Numerous articles and comments I've read concerning the losses of Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy lead me to believe some think the Gators are hurting for playmakers. I assure you, this isn't the case.
Now don't get me wrong, when a team losses their top two receivers, it's always a concern. Lets take a gander at what they will be working with in 2009, Billy Jean.
UF's receiving core has quite some shoes to fill. These big boys should have no problem doing just that.
Riley had one of the best catches I witnessed all year, and it was against the Mighty Citadel, none the less(giggle). The Bulldogs safety hung on him, and was flagged for it.
Although interfered with, it did not stop the, 6-3 Junior from Clearwater, from making a spectacular, one-handed, 43 yard grab for the touchdown. His numbers were not much to boast about, 18 catches for 261 yards and 3 zone-daddies, but what was impressive was how timely his catches were.
He had two snags against Bama that went for 56 yards and a much needed six. Look for Tebow's roommate to get more opportunities in '09.
Thompson struggled to get on the field early this year, not playing at all against Tennessee or Mississippi and earning mop-up time against LSU, Kentucky, and Arkansas. Keep in mind, this reds-shirt freshman did sit behind some heavy hitters. Thompon, did though, receive much praise from Meyer for his work ethic.
The stand-out from Belle Glade FL led the gator team in receiving yards in their rout of the Gamecocks, and caught his first touchdown, in Jacksonville, against the Bulldogs.
Nelson had confidence issues at the beginning of the season, and therefore, was benched by Meyer for six games in the early going. When he got his head on straight, he accumulated 228 yards on 12 catches and scored five touchdowns.
His contributions came in crucial moments. He scored touchdowns against Vandy, Kentucky, Bama, and OU. His 6-5 220 pound frame makes him an ideal target for Tebow. Look for him to be amongst the starters in his Senior season, next year.
Another playmaker overshadowed, and underused, due to veterans in his spot. Moore is a bad man at 6-3 220 lbs. He has the size, speed, and soft hands to be impactful in '09.
When he did get to play, he didn't disappoint, with a sixer against Bama in the SEC Championship Game, and key receptions against Arkansas. He looks to be another Senior leader on the offense next season.
You've probably already heard, but he was the No. 2 receiver in the nation last year. He is said the have Harvin-like ability. Debose is a 6 foot 175 lb. stud from Seminole FL. He was rated the No. 1 in both the "Best After Catch" and "Best Deep Threat."
"I know I can't single guys out, but I'm going to single him out," Meyer said. "He's as good as there is. I think he's the best player in America." Debose said he expects to play right away and even talked about helping Florida get to the national title game in the Rose Bowl.
Whether he's making a one-handed reception in the end-zone or rumbling down the field after catching a forward pass from Tebow in a triple option, this kid can do it all. He was the second best tight end in the nation last year, hands down.
The 6 foot 3, 255 pounder went for 381 yards on 34 receptions and had five zoneaphones in 12 games this past year. Hernandes has yet to have enough, and will return for his senior year.
UF 's size among the receiving core is undeniable, but what's more impressive, is the gator's backs.
I tried to warn you. I told you he would make an immediate impact.
I fell in love with this guy form the moment I saw him run that 10.1 100m in the Olympics. His big, strong, muscula...whoa...chill brah.
Anyway, the "Fastest Teenager in America" was not just a nickname, it's completely factual. He actually tied the world junior record. Demps had an impressive freshman season carrying the ball 78 times for 605 yards and seven McZones, with a side of fast sauce. He averaged, a scary, 7.8 yards a tote.
"Mr. 4.24"...Man, that's a cool nickname. He acquired it after a forty yard dash against Florida students during a spring practice. Rainey won. Rainey had similar numbers to Demps, he carried the ball 84 times for 652 yards.
He suffered, what appeared to be devastating injury in the BCS Championship Game, but his ankle injury proved to be mild. Rainey also averaged, a terrifying, 7.8 yards per carry.
The USC transplant did well this past season in Orange and Blue. He carried the ball 58 times for 417 yards, and he averaged 7.82 yards per attempt. He covered some ground against both Tennessee(9 attempts, 55 yards) and UGA(7 attempts, 71 yards). Moody will be a Junior in 09' and he will likely get more playing time with the absence of Percy Harvin.
Well known for his return abilities, James has also been figured into the mix on the offensive side of the ball from time to time with success in the past two seasons. James averaged 4.2 yards per rush, and 8.6 yards per reception.
He decided to forgo the NFL draft to finish out his college career at UF. Tennessee beware, he loves reaching your little orange checkers.
Watch Conan O'Brien.