With the 2012 season concluded, Gator Country takes a look at the 10 best players for the Florida Gators football team in 2012 in a new series called “Tremendous 10.” GC will be profiling the accomplishments of these Gators from the 2012 season.
Gator Country concludes its “Tremendous 10” series with the final four most impressive players on the Gators football team in 2012.
4. P Kyle Christy
When Chas Henry left in 2010 after winning the Ray Guy award, freshman Kyle Christy took the role as the team’s punter. But it was in 2012 that Christy opened up people’s eyes to how truly valuable of a punter he could be.
Several times, Christy bailed the Gators out by flipping the field with an average of nearly 45 yards per punt. Christy became a valuable asset to Muschamp, especially during the offense’s greatest struggles in 2012.
Although Christy never scored any points, his impact on the 2012 season was significant and he will be an important player moving forward for the Gators.
3. DT Sharrif Floyd
Floyd recorded a team-high 13 tackles for loss in 2012 and commanded a lot of the opponent’s attention on the line of scrimmage.
It seemed as if Floyd was always in the backfield, even on special teams, impacting the play and imposing his will on most offensive linemen. He improved as the season went along, making a crucial sack at the end of the Florida State game and then adding two more sacks against Louisville in the Sugar Bowl.
Floyd will most likely be the Gators highest draft selection in the 2013 NFL Draft.
2. RB Mike Gillislee
Before the season, Gillislee set lofty goals of finishing the season with 1,500 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns. Although he didn’t meet those goals, Gillislee’s 1,152 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns were more than enough for the Gators.
Gillislee sat the bench much of his career, but took advantage of his first starting opportunity in 2012. His impact will be felt after 2012, simply because he proved the pro-style offense and power run game can work at Florida. He got the ball rolling for this offense and was consistent all year long.
1. S Matt Elam
There is so much to say about Matt Elam. He was the unquestioned leader of a suffocating Florida defense and sometimes you would cringe when he would make a powerful hit on an unsuspecting wide receiver catching a ball downfield.
He played multiple positions on the defense and was one of the team’s most reliable tacklers. Elam also recorded a team-high four interceptions and was second on the team with 76 total tackles.
Perhaps the quintessential play of Elam’s career was the forced fumble against LSU where he chased down Odell Beckham and wrestled the ball out of his hands after a long pass. It gave Florida all of the momentum in the LSU game as the Gators went on to secure the victory.
Elam was a lot of things for Florida, but above all, he was a fearless warrior for that Gators defense.