The Final Chapter-The Best Gator Quarterbacks

For the past three weeks, we've been trying to get you geared up for college football with a stroll down memory lane as we salute the best Gators at every position on the field. We certainly hope this has been a fun exercise and created some enjoyable debate along the way.

Today the series ends with the best quarterbacks in UF history. The fully appreciate the difficulty of this endeavor you have to put some things in perspective. At virtually every school every Heisman Trophy winner or top five finisher, SEC Player of the Year, NCAA record setter and all-time leading passer would make the top five. Not here. We could not make a top five without leaving out at least one guy who fit at least one of those categories.

Six Gator QBs have been SEC Player of the Year. Two others who never received that honor started and won an SEC Championship Game and yet another broke an NCAA record. So we did our best, chose the top five and let the chips fall where they may. But leaving out a Heisman Trophy winner seems really strange.

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
Fullback: John L Williams
Tailback: Emmitt Smith
Receiver: Wes Chandler


#5 Chris Leak ----- Not many QBs have to go through two head coaches and three offensive coordinators. Even fewer produce big numbers and championships while doing so. His 11,213 yards are the most in school history and his 88 touchdown passes is second only to Danny Wuerffel. He was also superb in the two biggest games of his career and accomplished all of it without the luxury of great talent at WR.

#4 Shane Matthews ----- The Fun and Gun cannot work in the physical rough and tumble SEC. That truth never registered with the soft spoken son of Pascagoula, Mississippi. Matthews starred in the 1990 Orange and Blue game in Jacksonville and proceeded to have a record breaking career at UF. He finished with 9,287 yards and 74 TDs and was twice the SEC Player of the year. But most importantly, he quarterbacked the Gators to their first untainted, non-asterisked SEC Championship in 1991.

#3 Rex Grossman ----- Florida didn't recruit Grossman out of Indiana, he recruited the Gators. When Steve Spurrier said yes, he signed arguably the most gifted passer ever to play at UF; Grossman literally could "make all the throws" as coaches like to say. He was amazing in 2001 when he passed for a school record 3,896 yards and 34 TDs. Had Earnest Graham been healthy all year I'm convinced the 2001 Gators would have run the table and played for the National Championship.

#2 Tim Tebow ----- There has never been a player like Tim Tebow in college football and I'm reasonably confident there won't be another. He runs like Errict Rhett, throws like Boomer Esiason and has the off-the-charts character of Danny Wuerffel. He has run for 2,037 yards and 43 TDs while passing for 6,390 and 67 more scores and amazingly has been intercepted just 11 times. He's won a Heisman and been part of two BCS National Champs, but he still has some work to do to surpass his idol at the top of this list. In six months, he just might be there.

#1 Danny Wuerffel ----- There's never been a better fit for a system than this son of a preacher man and his volatile coach. Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel complimented each other perfectly and the results were spectacular. Wuerffel started and won three SEC Championship games something no other quarterback has done. He passed for 10,875 yards and an incredible 114 touchdowns during his Gator career. He won the Heisman in '96 and arguably should have won it in '95.

HM: Steve Spurrier, Kerwin Bell, John Reaves

HM2: Doug Johnson, Wayne Peace, Terry Dean

Let's debate this on the radio this afternoon 4-6,

Fightin Gators Top Stories