Open Mic: The Florida Gators All-Time Lineup of My Lifetime

Michael OleszekAnalyst IAugust 7, 2008

The choices I made for this team were not all the best players at their respective positions, nor the best of all time, but these were the players I have seen that I feel were the best to suit up at the University of Florida.


QB—Shane Matthews: I know I'm going to get killed on this for not picking Danny Wuerffel, but to me, Shane Matthews set the tone at quarterback for the Gators. 

RB—Errict Rhett: A true beast at running back who broke Emmitt Smith's school record for rushing yards.

RB—Fred Taylor: After sharing carries for most of his UF career, Fred Taylor rushed for 1,292 yards his senior year, including a 162-yard, four touchdown performance against the number one-ranked rushing defense in a 32-29 upset of FSU.

WR—Taylor Jacobs: I was there the night he made the catch to beat Auburn in OT in 2002.  That capped a solid career in the orange and blue.

WR—Harrison Houston: 19 career receiving TDs and always had the knack for coming up with a big catch.

WR—Andre Caldwell: Hard to argue with the best pass catcher in school history, breaking Carlos Alvarez's school record.

TE—Ben Troupe: All-American.  The hurdles against Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Michigan, and he almost single-handedly beat FSU in 2003.

No reasons for the Offensive Line, other than they worked hard and played hard during their time at UF.

OL—Max Starks

OL—Mike Degory

OL—Drew Miller

OL—Shannon Snell

OL—Donnie Young

DE—Kevin Carter: An All-American who led the UF defense in a classic 14-9 win over FSU in 1991.

DE—Alex Brown: Gave Tee Martin nightmares in 1999, sacking him five times.  Won SEC defensive player of the year in 2001.

DT—Ellis Johnson: Disrupted many offenses and was part of three SEC championships.

DT—Brad Culpepper: Along with Kevin Carter, he provided a rock-solid front for the first SEC title team in school history.

LB—James Bates: The defensive leader of the 1996 National Champions.

LB—Johnny Rutledge: Brutal hitter and intimidating force during Bob Stoops’ time as DC at Florida.

LB—Mike Peterson: The most underrated LB to ever play at Florida, Peterson was a hard hitter and awesome against the run.

Gatorback—Monty Grow: This position was part of the early Florida defenses under Steve Spurrier as a hybrid LB/S position, and Monty Grow was the best of the bunch.  Just ask Darren Studstill of West Virginia.

CB—Lito Sheppard: Outstanding corner and even better punt returner.

CB—Keiwan Ratliff: All-American ballhawk that won games by himself during the Ron Zook era.

S—Reggie Nelson: Reggie made everyone around him better.  Just ask Ryan Smith, who was All-SEC the only year he played at UF.  A punishing hitter and defensive leader of the 2006 National Champions.  Rumor is that Massaquoi is Arabic for “scared to death of Reggie Nelson.”

S—Lawrence Wright: Once hit Joey Kent so hard that he made Kent bite off the tip of his tongue.  Won the Thorpe Award in 1996 without having an interception all season.