The football season has been a tough one to swallow, something Florida fans will hope to push out of their collective memory by the time the clock runs out two days after Thanksgiving, but you Gators still have plenty to be thankful this holiday season.
Be thankful for Jeff Driskel, who was a turnover machine in two of the last four full games he played but nevertheless ran Florida's offense exponentially better than the back-ups who so many were anxious to see supplant him as the starter.
Be thankful for Billy Donovan, who is as consistent and reliable as a major college coach can be. Save for a unique circumstance when he lost a plethora of talent that won back-to-back national titles, Donovan has kept the Gators competitive and in contention for a championship (conference and/or national) every year. There are few like him across the country in any sport, so don't lose sight of what you have in your back pocket…even if UF is a "football school."
Be thankful for Dominique Easley, who stuck around for his senior season and unfortunately, like Driskel, proved his immense value by how far the team dropped off after he suffered his injury. Easley was a terrific player, top-notch leader and even provided great quotes each week to keep you smiling. Hell, be thankful for Chucky, too.
Be thankful for Casey Prather, who has exploded in his senior season and become just the third player in program history to score 27 or more points in at least three games (joining Teddy Dupay and Nick Calathes).
Be thankful for David "Duke" Werner, the "associate director of sports health" better known as the head trainer for the basketball team, who is in his second decade with the school and seemingly getting better and better by the year.
Be thankful for Travaris Robinson, who has done as bang-up of a job as any recruiter in the nation and currently has Florida loaded with big-time prospects out of in Dalvin Cook, Ermon Lane and Quincy Wilson. Sure, Cook is supposedly wavering, but don't fret until you hear how he feels after Robinson gets the last word. Plus, he's a great position coach.
Be thankful for Jeremy Foley, who as much as you may be angry with him for retaining Will Muschamp, has done more than enough during his 33 years at UF (12 as the athletic director) to earn some kind thoughts over the holidays. Remember, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Be thankful for Kasey Hill, a five-star prospect who not only chose Florida over a number of other top programs but also took care of his business off the court in order to enroll on time and be a responsible member of the team from the get-go.
Be thankful for Dorian Finney-Smith, a top-tier transfer who not only chose the Gators over other possible destinations but also took care of his business off the court in order to be a responsible member of the team (after a three-game suspension).
Be thankful for Patric Young, who may not be living up to his potential but has nevertheless stuck around for four years, been a great citizen off the court, and given Florida a big body where it otherwise would have been even more depleted in the frontcourt over the last few seasons.
Be thankful for Jon Halapio and Jonotthan Harrison, who have been the only truly consistent offensive linemen the Gators had to build around for the last three seasons.
Be thankful for Solomon Patton because UF's offense might actually be last in the country if he did not step up in a major way this season.
Be thankful for Will Grier, who has remained steadfast in his commitment to Florida even as the team - especially the offense - has been in tremendous turmoil all season.
Be thankful for Jaylen Watkins, who has been as flexible as any other player under Muschamp and remained a big-time contributor to the team both as a cornerback and safety this season.
Be thankful for Dante Fowler, who was having a breakout season before the defensive line got decimated and should be in line for a very special 2014 campaign.
Be thankful for Scottie Wilbekin, who (hopefully) has rebounded following his second suspension in as many years and may very well wind up being the most important player on the Gators before the season is out.