Final Week of the Best Gators: Fullbacks

We continue our final week of breaking down the top Gators at every position on the football field with a really strong group of players in the fullback spot. This list has been pretty solid for almost a half century and the way offensive football is heading it might be the same five guys a half century from now.

The season for that is simple. Fullbacks rarely if ever get to carry the ball anymore. In fact, no Florida fullback since Dexter McNabb in ‘91 has been much more than a blocker in the backfield. So here goes, but first let's go through the top Gator at each position thus far:

Specialists: Brandon James
D Tackle: David Galloway
D End: Jack Youngblood
Outside LB: Wilber Marshall
Inside LB: Scott Brantley
Corner: Lito Sheppard
Safety: Reggie Nelson
Center: Jeff Mitchell
Guard: Burton Lawless
Tackle: Lomas Brown
Tight end: Ben Troupe

The best fullbacks in Florida history are an impressive group.

#5 Larry Dupree ----- He was a big factor in the Gator offense in the early-60s gaining more than 1,700 yards in his three seasons. He led the team in rushing in each of those seasons and was All-SEC each year and an All-American in his senior season of 1964.

#4 Rick Casares ----- There's not a lot of statistical data to support this selection, but having talked with people who were around in the early-50s convinced me this is one of the best athletes in school history. He was a hard nosed runner whose toughness was unquestioned. He earned All-SEC honors in football and basketball

#3 James Jones ----- He came to the Gators as a tight end from Pompano Beach Ely but left as one of the greatest all-around fullbacks UF ever had. Jones ran for 2,026 yards and 17 TDs for the Gators and was the team's leading rusher 1980-82. He also made one of the most memorable plays ever with his falling backwards TD catch to beat Miami 17-14 in 1982. No, he wasn't in the end zone before his butt hit the turf at Florida Field, but why quibble?

#2 Jimmy Dubose ----- If there was ever a fullback born for the wishbone offense it was "Jimmy Du". DuBose was the key guy in the most prolific rushing attack in Gators history in 1975. It's the only time Florida has averaged more than 300 yards a game on the ground to this day. DuBose led the Gators with 1,307 yards, a UF record that stood for a dozen years.

#1 John L Williams ----- Many considered him the top running back recruit in the country when he came out of Palatka High School in 1982. He shared tailback duties his first year but switched to fullback in '83 to give the Gators an incredible one-two punch with Neal Anderson. John L. would end up running for 2,409 yards and also twice led the Gators in receptions. He is one of three players in school history to top 2,000 rushing yards and 800 receiving yards. He went on to be one of the best receiving Fullbacks in NFL: history.

HM: Dexter McNabb, Cedric Smith, Dwayne Mobley, Billy Latsko

Get ready for some significant differences of opinion with the final three segments of our series starting tomorrow with the tailbacks/running backs.


Fightin Gators Top Stories