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  • Dante Fowler, Florida Gators, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

    Dante Fowler leads the Gators out of the tunnel before taking on Florida State. / Gator Country photo by David Bowie

NFL Draft: Jacksonville
selects Dante Fowler

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Written by Nick de la Torre, April 30, 2015, 0 Comments,
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Dante Fowler Jr. became the first Florida Gators player to be selected in the 2015 NFL Draft when the Jacksonville Jaguars took him with the third overall pick in the first round.

Fowler is the highest Florida Gator taken in the draft since Joe Haden was selected third overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2010 and is tied for the highest Gator ever to be drafted with Steve Spurrier (1967), Wes Chandler (1978) and Gerard Warren (2001).

Fowler came to Florida as a Signing Day surprise in 2012. The long, lean, pass rusher had been committed to rival Florida State for more than a year before switching his commitment to Florida at the final minute.

Fowler saw action in all 13 games that Florida played during his freshman season, including the first start of his career against Missouri. He was named a First-Team SEC Coaches’ All-Freshman and a Freshman All-American by CBS Sports after accumulating 30 tackles, eight for a loss and 2.5 sacks.

Fowler’s career blossomed from there. As a sophomore he amassed 50 tackles, 10.5 for a loss, 3.5 sacks, forced three fumbles and blocked a kick. As a junior, Fowler increased his tackle total to 60 and became more than just a pass rusher. Each season, Florida put more and more responsibility on Fowler and every time he responded. His 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles for a loss led the team despite opponents’ game planning for and double-teaming Fowler consistently.

Fowler was named a second-team All-American by Sporting News and was First-Team All-SEC following his junior campaign.

Throughout his career, Fowler was more than just a great player on the field. He never once had an off the field issue and became one of the biggest characters and media favorites, carrying Dominique Easley’s Chucky doll with him during Gator walk. From his dancing on the field in between plays, cheetah cleats and gold watch at the combine and all the way to his gold shoes in Chicago at the NFL Draft, Fowler has been nothing but himself for the past four years and the Jaguars will be getting as good of a person off the field as the player they expect to get on the field.

Nick de la Torre

About Nick de la Torre

A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC

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Dante Fowler Jr. became the first Florida Gators player to be selected in the 2015 NFL Draft when the Jacksonville Jaguars took him with the third overall pick in the first round.

Fowler is the highest Florida Gator taken in the draft since Joe Haden was selected third overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2010 and is tied for the highest Gator ever to be drafted with Steve Spurrier (1967), Wes Chandler (1978) and Gerard Warren (2001).

Fowler came to Florida as a Signing Day surprise in 2012. The long, lean, pass rusher had been committed to rival Florida State for more than a year before switching his commitment to Florida at the final minute.

Fowler saw action in all 13 games that Florida played during his freshman season, including the first start of his career against Missouri. He was named a First-Team SEC Coaches’ All-Freshman and a Freshman All-American by CBS Sports after accumulating 30 tackles, eight for a loss and 2.5 sacks.

Fowler’s career blossomed from there. As a sophomore he amassed 50 tackles, 10.5 for a loss, 3.5 sacks, forced three fumbles and blocked a kick. As a junior, Fowler increased his tackle total to 60 and became more than just a pass rusher. Each season, Florida put more and more responsibility on Fowler and every time he responded. His 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles for a loss led the team despite opponents’ game planning for and double-teaming Fowler consistently.

Fowler was named a second-team All-American by Sporting News and was First-Team All-SEC following his junior campaign.

Throughout his career, Fowler was more than just a great player on the field. He never once had an off the field issue and became one of the biggest characters and media favorites, carrying Dominique Easley’s Chucky doll with him during Gator walk. From his dancing on the field in between plays, cheetah cleats and gold watch at the combine and all the way to his gold shoes in Chicago at the NFL Draft, Fowler has been nothing but himself for the past four years and the Jaguars will be getting as good of a person off the field as the player they expect to get on the field.

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