Florida Football: 3 Gators Make ESPN Midseason All-America Team

Stephen SheehanCorrespondent IOctober 17, 2012

Mike Gillislee has leaped into the national spotlight as a senior.
Mike Gillislee has leaped into the national spotlight as a senior.Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

With the Florida Gators off to a 6-0 start—including wins against Texas A&M and LSU—both the team and some of its stars are receiving the recognition they deserve. 

Will Muschamp's squad, which entered the season at No. 23 in the AP Poll, has vaulted to No. 3 thanks in large part to the fleet-footed Mike Gillislee, strong-legged Kyle Christy and hard-hitting Matt Elam

All three players earned spots on ESPN.com's midseason All-America team Wednesday, tying No. 1 Alabama for the most players on the list. 

Gillislee, who entered his senior season with just 145 collegiate carries to his name, has made people quickly forget about Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps. 

The 5'11", 209-pound running back has been Florida's offensive MVP midway through the season carrying the ball 120 times for 615 yards and seven touchdowns. 

His quick ascension as one of the nation's top tailbacks has been a godsend for a team that still lacks a developed passing game with sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel behind center. 

With Gillislee literally carrying the offense on his back, the Gators have often won games through their strong special teams play, and punter Kyle Christy has proven to be a legitimate weapon in flipping the field. 

Just a sophomore, the Indiana native leads the SEC with a 46.4 yards-per-punt average, often putting UF's defense in a great position to wreak havoc on opposing offenses. 

Speaking of defense, there's no doubt that safety Matt Elam deserved to be on the All-America squad. 

A true leader-by-example, the 5'10", 202-pound junior hits like a missile from his strong safety spot and talks an even louder game. 

While linebacker Jon Bostic ensures the front seven is lined up correctly, Elam does that and more for UF's talented secondary. 

Through six games, the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. native has recorded 33 tackles, one sack, one pick and forced a tide-turning fumble in UF's 14-6 upset against then-No. 4 LSU. 

Florida's players and coaches have tried to stay out of the spotlight during the team's 6-0 start, but Gillislee, Christy and Elam certainly earned their spots on the All-America team for their contributions this season.