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November 16, 2012

Senior Class Notes & Nuggets



For 18 seniors -- both walk-ons and scholarship players -- Saturday's game against Jacksonville State (1 p.m., ESPN3/PPV) will be their final opportunity to play in the Swamp. While this isn't a star-studded group, several members have played key roles in UF's dramatic turnaround this season.

Below are a number of quick nuggets -- facts, stats, and quotes -- on the Gators' 2012 Senior Class.

(Ed. note: Redshirt season (2008) not included in tallies)

Graduating seniors: 18 (12 scholarship) notables include linebacker Jon Bostic, running back Mike Gillislee, safety Josh Evans, kicker Caleb Sturgis, defensive tackle Omar Hunter, defensive end Earl Okine, linebacker Lerentee McCray, wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr., left guard James Wilson, left tackle Xavier Nixon, tight end Omarius Hines, center Sam Robey

Going out on top: With a win Saturday, Florida's senior class can become just the third team in Gators history to go 7-0 in the Swamp. A feat the class also accomplished as freshmen in 2009

Offensive & Defensive Coordinators: 3 (apiece)

Overall record: 37-13

SEC Championships: 0

Record vs. BIG 3 Rivals: 7-4 (Tennessee: 4-0, UGA: 2-2, Florida State: 1-2)

Record vs. Top-25: 5-11

Bowl Record: 3-0, including 2009 BCS Sugar Bowl stomping (51-24) over No. 4 Cincinnati

Record at Florida Field: 22-5

A long time coming: With two games (plus a bowl) left in his career, Gillislee needs just 139 rushing yards to topple the 1,000-yard plateau in a single season, a Florida-first since 2004.

Better late than never: Safety Evans and linebacker Bostic rank first and second respectively, on the Gators in tackles. While Bostic has been a steady contributor since he was a freshman, Evans, along with fellow senior Hunter, emerged as one of Florida's most improved players in 2012.

All-SEC honors: Sturgis (2011 first-team)

Top NFL Draft prospect (according to ESPN's guru Todd McShay and Scouts Inc.): Bostic, a third-or-fourth round grade

Coach Will Muschamp on the senior class: They've been an outstanding group to work with as far as their buy-in to the program and what we're trying to do and where we're trying to go with this. Starting in the right direction and continuing the direction we're headed is a strong statement for them, outstanding. I'm very proud of them. Friday night we have all the seniors that want to get up and talk to our football team and I think it's one of my favorite days of the year to hear those guys talk about their time at Florida, playing the last time in the Swamp. It's very touching time to see a lot of those guys express themselves. Some of them you wouldn't expect them to express themselves. I think it's a lot of fun. It's just us. It's just the football team in there together. Guys who've been through the good and the bad and guys that are real close in the room, and it's one of my favorite times of the year. "It's always emotional. It was last year. You think back to going through the tough years John had with the injuries, Chris Rainey, Deonte Thompson and all those guys, Willie Green, Jaye Howard. Those guys gave a lot to the program. You come to the University of Florida to win a championship and unfortunately their last two seasons didn't go as well as planned, didn't pan out the way they wanted to. I appreciate the work they put in and the foundation they helped set for us. It's certainly helped this season. There's no question, this year the guys, again, you've spent a lot of time with these young men and seen them develop in just two year's time. They're very special to me, always will be."


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