Jack Youngblood=defense. That is why he sits at No. 5 on the all time SEC player list.
Youngblood earned a reputation as a tough player during his college years with the Florida Gators before he even made headlines playing in the Super Bowl with a broken leg.
Starting out as a fullback in his football career, Youngblood graduated from Florida as one of the best defensive ends in the nation. Since Florida didn’t keep sack stats until the mid-1970s, we'll never know for sure how hard Youngblood crushed the competition, but we can definitely imagine.
Youngblood and his teammates were the first to try Gatorade. He has said, "That first stuff was lethal! It was thick, like syrup, and had an aftertaste. Then, it started to look like milk."
As a sophomore in 1968, Youngblood played defensive end and defensive tackle. He also handled the kicking chores for the Gators, kicking a career-long 42-yard field goal to provide the three-point winning margin in his first collegiate game against Air Force.
Youngblood first gained national attention in 1969 after a five-sack performance in the Gators' 21-6 win against instate rival FSU. He set a school record for sacks (14) in 1969 and led the teams' defensive linemen with 66 tackles.
In 1970, Youngblood was voted an All-American. Additionally, he was voted the 1970 SEC Lineman of the Year.
In 1971, Youngblood was the 20th pick in the first round of the NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He went on to be named an All-Pro five times and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Youngblood used to come into my old place of work—a mail and copy center. We used to talk about the Gators. It was awesome.