Coach: Ron Zook
1st year at Florida
2001 Record: 10-2
at Kentucky WON 44-10
at Louisiana State WON 44-15
at Auburn LOST 20-23
Georgia @Jacksonville, FL WON 24-10
at South Carolina WON 54-17
Maryland WON 56-23

2001 Final Rankings
AP-3, Coaches-3, BCS 5

New coach Ron Zook can be very thankful Earnest Graham is back.
2002 Outlook

A good many offensive starters back from a record setting 2001 team spells success. This could have been your Preseason #1, but coaching changes and early NFL departures have ruined that possibility. Rex Grossman put up some numbers that were outlandish in 2001 and the success factor starts with him. But no doubt the receiver experience and depth factor won't be there. Running back Earnest Graham will be a very important contribution. If the Gators could ill-afford to lose a body to injury, Grossman and Graham would be the first two named. The biggest challenge of developing players for the new coaching staff will be on the defensive side of the ball. Almost the entire defensive secondary needs restocked, as do the defensive ends. The schedule as usual is not conducive for winning it all, but then again you hear that every season. Miami joins the list, and not the team from Ohio, as well as your usual staples of FSU, Tennessee, Auburn, etc. Bottom line is, you just can't ignore a Steve Spurrier coached offense from 2001 that brings back a guy like Rex Grossman. We're talking 50 points a game for the norm. But now Steve Spurrier has resigned. Does the new coach keep the same fun-n-gun philosophy in place? Not many people can duplicate that process, maybe nobody. So what can we expect to see for 2002?

NOTES: SPRING OFFENSIVE ANALYSIS: Look for more short passes and less catches for the tight ends and running backs. The same train of thought will be pass first, run second, and more shotgun with three receivers and the I-formation. New offensive coordinator Ed Zaunbrecher comes to Florida in his first season from Marshall so folks are sure to see the offense airing it out. Look for more emphasis to be placed on the run to give the receivers a little more breathing room.

Projected 2002 record: 10-3

The Gators managed to survive the spring without any significant injuries that will carry over into preseason practice.


QB - 5 DL - 4
RB - 4 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 4
OL - 4 ..
Passing: Rex Grossman, 259-395-12, 3896 Yards, 34 TD's

Rushing: Earnest Graham, 125 att., 650 yds., 9 TD's

Receiving: Taylor Jacobs, 38 rec., 712 yds., 7 TD's

Scoring: Earnest Graham, 9 TD's, 54 pts.

Punting: Matt Leach, 26 punts, 40.2 avg.

Kicking: Brendt Talcott, 1-2 FG, 10-10 PAT, 13 pts.

Tackles: Guss Scott, 75 tot., 49 solo

Sacks: Guss Scott, 3.5 sacks

Interceptions: Todd Johnson, 2 for 25 yds.

Kickoff returns: Keiwan Ratliff, 7 ret., 17.3 avg.

Punt returns: Keiwan Ratliff, 6 ret., 237 yards, 10.5 avg.

OFFENSE: Rob Roberts-FB, Robert Gillespie-TB, Zac Zedalis-OL, Thomas Moody-OG, Jeff Chandler-K, Jabar Gaffney-WR (NFL), Mike Pearson-OT (NFL), Reche Caldwell-WR (NFL)
DEFENSE: Kennard Ellis-DE, Alex Brown-DE, Andra Davis-MLB, Travis Carroll-MLB, Bennie Alexander-CB, Marquand Manuel-SS, Lito Sheppard-CB (NFL)

University of Florida Official Athletic Site

STRENGTHS: The strengths start with quarterback Rex Grossman, the Heisman runner-up. The system will need designed to take advantage of the QB once again. Can it be done with a new coach? Guess we'll find out. The new coach Ron Zook can be very thankful Earnest Graham is back for his senior season as the top UF running back. He started 10 of Florida's 12 total games in 2001 with the Gators winning in all of his starts and losing only in the two games he missed with injuries. He led the 1999 and 2001 Gator squad in rushing and ranked second in 2000. Although the wide receiver positions have lost some prime time talent, Taylor Jacobs will be a major offensive key. The Orange Bowl MVP is clearly the "go-to" man in the Florida passing offense, and a dangerous big play threat. OK…so Coach Spurrier is gone, what does that mean? Probably that the Gators will average 38 points a game instead of their usual 45. With so much talent at certain key positions, the Gators should be fine. Question is, how long will it take for this offensive juggernaut to run smoothly with Coach Zook and his new offensive scheme? Either way Gator fans shouldn't be feeling suicidal, not with the weapons still left on that team.


