Florida’s Top 10 Interior Offensive Linemen

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Mike and Maurkice Pouncey celebrate after Florida beat Arkansas on 17, 2009. (Brian W. Kratzer/The Gainesville Sun)

So here was the idea. In 2006, we ranked the top 100 Florida football players on the 100th anniversary of Florida football. A lot of players have been stars since then, so let’s re-rank them. But that would mean kicking some of those players to the curb. So instead, we give you this as you try to take your minds off things — the Top 10 Gators at each position over the last 114 years of football. This is the sixth of a 13-part series.

Today — The interior offensive line

Up next — Rush ends.

 

  1. Maurkice Pouncey (2007-09) — It’s difficult to start as a true freshman on the offensive line, but Pouncey did, and he more than held his own. A physically dominant player, he also was an excellent technician who seemed to have a natural feel for playing center. He was a three-year starter and first-team All-American in his junior season.

2. Jeff Zimmerman (1983-86) –– He was the first non-senior offensive lineman in school history to earn first-team All-American recognition, which he did in 1985, his junior season. He started at guard on Florida’s “Great Wall” offensive line in 1984.

3. Burton Lawless (1972-74) — Big and athletic, he excelled as a pulling guard in the Gators’ wishbone offense in 1974, earning first-team All-American honors. The following year, he started as a rookie on the Dallas Cowboys’ Super Bowl-winning team.

4. Guy Dennis (1966-68) — He was a two-time All-SEC performer and a first-team All-American in his senior season. A three-year starter at guard, he was the offensive captain of the 1968 team. He was an early version of a road grader on the offensive line.

5. Jeff Mitchell (1993-96) — One of the most physically imposing offensive linemen in school history, Mitchell was a dominant center on four consecutive SEC championship teams. He was All-SEC his senior season, but was injured in the Georgia game and did not get to play in the national championship game, which the Gators won, beating FSU in the Sugar Bowl.

6. Larry Gagner (1963-65) — He was a tough, hard-nosed high school fullback who made the move to offensive guard at UF, where he grew into a dominant player. He earned first-team All-America recognition in 1965, when he helped lead the Gators to the Sugar Bowl.

7. Shannon Snell (2000-03) –– Physical, athletic and durable, Snell started every game at offensive guard in 2003 and stood out, earning first-team All-American honors. He played in 46 games during his UF career, starting 36.

8. Mike Pouncey (2007-10) — When twin brother Maurkice moved on to the NFL after his junior season, Mike made the move to center and there was zero dropoff at the critical position along the offensive front. He was All-SEC in a dominant senior season.

9. Phil Bromley (1981-84) — He was the rock-solid center on Florida’s “Great Wall” offensive line in 1984. He may have been overshadowed at times by Lomas Brown, Crawford Kerr and Jeff Zimmerman, but he was one of the dominant players on that line, earning All-SEC recognition his junior and senior seasons.

10. John Barrow (1953-56) — Became UF’s first All-American player in the “Modern Era” during his senior season, a year in which he also was the SEC lineman of the year. He went on to play 15 years with Hamilton in the Canadian Football League.