The University of Florida has proven itself year in and year out to be one of the better college football programs in the nation. Many Gators players have not only played in some of the biggest college football games, but have gone on to contribute greatly to the pro game as well. With that in mind, lets take a look at some interesting facts surrounding the football players that the University of Florida has sent to the NFL.
-The tallest player ever selected in the NFL Draft from the University of Florida was 6′ 7″ tall and there were actually four of them: Offensive lineman Dan Fike by the New York Jets in 1983, offensive lineman Mike Pearson by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2002, Offensive tackle Max Starks by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2004, and defensive end Jarvis Moss by the Denver Broncos in 2007.
-No Florida Gators football player has gone on to play more seasons in the NFL than offensive tackle Lomas Brown who played 18 seasons.
-Lomas Brown also holds the record for most NFL games played in by a former Florida Gator with 263.
-No former Gator football player has scored more NFL touchdowns than running back Emmitt Smith, who during his career scored 175 touchdowns.
-Emmitt Smith also holds the record for most NFL Pro Bowls played in by former Florida Gators with 8 appearances. Tied for second place with 7 appearances each are offensive tackle Lomas Brown and defensive end Jack Youngblood.
-Heisman Trophy winner Steve Spurrier was the first quarterback from the University of Florida taken in the NFL Draft when the San Francisco 49ers took him with the third pick of the first round in 1967. Since then, five other Gator quarterbacks have been drafted into the NFL, they are: John Reaves by Philadelphia in 1972, Kerwin Bell by Miami in 1988, Danny Wuerffel by New Orleans in 1997, Jesse Palmer by the New York Giants in 2001, and Rex Grossman by Chicago in 2003.
-The highest any University of Florida player has been taken in the NFL Draft was with the second overall pick of the first round, this happened in 1945 when the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Paul Duhart. Duhar would only play in the NFL two seasons. Four different former Florida players have been selected with the third overall pick of the draft, they are halfback Chuck Hunsinger by the Bears in 1950, quarterback Steve Spurrier by the 49ers in 1967, wide receiver Wes Chandler by the Saints in 1978, and defensive tackle Gerard Warren by the Browns in 2001.
The University of Florida has been at or near the top of college football programs for a long time now and they don’t look like they are going any where any time soon.