Florida Gators: College Football Preview

Charlie JonesContributor IJune 1, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FL - APRIL 18: Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the University of Florida passes upfield during the spring football Orange and Blue game April 18, 2009 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

With the return of quarterback Tim Tebow, the Florida Gators are set to be ranked in the top five, if not in the No. 1 spot, of this year's BCS poll.

But are they ready to defend their national title?

Both offensive tackles from last year's squad are gone and must be replaced. It took five games last year for the Gator offensive line to get their act together, and with two new additions we'll have to wait and see how fast their new line can gel.

Next, the Gators must replace their two starting receivers. Riley Cooper, Carl Moore, and Deonte Thompson will need to step up their games. Replacing Percy Harvin and his amazing numbers (133 catches for 1,929 yards and 13 touchdowns, 194 rushes for 1,852 yards and 19 touchdowns in three seasons) is no easy task.

Tight end Aaron Hernandez has become Tebow’s go-to guy this spring. Urban Meyer has labeled Hernandez a “surefire pro,” and the Gators will look for him in crucial third down situations.

Defensively, the Gators are returning the entire two-man deep crew from last season. This makes them one of the top defenses in the country. 

So, the Gators' national championship hopes rely on their offensive line coming together quickly and being able to protect the big dog Tim Tebow.


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