Castell, Jackson earn SEC Player of the Week Honors

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Florida safety Jordan Castell and defensive lineman Cam Jackson both earned SEC Player of the Week honors, the league office announced Monday morning. Castell was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the first time in his career and is the first since Trevor Etienne earned the award in 2022. Jackson captured co-Defensive Lineman of the Week after transferring from Memphis. This is the first time this season that a Gator has earned conference player of the week honors.

Starting in his second collegiate contest, and making his second consecutive start for the Gators, Castell totaled ten tackles and one pass break up in Florida’s victory over the Tennessee Volunteers. His ten tackles marked a career high for the freshman and doubled his season total to twenty. The Orlando, Florida native’s pass break up came in the third quarter when Tennessee attempted a deep pass on 2nd & 10 from the Tennessee thirty-one.

Castell’s defensive grade of 82.7 was the highest on Florida’s defense in week three, according to Pro Football Focus. The 6-2, 220-pound Orlando native posted a team high coverage grade of 81.6, allowing one reception for 16 yards on four targets vs Tennessee. The true freshman played in all 66 defensive snaps on Saturday night.

“The guy’s playing partly because he’s mature enough to handle it,” Napier said on Castell during Monday’s press conference.  He can process, he can communicate, and he has got physical ability. I think he is a future leader, and certainly amongst his classmates he’s well thought of.”

Jackson, a junior defensive lineman, recorded six tackles and one pass break up in Saturday’s contest. His total in tackles is a season high for the new Gator. Jackson was able to bat a pass down at the line in the middle of the third quarter when the Volunteers were facing a 2nd & 7 on the Florida twenty-four-yard line. Jackson is the first defensive-lineman to win a weekly SEC award since Week 1 of 2022.

The 6-6, 360-pound defensive tackle posted a defensive grade of 71.1, the 5th highest on the Gators’ defense in week three, according to PFF.

“I would say Cam Jackson and Caleb Banks,” OLB Princely Umanmielen said during fall camp on who has stood out on the defensive line. “Cam Jackson, he’s a huge guy. He can overpower anybody he wants.”

Castell and Jackson are the latest duo to win an SEC Weekly award in the same week since Trevor Etienne and O’Cyrus Torrence did so on November 14, 2022.

Both Castell and Jackson contributed a to a defense that limited a Tennessee offense, that was averaging 257.5 rushing yards per game prior to this week, to just 100 yards rushing on thirty carries.


Nick Marcinko
Nick is a recent graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Telecommunications. He is passionate about all sports but specifically baseball and football. Nick interned at Inside the Gators and worked part time with Knights247 before joining the Gator Country family. Nick enjoys spending his free time golfing and at the beach.