CONCERNS: The Gators are still looking for two, three, and four receivers in their alignment. An offense that has been based upon throwing and throwing, finds this to be a crucial element for 2002 success. Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney decided to leave Gainesville early and skip to the NFL. The talent certainly will be there, the experience will not. The young offensive line is a work in progress but started to make nice strides at the end of spring practice. Two starters from last year, tackle Max Starks and guard Shannon Snell, need to be the two guys who lead the group. Rarely do you see three offensive guys on one team skip off early to the professional ranks, but offensive tackle Mike Pearson was the third on the list to do so, leaving a battle to see who can protect Mr. Grossman on the drop back passes. Florida loses its All-Time leading scorer in kicker Jeff Chandler. Most Top 25 prognosticators are sure to note the missing bodies, which defeated any chances of Florida returning as the #1 team in the preseason polls.


Returning Starters in Bold
QB Rex Grossman-Jr Ingle Martin-Fr
RB Earnest Graham-Sr Ran Carthon-Jr
WR Taylor Jacobs-Sr Matt Jackson-Jr
WR O.J. Small-So Carlos Perez-Jr
WR Reggie Vickers-So Kelvin Kight-Jr
TE Aaron Walker-Sr Ben Troupe-Jr
OT Max Starks-Jr Bobby Williams-So
OG Shannon Snell-Jr Steven Bell-Jr
C David Jorgensen-Sr Mike Degory-Fr
OG Jonathan Colon-So Ronald Dowdy-So
OT Mo Mitchell-So Lance Butler-Fr
K Matt Leach-So Brendt Talcott-Jr



University of Florida Official Athletic Site

STRENGTHS: Inside and outside would be an even description up front for the Gator defense. The two inside linemen and the two outside linebackers are extremely gifted. At tackle and nose tackle, last year's starting tandem of Ian Scott and Tron LaFavor return and both had outstanding spring practice results. Ian Scott is considered by many to be one of the best linemen in the south and has been named as an early candidate for the Nagurski Trophy. Arpedge Rolle was probably the most pleasant surprise of the spring giving solid depth to the interior. Two of Florida's key defensive leaders are outside linebackers Mike Nattiel and Bam Hardmon. They newly named the outside positions of Wolf and Stinger and both will be major leaders to the whole defensive group. At defensive back, Todd Johnson is the second player chosen as an early candidate for the Nagurski Trophy. His interception numbers from two seasons ago were outrageous and he has proven to be a steady rock in the lineup. His numbers have labeled him as a two-time All-American.


CONCERNS: The returning starters statistic is not really impressive. Every recruiting expert knows there is always plenty of athletic talent to go around in Gainesville. Let's just say there is a ton of full-time playing experience missing. The two outside positions at defensive end are question marks. Bobby McCray probably had the best spring and has speed and range for a guy who can come off the corner and put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. The biggest concern will be at the middle linebacker spot as both of the regulars have departed. Job three for coaches will be finding two new cornerbacks. Robert Cromartie is back from injury and will be counted on to provide some experience at the spot. Some quality offensive opponents make their way into the 2002 schedule with Miami, Tennessee, Ole Miss, LSU, Georgia, and FSU so it will be extremely important that this group gels rather quickly. Learning while you play is not a concept that could become too successful with that list. The talent is definitely there. How it all comes together is the key.


Returning Starters in Bold
DE Darrell Lee-Jr Clint Mitchell-Jr
NT Ian Scott-Jr Arpedge Rolle-Sr
DT Tron LaFavor-Sr Bryan Savelio-Sr
DE Bobby McCray-Jr Marcus Oquendo-Johnson-Sr
SLB Mike Nattiel-Sr Travis Harris-So
MLB Matt Farrior-Jr Reid Fleming-Jr
WLB Byron "Bam" Hardmon-Sr Todd McCullough-So
CB Keiwan Ratliff-Jr Vernell Brown-Fr
CB Robert Cromartie-Sr Marquis Westbrook-Sr
SS Guss Scott-Jr Cory Bailey-So
FS Todd Johnson-Sr Lester Norwood-Sr
P Sean Morton-Jr Nick Fleming-Fr
Your Heisman front runner....Mr. Rex Grossman
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