99 days to kickoff: Sammy Green DL/LB (1972-75)

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Over the next 99 days GatorCountry.com will be previewing the players that make up the Florida Gators football team as we inch closer and closer to the season.

Each day we will profile a scholarship athlete (or two, or three depending on how the numbers fall) all the way up until Florida kicks off against Toledo on August 31. We’ll do this by giving you some history of the player and their time at Florida, give you their career statistics, evaluate the player and where they are on the depth chart and give you our projection of how that player will fare in 2013.

Unfortunately, the current Gator roster doesn’t have a player who wears 99, at least not until the rest of the freshmen class arrives on campus. So we had to dig deep and find the best player in Florida history to wear No. 99. Our digging gave us Sammy Green, a linebacker who played at Florida from 1973-75.

Green was a linebacker/nose guard for Doug Dickey’s 1973-75 football teams. Take a minute and think about that. Sure, players in the 70’s may not have all been as big as some of the mountains that play football today but to be strong enough to play over center and still fast enough to play linebacker means Green was an athlete, no matter what decade he played in.

As a sophomore, Green made a play that would announce his arrival at the University of Florida.

In a game at Auburn, Green forced a fumble from Auburn running back Sullivan Walker. Walker’s fumble was recovered by Florida and led to what became the eventual game-winning score. Florida walked out of Jordan-Hare Stadium with a 12-8 upset victory, the first win at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Florida’s history.

Things really came together for Green during his senior season in 1975. That year Green led the team with an astounding 202 tackles – a school record that still stands today – on his way to being named a consensus first team All-American.

Following his stellar senior season, Green played in the Senior Bowl and was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the 1976 NFL Draft. Green would go on to play four seasons for Seattle and one season in Houston before retiring.

Green was officially inducted into the Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003 as a Gator Great.

 

Other Noteable players to wear No. 99.

Omar Hunter (2008-12)

Tim Paulk (1988-91)

Ian Scott (2001-02)

So there you have it Gator fans. We are just 99 days away from football. While today and tomorrow will be a little unconventional due to the fact that there isn’t a scholarship athlete on the roster, we’ll get into a more regular routine when we get to day 97 with Brad Phillips. As we continue through this series, we’ll continue to profile Gator Greats on the days where there is nobody on the roster with a corresponding number.

 

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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