20/17 for 2017: A look at the honorable mentions
With Florida’s 2017 campaign fast approaching, Inside the Gators will preview this season's Gators football team with our 20/17 series. Throughout the new few weeks, we will take a look at the 20 most important returning players with considerable game experience, as well as the 17 most important players who have not stepped on the field or contributed significantly yet for Florida.
ITG will count down two returning players and 1-2 upcoming talents in each part of the 10-part series, finishing with the most important players for Florida in the 2017 season.
However, before getting into those lists, today we look at the honorable mentions as a lead-up to our annual countdown.
-- Senior wide receiver Brandon Powell: After finishing second on the team with 387 receiving yards as a junior, Powell worked with the 1's at receiver this spring. However, Dre Massey could end up taking his starting job this fall once he returns to full action from a torn ACL. Regardless, the 5-foot-9, 184-pound Powell should still play a key role in the rotation as a quick, shifty threat.
-- Redshirt senior running back Mark Thompson: The 6-foot-2, 237-pound Thompson's first season as a Gator was somewhat underwhelming and had its share of ups and downs, both on and off the field. He's not much of a physical inside runner, but his explosive playmaking ability in open space - take the 85-yard touchdown on a screen pass against Iowa, for example - could find him a niche role in the offensive game plan in 2017.
-- Sophomore wide receiver Joshua Hammond: Hammond caught just seven balls for 67 yards after logging seven grabs for 110 yards in his first two games as a Gator. However, after a strong spring where he showcased a knack for finding space against opposing coverages, his role in the rotation should increase as a sophomore.
-- Sophomore wide receiver Freddie Swain: After missing the spring with a shoulder injury mainly as a precautionary measure, Swain should be good to go to work with the wideouts in fall training camp. Like Hammond, Swain (118 receiving yards, 2 TD, one two-point conversion in 2016) could receive more playing time in 2017.
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