Daily Football Fix: UF team with most NFL draft picks?

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There have been a lot of great teams in the history of Florida football. We know about the champions. We know about the statues. Check out the credentials for this team, one I talked about briefly on the Dooley Noted podcast last week:

  • Beat Miami, Tennessee and Georgia.
  • Had the most players drafted into the NFL of any Gator team ever.
  • Had two of the greatest receivers in the history of the school, players who probably would be in the Ring of Honor if not for the restrictive requirements,
  • Recorded the longest play in the history of the school.
  • Had a backfield with its own nickname.

The year was 1977 and it was not one of the great teams in UF history. Not even close.

Oh, the talent was there. The Gators had the “woosh-bone” backfield that got its name because it was the fastest in the country.

But it was the beginning of the end of the Doug Dickey Era. Beset by internal strife on the team and conflicts between the Gator coaches and players, UF underachieved to the tune of a 6-4-1 record, 3-3 in the SEC.

But there was a 99-yard touchdown pass from Cris Collinsworth to Derrick Gaffney. Yes, Collinsworth wasted most of the year at quarterback and finished it off, believe it or not, at safety (it wasn’t pretty).

And there was the amazing Wes Chandler, who won the Georgia game almost single-handedly with three touchdowns when Dickey put him at tailback to make sure he got the ball.

And there were 10 draft choices (there were 14 rounds then), the most for UF.

A year later, Dickey scrapped the wishbone offense, hired Steve Spurrier as an offensive coach … and got fired. Dickey’s legacy at Florida is one of a guy who could bring in great players, but struggled to get everyone on the same page.

 

8 COMMENTS

  1. …..and that was they way it was, 41 years ago. Hard to believe because those names are fresh as yesterday to a lot of Gators.

    Valuable coaching and staff information tho, given our recent history since the demise of Urban Myer.

  2. Wes Chandler should be in the Ring of Honor no question about it.
    If he played in the modern era, he would have been an All American multiple times.

  3. wes chandler was the best receiver in uf history. no one else was close, maybe carlos alvarezz before he got hurt. percy was good, nat moore and ike and ricky and some good ones, but wes was the best. I remember the pitt game that was a tie when they had matt Cavanaugh. crazy sign near the field “Panthers are the pits”.
    fair or not, doug dickey got the ron zook treatment, and he was a gator, but the fans didn’t care. he gave spurrier his first shot, I think he got a bad rap. the gators had just had fourth and dumb against Georgia the year before and I think that was what unraveled them for a few years, kind of like the carlos dunlap dwi and the mess against Alabama unraveled things ten years ago, and we have never sustained a recovery since.

    • It’s all on Wikipedia. Terry lecount went to the vikings Scott Hutchinson Wes Chandler of course. Willie wilder of Haines city was as fast as Jeff demps. Tony green was a good back. Earl Carr was big and fast at rb too.i bet there was a Gaffney From Jacksonville Raines high school same as Terry lecount..probably derrick. The center was gifted but he had badly hurt a guy in practice and they said he lost his mojo after that he went to the packers. The others were like free agents now …..not big names.

      These negative cascade events aren’t from lack of talent. It’s doubly dangerous to overplay your hand when things are receding. I love Dan Mullen but Doug dickey had done even more before coming back. Tricky business

  4. there are better, much better! blame my mom. she had the bedroom painted orange when I was a kid! other kids got threatened by whatever warnings for their misdeeds, mine was, keep doing that and you will never get into the university of florida. all 4 of her surviving children graduated there, maybe an adventure or two, but its a big deal to us. Other gators have treated us well, and I am grateful to be one myself.

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