Florida football countdown

Published: Friday, July 18, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 7:34 p.m.

43 … Career receptions for Forrest “Fergie” Ferguson.

The strapping man from Jacksonville was a two-way player for the Gators between 1939 and ’41 and earned Florida’s second-ever All-American honor in ’41.

His 43 career catches may not sound like a lot in this day and age, but that was the most for a Gator player until Steve Spurrier came to Gainesville as a player and started pitchin’ the ball around the field. He also had the career record for yards in a career with 668 and touchdown receptions in a season with five until the mid-1960s.

Ferguson was also an excellent defensive end and won the state boxing and National AAU javelin championship before joining the war efforts.

During the invasion of Normandy, he cleared a path for his men using a Bangalore torpedo but was gravely wounded. He died from his war wounds in 1954.

The Fergie Ferguson Award is given to the Florida player each year who displays outstanding leadership, character and courage. Among the winners have been Spurrier, the late Larry Dupree, Jack Youngblood, Neal Anderson, James Bates and Jesse Palmer.

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