 tackles and that mark is still standing more than 30 years later. Green was a true sideline to sideline defender and registered all those tackles in just 11 games. Nowadays a guy with 18 tackles in National Player of the Week. That was Green's average game in '76.

#1 Scott Brantley ----- He gets my vote as the hardest hitter I've seen at this position for the Gators. I got to see him in person in 1978 and even though the team wasn't very good he sure was with 193 tackles that year. There's no way the 1979 Gators finish winless is "Brant" doesn't get hurt in the second game of the season. Interestingly enough (or not) Scott Brantley is the first Florida football player I ever interviewed.

HM: Glenn Cameron, Charlie Williams, Ed Robinson, Tim Paulk, Godfrey Myles and Channing Crowder

You can discuss this with me since this will be one of my topics on the radio today from 4:00 to 6:00 on AM850, WRUF. You can listen online at You can call in at 352/392-855 OR 877/392-8255 (toll free).

That's the first of three weeks of ranking the top players at every position. Next week we start off with cornerbacks and safeties.

Fightin Gators Top Stories